Just arrived in South Beach and overwhelmed by where to start? The Miami Beach Boardwalk is a great way to get oriented, and take in some of the best sites around South Beach and beyond. This walk runs along some of the prettiest beaches in Miami, not to mention a handful of notable cultural and entertainment sites.
The boardwalk itself runs north to south, from Nikki Beach (in the south) to Indian Beach Park (in the north). From the north, there’s access from 4601 Collins Ave, where you’ll find parking as well. Parking is likewise available near the southern-most entrance at 500 Ocean Drive. More details of other parking spots in between can be found here.
If you don’t have a car, make use of the free trolley bus, which runs to various points along the boardwalk. Of course, the best way to enjoy the boardwalk is on foot. The total trip from end to end is around 4 miles, making it perfect for a morning jog or afternoon stroll.
Starting at the southern-most end of the boardwalk, you’ll find yourself a Nikki Beach, with its beautiful views of the ocean and towering resorts. The Hilton and Marriott are both within a stone’s throw, while the nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas Ocean Beach Park is a nice place for a mellow meander. If you’re keen for side trips, the Jewish Museum of Florida is within walking distance. Otherwise, keep going further north, and you’ll run into the long strip of Lummus Park. If you’re hungry, stop by at CJs Crab Shack, a classic pit stop for cheap seafood. From here, you can get some great views of the Art Deco District to one side, and the beachfront to the other. You’re also now within a short walk of Mango’s Tropical Cafe, a legendary salsa club with fine Latin cuisine downstairs. You’ve also got the Wolfsonian Museum nearby, along with the historic Miami Beach Cinematheque. The latter is the place to be for art house films. Of course, to get a comprehensive tour of the area, don’t miss the Art Deco guided tour, which starts at the welcome center on 1001 Ocean Drive. Bike rentals are also available.
The northern edges of Lummus Park give way to the upper portion of the boardwalk, which continues with pleasant ocean views. Up ahead, you’ll likely run into Collins Park, not to mention the nearby (and newly redesigned) Shelborne South Beach. For some truly glorious views, take a break at the rooftop cocktail lounge at 1 Hotel. For a really good deal though, visit the Pool & Beach Bar at the Setai. On Friday and Saturday nights, they offer free tapas with any cocktail (the offer runs from around 5-7pm, so get in early). Further north, you’ll end up on Mid Beach, with its long beaches and towering skyline. You’ll know you’re nearing the end if you see the iconic Fontainebleau. For some truly impressive clubbing, the Fontainebleau’s LIV is one of the trendiest spots in town.
Finally, your journey ends at Indian Beach Park. This unassuming leisure area offers more walking trails, and some nice shaded spots on the lawn for a picnic.