11 things to do the next time you visit Surfside

The views are sublime from the new Four Seasons Surfside.

Surfside has taken to calling itself Miami’s “uptown beach town.” Nestled between North Beach and Bal Harbour, it has a decidedly small town, retro appeal with Harding Avenue’s compact commercial district lined with old-timey facades and an oceanfront community center boasting free access to swimming pools and fitness classes.

It’s a family friendly destination full of unexpected quirks and charms. And as of late, it’s home to some of Miami’s most expensive real estate with residential units at The Surf Club by Four Seasons listed upwards of $20 million.

Whether you come to sip Champagne at a historic club once frequented by Sinatra or to nosh on corned beef at a newfangled Jewish delicatessen (or both!), there’s plenty to discover on Surfside’s stretch of beach.

Where to Stay

  1. Four Seasons Surfside
Inside a luxurious guest room at the Four Seasons designed by Joseph Dirand.

When Four Seasons Surfside opened last spring at the historic Surf Club, it was a game changer for this sleepy, seaside town. At once, it revived Old Florida opulence of bygone days when Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill rubbed elbows here, while also ushering in unprecedented luxury inside a glitteringly modern expansion by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier.

The club’s original ballroom has been transformed into Le Sirenuse, the legendary Amalfi Coast restaurant by the Sersale family, with a lavish Champagne Bar, all finished in a palette of creamy limestone and marble with mossy green upholstered chairs, brass accents and the original dark wood vaulted ceiling.

The Spa is a singularly luxurious experience in Miami from the peaceful marble hammam to Biologique Recherche facials and the intuitive hospitality where moments of delight await around every corner. And the rooms, with interiors by Joseph Dirand, are like dreamy jewel boxes lined in pale green marble and sun-bleached hardwood with fluffy white beds and frameless glass balconies floating in the clouds. Current rates from $995.

2. Grand Beach Hotel Surfside

The rooftop Sky Bar at Grand Beach Hotel Surfside is the perfect perch for sunset.

For more attainable luxury, Grand Beach Hotel Surfside is housed inside a modern oceanfront glass structure with oversized suites and calming white-washed interiors. The 12th story Sky Bar is an ideal spot to take in the sunset with a cocktail in hand and the ground floor restaurant takes cues from international cuisines with dishes like chilled gazpacho with fennel and microgreens, ahi tuna mini tacos and Mediterranean branzino on the menu.

Suites range in size from one to three bedroom floor plans, many of which come with two bathrooms and two TVs, making it an ideal destination for a family vacation. They also have a West Hotel addendum on the other side of Collins Avenue with more affordable rates and access to all of the hotel’s amenities. Current rates from $293.

3. Residence Inn Surfside

Check into the all-suites Residence Inn Surfside.

For extended stays, family vacations or affordable, yet stylish, Surfside escapes, the Residence Inn Surfside is a solid option. The newly built hotel opened in 2016 with 175 contemporary suites in a palette of aquamarine, slate and crisp white, all equipped with kitchenettes.

While there’s no restaurant at this limited service concept, a complimentary hot American breakfast buffet is served daily and there’s a 24/7 market onsite, as well as complimentary grocery shopping service to stock your kitchen. Resort-like amenities include a rooftop pool with cabanas and even though the hotel is located one block from the beach, they provide a dedicated beach club for lounge chairs and umbrellas on the sand. Current rates from $188.


Where to Eat & Drink

4. Josh’s Deli

Josh’s Deli photos by Carl Juste / Miami Herald staff

For a modern twist on the traditional Jewish delicatessen, grab a seat at the counter at Josh’s Deli. The hearty menu highlights in-house cured, roasted and smoked meats like the classic corned beef sandwich on rye with a pickle. You’ll find traditional dishes like matzoh ball soup and latkes with apples and sour cream alongside more inventive options like the lobster “jewchacho” for breakfast with over easy eggs, avocado and cheese in a mole sauce. The menu is playful and constantly changing.

5. 26 Sushi & Tapas

Surfside is home to an impressive collection of kosher restaurants including 26 Sushi & Tapas. This chic dining room serves an impressive variety of tapas, specialty makis, sushi burritos and much more, all with a LatAsian twist. Regulars can’t get enough of the crunchy lettuce wraps with corvina tempura, mozzarella tequeños and the tuna sushi pizza with rocoto aioli.

6. Araxi Burger

To sate your juicy burger cravings, look no further than Araxi Burger for a mile-long menu of burgers, as well as hotdogs, sandwiches and salads. Go for the namesake Araxi burger made with caramelized onions, garlic sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese.

7. The Carrot

For a casual healthy, organic restaurant with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and kosher options, The Carrot specializes in a wide variety of gourmet wraps, salads, stuffed sweet potatoes, pita melts and vegan soups, as well as fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies and coffee. For something unique, try the Fire wrap made with kale, sunflower sprouts, avocado, quinoa, grape tomatoes, alfalfa, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber and your choice of protein.

8. Serendipity Creamery & Yogurt Café

Bring the whole family for a scoop at Serendipity.

For a sweet treat, duck into Serendipity Creamery & Yogurt Café for made-from-scratch, small batch ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet with mouthwatering flavors like cookie dough, pistachio, pecan pie and salted caramel

What to Do

9. Turtle Walk

Surfside’s turtles are an eco-conscious public arts display.

To draw awareness of turtle-nesting season (May through October) in Surfside and surrounding Miami beaches, the eco-conscious town has installed 13 colorful turtle sculptures by local artists as a public art display. Take a self-guided walking tour through the historic district or keep your eyes peeled when you’re out and about.

10. Party with the Locals

Come summertime, bring the family for Surfside’s First Fridays Beach Picnics.

The tight knit community of Surfside knows how to throw a party and all are welcome. From January to April, come out for the Third Thursday Block Party or join the fun during summertime at the First Friday Beach Picnics.

11. Surfside Community Center

An added perk to a hotel stay in Surfside is that you gain complimentary access to the beloved oceanfront Surfside Community Center, which includes swimming pools, a waterslide, locker rooms, wellness classes and a walk-up café. It’s one of the town’s points of pride that they’re clearly happy to share with visitors.

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