A 9-mile stretch of impeccable sand and surf connected to the mainland by the Venetian Causeway and the MacArthur Causeway, Miami Beach is comprised of the 3 distinct neighborhoods of North Beach, Mid-Beach, and South Beach. From family-friendly communities to Florida’s hottest and trendiest nightlife, you’ll find plenty to love in this world-famous location.
Let’s explore each neighborhood and what it has to offer.
Where Can I Live in Miami Beach?
If you’re looking for a mellower scene, you’ll adore North Beach, which stretches from 60th Street up to Surfside. The broad, quiet expanses of sand are inviting, and North Beach residents pride themselves on their community vibe and enthusiastic support of local businesses.
Residential options are varied, but the amenity-rich beachfront high-rises are the stars of this area. Nonetheless, if you prefer a more private living experience, you’ll find plenty of single-family homes here, in many cases at more affordable prices.
Situated between 24th and 60th Streets, this section of Miami Beach is perfectly named for its alluring balance of North Beach chill and South Beach cool. While it attracts the young and affluent with extravagant resorts and swanky nightclubs accented in quintessential Art Deco glamour, it does so with the casual, laid-back flair that’s key to the appeal of living in Miami Beach.
The residential areas here are a bit more densely populated than in North Beach, particularly in the luxury condo scene, but the many entertainment options are a fair trade. Single-family home buyers, however, will be hard-pressed to find much fitting the bill in this neighborhood, and will have better luck looking in North Beach.
This legendary district hardly needs an introduction, but you might be surprised to know there’s far more to this see-and-be-seen neighborhood than endless celebrity parties and Art Deco hotels. Stretching from South Pointe Park north to 23rd Street, South Beach’s population is globally diverse, giving way to little neighborhood pockets rich with international culture and influences. There is also a deeply rooted and fascinating history in South Beach, as is evident in its 800-building Historic Art Deco District.
Culture isn’t the only diverse offering here. Real estate options range broadly from mid-rise Art Deco condos, to the gated communities of Bayshore. South of Fifth boasts ultra-luxe condos that top expensive property lists worldwide.
Private Island Communities
The private island communities of Miami Beach take the gated community concept to an entirely new level of luxury living. Many celebrities, professional athletes, and community leaders call these man-made private paradises home. We’re spotlighting some of our favorites here, though there are several more.
Hibiscus, Palm & Star Islands
Framed by South Beach to the east and Downtown Miami to the west, this cluster of islands boasts fabulous Biscayne Bay views, immediate waterfront access from magnificent estates, and the idyllic blend of private island retreat and convenient access to city and beach activities. Although identified as a group, each island has its own story.
Lavish and elegant as ever, Hibiscus Island was home to the legendary Latin Quarter Nightclub that regularly hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, Jack Benny, Tony Bennett, and countless more icons. Set at the entrance of the island, today the storied lot holds a waterfront children’s playground.
Palm Island showcases a marvel of architectural variety from Mediterranean to Art Deco to Contemporary and, not surprisingly, most of the estates here have their own dock.
In October 2021, the former property of the island’s most notorious resident — Al Capone — was sold and saved from a planned demolition by community petition.
Only a few dozen homes are located on Star Island, making it a highly sought-after haven. It is appropriately named for its impressive roster of famous past and present residents.
Each island has private, 24-hour security, and the expansive villas and mansions here feature amenities such as private movie theaters, wine cellars, and rooftop terraces with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.
Immediately to the north, you’ll find the 6 interconnected Venetian Islands. Accessed by the Venetian Causeway, the islands are — from west to east — Biscayne Island, San Marco Island, San Marino Island, Di Lido Island, Rivo Alto Island, and Belle Isle.
The Causeway itself is a huge draw here, as it is extremely popular for walking, jogging, kayaking, and sightseeing.
The residential offerings on the Venetian Islands fully embody Miami’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle, with posh beachfront terraces, private docks, and lush private gardens with infinity pools.
Located off the southern tip of Miami Beach, this 216-acre tropical utopia is accessible only by its 24-hour ferry service or by private yacht.
Residents of Fisher Island travel by golf cart
through their neighborhood and Fisher Island Club’s private beach, beach club, restaurant, seaside golf course, luxury spa, Mediterranean-inspired tennis club, and the marina.
Bay Harbor Islands
Situated just off North Beach, Bay Harbor Islands is comprised of two 100-acre islands blending two distinct experiences into one quaint and vibrant community of only 5,000 residents.
Small businesses and multi-family residential buildings comprise East Island, while single-family homes, Bay Harbor’s private elementary school, shops, restaurants, and two beautiful parks call West Island home. Accessible to the
Connected by four bridges, boaters and yachtsmen love the Sunset Islands for their unfettered bay and ocean access from waterfront residences at a comparatively more affordable price than many of the other island enclaves.
Several estates here date back to the 1930s and combine luxury amenities with period restoration, creating an alluring juxtaposition off modernity and history. The islands are aptly named, as residents enjoy spectacular sunset views across the bay.
There are still more private island residential options, among them La Gorce Island, Normandy Isles, and Indian Creek Island. Ask us about finding your dream home on any of Miami Beach’s extraordinary island communities!
Where Will My Children Go to School?
Families living in Miami Beach have ready access to 11 public schools making up one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked schools in Florida. North Beach Elementary School takes a top spot in ranking. Serving 1,063 students in grades K-5, the school’s overall proficiency in Math is 85% (state average is 59%) and proficiency in Reading/Language Arts is 84% (state average is 56%). North Beach Elementary School takes a “whole child” approach to education, and places great importance on diversity, community, and self-reliance.
With just 167 students in grades K-5, Mater Academy at Mount Sinai is a STEM-Initiative School, focusing on college prep in a diverse, technology-driven global society. It’s rated among the top 5 percent of the 3,628 schools state-wide. Students far exceed state proficiency standards in Math and English, scoring at an average of 90%. A close-knit community of educators and families makes this school a top choice in the area.
Where Will I Get Medical Care for Healthy Living in Miami Beach?
Baptist Health of South Florida is a robust network of hospitals and care centers spread throughout South Beach. Baptist Health Primary Care is an efficient facility for minor medical issues and primary care services. Located on the same campus, you’ll find an array of specialty care services, such as an Orthopedics Center, Cardiac Care Center, imaging services, and the Cancer Institute. US News & World Report named Baptist Health South Florida the most-awarded hospital in Florida.
Further north in Mid-Beach, Mount Sinai Medical Center is the largest independent hospital in South Florida. The main campus is a full-service hospital providing such services as emergency care, surgical care, and behavioral care. Mount Sinai is consistently awarded by national accreditation organizations, Healthgrades, the American Heart Association, and more.
Where Will I Go for Dining & Entertainment in Miami Beach?
Boy, is this a wide-open question! We could write pages and pages on dining and entertainment options here, but we’ll stick to our favorite must-sees and local treasures.
Highly walkable and bike-able due to much lighter traffic than other areas, North Beach’s tight-knit community offers an impressive array of cultural influences. Built in 1925, the Normandy Fountain serves as the epicenter for exploring the neighborhood and its unique architectural style. Known as Miami Modernism (MiMo), this style is characterized by bold, striking lines and swooping curves. While admiring NoBe’s eclectic array of shops, a host of culinary delights including Jewish delis, Italian cafes, and Latin American restaurants await. A craft beer scene is booming here as well, and an actual Brewery District has been established.
When it comes to North Beach dining, it’s definitely quality over quantity. The Strand at Carillion Miami serves contemporary Mediterranean fare imagined through fresh and seasonal ingredients. The warm and airy dining room is inviting, and the open-air Ocean Lounge is the perfect place to chat over signature cocktails while taking in the water views.
If making funky, eclectic finds is your ideal shopping experience, North Beach will please. Aurora’s Boutique is a locally owned shop which pairs a personalized styling experience with wallet-friendly items. Patrons rave about owner Fabiana’s attention to detail, and the warm and inviting atmosphere where you can sip some champagne and let Fabiana and her staff work their magic. When you want to shop your favorite high-end labels, Bal Harbour Shops are just a few minutes north.
Mid-Beach delivers a wide array of dining and entertainment options, but we’d can’t help putting some focus on the stellar Faena District. The Faena Hotel Miami Beach sits in the heart of this mini-neighborhood of culture, art, and fashion, with its mind-blowing gilded skeleton of a wooly mammoth encased in a climate-controlled glass box. The hotel was formerly the Saxony Hotel, a favored venue for the Rat Pack crooners of the 1950s. The hotel mixes modern luxury amenities with a 1950s glamour aesthetic. A theater, several restaurants, a concert venue, boutique, resident-style accommodations and a luxury condominium complex are among the wow-factor features of the Faena experience.
This cozy gem has so far managed to remain something of a local secret — 27 Restaurant & Bar. It’s located inside a historic house, where guests settle into a communal experience, as if invited to dine by friends. Literally sourcing ingredients locally from the onsite garden, the restaurant serves up buffet breakfasts, casual lunches, and fresh-catch dinners that include some options for anyone preferring vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free choices.
They call New York the city that never sleeps, but in Miami there’s the neighborhood that never sleeps — South Beach. The Art Deco empire is always buzzing with beach-focused fun, and the entire neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly. Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road hold scores of dining and nightlife spots dressed in the area’s world-famous Art Deco Style. For a bit of a different flavor, check-out the charm of the Mediterranean-inspired Española Way enclave.
If you’re looking for the iconic South Beach restaurant, look no further than Joe’s Stone Crab. What started as a porch-front seafood restaurant in 1913 has stood the test of time and become one of Miami’s premiere spots for seafood, and of course, stone crabs in particular. Now, the restaurant houses three separate dining rooms, an outdoor patio, and the “East Wing”, where the original house was located.
And all that was just the tiniest “taste.” Whew!
How About Outdoor Fun?
Even though each area of Miami Beach is distinguished by its own experiences, they’re all connected by one spectacular element: 7 straight miles of beautiful beaches, all connected by the Miami Beach Walk. Residents and visitors mingle along the boardwalk, jog, or bike between all three neighborhoods, as some parts are now paved. And there are plenty of places to stop along the way for a refreshing beverage or a bite to eat.
Heading back to North Beach, a key outdoor attraction is the North Beach Bandshell, featuring 9 square blocks of green space, some of which is just steps from the beach; you can access the Beach Walk from here. Picnic areas, dog parks, and of course the live entertainment venue make this a favorite hangout.
In true NoBe fashion, the Normandy Shores Golf Club (a sister course to the Miami Beach Golf Club in Mid-Beach) fashions itself as family-friendly, offering an array of lessons and events for junior golfers. The 18-hole, par 71 course features plenty of water hazards and rolling fairways to challenge players. The onsite Normandy Shores Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and hosts special occasion brunches.
The name may not be familiar, but Lummus Park in Mid-Beach has been the backdrop to quite a few movies and television series, and is home to the legendary Muscle Beach. Positioned beachfront between the Atlantic Ocean and Ocean Drive, the area has been retrofitted with dimming LED lights, filtering and restricting the amount of light visible from the beach. This is not just for aesthetic purposes — it’s also to help conserve the sea turtle population that calls this nesting beach home.
Situated on Belle Isle (technically Mid-Beach-adjacent), the Spa at The Standard offers opulent relaxation with world-class spa treatments. In addition to more traditional services, guests can also indulge in holistic treatments, Turkish baths, and a Mud Lounge.
Speaking of spas, there’s certainly no shortage of spa services in South Beach. K’Alma Spa, however, isn’t just a spa — it’s a refuge. Visitors and members tend to their minds, bodies, and souls with massage and aromatherapies, spiritual and mindfulness classes and an assortment of lifestyle experiences inspired by the ancient healing powers of the Q’ero spiritual healers of Peru. The tranquil, earth-tone-adorned treatment rooms and common spaces are soothing and nurture introspection.
All this talk of beaches, and we haven’t even ventured out on the water! Ocean Force Adventures provides boat tours, small group and private excursions, and historical and nature-oriented tours, all departing from the Miami Beach Marina in South Beach.
Ocean Force Adventures has been recognized as the best boat tour in Miami by CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic, Access Hollywood, and Forbes Magazine among many others.
Are you ready to start your Miami Beach life? The Monica Betancourt Group is ready to guide you in the first step — finding your perfect Miami Beach home. We’re here for you, so get in touch!
In the meantime, check out our Miami Beach Homes search tool to get an idea what’s out there. You have the option to create a profile and get emails automatically sent to you whenever a new home match gets listed.
And note that with our extensive network, we can help you find homes that are not even on the market yet.
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