There are many great things to do in Miami but the beaches are its crown jewel. There is no place in the world with as many spectacular beaches of such diversity and beauty as Miami. There are glamorous beaches like Lummus Park Beach just across the Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, quiet long beaches shadowed by luxury condos and resorts, windsurfers’ paradise beaches like Hobie Beach, and urban beaches like the one in Matheson Hammock Park with a man-made atoll. Here are the best beaches and parks in Miami.

1. Bal Harbour Beach

Bal Harbour Beach
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Not far away from glamorous South Beach is the quiet and unassuming yet beautiful Bal Harbour Beach. A mile long and lined with expensive condos and luxury resorts, Bal Harbour has an air of exclusivity and privacy, although it is a public beach. Beautiful landscaping with sand dunes, lush greenery, and paths are all well maintained and add to the atmosphere.

There are no lifeguards or any other public facilities on the beach, though you can rent things like beach chair and umbrella from one of many neighborhood resorts. At the end of the Haulover channel where the beach starts to curve there is a concrete jetty where you can always see patient fishermen hoping for a catch.

When you have enough of swimming or working on your tan, stroll along the walking or jogging path that stretches along the beach. Browse more things to do in Florida on your weekend trip.

655 96th Street, Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Vacation Inspiration: Islamorada Beaches, Key Largo Beaches, Florida Islands, Florida Keys

2. Crandon Park Beach

Crandon Park Beach
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One of the best Florida weekend getaways, Crandon Beach is what outsiders imagine a Miami beach should look like: long and wide, with fine white sand and rows of hundreds of palm trees.

There is always a friendly but competitive game of beach volleyball going on and often the smell of barbecue coming from one of many on-site grills.

You can rent a cabana for your party, which have showers and their own picnic tables on the beach.

Strolling along the beach, you can see ancient dunes, mangroves, sea grass beds, and other coastal plants.

Stop by the Crandon Park Nature Center, a part of the Crandon Park, to see some exotic plants, wildlife, and rare fish. There is also Bear Cut Preserve, Environment Study Area, and a Family Amusement Center. More amazing Florida beaches for a relaxing escape.

6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149

More ideas: Tampa, Spring Hill Beaches, Gulf Coast Beaches, More Florida beaches

3. South Pointe Park Beach

South Pointe Park Beach
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South Pointe Park is a 17-acre urban park in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach with spectacular 360 degree ocean views.

There is a huge, wide expanse of sand on one side of the park, a range of walking paths, beautiful, large grassy area, a mini waterpark for the kids, a dog park, and a kiddy lot.

As you stroll through the park, you will notice a number of modern art sculptures. Even benches/loungers look like pieces of art. From the beach, you can watch enormous cruise ships gliding by to the destinations unknown. There is also a fishing pier. Explore Miami restaurants on vacation.

1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

4. Hobie Beach

Hobie Beach
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As you cross the Rickenbacker Causeway on the way to the heavenly Key Biscayne, you will find Hobie Beach, the main windsurfing beach in Miami. It is also known as Windsurfer Beach, a name it got from the popular local windsurfing rental shop that not only rented equipment but also taught windsurfing on Hobie Beach for over twenty years. Find it on a map

You can take a two-hour crash course or group lessons for a day – Windsurfers’ expert and experienced trainers will make you comfortable in no time. Hobie Beach is also Miami's favorite dog beach. The current is mild, the water is shallow, and dogs can splash in the waves to their hearts’ content. The views of the Miami skyline and the Biscayne Bay from the beach are spectacular. There are many great seafood restaurants in Miami.

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5. John U Lloyd State Park

John U Lloyd State Park
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Located in Hollywood, Florida, just off A1A, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, previously called John U Lloyd Beach State Park, is a popular family beach with a range of activities – fishing from the jetty or surf casting, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, picnicking, boating, and wildlife watching.

The beach has two boat ramps, picnic tables, covered picnic pavilions, and grills. Canoes, kayaks, and volleyball balls and nets are available for rent. A part of the park is Whiskey Creek, a manatee sanctuary. The best way to see them without disturbing them is to take a kayak through Whiskey Creek. Another interesting part of the park is the Dania Beach Erojacks, a barrier reef popular among scuba divers. Things to Do in Florida

6503 N Ocean Dr, Dania Beach, Florida 33004

6. Lummus Park Beach

Lummus Park Beach
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You have seen it in many movies – Lummus Park beach is the beach in Miami Beach Art Deco District that lines Ocean Drive and all its intense buzz. It is the most crowded of all the Miami Beach beaches and boasts fine white sand, emerald waters, and a lovely stand of stately palm trees between the road and sand.

The beach is much more popular for people-watching than swimming, unless you are a kid – there is a small playground just before the entrance to the beach for kids ages two through five. There are also nice paved paths for biking and walking, and all the restaurants and bars are just across the street. Miami outlet malls are popular with shoppers.

Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

More ideas: Tampa Bay, Southern Florida, Shelling Beaches, Florida Panhandle

7. Matheson Hammock Park & Beach

Matheson Hammock Park & Beach
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Located just south of Coral Gables next to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Matheson Hammock Park is a beautiful 630-acre oasis in the heart of the city. Opened in 1930, the park has an artificial atoll pool where water comes with tides from Biscayne Bay. The pool’s shallow water is wonderful for kids or anyone learning to swim.

The beach has constant pleasant breezes and is a great spot for lounging and enjoying magnificent views. A coral rock pavilion is a nice place for a family picnic. There is a network of nature trails for a leisurely stroll through the park’s lush greenery. The beach is also popular for kiteboarding, especially for the beginners, because its waters are always calm. You can find a large full-service marina, a concession for paddleboards and kayaks, and a sailing and boating school. The original coral stone building is now a popular restaurant. Places to Visit in Florida

9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, Florida 33156

Trip ideas: Beaches Near Tallahassee, Jacksonville, White Sand Beaches

8. North Shore Park Beach

North Shore Park Beach
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North Shore Park Beach is the only beach in Miami Beach that is not overshadowed by a wall of high-rises and has the only fairly wild city park. Located a bit off beaten path, North Shore Park Beach stretches for a mile along Collins Avenue, and between the avenue and the beach you will find a small wooded park and large dunes covered by sea grapes.

The beach is long and flat, and a lifeguard is on duty every day. There are picnic tables and grills for family picnics, and a nature trail, jogging trail and bike trail. A two-block long Ocean Terrace is located on the southern end of the beach. Browse romantic South Beach vacations.

Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33141

9. Haulover Beach

Haulover Beach
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Clothing optional! This fact makes Haulover Beach so popular that over 7,000 people visit it in a single day. It has been voted as one of the world’s best nude beaches. It stretches for about half a mile between the Atlantic and Intercoastal Waterway, with fine white sand, lovely landscaped dunes, picnic areas, and open surf.

It is a great beach for swimming as well as surfing. The beach is a small part of much larger Haulover Park, but most people come for the portion of the beach where clothing is optional. You do not have to be nude to come to the beach, but if you stay clothed, you will probably be more uncomfortable than those skinny-dipping. There are many great things to do in Miami Beach.

10800 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33154

More to explore: Dunedin, Punta Gorda Beaches, Apollo Beach, Snorkeling

10. Virginia Key Beach

Virginia Key Beach
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Virginia Key Beach - North is located on historic Virginia Key, which you will see just after you cross the Rickenbacker Causeway. Virginia Key is an 82-acre barrier island five miles long and a mile and half wide with a half mile long magnificent sandy beach with stunning unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay and the ocean. There is a lifeguard on duty every day. The beach is part of the Virginia Key Beach Par, which was established to protect island’s fragile fauna and flora, as well as historic structures.

The beach became a popular family gathering spot, with an antique carousel, mini train, shady pavilions, and lovely trails through the dense vegetation. There is a nature boardwalk and a trail through a coastal hammock. The bike trail is over four miles long. The park has a number of rare plant species that were discovered during the cleanup of the invasive exotic plants, and it is a popular venue for sporting events and concerts.

4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, Florida 33149

More ideas: Weekend Getaways from Miami, Best Time to Visit Miami

11. Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park
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Oleta River State Park is the largest and arguably most beautiful urban park in the entire state of Florida. Open to visitors all year round, the park is a mere thirty minutes from Miami’s downtown area and is the perfect retreat to unwind and relax during the weekend. The Oleta River State Park features 15 miles of exciting off-road biking trails, fantastic hiking trails, as well as superb mangrove forests to explore via kayak. With just over 1,000 acres of land to explore, the park welcomes anglers and swimmers in addition to its usual crowd of bikers and paddlers. At the of the day, drop by the shores of Biscayne Bay to cap off your trip with an enjoyable picnic.

3400 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, Florida 33160; Phone: 305-919-1846

More ideas: Things to Do in Naples

12. Surfside

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Known as Miami’s Uptown Beach Town, Surfside is located between Bal Harbor and the neighborhood of North Beach. Although small, Surfside has a unique and eclectic retro appeal that draws in visitors from near and far throughout the year. This beach community is full of quirky establishments and attractions like the Turtle Walk, with 13 cute and colorful turtle sculptures on display along the historic district. Surfside is also home to a ton of great eats like local favorite Café Ragazzi, a modern Jewish deli called Josh’s Deli, and a beloved ice cream and yogurt mom-and-pop shop called Serendipity. When it comes to accommodations, Surfside boasts one of Miami’s most luxurious resorts, the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. Explore Miami breakfast restaurants.

Surfside, Miami-Dade County, Florida

More ideas: Beaches in Sarasota, St Petersburg, Florida State Parks, Cedar Key Beaches, Cape Coral

13. South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park
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Located at Miami Beach’s southern tip is a family-friendly green space that offers incredible views of South Beach’s shoreline, the downtown Miami skyline, and even Fisher Island. While the beach is more than enough to keep guests entertained, South Pointe Park is also the jump-off point to tons of enjoyable walking trails, great barbecue pits, public picnic areas, and an off-leash dog park for fur moms and fur dads. When you’re not resting under towering palm trees, take a walk along the park’s promenade, visit the 450-foot South Pointe Pier for some great fishing, or, if you’re traveling with kids, head over to the mini splash zone where kids are bound to enjoy. Browse beaches near Orlando

1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida 33139, Phone: 305-673-7006

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