If you’ve found your way to Freehand Miami, chances are you already know how to find awesome things to do that won’t break the bank, but just in case, we’re sharing our own cheat sheet in this series. We’re kicking off with beaches because we’ve got some of the best on the planet and you can enjoy all the sun and sand you want with absolutely zero dinero.
South Beach: The southernmost stretch of Miami Beach (below 23rd street on Ocean Drive) is known the world over for its superb people-watching. Head south from Freehand Miami along Ocean Drive to check out the preening models, topless sunbathers, passing cruise ships, storied nightclubs, and majestic city sunsets.
North Beach: As you head north from Freehand Miami along Collins Ave, you’ll find a mile and a half of boardwalk from 21st to 46th Streets, ideal for beachside strolling, the 85th Street Beach, our favorite spot for low-key swimming, away from all the condos and crowds, and the 96th Street Beach, full of colorful seashells and excellent shade.
Haulover Beach: When you continue north past Bal Harbour you’ll find one of Miami’s best surf spots and its only legal nude beach. And if that’s not already enough to get your attention, there are plenty of places to fly kites, go fishing, and play beach volleyball (yes, in the buff, if you’re up for it).
Key Biscayne: If you’ve got a car, it’s well worth making the half-hour trips to check out the party at Crandon Park Beach, the secluded beauty of Virginia Key Beach and the nature trails and 19-century lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.