THE PERFECT WALKING TOUR OF SOUTH BEACH, FLORIDA

First of all, try to do this walk in the very early morning to catch some spectacular sunrises. Total distance is about 4.5 miles. Total time about two hours at a moderate pace but you can stretch this out all day to truly absorb the beautiful surroundings.

Start at the crossroads of 5th Street and Ocean Drive. The ocean will be right in front of you. Walk north on the beach path and enjoy the sunrise.

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Continue walking north to about 14th street and make a left. The first street you hit is the world-famous Ocean Drive. Head back south on Ocean Drive in the opposite direction from which you came. This is the heart of the art-deco district. It is most famous and recognized for its neon-infused night-life but the early morning sunlight reflecting on the art-deco buildings makes for a pretty awesome sight too.

Continue walking south passing the luxury high rises in the South of Fifth neighborhood until you hit Ocean Pointe Park and the man-made canal known as Government Cut. One of the most impressive sights in South Beach is a close-up view of the massive cruise ships traveling through this canal on their way to the open sea.
On the left is Ocean Pointe Pier extending out on the ocean. Here people come to fish while the pelicans and seagulls eye them with anticipation of a possible meal.

On the right is a newly landscaped path through Ocean Point Park. Take this road through the park and onto the marina with yachts the size of ballrooms. On your right you’ll pass luxury condos some of which have sold upwards of US$40 million. Also in the area are excellent restaurants like Smith and Wollensky with outdoor seating and killer views or the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab, in the same location since 1913. Both of these are so good you will be talking about your meal here for years to come.

On your left, in the distance, is Fisher Island which, according to CNN Money, has the zip code with the highest incomes in the country. You can take a ferry to Fisher Island or book a tour here.

The marina road will take you back to 5th street on the northern coast and the end of this walk.

For those of us that do not own yachts or live in $40 million high-rise apartments, here is a list of restaurants in the area that serve really good food at mid-range prices.

Puerto Sagua. This restaurant has been around since the 60s serving authentic and delicious Cuban food. The line to get in is a pain but worth it. Try to go at an off time like 2pm so the wait won’t be so long. Maybe.

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David’s Café. Simple, quick and authentic Cuban food. Another draw here is the staff. Just really nice people.

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