Avoiding Tourists and Jigalos: A Guide to Miami’s Best Beach Spots
I’m walking on powder soft sand and every nerve on my foot feels like its being kissed by an ocean God. “Please continue to bless my toes, they’ve endured tremendous pain during my lifetime attempt to fit into my sister’s tiny shoes,” I whisper seriously.
I tune out the guy moving his man-boobs to the beat of a Pitbull song, and I continue walking towards the shore. Taking a minute to scan the beach, I find coconut palms smiling back at me while crystal blue waters call my name. I relinquish every overwhelming feeling (including my irritation with Mr. 305’s personal jigalo) and jump into the water. It’s warm, peaceful, and so beautiful! Miami’s beaches have secret healing powers that only a true local would understand. After living here for four years, I’ve learnt how to gain the ultimate beach experience and would love to share the magic with you.
To beach it up like a local and experience the awesomeness of Miami’s beaches, definitely avoid tourist-filled Ocean Drive and move towards South Pointe Park. Not only do you avoid the occasional frat boys on spring break and general over-crowding, but you also get an option of hanging out at a park or relaxing on a beach. A win-win situation! South Pointe is incredible! As you enter the park, you find gorgeous green hills perfect for a picnic with family or friends. Some people enjoy bringing their mats along and doing yoga on the grass. For a more active beach experience, however, there are winding pathways that you can roller-blade along while enjoying panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, Fisher Island, and Downtown Miami ( you will feel like you’re part of Big Willy’s video-clip; savor it. You only feel famous a few times in your life). If you aren’t very good at rolling blading, renting out deco bikes and leisurely driving along the promenade is also an option. Make sure to stop at the fro-yo stations and cool yourself down with some fresh strawberry goodness along the way; it gets too hot sometimes!
If the frozen yogurt doesn’t do it for you, South Pointe also has one of the best Smith and Wollensky branches in the country. SW is a steakhouse with an unreal water view; customers chill out after a beach day and enjoy high quality meals while watching cruise ships and boats leave the port. My recommendation: go for the platter of oysters, coffee and cocoa rubbed filet, and the carrot cake for dessert. You will leave the place with a party in your mouth, I promise.
An important thing to remember while venturing out as a local beach bum is that Sobe isn’t the only place for an awesome beach experience. Check out Key Biscayne beach for picturesque views, BBQ stations, paddle-boarding, and great privacy on weekdays. If you’re planning to swim, choose South Beach over Key Biscayne. The water in Key Biscayne is so shallow you might get seaweed in your armpits by attempting a backstroke.