Last updated on February 24, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Florida, Keys & Miami

Where to stay in Miami Beach [best 3 AREAS for couples, families and nightlife]

You may already know that Miami Beach is technically speaking not a part of mainland Miami City.

It is, however, the best example of all this part of Florida has to offer in terms of culture and attractions.

Miami Beach extends on the coast for over 8 miles and that’s the main reason why you may find it difficult to understand where to stay in Miami Beach.

In this guide, you will discover which area works best for a family stay, a breakaway with your partner, a crazy nightlife holiday, or just some relaxing time.

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Where to stay in Miami Beach – In a nutshell

  • Where to stay in Miami Beach with family: If you are traveling with small children then North Beach is a great option. It is safe and quiet, with playgrounds and of course the beach. South Beach may work better if you are traveling with grown-up kids that want to stay in a more lively environment. Read more below on North Beach and South Beach, including a few suggested hotels
  • Where to stay in Miami Beach on a budget: you can find a few hostels in South Beach that may be just perfect for your budget and you are in the middle of the action too. The alternative is North Beach where accommodations tend to be much cheaper and bigger too. Read more below on South Beach and North Beach
  • Where to stay in Miami beach for couples: Mid Beach is an ideal location for a romantic getaway. It’s one of the most laid-back areas of the city, with not much nightlife but plenty of great restaurants for a romantic dinner. Read more below about Mid Beach
  • Best area to stay in Miami Beach first-time: if you are after the Miami Beach of the movies and TV serials then book your stay in South Beach. Otherwise, Mid and North Beach may be a better, more economical option.
  • Best place to stay in Miami Beach without a car: the #120 bus connects the South to the North beach in just 30 minutes with frequent runs (every 10 minutes or so). Very practical. This is just to say that the car is not essential and it should not drive your decision on the best area.
  • Best area to stay in Miami Beach for art: The stunning art deco buildings in South Beach make it an outdoor exhibit by itself. The colorful architecture along Ocean Drive provide the perfect backdrop also for many art galleries. For a special night, you should book an evening meal at Gianni Versace House. The Savoy Hotel or the National Hotel (Adult Only) are two of the most stylish hotels in South Beach. If you are traveling on a budget, the Waldorf Towers is another option. Read more below on South Beach
  • How many days in Miami: the majority of Miami’s attractions can be seen in ten days. Plan ahead and you can easily spend a week exploring all that Miami has to offer. You will be able to do a lot in five days in the city, but there may be some sacrifices. Although it will be pretty busy in 3 days or less, you can still do it, as well as take a few hours to relax at the beach.
  • Can I go to the Bahamas from Miami Beach: easy, there is a boat leaving from Dodge Island that can take you to the Bimini Islands in just two hours. You can read more about the Bahamas here, including the best time to visit them
Best neighborhood to stay in Miami
Best neighborhood to stay in Miami – Check Google interactive map here

South Beach (nightlife and architecture)

South Beach is probably best known for being the location of the iconic Gianni Versace House.

The Versace Mansion in Miami Beach
The Versace Mansion in Miami Beach

This, however, is not all that the eclectic tourist district has in store for visitors.

For fans of art, South Beach has the largest number of galleries to explore in the region.

Some of the most popular are the Romero Britto Fine Art Gallery, the Bass Art Museum and the Williams McCall Gallery.

In South Beach, art is not only found in galleries.

It is out in the streets everywhere you turn in the form of magnificent architecture.

Ocean Drive, in particular, is essentially an outdoor exhibit with its colorful historic buildings.

For this reason, South Beach is undoubtedly the most popular with tourists visiting this part of Florida.

In addition to all the artsy attractions and the proximity to the beach, South Beach has also some pretty awesome restaurants, bars and cafés.

A great place to try out when you are having a serious case of the munchies would be Smith & Wollensky.

This is an upscale chophouse famous for its meticulously aged and perfectly grilled steaks.

For great deals and special menu options, it would be best to plan your visit around their happy hour.

For a fun night out, consider including Nikki Beach Miami in your itinerary.

This is an upscale seafood bistro and cocktail bar which also works as a nightclub hosting regularly some of the country’s best DJs.

If you want to enjoy your drink in a more laid-back setting then go to Wet Willie’s.

This spot is best known for the colorful frozen cocktails, which are perfect for cooling down after a long day exploring South Beach.

Looking for accommodations?

The Iberostar Berkeley Shore, located in the heart of South Beach, is ideal for travelers who want beach access without being too far from all the main town action.

The hotel itself features a quintessential motel vibe (see photos here) with a touch of tropical classiness and general classy minimalism.

Check price at Iberostar

Other accommodation options in South Beach:

Mid Beach (luxury)

Mid Beach is Miami’s Beach home of luxury and opulence.

Soho Beach House in Mid Beach
Soho Beach House in Mid Beach

It has some of the city’s ritziest hotels and resorts which makes it perfect if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience on a flexible budget.

It is also a shopper’s paradise with its numerous shopping centers, malls and independent stores.

One of these that you should check out is the Fontainebleau Shopping Mall.

And, once in Middle Beach, you should check out the Millionaire’s Row Of Miami, either from a boat or from the road.

Another standout feature that makes Mid Beach a great place to stay while in Miami Beach is the plethora of gourmet restaurants.

One of the most popular of these is La Cote.

This Mediterranean cuisine spot offers patrons a one-of-a-kind dining experience on its beautiful oceanfront property.

This makes it ideal for romantic dates as well as family nights out.

Another restaurant worth considering is Bird and Bone.

This is the place to go when you have a craving for some authentic southern comfort food.

Their signature frozen drinks and decadent desserts are also definitely worth trying out in the grueling Miami heat.

The Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort is the place you stay if you want oceanfront opulence at its finest.

Here, you will have access to luxury amenities including a pool with ocean views (see photos here), a wellness spa and even cabana lounging facilities.

You could also charter a boat or go water skiing all of which are organized by the hotel.

Check availability at Eden Roc

Other accommodation options in Mid Beach:

North Beach (laid back)

North Beach is Miami Beach City’s most laid-back neighborhood.

Kitesurfing in the quieter North Beach
Kitesurfing in the quieter North Beach

This cultural hub is perfect if you are looking to escape all the noise and touristy hustle on the mainland and the rest of the beach.

There is a lot to do and see in North Beach including chilling at the North Shore Open Space Park, Shopping at Bal Harbor Shops and visiting the La Casa Del Vicio Museum.

Where North Beach lacks in exciting night clubs and bars it more than makes up for with its relaxed and family-oriented restaurants and cafés.

A great example here is BurgerFi.

This is an organic and environmentally conscious spot best known for gourmet burgers and hotdogs. 

Best Western Plus Windsor Inn is surprisingly laid back for such a ritzy hotel chain but this is what makes it perfect for the chill vibes of North Beach, Miami.

Despite the casual vibes, it is still very beautiful and classy (see photos here) with a predominantly dark earthy tone aesthetic.

The best part is the amenities including free Wi-Fi, free parking and a large outdoor pool.

Check availability at Plus Windsor

Other accommodation options in North Beach:

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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