With it’s beautiful beaches, world famous nightlife, historic art deco architecture and quirky boutiques and cafes, there’s something for everyone in South Beach.
South Beach, or, as the locals say, “SoBe,” is at the southern end of Miami Beach. It’s on a barrier island east of the city of Miami, with Biscayne Bay on one side and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean on the other.
South Beach is known for its hip vibe, excellent people watching and party scene. But South Beach is actually the oldest part of Miami Beach. It was a coconut farm until around 1913, when developers completed a bridge to the Miami mainland and then incorporated the Town of Miami Beach. The 1920s brought a land boom, with millionaires constructing homes on the South Beach shores. In the 1930s, South Beach came alive with art deco, streamline modern and nautical modern architecture.
South Beach’s current renaissance began in the late 1980s, as fashion industry professionals discovered its charm and developers began building new luxury high-rises, shopping areas and restaurants.
South Beach today is an eclectic mix in just about every way. Historic art deco buildings and modern high rises. A truly international population. And an unrivaled mixture of every kind of cuisine imaginable.
South Beach Shopping, Recreation and Nightlife
There’s so much to do in South Beach that it’s hard to know where to start.
If you like architecture, take a stroll around the Art Deco District, the first 20th Century Neighborhood to be recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco Welcome Center on 10th Street has brochures, books and guided tours to help you identify the buildings and appreciate their rich history.
And then there’s the beach. With its colorful lifeguard towers and miles of sand, tourists from all over the world rave about beachgoing in South Beach. Lummis Park, along the east side of Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th streets, offers beach access and views of art deco structures across the street. You’ll find pedestrian walkways, beach volleyball courts, play structures and fitness equipment.
South Beach Shopping
Lincoln Road is a mile-long pedestrian-only mall packed with restaurants, cafes and shops. Its stores include many well-known upscale retail brands. And its more than 40 restaurants offer just about every kind of international cuisine.
Esplanade Way is an eclectic shopping and dining destination originally built in the 1920s. Modeled after Mediterranean villages in France and Spain, it was designed to be a meeting place for the wealthy, but it also became one of Al Capone’s gambling haunts.
South Beach Nightlife and Events
Want a quiet night out, sipping wine with friends? Or a dance till dawn party with well-known DJs and state of the art light and sound? Either way, South Beach has you covered.
South Beach is also home to some of the most exciting festivals and events in the country. Miami Fashion Week brings top designers to South Beach, with a focus on resort wear. Art Basel, held for a week every December, is an international destination and week-long party for some of the best and most innovative art being created today. And the Miami Beach Polo World Cup brings top players from around the word to compete in the “sport of kings” directly on the beach.
Classical music fans can enjoy a variety of performances by the New World Symphony in the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. There’s a multiplex movie theater on Lincoln Road, and South Beach is an easy drive from all the performing arts and cultural venues in the greater Miami area.
South Beach Schools
Miami Beach and the South Beach area are in the Miami-Dade County Public School district. South Beach students attend South Pointe Elementary School, North Beach Elementary School, the Fienberg/Fisher K-8 Center, Nautilus Middle School and Miami Beach Senior High School. All Miami Beach students have an opportunity to participate in an International Baccalaureate program.
In addition to the public schools, the Miami area offers several charter schools and many excellent options for private school education.
South Beach Real Estate
Luxury South Beach Condos
Continuum is situated on the southernmost tip of South Beach, with water on three sides – one of the best locations in all of South Beach. This Miami Beach condo’s two-story lobby, lush landscaping and two soaring towers set the stage for the luxurious amenities available to residents. Residences feature sleek, modern, upscale finishes, cabinetry and appliances, in addition to:
- Over 800 feet of private beachfront, with a restricted access beach club and concierge
- Free sporting club membership
- Access to the Miami Beach Marina
- High speed elevators
- Party and card rooms with kitchens
- Private oversized balconies with glass railings and panoramic views
- Ten foot ceilings
- State of the art security system
- Beautiful curvy lagoon swimming pools and an infinite edge lap pool
- Private tennis club with three championship tennis courts
- 25,0000 square foot spa and fitness center, including group classes, steam room, sauna, private treatment room and whirlpool
The Faena District, just slightly north of South Beach, is home to some of the most exciting and opulent new South Beach condos.
Faena House features distinctive architecture, softly curving, overhanging balconies and glass walls that allow living spaces to flow seamlessly from the indoors to the outdoors. Kitchens and baths are custom designed with luxury finishes and fixtures. The 18 story tower also offers:
- An outdoor terrace that wraps around each home
- Views of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Creek, Biscayne Bay, and Downtown Miami
- Multilingual staff and private residents’ concierge
- Fitness center with ocean views and men’s and women’s spa areas
- Lounge and children’s playroom
- Sparkling outdoor pool
Faena Versailles Contemporary has been designed to maximize views in every direction – sunsets in the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Renderings show a building with undulating curves, curved corner windows and terraces that wrap around each of the building’s 41 residences. There’s lush landscaping and a rooftop pool. Residences have from one to five bedrooms and there are also two penthouses. The Contemporary condos are being offered for sale now and are scheduled for completion in 2017.
Faena Versailles Classic is a reimagined version of the classic 1940s art deco Versailles Hotel, meant to evoke Hollywood glamour and the golden age of Miami. The refashioned building will carefully incorporate the original art deco features, including its famous lobby, while emphasizing luxury materials and modern amenities in its 22 custom-designed residences. Amenities will include:
- Private pool and beach club (shared with Faena Contemporary)
- Private fitness center overlooking the ocean
- Private attended lobby
- Terrazzo floors and custom lighting and hardware
- Open-air fountain court with seating
- Salon-style club rooms and waiting area
Three Hundred Collins is scheduled for completion in 2017 in the desirable South of Fifth neighborhood. Designed to be a tranquil, modern retreat that’s just minutes from the heart of South Beach, Three Hundred Collins includes 2,3 and 4 bedroom units featuring wood floors, stone finishes, high end appliances and spacious terraces. Four of the residences overlook the property’s lavish gardens. Other amenities include:
- 75-foot rooftop pool and hot tub
- Fitness center
- 24-hour doorman
- Beach concierge
Glass is a new oceanfront condo being constructed in the sought-after South of Fifth area. It’s designed to merge seamlessly into the landscape, with its 17 story tower rising from the beach and disappearing into the sky. Glass’s 10, two to four bedroom units each offer floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views.
Marea South Beach is 7 stories of glistening glass topped by a lush rooftop garden, Zen garden and pool terrace. Scheduled for completion in 2017, it has 28 residences and two urban villas offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Its lobby will house commissioned art installations by critically acclaimed contemporary artists. Amenities include:
- Massage cabanas
- Private beach with lounges, cabanas, towel service and beach butler serving drinks
- Large pool surrounded by private cabanas, intimate dining, daybeds and lounge seating around an outdoor fireplace
- Light infused fitness center with state of the art equipment
One Ocean Drive is a pair of towers offering soaring curves and breathtaking views along Ocean Drive in the South of Fifth area. One Ocean has 50, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom units offering from 2000 to over 3500 square feet of living space. Other amenities include:
- Architect-designed outdoor clubhouse
- Infinity edge pool deck
- Zen park and thoughtfully designed ornamental plants and landscaping
- Curated contemporary art collection in common areas
- State of the art fitness center
- Exclusive membership in a private beach club
Palau at Sunset Harbor is a boutique five story condominium overlooking Sunset Islands III and IV and Biscayne Bay. Its 45 one, two and three bedroom homes offer plenty of outdoor and indoor living areas, oversized balconies, spa bathrooms and state of the art designer kitchens. Other amenities include:
- Over 300 feet of private bayfront
- A secret garden atrium
- Waterfront promenade
- A floating glass fitness center with state of the art equipment and views of the secret garden
- A rooftop swimming pool and sun deck with panoramic views of South Beach and Biscayne Bay
- Private boat slips available for purchase
- Library and media room
- Bike racks and storage
321 Ocean Drive is a boutique luxury condominium with glass walls and multiple balconies in the heart of the South of Fifth neighborhood. Its 21 homes include two penthouses and two 2-story beach villas. Every residence has east and west facing balconies, providing views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the city, as well as sleek, high-end kitchens and baths. Other special amenities include:
- Direct access to the beach, where attendants provide beach service
- Beachfront, infinity-edge heated pool
- Stunningly landscaped gardens
- An elite fitness center
- A library lounge featuring a unique collection of art, architecture and culinary books
Fasano Hotel and Residences at the Shore Club will combine the privacy of a home with the features and amenities of a five-star boutique hotel. The 75, one to five-bedroom oceanfront residences are scheduled for completion at the end of 2017. The elegant modern structure will sit gracefully amid beautiful landscaped gardens.
South Beach Single Family Homes
For a quiet neighborhood that’s just a hop away from all the action in both South Beach and Miami, Venetian Islands is a wonderful choice. Venetian Islands includes seven islands in Biscayne Bay, connected by causeways to South Beach, Miami Beach and the Miami mainland. Originally developed in the 1920s, the neighborhood offers luxury waterfront homes as well as homes on interior lots in a variety of sizes, ages and architectural styles.
A little north of South Beach, North Bay Boulevard is home to some of the most opulent waterfront single family homes in the Miami area.
Visiting South Beach – Recommendations from your South Beach Realtor, Donna Zalter
You can spend an entire day just people watching in South Beach. Or you can lounge on the sand. Or visit the shops on Lincoln Avenue. Take a walking tour of the art deco architecture. Or save your energy for a heart pounding night at one of South Beach’s famed discos.
Along the way, you’ll need to eat, and South Beach has more than enough outstanding restaurants to satisfy any palate. Here are a few that have drawn critical raves.
A visit to Miami Beach wouldn’t be complete without a meal at Joe’s Stone Crab. Joes has been serving up fresh seafood since 1913 – before Miami Beach was even a city. Today, people come from all over to sample the stone crabs with signature mustard sauce, as well as fresh seafood dishes, baby back ribs and key lime pie. 11 Washington Avenue.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar serves up Southern favorites with a modern twist, including Virginia ham biscuits, chicken ‘n’ watermelon ‘n’ waffles, shrimp and grits and fried chicken with honey hot sauce. The weekend brunch menu offers additional treats like maple glazed bacon doughnuts, ’77 Elvis pancakes (with chocolate chips and bananas!) and char-grilled churrasco. Yardbird is wildly popular, so make a reservation or plan to spend some time in the bar enjoying their signature cocktails and extensive list of bourbons and whiskeys. 1600 Lenox Avenue.
You might spot a celebrity or two at Prime 112, a steakhouse that’s the place to see and be seen in South Beach. Known for its high-energy environment and huge portions, Prime 112 offers the usual variety of steaks along with chef’s seafood creations, accompanied by an assortment of potato and vegetable dishes and house made sauces and butters. Desserts include chocolate and peanut butter s’mores and fried Oreos. 112 Ocean Drive.
If you’d prefer something quieter, Macchalina is a lovely rustic Italian restaurant that’s just far enough off the beaten path. Its antique brick walls and handcrafted wood tables give it a casual, cozy ambiance, and its homemade pastas and polenta with sausage ragu are excellent. The menu also includes chicken, beef, veal and fish. 820 Alton Road.
If you’re looking for a quick and fresh midday bite or a light dinner, GOGO Fresh Food is popular with both locals and tourists. This simple café serves up made from scratch soups, salads with homemade dressing, baked to order empanadas and fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade. 925 Alton Road.
Ready to start living the South Beach lifestyle? Call me for a private showing of the best that South Beach has to offer.