Beaches in Miami and southest Florida are amongst the best in the whole of the U.S. They are sandy, well-maintained, clean and well-patrolled with public facilities. Loungers and parasols are available at many of the beaches for rental. But a warning: don't stay too long in the sun as you may easily burn - be sure to wear sunscreen!

The sea is warm and clean. Swim only when it is safe to do so (indicated by lifeguards' flags). On some of the beaches there is a danger of riptides, strong currents created by winds blowing towards the shore which push people out to sea, making it difficult for them to swim back. Also watch for a jellyfish, the Portugese man-of-war - their sting is painful. If stung, ask the lifeguard for help.

The most popular beach is South Beach or Lummus Park Beach, between 5th and 14th Streets in Miami. It is a white, sandy beach, very crowded over weekends, but has good facilities. Also try 21st Street Beach on Collins Avenue, where the boardwalk starts. Then there are public beaches at 53rd-63rd Street Beach, between 88th-98th Streets, at Surfside and Bal Harbour Beach. After this you come to Haulover Park Beach, one of the best in the area (part of this beach is a nudist beach and part gay).

In North Miami Beach there are almost two miles of beaches starting at 163rd Street. After crossing into Broward County, you have a public beach at Hallandale (with limited facilities). You then come to one of the best in the area, Hollywood Beach: 2.2 miles long with a broadwalk for walking, rollerblading and cycling in a separate lane. Almost all along Hollywood Beach there are shops, restaurants and cafes. There is also the Johnson Street Open Air Theatre which has free musical performances every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and occasionally on Fridays.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is superb with great facilities. (Take a look at a webcam of it!) There are now very few Spring Break revellers (Fort Lauderdale was a top Spring Break destination in the 1960s-1990s) as they are strongly discouraged.