Miami Beach's South Beach Condos + Neighborhood
Welcome to Miami Beach's South Beach
World-famous beaches, legendary nightlife, Art Deco, great restaurants, and global playground for the rich-and-famous. A popular 2nd home and vacation home spot for the wealthy.
Life in South Beach
South Beach is where the world comes to party! Living in this world-class vacation spot, you’re just minutes from the top beaches, sultry nightclubs, flagship restaurants and trendsetting entertainment destinations of the world.
Spinning with energy, South Beach is where locals to tourists, casual party-goers to VIPs, high-heeled fashionistas to supermodels, celebrities to business moguls, all come over for their dose of fun. And, if the pace were to ever drop, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Fashion Week Miami, Urban Beach Week (a hip-hop fest) and the Winter Music Conference come to the rescue with new buzz and life.
Marked by glamorous Art Deco-style architecture, palm trees, white sand, gorgeous weather and even more gorgeous and stylish people, this oceanfront paradise is where folks come and never want to leave. Living in SoBe, a typical day could have you grabbing an organic cleanse from Jugo Fresh, working up a tan at the Lummus Park Beach, picking up the day’s attire at Lincoln Road, go club-hopping through Ocean Drive all night long, bumping into a celebrity, and unwinding the next day with a luxurious spa treatment at one of its world-famous hotels.
Around 800 buildings bound between 23rd Street, Lenox Court, 6th Street and the Ocean make up the iconic Art Deco District. Pastel-colored structures stand preserved and ready to take you into the glamorous past of this world-class destination. Most buildings within this vibrant time capsule are hotels and rental properties that can be explored as part of an Art Deco Tour.
On opposite sides of the shoreline, while West Avenue is more residential with a couple of local restaurants, Ocean Drive is all for retail, restaurants and nightclubs.
SoFi or South of Fifth (street) spells luxurious waterfront with million plus properties. This is the most desirable part of South Beach and is a magnet for the higher-end crowd. On the quieter side, this residential slice features modern glass skyscrapers to quaint single-family homes that are built for comfort.
Tucked in the north-west corner of South Beach is Sunset Harbour, the go-to neighborhood for locals. From groceries to healthy juices, high-tech gyms to yoga studios along with highly rated restaurants and bars, you’ll find it all in this micro-neighborhood. What was once a bunch of warehouses is now home to some of the most sought-after lifestyle essentials. Find the first Jugo Fresh (the juice bar) store here, Green Monkey’s for yoga, Barry’s for exercise as well as the Pubbelly that started it all.
Miami’s very own Venetian Islands are also part of South Beach. Six man-made islands, namely Belle Isle, Rivo Alto, Di Lido, San Marino, San Marco and Biscayne, stand connected by the Venetian Causeway. Home to some of the most exquisite and expensive pieces of real estate, each and every property here is stunningly appointed. Find traditional to modern, single family homes and condos here. This is where most socialites, actors and celebrities maintain their winter homes.
Immortalized by movies and TV shows, South Beach’s nautical landscape is a true mixed bag of historic Art Deco architecture rubbing shoulders with sleek, new high-rises featuring every imaginable amenity. Some of the best night clubs, lounges, resorts and hotels in the world find themselves part of this stylish neighborhood.
Living in this vacation spot, you’ll have world-class beaches, nightclubs, restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues beckoning you outdoors, perpetually.
Shop – The ‘Shop till you drop’ mantra is taken quite seriously in South Beach. It all begins at the wildly popular Lincoln Road Mall. At this outdoor pedestrian-only mall, you’ll enjoy al fresco shopping with high-end brands and boutiques, cafés and some serious people-watching.
Perpendicular from the Lincoln and a block away from the beach lies a huge collection of stores at Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. Find your upscale retail majorly around the 5th Street at Collins, or get the best jeans, surf, skate and shoe stores at Washington.
You’ll find the hottest antiques, souvenirs and galleries at the Art Deco-lined Ocean Drive. For a more Mediterranean touch, get to the Spanish-influenced Española Way for collectibles, cigars, quirky shops, art galleries and great eats. However, boutique buffs and fashionistas are found at Sunset Harbour looking for locally made bikins, trendsetting dresses, weekender options for him and eco-conscious gifts.
Plenty of Publix Super Markets and Walgreens, a Jugo Fresh (juice bar) plus a Whole Foods Market make sure you have everything you need for more sober times.
Eat – Where there’s discerning folks, there’s bound to be plenty of good eats. Joe’s Stone Crab’s been serving fresh seafood for close to a century, and rightly so. Macchialina’s the top bistro in town for serious Italian fare. The Bazaar by Spanish celeb chef is named after the variety it offers the senses. For the best steak in town, head to the contemporary Red, the Steakhouse or beachy LT Steak & Seafood.
No one does hand-tossed pizza better than Giotto Maestro Della Pizza. The top place for brunch is Oliver’s Bistro, while Yarbird brings the best Southern comfort food. For a taste of the Mediterranean head to Cleo’s. And, for sushi in a sleek hotel - Katsuya’s your best bet, while the best surf ‘n’ turf style sushi’s served at the Lure FISHBAR. Pubbelly and Pubbelly Sushi are in a class of their own.
Play – Everybody’s here for the ‘South Beach’ experience, and South Beach doesn’t disappoint. Its club-hopping options are endless and here’s a few to get you started.
STORY tops the list for when you want to dance the night away with great music and 5 bars to keep you busy. Get your techno and house high at Trade. LIV is for those who love to live it up celebrity style with bottle service. Mansion gets all the glamorous VIPs. Mango’s Tropical Café has the longest running cabaret show in the country. Purdy Lounge has 2 rooms of laid-back reggae dancing. The underground FDR is for those who enjoy the dark side. And, the Clevelander has party-goers dancing through the night.
For a more somber nightcap, the Rose Bar at Delano, The Regent Cocktail Club with live jazz, the Lapidus Lounge paying homage to its namesake from the ‘50s, DiLido Beach Club with its cocktails under the moonlight and Setai Lounge Bar with its impressive wine selection are your best picks.
Sun n Sand – The Lummus Park Beach delivers all the sun and fun in South Beach. Soak up the rays gazing at beach bodies, work on your volleyball skills, rollerblade through the sidewalks or get in a workout with stunning views – the choices are endless. They also have a mini playground for kids, making life that much easier.
The South Pointe Park Beach makes a great pick for a more sober, family-friendly experience.
Watch – Besides the endless partying, South Beach also has a decent cultural scene. The Colony Theater is an Art Deco performance space restored from a 1935-era theater. It now has regular film, music, dance and opera showings. The Fillmore Miami Beach is another Art Deco building that used to be home to 1960s TV shows, but now houses musical acts, jazz and comedy. The New World Symphony is home to an esteemed orchestral academy with regular performances and free wallcasts.
For a typical movie screening and to catch up on new releases, head to the Regal Cinemas South Beach 18 & IMAX.
Tour – Tourist attractions in South Beach go beyond the nightclubs. At the Miami Beach Botanical Garden you can explore native and tropical plants, with workshops and exhibits providing a more intimate experience. Talking of intimacy, the World Erotic Art Museum demands a visit with its wide collection of fine exotic art from 300BC until now.
The Bass Museum of Art, Holocaust Memorial, Jewish Museum of Florida, Wolfsonian-Florida International University, and Art Basel-host Miami Beach Convention Center bring the right mix of art, culture and history to this party capital.
South Beach is a nautical neighborhood within Miami Beach. It is bound by Dade Blvd, Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Its neighbors are Venetian Islands, Mid-Beach and the endless Ocean.
- Jungle Island – 15 minutes by car/30 minutes by bike via Venetian Causeway
- Mid-Beach - 10 minutes by car/25 minutes by public transit/13 minutes by bike
- Downtown - 20 minutes by car/35 minutes by public transit
- Pérez Art Museum - 12 minutes by car/25 minutes by public transit/30 minutes by bike via Venetian Causeway
- AmericanAirlines Arena – 20 minutes by car/25 minutes by public transit/32 minutes by bike via Venetian Causeway
- Wynwood Walls – 20 minutes by car/55 minutes by public transit
- Design District - 20 minutes by car/50 minutes by public transit
- Brickell - 25 minutes by car/50 minutes by public transit
- Miami Beach Medical Group & Mount Sinai Medical Center – 5 minutes away
- Port of Miami – 20-minute car ride/50 minutes by public transit
- Miami International Airport - 25-minute car ride/1 hour by public transit
- MacArthur Causeway – 10 minutes away
- Julia Tuttle Causeway – 15 minutes away
- Public Transit Options – The SBL or South Beach Local connects all major points in South Beach to other major bus lines. The Metrobus further operates to connect the neighborhood to Downtown as well as the Metrorail.
- A free trolley service runs between Lincoln Road and 5th Street, connecting Alton Road and West Avenue. Additionally, bicycles are available as rentals with city-wide bike lanes and parking making the pedaled commute easier.
A Brief History of South Beach and Where It’s Headed
This global darling started out as an unsettled sandbar full of swamp lands and tangled mangroves in the mid 1800s. A far cry from today’s Oceanside paradise, investor John Lum purchased Miami Beach for a mere 35 cents an acre in 1868. His vision was to create a lush coconut plantation. However, destiny would have something else in mind and he was driven away by infertile soil and coconut blight.
Then came along entrepreneur John Collins in the early 1900s, who wanted to turn South Beach into an avocado farm. Though crops were fruitful, he couldn’t get the produce to the mainland, motivating him to build a canal and bridge. However, a year into the project, Collins went broke.
Banker brothers John and James Lummus came in 1912, looking to turn South Beach into a “Fairy Land” tourist destination, connected via ferry. This laid the foundation for the luxurious resort destination of today. Even the name South Beach was coined by one of Lummus brothers’ daughters.
However, it wasn’t until auto parts magnate Carl G. Fisher would come into the picture that South Beach could turn into a true resort destination. Fisher loaned Collins $50,000 to complete the canal and bridge, and by 1913 Fisher himself completed South Beach’s first luxury hotel. Soon the mangroves were removed, Bay dredged and soil from the Everglades was brought in as fill. Fisher further created the upscale Lincoln Road shopping district to turn South Beach into a tempting shop-and-stay tourist destination.
In 1915, the town was officially incorporated. By 1920, South Beach had 5 hotels and luxurious mansions of the rich and famous - the Firestones, Albert Champion, J.C. Penny and others. The 1930s and 40s were swept by the Art Deco era that added much of the beautiful architecture you’d see today. The 1940s also saw tourism slow down owing to the World War II. Now, South Beach would be used as a training ground. However, its charm rubbed off on military personnel and the neighborhood saw a population boom.
TV stars Arthur Godfrey and Jackie Gleason of national fame, further popularized Miami Beach in the late 1950s to early 60s by taping their shows at the Fontainebleau and Eden Rock. The sun, sand and warm weather attracted retirees and a huge Jewish contingent from the Northeast, turning this Art Deco paradise into a retirement haven during the 60s and 70s. However, with retirees underestimating the cost of upkeep of their sea-side abodes, most fled the neighborhood and its appearance declined through the 70s.
Come 1980 and a huge influx of Cuban refugees from Castro’s mass exodus – the Mariel boatlift, crashed onto South Beach’s shores. In 1983, gangster movie Scarface put South Beach back on the map, with the 80s and 90s witnessing renewed interest, new life and the making of this world-class party destination.
Today, South Beach is a premium stretch of beachfront, one of the most exclusive pieces of land to own in the country. The recent development wave has added luxurious condos, hotels, and hotel-residences serviced by every kind of amenity imaginable, in addition to its existing Art Deco mid-rises and pricey single-family homes. Hiccups may come and go, but the price and popularity trend in South Beach is to keep on going higher and higher.