The Hedonist's Guide to Miami

The Beaches
By Lesley Abravanel
Page 2 of 5   |  
SUN SEEK: The beach before the beautiful people descend (courtesy, Greater Miami CVB)

Make a Splash:
Some people are either beach bums or poolside lounge lizards. Others fall into both categories. In Miami you can have the best of all worlds.

For the ultimate in people-watching, hit the sands of Lummus Park Beach, aka South Beach, which runs along Ocean Drive from about 6th to 14th streets. Or, if you prefer not to feel the sand between your toes, check out the picture-perfect pool at the Raleigh Hotel (305-534-6300,, whose owner, Andre Balazs, happens to be dating Uma Thurman. The pool at the Delano (see above) isn't too shabby either, infinity-style with cool tunes pumped underwater in case you feel like taking the plunge. For both, just swing by for a lazy afternoon of snacking and tippling and the watery paradise is yours for a few hours even if you're not a hotel guest.

For those who believe that size does indeed matter, the Biltmore Hotel (305-445-1926, has the city's largest pool, which is saying something. At 21,000 square feet, you have to see—and swim it—to believe it.

For that all-over tan, check out Haulover Beach, a clothing-optional stretch of sand just north of the Bal Harbour border, ironic considering that Bal Harbour is best known for its uber-chic boutiques and clothing stores.

To get away from it all, Virginia Key on Key Biscayne is the place for self reflection and tanning. This thin strip of land is anchored on a causeway just offshore from downtown, a chilled-out heartbeat from Miami's more hedonistic proclivities.

The only pool with an entrance fee is the Venetian Pool (November to March: $6 for swimmers 13 and older, $3 under 13; April to October: $9 and $5, respectively; 305-460-5356,, a historic landmark in Coral Gables that features pastel stucco walls and a freeform lagoon of 800,000 gallons of water that's drained and refilled nightly.

Published: 5 Apr 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »