Fodor's Expert Review South Beach
Hugging the turquoise waters along Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Streets, this is one of the most popular beaches in America, known for its colorful lifeguard towers and social sunbathers. With the influx of luxe hotels and hot spots from 1st to 5th and 16th to 25th Streets, the stand-and-pose scene is now bigger than ever, stretching yet another dozen-plus blocks. The white sandy stretch fills up quickly on the weekends with a blend of European tourists, young hipsters, and sun-drenched locals. Separating the shore from the traffic of Ocean Drive is palm-fringed Lummus Park, with its volleyball nets and winding bike path. There are access points every few streets, including 14th Street, 12th Street, and so on. Locals hang out on the 3rd Street beach, in an area called SoFi (South of Fifth). Dogs are not allowed on the beach. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: partiers; sunrise; swimming; walking.