Best (Beach) Escapes From South Beach, Miami
Everyone knows South Beach. Hollywood films, TV and MTV (not really TV) makes sure you don't forget it. Poor Fort Lauderdale used to get all the attention for Florida beach life until geriatrics became their number one industry. South Beach soon skyrocketed to fame and scandily clad socialites flocked like flamingos to its white sanded shores and neon lit nightclubs. So basically, you don't need another travel and entertainment company telling you about South Beach. You already know.
Instead, in true YAHglobal.Com fashion, we're here to report on the lesser known, but worthy of praise, beaches in Maimi that don't receive rants and raves from tabloids stalking celebrities for clips of suprising cellulite and bikini top slip ups, although we do realize that these visual headlines help you pass the time while stuck in line at your local Grocery store.
Bill Baggs State Park
1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, Florida
Key Biscayne is one of the most beautiful areas near Miami with a definite laid back caribbean vibe that takes you away from the insanity (if a beach can in fact ever really feel "insane") that can be South Beach. A quick trip further south with put you into the loving arms of Key Biscayne. Head to it's southern tip to Bill Baggs State Park Beach where you will see a palm tree bookended path leading you right to the historic lighthouse over looking the prestine Atlantic. Take your prerequisite photos then head left over to the beach front and pick a spot along this magnificent shoreline. Bill Baggs feels secluded but has all of the amenities that puts unprepared beach goers at ease; concession stands, picnic tables and grills, beach rentals, lifeguards, restrooms/showers and rain shelter. This beach is also an excellent location for a variety of watersports, walking/hiking trails and fishing. Bill Baggs has plenty to brag about.
4000 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, Florida
Many Miami beaches differ in scenery from so many U.S. based beaches in that they have palm trees growing right out of the golden white sands, whereas most of us are accustomed to seeing this type of tropical growth along the grassy pathways of beach front property, servng more as background decoration. Hardly anywhere is this natural phenomenon so prominent than at Crandon Beach, also found in Key Biscayne. Not only do these sand protrusions serve as amazing postcard photos, they make for the perfect hide out spot when the hot southern sun takes its toll on your own sensitive "hyde". Crandon Beach has all of the amenities as our number one spot Bill Baggs beach. It feels a little more family oriented than Bill Baggs, so its subjectively up to you if that makes it into the plus or minus column, either moving Crandon Beach up to the number one position, or keeping it right here in a close second.
Haulover Beach Park
10800 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
Haulover Beach, in particular the smaller northern end of this otherwise spacious stretch of sand, is considered to be one of the world's best nude beaches. But aside from the human biological attractions, Haulover has other natural attributes that make it one of the best alternatives to South Beach. Perfectly sculpted sand dunes create makeshift lounge "chairs" and offer seclusion for those weary of the public eye. The ocean here accommodates surfing on a good day and provides excellent conditions for swimming and snorkeling. Pedestrian tunnels connect to the park and marina along Biscayne Bay as well as a 9 hole golf course, tennis courts and a fun for all kite flying area/shop. All of the standard beach amenities are at your disposal at Haulover Beach.
North Shore Beach
North Shore Open Space Park, Miami
North Shore beach feels very secluded, even romantic at times, especially at sunset. The green park and walking trails make it perfect for strolls, be it on your own in contemplative thought or over conversation with a loved one, and even as a place to stop and meet a stranger-soon-to-be-friend. North Shore beach also has a Vita (live) Course, a popular term to the region, refering to a pit stop recreation area along a beach pathway.
Bal Harbour Beach
Although Bal Harbour is a trendy area, with its nearby luxury shops and resort hotels, the beach in itself stays quite secluded due to its lack of amenities. There are no lifeguards, no bathrooms, no showers and no concessions. Perfect. Palm lined jogging paths make cardio seem like a pleasant experience and a jetty marks one end of this mile long beach where fishing is permitted. Bal Harbour could easily skyrocket to the top of this list, depending on your tastes for beach escapes. Feel free to adjust and do with this itinerary as you please, it's written in the sand, not stone.