We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Something for Everyone” 5 of 5 stars
Review of South Beach

South Beach
Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Improve this listing
Visit South Beach like an insider
Special Offer
and up
Miami City Bus Tour
Ranked #4 of 158 things to do in Miami Beach
Activities: People-watching, City walk sightseeing, Nightlife, Sunbathing, Dining, Group tours/walking tour
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: People watching is a great pastime in Miami's South Beach, which draws celebrities and beautiful people in skimpy swim attire to see and be seen. The wide and fine, white sand-covered beaches are popular spots for fashion photo shoots, so you're sure to see models. The area is known for its hip clubs and wild nightlife as well as numerous excellent restaurants.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Something for Everyone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I've lived in South Beach for several years now, and it is a world-class destination. There are, however, some misconceptions which should be cleared up: while South Beach DOES have many ritzy hotels, multi-million dollar homes, and celebrity visitors, it also has plenty of free and reasonably-priced attractions, and can be a fun and frugal destination for a traveler on a budget.

Let's break down the area into its component parts, from east to west:
1) the beach: free, wide, white, clean, with sparkling turquoise waters that are from 75-85 degrees F all year long, this wonderful asset is great for exercise, swimming, people-watching, and general r&r. It has a wide path along it inland of the dunes that runs from 5th street to 23rd street, where it turns into a boardwalk that runs for miles.
2) the Ocean Drive strip: featured on countless postcards, t-shirts, movies, etc., this street features mostly mediocre, overpriced food being hocked relentlessly by pretty young women hired to lure in tourists. The upside: even the bad meals come with a good view, and if you do your research, you can find the few places that are good!
3) Collins Ave: one block west of Ocean Drive, Collins features many boutique hotels, boutique shops, and a few solid restaurants. North of 15th Street, Collins is the street closest to the beach, and the hotels on the east side of it have beach access through their rear gates. The core of hot, trendy hotels runs along Collins from 17th to approximately 23rd Street (depending on which places you leave in or out), including The Delano, The Setai, the Shore Club, The W, The Raleigh, and others that fall in and out of favor. As you move further south, Collins is also the axis for most of the youth hostels on South Beach, where no-frills lodging provides fast friendships and vibrant social scenes.
4) Washington Ave: the 4-lane divided thorofare that is the spinal column of SoBe's club scene. Mansion, Crowbar, and an ever-changing menu of dance clubs that feature celebrity DJ's (live music is almost impossible to find in South Beach, and Miami in general) keep the music throbbing until last call at 5 AM.
5) Lincoln Road: an open-air shopping arcade that runs east-west between 16th and 17th streets, Lincoln is great for just walking around window-shopping and people-watching. Some of the restaurants are quite good (others are trading on their location), and if you can afford to buy at the ever-gentrifying stores there, so much the better.
6) The rest: from Washington Ave west to the water of Biscayne Bay, South Beach is a neighborhood, with people of all classes, backgrounds, ages, education, and beliefs sharing the sun-drenched mayhem. There is a whole sub-culture of Local Life, with a network of bars, restaurants, and clubs that the guy who is washing dishes at Joe's Stone Crab or busing tables at Prime 112 goes to when his shift ends, where he can have fun and knock back a hard-earned drink without breaking the bank. For those who bother to seek it out, this can be the most fun part of South Beach -- and certainly the most economical. A couple of great B&B's are also hidden in these neighborhoods.

The many attractions, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and activities in South Beach each deserve (and have) their own reviews here-- look around for the things that suit your fancy. You're sure to find something you like.

Some tips:
Driving in South Beach is very frustrating. There are scads of roller skaters, skate boarders, cyclists, scooters, pedestrians, double-parked trucks and delivery vans, tour buses, and cars driven by lost tourists and locals on cell phones. Park your car at one of the city-run garages ($1/hour if you park before 7 PM) and walk around, or rent a bike.

Due to the significant number of non-U.S. visitors, most of the bars and restaurants include the tip. Check your bill to make sure you don't tip more (or less) than you intend to. They will remove it if you complain.

Service at almost every location in SoBe (even the fancy, expensive ones) is often slow and shoddy (the local managers call it "Beach Brain.") Don't fight it. You're on vacation. Relax.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

6,383 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“South Beach is beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Lovely beach with a warm ocean that looks already like Caribbean waters. Great restaurants. Everything is close by and accessible.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

So much fun! Some bars are open all night~this was the first time I have ever bar hopped until 6 in the morning! There is also a very lenient open container law :) I have never seen so many gorgeous men in one place! ( so what if they were gay) :)

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“fun place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I have always enjoyed the south beach experience. you can stay at an up scale hotel or an art deco hotel on Ocean Ave. The Hotel Pelican has a great porch for lunch; many types of restaurants close by. Rental bikes are available for $5 an hour which can be parked at the numerious bike docking stations through out south beach. Go; you will enjoy.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davie, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Senior Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

What another amazing trip we went on. The senior's from the center just love this place! we had gone on the Duck Tour there and saw allot of what Miami has to offer. The Rich & Famous homes too! the lounges and shopping on South Beach were fantastic! I love South Beach atmosphere, it's fast paced life style too!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed South Beach also viewed


Been to South Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage South Beach, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.