Meet Sunny Isles: a tiny isle with a big personality
Just off mainland Miami lies Sunny Isle Florida. Situated on a tiny sliver of land across Biscayne Bay, Sunny Isles has but a single square mile to its name, but a variety of local and state parks and two miles of pristine beach make Sunny Isles feel open and inviting. All of the action happens east of Collins Avenue, which parallels the Atlantic Coast just a few hundred feet away.
Things to see and do
For upscale shopping, entertainment and other attractions, you'll need to head to Aventura or other nearby neighborhoods. Fortunately, they're only a few minutes away, and the beaches are so soft and inviting that you likely won't want to leave your resort too often anyway!
Parks, parks and more parks
Over 10 local parks help break up the residential neighborhoods located to the west of Collins Avenue, and a few favorites include Heritage Park and Samson Oceanfront Park. These landscaped green spaces provide a relaxing complement to the pearly white coastline, and you can always hold a picnic without getting sand in your sandwiches.
Without a doubt, Sunny Isles' beach is its single largest attraction. Two miles of uninterrupted sands are open to the public and they hold thousands of visitors on any given day. Nine lifeguard stations are spaced at equal points along the beach to provide immediate assistance, should it be needed.
A burgeoning Russian population has helped earn Sunny Isles the nickname Little Moscow, and you'll find restaurants serving everything from Italian and Spanish to Cuban and Russian cuisine. You're guaranteed to find at least one new type of food to try out, but the area has its fair share of pizza, steak and burger joints as well.
Where to stay
Sunny Isles Beach is located right on the Atlantic. Ten hotels have beachfront access, so you'll never need to cross traffic. Prices start at around $100 per night, making this idyllic island an affordable option.
You can stay in any of the resorts lining Collins Avenue and feel like a king. From Trump International Beach Resort to Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, you'll receive world-class service, cabanas and cocktails by the pool, plus water sports like jet skiing are available just past your doorstep. Grocery stores and pharmacies are only a short walk away.
Up until the turn of the century, Collins Avenue was home to a number of small motels, many of which were more than 50 years old. About a decade ago, those hotels were replaced with these luxury resorts, so guests are able to enjoy all the modern facilities they've come to expect, from full-service spas and beautiful landscaping to updated furnishings and USB chargers in every room.
Looking to sneak a few rounds of golf into your trip? Head to the Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, which is located just a few minutes away in Aventura. Besides a new 1,600-foot lazy river, spa and fitness center, guests have access to everything needed to improve their game. Professional trainers are always available to provide one-on-one instruction, and you'll be able to purchase new equipment at Turnberry's very own pro golf shop. With specialized greens and GPS-equipped electric carts, golf enthusiasts may find themselves extending their trips by a few days.
Unless you're coming from Naples to the west, you'll likely take I-95, which is located just two miles away from Sunny Isles. Fliers will arrive at either Miami International (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), which are both 30- to 40-minute drives away. To get around the city, you can take advantage of the Miami-Dade Transit buses. Fortunately, all public buses are completely free for residents and visitors alike.
Best time to stay
Sunny Isles is a prime spring break destination, but thanks to the city's high-rise resorts, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a room during busy periods. South Florida's climate is mostly temperate from March to May, and from September to November. Visitors will have more space to stretch out on the beach during the off-season.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.