The Miami Beach boardwalk extends from South Pointe Park to Indian Beach Park—essentially, clear up the east side of Miami Beach—for over seven miles (11 km), although the raised wooden stretch of it is just around two (3.2 km). As a sort of halfway point between the road and the sand, it’s free and open to anyone, whether you want to squeeze in an early morning jog, get some scenic shots of the waves, or just escape the streets for a bit. If you park and walk, expect to pay a few dollars for metered parking (usually until 6pm).
The South Beach area of the boardwalk is paved (hence the term ‘beachwalk’) and has fountains, benches, and lights. If you’re on a bike, a skateboard, or rollerblades, know that you’ll have to stay on this paved portion—no wheels on the wooden section north of 21st Street. Up there, the beachwalk turns back to the original boardwalk, and it’s pedestrian-only. If you go farther north, after 47th Street you’ll have to walk on the sand. There is another beachwalk that begins up at 63rd Street and goes on to North Shore Open Space Park.
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There are classy hotels nearby with rooftop lounges and plenty of options for cocktail hour, should you need a break from the sun. Some of them have complimentary munchies and valet parking. There are also playgrounds, steakhouses, and alfresco bars. Anyone interested in yoga might enjoy the 3rd Street Beach Yoga program, which runs by-donation twice daily (sunrise and sunset) on the beach itself.
Ocean Drive Promenade (down in the paved section) is family-friendly, beautiful and easily accessible. It’s a great place to start wandering if you are overwhelmed, new in town, or need a little fresh air. You’ll also pass bike rentals, walking tours, and, of course, countless places to lay your towel in the sand and dive into the clear, accessible water.