South Beach, Miami never gets old.
It’s my favorite beach in the United States, and quite possibly the whole world. I’ve been in search of another beach with perfect sand, clear blue water, great food, and endless people-watching, and South Beach just wins every time.
I’ve spent most of my time in South Beach with my behind happily planted in the sand next to the lifeguard stand near the 5th Street entrance to the beach. It’s the perfect jumping off point for walking the beach or swimming in the Atlantic, and is easy to find again if your party splits up.
The water is clear and blue and arguably perfect, though I grew up in the Northeastern United States, where our waves our stellar but the water is so murky that you’ll never find your feet. That’s not the case on South Beach. Feel free to splash as much as you like, without fearing anything beneath the surface.
If you can drag yourself off the beach for a little while, make a stop at Under The Mango Tree on 6th Street. Under The Mango Tree, a haven for acai bowls and smoothies, was one of the first places I ever reviewed on my blog. I’m not sure the post is still up, but regardless, the cute little shop has expanded since my first visit. There’s now more seating, more fun bohemian products to poke through, and more fruity goodness on the menu. There’s a little bit of a wait, especially if they’ve got a crowd, because everything is made fresh. It’s worth it, I promise, and the Mango Tree smoothie is undoubtedly the best way to fuel up after being out in the hot Miami sun.
It you’re feeling more of a lunch kind of thing, take a break from tanning and stop by Apple A Day Café. It’s not near the beach, but it is the best lunch in all of South Beach. Apple A Day is a health food café that has been in business for 24 years. They create their own pressed juices, smoothies, bowls, omelets, wraps, soups, salads, etc. The O’Baked Chicken Bowl is my favorite, jam-packed with all sorts of healthy stuff (red cabbage, broccoli, bean sprouts, the works), but it’s so pretty and filling you won’t even think twice about the fact that it’s mostly vegetables. The juices are very expensive, but ask for a sample at the counter before committing, and they’ll happily help you out (The Raw Cacao one is my go-to because it tastes like chocolate milk, and is also less terrifying if you’re a pressed juice newbie. I got into pressed juice in Austin, and even I haven’t graduated to the really hardcore green stuff yet) And, if an adorable, bubbly girl with super-short hair happens to be working behind the counter, say hi, she’s my cousin!
Whether you’re in search of perfect waves, the world’s best smoothie, or just a place to sit and watch eclectic locals go by, South Beach has something for everyone. And it just keeps getting better.