A few miles to the north of SouthBeach, the other faces of Miami Beach
include the cities of Surfside, Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles. A trio of
quieter and calmer neighborhoods, this part of Miami Beach is popular with
families seeking by-the-sea vacations.
Surfside, once a predominantly elderly community where the late Isaac
Bashevis Singer lived, has been rediscovered lately and is now full of
young couples with children. Bal Harbour is still synonymous with sophisticated
shopping and upscale residences. And Sunny Isles is adored for its broad beaches,
fishing boats, watersports and reasonably priced hotels. Just west of the northernmost
tip of Miami Beach are the thoroughly modern communities of North Miami, Aventura, and Turnberry.
One of the attractions of this quiet family-oriented town is the wide,
secluded beach bordered by a path through the dunes. Rejuvenated hotels and new luxury
condominiums are changing the style of Collins Avenue, but Harding Avenue, retains the
feel of an old-style main street with small shops and a 50’s corner drugstore and soda
fountain. Small bistros welcome strollers for a casual meal. Shows and events take
place at the oceanfront pink Community Center. Just south of Surfside, the North
Shore State Recreation Area offers an unspoiled beachfront nature preserve and
picnic area that caters to families. Be sure to visit the Surfside Community Center
and Tot-Lot, with an Art deco-style outdoor stage reminiscent of a miniature Hollywood Bowl,
where various shows and events are presented year-round.