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Top Things to do in South Beach, Miami

Updated: Apr 30

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South Beach Miami Florida

South Beach, Miami is a place you visit when you don't want to remember the weekend. It's a party town with the best clubs, shops, beaches, and restaurants in Miami. The nightlife is incredible, and the sand and sun makes the day just as fun. On a personal note, my husband and I visited in December and the water was still warm enough to swim. All told, this city is the land of endless possibilities, so hopefully this list helps you narrow down the top things to do in South Beach, Miami.

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

Ocean Drive is the major party strip of South Beach. It's home to Art Deco buildings often seen in movies, a beautiful beach right across the street, and about a dozen Lamborghinis competing in an apparent motor-revving contest. Along the way is the Colony Hotel - a 1939 construction featured in TV shows such as "Dexter." The buildings illuminate the sky with bright colors at sundown - an indicator that the party is about to start.

The Former Versace Mansion

Versace Mansion Miami Florida
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

What used to be the Versace Mansion is now a hotel called the Villa Casa Casuarina. From 1992 until his assassination in 1997, Gianni Versace called this place his home. Those who wish for a peek inside can stay in the hotel or book a reservation at Gianni's Restaurant. Seeing the mansion from the outside is as easy as strolling down Ocean Drive.

Giant Margaritas

Giant Margarita in Miami
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

It was barely noon when we noticed every diner along Ocean Drive sipping on these huge margaritas. Nearly every restaurant sold them, so we chose one that was celebrating happy hour. Each of these massive margaritas cost $35 and contained seven shots. After the meal, the waiter brought us two more shots as a "thank you." Whew.

Palace Bar

The Palace Bar in Miami
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

The Palace Bar is an LGBTQ spot that brings the vibes day and night. Since 1988, it's hosted numerous drag shows and performances, and it boasts the impressive title of Ocean Drive's first restaurant. Today, it's so popular that you probably need to make reservations to secure a table. The bar's slogan is appropriately, "Every Queen Needs a Palace."

World Erotic Art Museum

The world erotic museum
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

Yes, that is a giant statue of a penis. It's also one of the most popular attractions at the World Erotic Art Museum. Opened in 2005, it's the only museum of its kind in the United States. It was founded by the notable collector Naomi Wilzig, who gathered more than 4,000 pieces of art for display in the exhibits. These pieces include drawings, painting, photos, and even a library of sex-themed books.

South Beach

South Beach, Miami

Although the neighborhood itself is called South Beach, you can't forget about the actual south beach. To keep in theme with the rest of the area, the lifeguard stands have an Art Deco design. The ocean possesses a gorgeous blue hue, and the beach is covered in notable white sand. You might even find yourself engaged in a game of volleyball with fellow tourists in the Lummus Park area.

Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban sandwich in Miami
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

Unless you're in Cuba, the best place to try an authentic Cuban sandwich is in Miami. It's made up of Cuban bread, pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, each of which you don't want to alter if you're shooting for the full experience. The bread is arguably what makes it special; it's prepared in a specific way to ensure its moistness.

Mango's Tropical Café

Mango's Tropical Cafe on South Beach
Credit: Tipsy Atlas

Mango's Tropical Café is a popular nightclub that puts on a variety of shows. Some acts include salsa dancers, illusionists, burlesque performers, belly dancers, and Latin musicians, all paired with an extensive drink menu and amazing food. On par with South Beach, the bar doesn't shut down until 5 a.m.

Where to Stay

Affordability is hard to find in South Beach, but the Riviere Hotel is less than a mile from Ocean Drive and does it pretty well. On the other hand, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse is steps from the action and has live entertainment at night. For luxury travelers, the Ritz-Carlton is a trusted brand with a pool and spa.


South Beach, Miami can be described as fast-paced, luxurious, expensive, and all around fun. Music and parties continue into the wee hours of the morning and day drinking is never frowned upon. It's definitely a great place for an adult getaway or celebration.

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