South Beach is one of the most exciting, vibrant area in Miami, Florida. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking views. But, believe it or not, there are many things to do in South Beach, Miami besides going to the beach!]
Located in Miami Beach’s most southern area, South Beach is an energetic neighborhood full of culture and life. You’ll find all of the beach amenities you’d expect but also all the features of a large bustling metropolis. That includes museums, nightclubs, attractions, shopping, parks, and more!
This is our guide to all of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami. While we’ve included some water activities, as they’re key to South Beach’s identity, we went beyond that.
We wanted to give you a taste of everything that South Beach has to offer. Ironically, when it comes to South Beach, the beach is truly only the beginning!
Things to Do In South Beach Miami – Attractions
Amongst the many things to do in South Beach, Miami, these attractions are some of our favorites. They, of course, include water activities, but also a botanical garden as well!
1. Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Address: 2000 Convention Ctr Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 9 AM – 5 PM
One of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami for nature lovers is the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. For over half a century, this beautiful urban garden has featured a breathtaking array of plants and flowers.
Currently there are over 100 different species on display! This includes Native Floridian plants as well as a stunning Japanese garden and more.
But here you’ll also find lovely ponds, jawdropping fountains, and even some wildlife. They regularly host free events, too, from art exhibits to yoga to art classes for the kids.
And if you check out their gift shop, you can bring some plants and other souvenirs home with you!
2. Miami Boat Charters
Address: 300 Alton Rd #100, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 9 AM – 10 PM
Naturally, we couldn’t make a list of things to do in South Beach, Miami, without water-based activities taking center stage! Our first is Miami Boat Charters, which will take you on a lovely water cruise around the city.
They have a number of different tour options on their yachts, including both affordable half and full day tours. There are also even more luxurious cruises if your pockets are a bit deeper or if you want to splurge.
Whichever option you go with, you will be rewarded with some breathtaking scenery. You’ll experience marine wildlife and see parts of the Miami waters and coastline you can’t get from the beaches.
3. BouYah Watersports
Address: 300 Alton Rd Pier A, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM
The second water activity on our list of best things to do in South Beach, Miami, is BouYah Watersports. They’re a fantastic company offering every adventure you could possibly want to have on the water. This includes jet skis, parasailing, banana boats, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more!
Safety is also a top priority for them. They always guarantee that their equipment is top of the line, and fully checked before each use.
Meanwhile, their staff is extremely professional and friendly. They’re there to put you at ease and show you any of the ropes you feel you need help with. If fun on the water is what you seek, look no further!
Things to Do In South Beach Miami – Resorts
Miami, Florida is known for its countless gorgeous beach resorts, and South Beach is no exception! These are two of the best and most beautiful.
4. The Goodtime Hotel
Address: 601 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
When looking for things to do in South Beach, Miami, you’ll of course need a place to stay. If you want one just as much an experience as the ones you’ll have sightseeing, The Goodtime Hotel’s your answer.
Owned and dreamed up by R&B star Pharrell Williams and nightclub entrepreneur David Grutman, it’s a fantasy come to life. People have compared the quirky aesthetics to getting the opportunity to briefly live inside a Wes Anderson film!
Everywhere you look, you’ll find strange and interesting designs. There are amazing selfie opportunities everywhere. And you’ll probably spot some celebrities as well!
We also love their restaurant, Strawberry Moon. It’s a spicy Mediterranean place serving up delicious food and a party atmosphere.
5. Standard Spa
Address: 40 Island Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Some may scoff at the Standard Spa being on a list of things to do in South Beach, Miami. That’s because it’s a buzzy hotel chain rather than being unique to South Beach.
However, since it first opened, it quickly established itself as an iconic South Beach location. It’s perfect for trendy fashions and soaking up South Beach culture.
The Standard Spa also regularly hosts events, so check out the schedule on their website. Every Sunday afternoon, they also host a barbecue that anyone can partake in, even if they’re not registered guests!
You can also eat at Lido, their fabulous restaurant, whether or not you’re staying here. They have a happy hour from 4 PM to 6 PM.
Things to Do In South Beach Miami – Night Life
If night life is what you’re seeking, there are so many things to do in South Beach, Miami! Here are a number of spots where you can dance the night away or take in a show!
6. Mac’s Club Deuce
Address: 222 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 8 AM – 5 AM
Are you a fan of the nightlife? Then Mac’s Club Deuce is one of the things to do in South Beach, Miami for you! It stands out amongst the other clubs in the area for how edgy and eclectic it is.
The much-beloved celeb chef Anthony Bourdain listed it as one of his favorite places thanks to its atmosphere and vibe.
The vintage neon dive bar design of the place attracts all sorts of people. It has a real edge for those looking for a slightly dangerous feel. You’ll find everyone from celebrities to glitterati to locals. They open as early as 8 AM but late night is when the place really comes alive.
7. Nikki Beach Miami
Address: 1 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 12 PM – 6 PM; Fri – Sat: 12 PM – 7 PM; Sun: 11 AM – 7 PM
One of the most “Miami” things to do in South Beach, Miami is Nikki Beach Miami! It’s a lounge, nightclub, beach club, bar, and restaurant all in one. And surrounded by iconic palm trees by its beachfront location, it feels like a tropical paradise.
A visit here means dining in the open air under a parasol, the feel of soft sand on your feet. In the day, you’ll feel like you’re having a lazy day at the beach with great food and drinks. At night, it transforms into a pumping dance club.
And if you love brunch, don’t miss Sunday mornings here!
8. Mango’s Tropical Café Miami Beach
Address: 900 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Tues – Wed: 4 PM – 5 AM, Thurs – Mon: 12 PM – 5 AM
Another unmissable location for best things to do in South Beach, Miami is the iconic Mango’s Tropical Café. Situated on the extremely popular Ocean Drive, Mango’s features a scrumptious tropical menu with great food and drinks.
And on a visit here, you’ll be enjoying these delectable treats while enjoying the excitement of a live show. This entertainment is sometimes live bands performing, sometimes dance performances, and sometimes even a magic show!
And on some nights, they even feature salsa lessons as well as dance parties if you want to get in on the action yourself! Check out their website for the full schedule.
9. New World Center
Address: 500 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10 AM – 5 PM, Closed Saturdays & Sundays
One of the things to do in South Beach, Miami, if you love music and/or architecture is New World Center. For fans of classic music, this gorgeous concert hall is the place to experience the New World Symphony live.
The New World Symphony is the only orchestral academy in the United States. So, if you’re in the area and love classical music, they can’t be missed.
Meanwhile, the building itself is a postmodern masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry. It’s worth visiting for that alone! And they also host film screenings and other events. So whether or not you’re a classical fan, you might find something worth checking out!
Things to Do In South Beach Miami – Shopping, Dining, and Sightseeing
Whether it’s dining or sightseeing you’re craving, or even a place to do some shopping, South Beach has you covered! Here are some of our favorite things to do in South Beach, Miami!
10. Sunset Harbor
Address: Sunset Harbor Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Sunset Harbor is one of the loveliest spots in the area in South Beach, Miami. With a gorgeous view of the Intracoastal Waterway, this quieter area is full of charming shops and restaurants.
This all makes it the perfect place for a relaxed afternoon stroll, as well as to go shopping. There are countless trendy boutiques to browse. We recommend Sunset Clothing Co, Beach Boutique, and Frankie Miami.
There are also a lot of coffee shops. Panther Coffee and Great Circle Coffee Roasters are two of our favorite spots.
And if you’re looking for a delicious meal, we particularly love Slitsville Fish Bar for fresh seafood. Icebox Café is also a must-visit with a full menu of great food but some particularly delicious pastries.
11. Lincoln Road Mall
Address: Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 10 AM – 11 PM
Another of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami, if you feel like shopping is Lincoln Road Mall. Full of over 140 shops, along with restaurants, food trucks, and more, it’s an iconic gem in South Beach.
It’s an area full of fun and charm. There are countless trendy stores. There’s a weekly farmer’s market, and an antique market running from October to May each year. There’s even an outdoor area called Soundscape Park with a 7000 foot projection wall where they show films weekly.
As far as food is concerned, we recommend Segrafredo L’Originale for delicious Italian food, and Meat Market for delectable steaks. And check out the Colony Theatre for great live performances!
12. South Pointe Park
Address: 1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: Open 24 Hours
At the very southern tip of South Beach lies South Pointe Park. It’s easily one of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami, especially for iconic views. It’s a huge park that boasts a glorious view of the ocean and one of Miami’s most beautiful beaches.
Years ago, South Pointe Park was simply where the police’s horse stables were kept. In 1984, however, the nearby area was developed, and South Pointe became a public park. Check out the famous South Pointe Park Lighthouse, a funky, modern spin on what we think of as a lighthouse!
And while you’re here you can grab lunch at Joe’s Take Away, for some of the best seafood in Miami.
13. Ocean Drive
We mentioned Ocean Drive earlier on our list of best things to do in South Beach, Miami, but it deserves its own entry. Ocean Drive is one of the most famous, prominent shopping districts in South Beach. It’s a huge hub of cafés, bars, restaurants, galleries, venues, and more!
In mid-2020, Ocean Drive went fully pedestrian, as well, so now it’s essentially a big open mall. Ocean Drive is particularly iconic for its Art Deco buildings. Fans of TV’s Dexter will recognize it as the show filmed in this area often.
One of the most famous establishments is Palace, an LGBTQ+ bar and restaurant whose drag show is highly acclaimed. It’s also the location of the late Gianni Versace’s mansion, which has been turned into a luxurious hotel.
14. Española Way
Year ago, Española Way was the first area of Miami to be commercially developed specifically as an artist community. Back in the 1920s, it took Mediterranean villages from Spain and France as its inspiration. And ever since 2017, as with Ocean Drive, it became pedestrian-only.
Española Way is one of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami, in order to soak up the local Latinx culture. You can sample their delicious cuisine at any of the 19 restaurants there. Mercato Della Pescharia, and Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine are two of the best.
There are numerous salsa and flamenco nightclubs. The street is also full of shops selling souvenirs and collectibles. If you want to take home a piece of South Beach with you, come here for tchotchkes and memories.
15. Flamingo Park
Address: 1200 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 8 AM – 8:30 PM
If sports is your thing, one of the best things to do in South Beach, Miami is Flamingo Park. Anyone would enjoy the beautiful optics on display here and having a dip in the pool. But this place is particularly great for rec activities.
They have a basketball court, soccer field, baseball stadium, tennis courts, and more. Their aquatic center is state-of-the-art and features two gorgeous pools. There’s a water playground for kids, too.
There’s even a dog park area there so you can bring your favorite four-legged friend along with you! With beautiful facilities that are beautifully maintained, this is the place to go for fun in the sun.
Things to Do In South Beach Miami – Museums
There are also many things to do in South Beach, Miami, if you’re looking for art and history. Here are some of the fantastic museums you’ll find in this wonderful city.
16. The Bass
Address: 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Tues – Sun: 12 PM – 5 PM; Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
One of the best museum-based things to do in South Beach, Miami, is The Bass. Having opened in 1964, the Bass is built on the private art collection of Johanna and John Bass. The museum features an impressive collection of various types of contemporary art.
The focus on this period of art was more on concept than technical beauty. So while you may not find a lot of traditionally aesthetic work here, there’s lots to chew on intellectually.
Some of The Bass’ most well-known pieces are the white room that’s filled with a variety of pink gloves, and a giant light bulb installation. The museum also regularly features performance art.
17. Jewish Museum of Florida – Florida International University
Address: 301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Wed – Sun: 10 AM – 4 PM; Closed Mondays
South Beach, Miami is known for its thriving Jewish community, many of them New York transplants. Amongst the best things to do in South Beach, Miami, revolving around Jewish culture is the Jewish Museum of Florida.
Part of Florida International University, the Jewish Museum shines a light on Jewish culture and history. Did you know that Jewish people settled the area as far back as 1763? Learn about this in detail, and much more at this vital place.
It features more than 100,000 artifacts, artworks, photographs, ancient books, and more celebrating this fascinating culture. And it’s housed in a classic Art Deco building that used to be a synagogue!
18. Art Deco Museum and Welcome Center
Address: 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 9 AM – 5 PM
There are so many things to do in South Beach, Miami, for history buffs. One of our personal favorites is the Art Deco Museum and Welcome Center. It’s the perfect place to start your historical exploration of South Beach!
Housed inside a classic Art Deco building, this museum was first set up by the Miami Design Preservation League. Now, they host a number of tours of the famous Art Deco buildings in the area, which start here.
Along the way, you’ll also see the other dominant architectural styles in the area, namely Miami Modern and Mediterranean. And be sure to check out the gift shop, full of Art Deco-inspired souvenirs and home goods!
19. ARTECHOUSE Miami
Address: 736 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 2 PM – 9 PM
One of the most innovative things to do in South Beach, Miami, is ARTECHOUSE Miami. It is a museum but an extremely unusual one! Since it first opened its doors in 2018, its been presenting challenging digital art using all sorts of new technologies.
Breaking down all sorts of separate museum categories we’re used to, ARTECHOUSE merges art, tech, and science. One of its temporary exhibits from recent years was called Renewal 2121. It used advanced tech to imagine what society will look like in a century.
Many of its exhibits are interactive, which adds a whole other layer of interest to people seeking a springboard for conversation.
20. Wilzig World Erotic Art Museum
Address: 1205 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Mon – Sun: 11 AM – 6 PM
If anyone ever tells you museums are boring, point them to the Wilzig World Erotic Art Museum! The most out-there of our things to do in South Beach, Miami, it’s a home for fine erotic art. Naomi Wilzig had been amassing this collection from around the globe for years before opening it to the public.
With more than 400 pieces, the WEAM is a tour through thousands of years of how sex has been depicted in art and throughout history. It has everything from erotic paintings, photos, and sculptures, to various adult toys from throughout history!
You’ll want to leave the kids home for this one, but for adults, it’s a real eye-opener!
Conclusion On Things to Do In South Beach Miami
There are just so many exciting things to do in South Beach, Miami. This list is only a start, but we hope it has you feeling inspired to take a trip. And you’ll surely discover more there for yourself. A fun vacation full of adventure and relaxation awaits you there!