If there is one thing that Miami is not short on, it is absolutely gorgeous beaches. South Florida is world-famous for its stunning stretches of sand, and Miami is the ultimate glitzy, glamorous beach town.
But aren’t you a little bored of hitting the same Florida beaches over and over again?
Don’t get me wrong – South Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, Key Biscayne, and Miami Beach are AWESOME and certainly have their place. But sometimes you want to get away from the crowds, the parties, the oceanfront rental condos, and the buzzing atmosphere of the boardwalk and just chill out and relax. But is it possible in Miami, one of the most famous beach cities in the world?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Miami is FULL of hidden beaches, secluded stretches of sand, and little-known sunspots that fly under the radar and away from the tourist trail. Some of them are even kept secret from most of the locals! So if you are after a bit of peace and tranquility, and a break from the Art Deco excitement of Ocean Drive, take a look at these secret beaches in Miami and enjoy the serenity.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
With a significant chunk of its land reserved as public green space and beach, West Palm Beach is a pretty delightful spot. Of the many lovely natural areas in this great little Miami-Dade gem, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park has to be one of the best. In fact, it is a genuine environmental wonder, with just under two miles of quiet, pristine beach and clear water untroubled by crowds (or really…anyone!). This is the perfect spot to get away from it all, giving you the feeling that you are miles from the hustle and bustle of the big city, although really it’s just a stone’s throw from Palm Beach!
Matheson Hammock Park
Almost undiscovered by tourists but a local favorite, Matheson Hammock Park is not your everyday beach. It has a real family vibe, with loads of beachfront picnic tables, barbecues, and al fresco dining pavilions, and there’s a delightful neighborhood atmosphere here almost every day. The beach park itself is incredibly cool, with a lagoon pool and artificial beach making it perfect for younger kids, while teens and adults will enjoy the wide variety of watersports available. It is also, of course, a great place just to lie back, relax, and catch some rays.
Although most of Key Biscayne is pretty busy throughout the week, Crandon Park is the glorious exception. A true underrated treasure and one of the best beaches in the area, it is beautiful, peaceful, and untouched by the tourist crowds and parties that are common elsewhere. The beach offers great facilities for sports like volleyball, tennis, and golf, and is also a magnificent spot for wildlife lovers, as iguanas, manatees, and dolphins are all regularly spotted here. Whether you spend the day hiking along the well-marked trails or just enjoying the view over Biscayne Bay, Crandon Park is a gloriously serene spot for a beach day.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Do you long for a break on your own private barrier island? Well, I can’t quite promise you that, but at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park you’ll feel like you’ve got the whole place to yourself, which is the next best thing. Sit on the sugar-soft sand, enjoy the beautiful vista out over the Atlantic, and wander up to explore Miami’s oldest building in the shape of the 1825 lighthouse at the end of the park. However you like to spend a beach getaway, at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park tranquility is guaranteed.
On the compass and in the atmosphere, North Shore in North Beach is the polar opposite of the gaudy, raucous, fiesta-strewn environs of South Beach. On the way up to Surfside, Bal Harbour, and Fort Lauderdale, it is peaceful, unspoiled, and pristine, with clean water, white sand, and no traffic. With showers, restrooms, and lifeguards it’s a great place for a family trip to the beach, and also great for sunbathing and just as somewhere to chill out and get away from noise and commotion. The only real downside is that the seaweed can build-up occasionally, but this tiny nuisance is well worth it if it keeps the crowds at bay!
South Pointe Park
Ok, so I know I said that South Beach was all about the party earlier, but there is in fact one spot on South Beach where you can get away from it all and zone out. South Pointe Park is tucked away right down at the south end of South Beach, a lovely natural green space free of the crowds further north, and boasting wonderful views of the South Beach skyline to boot! There are loads of palm trees providing shade, a charming fishing pier where you can watch people kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing, and great family-friendly facilities including a water playground and jungle gym for the little ones!
Virginia Key Beach
Despite being incredibly close to downtown Miami and Key Biscayne, Virginia Key Beach Park remains off the beaten path and delightfully undiscovered. The beach area is a long, wide stretch of sand to relax on and swim off, loads of charming trails through the hammocks, and (most impressively) one of the largest and oldest sandcastles in the world, constructed back in 2015 and still holding its own today! It is secluded, jaw-droppingly beautiful, and as peaceful and quiet as you could hope for.
Haulover Beach Park
Haulover Beach Park is one of the oldest nudist beaches in Florida. While not for everyone, if you prepare to go bare this is a glorious stretch of sand and well worth visiting. The skyline of Miami fades into the distance and all you’ve got is miles of open coastline, the sand, the sky, and the surf. If you aren’t comfortable with the clothing-optional vibe then there’s a more buttoned-up section of the beach, but either way, it’s a gloriously remote and private spot in Miami Beach.
Whichever beach you decide to go to, just make sure you pack your beach bag accordingly, and don’t forget your beach games!
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