5 Unexpected Things to Do in Sunny Isles Beach
Home to the best waterfront hotel in the country, Sunny Isles is our new favorite staycation spot. Just under two miles long, this slice of Miami paradise offers great places to dine, a healthy dose of adventure and plenty of things to do. Here’s how to spend a day (or, you know, maybe a few) in this underrated beach town.
1. Pretend to Be European at a Spanish Bakery
Surprise, surprise: Barcelona-based bakery Granier has an outpost hidden in Sunny Isles. Offering picture-perfect European-style breakfasts, lunches and pastries, Granier serves a spate of fresh-baked breads and desserts that rival some of Miami’s best bakeries. (Think cereal-flavored croissants, pecan Danishes and chocolate-filled house-made pretzels.) Plan to do brunch here with an egg-and-cheese croissant and a mochachino.
2. Enjoy the Quiet at Haulover Beach Park
One block north of Sunny Isles, escape towering skyscrapers for acres of open shoreline. Set up shop with a chair, a cooler and a stylish umbrella at Haulover Beach Park, which is one of the only areas in Miami-Dade County with a stretch of public sand and not a building in sight.
3. Indulge at the Best Waterfront Hotel in the Country
Acqualina Resort & Spa, located in the heart of Sunny Isles, has received so many accolades it’s hard to keep track. Whether you decide to spend the day or stay the night, there’s no shortage of things to do. Dine at the beloved Il Mulino New York (order the porcini ravioli, grilled octopus and aged prosciutto with melon and berries) and book a treatment at the 20,000-square-foot spa with ocean views (we love the balancing massage with volcanic stones). Then lounge at one of four pools or under a red umbrella on the beach.
4. Get Adventurous at Oleta River State Park
If sunbathing makes you yawn, head to Florida’s largest urban park, Oleta River State Park, less than a five-minute drive from Sunny Isles. It’s an adventurer’s beach where you can bike, kayak and fish among the mangrove trees. Rent all of your equipment on-site and get ready to cast away.
5. Break Bread at Timo
All these years later, OG Miami chef Tim Andriola is still cooking his award-winning Italian-Mediterranean fare in Sunny Isles at Timo Restaurant. Though the menu changes frequently, keep an eye out for the foie gras and caramelized orange crostini; orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, chilis and Mimmo’s burrata; and the black-and-white pizza with provolone and black truffle. There’s a vegan tasting menu too, offering a mix of the season’s freshest vegetables in innovative dishes.