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With miles and miles of coastline, Miami is replete with under-the-radar beaches that even the savviest tourists don’t know about. They have all the same perks (scenic views and lots of towel space) as the popular spots, minus the crowds and chaos. See you there.

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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a secret beach come true. Pack a picnic basket and a floppy hat and lie on the gorgeously soft sand, reminiscent of that private island you’ve been dreaming of. To get there, drive to the end of Key Biscayne to find the park’s entrance. A few steps away from the parking lot, it’ll be just you and acres of open sand. On your way back, consider dinner (or happy hour) at the Rusty Pelican.

1200 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne

Homestead Bayfront Park

Consider this a two-for-one: Not only do you get a pristine beach and smooth sand at your feet, but you get it without the throngs of South Beach. Between the colorful lifeguard stands and wide-open coastline, you’re definitely not on Lincoln Road anymore.

9698 SW 328th St., Homestead

Matheson Hammock Park

Fact: There’s no better sunset than a Miami one, especially at Matheson Hammock Park. We’re setting up shop on this quiet stretch of coastline from morning ’til night with a good book and a bottle of rosé. Plus, because it’s right off Old Cutler Road, you can ride your bike a few miles to the beach or drive and park in a nearby lot.

9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables

oceanfront park

Oceanfront Park Beach

Escape Miami for an afternoon at Oceanfront Park in Boynton Beach. It’s easily one of South Florida’s most gorgeous stretches of sand with ample shade (bonus points).

6415 N. Ocean Blvd., Boynton Beach

Bahia Honda

OK, you caught us: This one isn’t exactly in Miami, but it’s totally worth the trip. Bahia Honda—covering more than 500 acres and with a view of an abandoned historic bridge—is perfect for a day of snorkeling, kayaking, tanning (with SPF) and boating. We suggest waking up early to give yourself three to four hours of sun and surf before driving home.

36850 Overseas Hwy., Big Pine Key

surfside beach
Photo courtesy of Visit Surfside

Surfside Beach

Why sit in traffic on the way to the beach when you could be relaxing on a stretch of sandpractically in your backyard? This popular (but still reasonably uncrowded) beach is just a quick drive from mainland Miami.

269 93rd St., Surfside

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