South Florida summers at the beach are a highly anticipated event. The blazing heat is the perfect reason for locals and visitors to hit the beach for some quintessential fun in the sun. To our benefit, there are a plethora of options available in the area that are open to the public and offer prime access to the expansive Atlantic Ocean. Choose any of these options for memorable summer afternoon at the beach if you want to go for a swim, get in a good tan or have an afternoon picnic with family and friends.

(Source: CBS)

Haulover Beach Park
10800 Collins. Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33154
(305) 947-3525

Haulover Beach is one of the most popular and versatile parks you’ll find in South Florida. In addition to the 1.5-mile stretch of beach to frolic on are designated picnic areas and concession stands. Across the street at Haulover Park, there is a full-service marina, tennis courts and kite shop. Expertly trained lifeguards keep a watchful eye over the entire park so beachgoers can feel safe while going for a swim, sunbathing or having a picnic. Haulover is ADA Accessible and offers complimentary beach wheelchair rentals on a first-come, first-served basis. You can plan to spend the entire afternoon at the beach and not experience a moment of boredom.

Hollywood Beach

(Source: Wikipedia Common Use)

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
330 N. Federal Highway
Hollywood, FL 33020
(954) 924-2980
This is a premier South Florida destination. Once rated “America’s Best Beach Boardwalk” by Travel & Leisure Magazine, this popular beach and corresponding boardwalk makes for a lively and fun-filled afternoon near the coastline. Beachgoers have access to seven miles of beautiful beaches. If you’re just looking to spend your afternoon taking in the cool ocean breezes without taking a swim, you can take a bike ride or go for a run on the two-plus miles of paved paths near the beach. Surrounding the boardwalk are three oceanfront parks and the Hollywood Beach theater, where patrons can be entertained by free concerts.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 624-6950
The state parks in Florida are known for their natural beauty and attractive list of activities, making this beachfront park an excellent option to spend a summer day. There’s snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking for those seeking a unique water experience. There are also designated fishing areas, hiking trails and picnic areas for additiion fun in the open air. And then there’s the beach – two miles of pristine, vibrant and expansive coastline to enjoy from sunrise to sunset any day during the summer. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is versatile and offers an array of activities that will make any summer day a fun day, both in and out of the water.

Related: Best Beach In South Florida

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1200 S. Crandon Blvd.
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
(305) 361-5811
Once rated among the 10 Best Beaches in America by Dr. Stephen Leathermann, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is not only a popular beach destination in South Florida, it’s an historical landmark. Spend the afternoon exploring the significant historical sites at the park even while on the beach. Once an exit point for slaves escaping to the Bahamas, this beautiful coastline offers one of the most expansive views of the southern Atlantic Ocean. If you’re looking to do more than hang out at the beach, you can go for a bike ride, take a tour of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse or take a stroll on a nature trail.

Related: Best South Florida Beaches For Kids

For nearly 20 years, Shawanda James has been actively involved in creative writing in Miami, Florida. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is actively seeking publication for her debut novel and collection of poetry. Her work can be found at