10 Essential Things to Do for First Time Visitors to South Beach
First time in South Beach? While seemingly endless possibilities of things to do like exploring Ocean Drive, touring the Art Deco District, and sampling our dynamic dining scene only scratch the surface of what SoBe has to offer, we hit all the highlights you don’t want to miss. Read on for 10 essential things to do for first time visitors to South Beach.
1. Go to the Beach
Consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the world, the beach should be at the top of your list when visiting our sunny shore. Take a dip in the turquoise water, lay out on the white sand, and snap a photo of the colorful lifeguard stands. Our beachfront hotel makes your trip to the warm waters of SoBe easy. We offer towel service, cabanas, umbrellas, and a pool bar to enhance your visit.
2. Tour the Art Deco District
The Art Deco District encompasses almost all of South Beach and includes over 900 historic buildings. Visit the Art Deco Welcome Center, Museum, and Gift Shop in Lummus Park for an introduction to the nation’s largest concentration of Art Deco architecture before exploring on foot. Get to know some of the most celebrated works in the district with our free self-guided walking tour.
3. Get Lost in the Thrill of Ocean Drive
Undoubtedly South Beach’s most iconic street, the palm-lined avenue brings out the best of South Beach. Pastel-colored Art Deco buildings, world-renowned entertainment venues and eateries, and classic cars set the scene, while the troves of pedestrians add life to the mile-long stretch.
4. Visit Lummus Park
Known for its winding path, palms, and stunning backdrop of Ocean Drive’s Art Deco architecture, Lummus Park is one of SoBe’s most sought-after destinations. The park has been featured in Hollywood blockbusters and television shows and hosts a myriad of events throughout the year.
5. Have a Magical Evening on Española Way
Tucked between 14th and 15th streets and stretching from Washington Avenue to Drexel Avenue, Española Way is a pedestrian-only strip lined with shops and eateries. Lit up at night with twinkling bistro lights, the enchanting street is the perfect place to dine on world cuisine and pick up a cigar, panama hat, or guayabera shirt to match the old Miami vibes of the area.
6. Shop along Lincoln Road Mall
The historic street and outdoor shopping plaza has been the commercial hub of South Beach for nearly 100 years. From can’t miss events to where to eat, drink, and shop, check out our guide to this pedestrian paradise, only steps from Sagamore Hotel.
7. See the Sights at South Pointe Park
The 17-acre park caps the southern border of South Beach and features walking paths, grassy areas, and a pier. Relax on the observation deck and take in the sites of the bay, downtown Miami skyline, and Fisher Island. Stay awhile and book a patio table at Smith & Wollensky’s steakhouse, one of the only waterfront restaurants in SoBe.
8. Create Memories at SoBe Restaurants, Bars, and Nightclubs
SoBe’s streets are lined with top-notch dining and nightlife venues. For a first time visit, we recommend Mango’s Tropical Café, Havana 1957, and Puerto Sagua for Cuban eats, and Big Pink and News Café for American fare. Stone crab season is kind of a big deal in Miami. The savory crustacean is only in season from October to May, so restaurants roll out limited menus using the crab in a variety of ways. Joe’s Stone Crab put the crab on the map, so we recommend starting here. Check out a few of our favorite cocktail lounges for inspiration on where to find some of the tastiest libations in the neighborhood. Dance the night away, order bottle service, and watch DJs spin at SoBe’s pulsating nightclubs. Basement, Story, and Rockwell have all been known to attract celebrities for their top notch service and famous lineup of performers.
9. Get Your Art Fix at The Bass
Once the Miami Beach Public Library, the historic Art Deco building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and today functions as a contemporary art museum. The facade of The Bass is covered in fossilized Paleolithic coral, adding texture and incorporating the natural elements of its surroundings. Visit the space for inspiring contemporary works, rotating exhibitions, and a unique sculpture garden featuring the multicolored 42-foot-tall Miami Mountain.
10. Walk the Miami Beach Boardwalk
The boardwalk flanks South Beach’s eastern shore and extends from the southern tip of the neighborhood all the way up to 46th Street in Mid-Beach. Walk, bike, or jog along the paved stretch of the boardwalk in South Beach. A jaunt along the picturesque boardwalk bestows stunning views of the coast and beachgoers enjoying the sights and ocean breeze.
Want to plan an extended stay? Check out our Miami 5-day itinerary for more travel inspiration. Choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with The Sagamore Hotel South Beach, an iconic Miami Beach destination known for its unique collection of contemporary art, spacious suites, and prime location only steps from South Beach’s biggest attractions.