If you’re still trying to decide between a beach or city vacation, we’ve got the perfect solution. The Town of Surfside, Florida, nestled between South Beach and Bal Harbour and within 30 minutes of Miami amenities, is a small community boasting one mile of gorgeous beach, a bustling business district sprinkled with independently-owned restaurants and businesses, parks, street art and plenty of family-friendly lodging. Keep reading to find out more about this charming, hidden gem of a beach town.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Why Surfside?

There's plenty to keep you busy in this bustling beach town: attending First Fridays, which runs from Jun. - Sept., and includes beach picnics, music, fitness demos and family activities, attending the Paddleboard Fest in May, where you'll be able to sign up for a free paddleboarding session in the canals (look for dolphins!) seeing if you can spot all of the Surfside turtles (outdoor art consisting of 12 fiberglass turtles illustrated by local artists), heading to the 96th Street Park and Playground to burn off steam or spending the day at the Community Center, which offers two pools, a water slide, tennis courts, a walk-up cafe and a green space with ocean views. There’s also a mile-long beach trail for walking, biking or strolling with tots.

Or, ramble along Harding Avenue, explore small shops and business most likely owned by the neighbor down the street. Foodies will especially appreciate that this small community is a hub for exciting food.

photo: Courtesy Jacober Creative

So, What about the Food?

Food choices abound in Surfside. You can choose between pizza, steakhouses, healthy breakfast and lunch spots, Greek and more. Worth noting is the wide range of kosher offerings, like KosherLand Market and Backyard BBQ & Brew and even Asian favorites at Chai Wok. Josh's Delicatessen offers humungous servings of comfort food like french toast, matzo ball soup, and pork sandwiches. A must-try is the locally-owned Specchio Cafe, which boasts an Italian menu filled with delicious offerings such as daily whole fish specials, fresh burrata, and classics like lasagna and handmade ravioli. Don't leave without stopping at Morelia Gourmet Paletas, which offers rows of custom gourmet popsicles that can be dipped in a sweet sauce and sprinkled with toppings: hazelnuts, spicy sugar and even fruity pebbles.  

photo: Gabby Cullen

What about lodging?

The Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach Surfside has a one-bedroom suite with kitchenettes and also offers some adjoining rooms—both options are well-suited to families, especially those with young kids. It also offers complimentary admission to the Surfside Community Center. 

If you want to be spoiled for the weekend, consider the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club.  It is located in the historic Surf Club, which built by well-known architect Russell T.  Pancoast, for the Firestone family, to serve as a private club in the 1930s. You'll see walls lined with pictures of famous guests—legends like Frank Sinatra, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Elizabeth Taylor—and wander the halls while admiring the high-vaulted ceilings. The best part? The hotel offers a plethora of family amenities, including a family pool with lawn games, an impressive kids’ club that’s open every day from 9 am - 5 pm (ages 5-12) and has everything from toys to video games, LEGO and even a bunny named Bennie. The rooms offer cribs, babysitting services, 24-hour concierge, Bluetooth speakers and plenty of snacks for hungry kids in the mini-bar. 

Find out more about Surfside here

—Gabby Cullen

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Feature photo courtesy Jacober Creative