Sunny Isles Beach – the very name suggests the vibe given off by this northern Miami city. A barrier island sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, the seaside enclave boasts beautiful beaches that lend themselves to all kinds of sand and water worship. Yet the “City of Sun and Sea” is also amazingly close to high-end shopping, fine-dining restaurants, and Miami’s electrifying arts culture.
With digs so close to the water, including the DoubleTree Resort & Spa by Hilton Hotel Ocean Point – North Miami Beach, it makes sense to wake up early for Sunrise Yoga at Samson Oceanfront Park (Wednesdays are complimentary). Afterward, take advantage of those good feels and walk the historic Newport Fishing Pier. Extending 776 feet out into the ocean, the pier is perfect for those looking to cast a hook ($5 entry fee) or simply cast a set of eyes on the local flora and fauna ($2 entry fee).
Serious anglers can also head to Haulover Beach Park & Marina to rent a charter or find a fishing guide to lead you to mahi-mahi, grouper, and snapper – keep in mind that Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood will cook your catch. Haulover is also known for its natural beaches (one of which is nude), and for its excellent kite-flying breezes. The kite stand on the park side sells brilliantly colored specimens if you didn’t bring your own.
For water sports and lessons that allow you to explore all sides of Sunny Isles – including under the light of the full moon – check into Sunny Isles Beach Water Sports. If you’d rather look for manatees and birds, head to Oleta River State Park to kayak, canoe or paddleboard through mangrove preserves. A concession provides whatever you require, and the park also features multiple-level mountain bike trails, but you have to bring your own locomotion.
Shop ‘Til Your Sugar Levels Drop
Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall, both world-class shopping destinations, are within easy distance of Sunny Isles as well as the Hampton Inn Hallandale Beach Aventura. The former – an open-air setting that offers Chanel, Oscar de La Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Jimmy Choo – also provides shoppers upscale eats via Iron Chef Makoto Okuwa and Stephen Starr’s Makoto, French favorite Le Zoo, and mainstay Carpaccio. The latter hosts Gucci, Cartier, Burberry, Fendi, and Givenchy, and has a food hall where you can find homegrown concepts such as Pubbelly Sushi Restaurant, Tap 42 Kitchen & Bar, and Michael Schwartz’s Genuine Pizza.
If you’re visiting during November, you can also get your culture on at And All That Jazz, the City of Sunny Isles’ annual jazz festival. This marks the beginning of Miami’s festival season, which includes the Miami Book Fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, and Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Food & Wine Festival – all of which are accessible from Sunny Isles, yet out of the way of the hectic epicenter.