This suburban village was developed in the Florida land boom of the 1920s as Miami’s Biscayne neighborhood. Miami Shores was incorporated not long after, in the middle of the Great Depression.
As the name suggests, the village is on Biscayne Bay, and you can survey the water at the scenic Bayfront Park.
I was surprised by the small but dynamic downtown area along NE 2nd Avenue, which is a good dining area. Miami Shores is also just minutes from the islands at North Bay Village, where you can embark on watersports adventures.
Meanwhile, the Biscayne Boulevard corridor leads you into blossoming northern parts of Miami that are unrecognizable from 20 years ago.
1. Village Place Miami Shores
The village’s main downtown area is along a few blocks of NE 2nd Avenue, from 101st Street down to 94th Street.
Awaiting you in Village Place is a small but percolating commercial district, home to the annual Green Day Festival in April. There are stores for interior decor, fashion, houseplants, jewelry, pet supplies and more.
Food-wise you’ve got a bit of everything, from pizza to smoothie bowls, health food, contemporary American, sandwiches, gelato, and soft serve.
The Miami Theater Center is along this strip, with stage shows, classic/cult movie screenings, and a variety of programs for kids. Finally, at the south end is a pair of parks flanking the avenue, with a lovely stand of live oaks at Optimist Park.
2. Miami Shores Country Club
The village lays claim to one of the best courses reachable from downtown Miami. Dating back more than 80 years, the 18-hole par-71 course at Miami Shores Country Club has hosted numerous prestigious events, including the Florida State Open.
Lee Trevino, Joe DiMaggio and Bob Hope are a few of the famous figures to have walked these greens. The 21st century has brought a few modernizations, ensuring excellent course conditions, no matter the season.
I adore the setting, on a gently rolling landscape endowed with some massive old live oaks. Also at the complex is a lighted driving range, a pro shop, and a bar & restaurant.
3. Miami Shores Village Bayfront Park
The only public property on Biscayne Bay, is a narrow band of grass along the seawall. Bayfront Park has a row of palms, and benches every few steps.
With some grand residences behind, this is a reminder that you’re in a fancy part of Miami-Dade. Of course, the main attraction at this park is the view, taking in much of the northern half of Biscayne Bay.
You can spot little islands, admire the Miami Beach skyline, and watch the waterborne traffic passing by. Most of all, I adore the sunrises at this spot, and it’s an experience not to be missed.
I don’t know about you but I can’t even set eyes on Biscayne Bay without feeling the need to get out on the water. Luckily this can be done within a couple of minutes by visiting Harbor Island in North Bay Village.
Home to Pelican Harbor Marina, this island is the launch point for all sorts of waterborne fun on the bay.
A catalog of rental companies are located here, for kayaking, paddleboarding, jet-skiing, and more. There’s some wonderful paddling to be done in the northern nook of the bay, with little-fringed islands to discover.
A few companies based in North Bay Village are Almighty Jet Skis, iPaddle Miami, and Jet Ski 305 Rentals.
5. Miami Shores Tennis & Pickleball Club
Part of the Miami Shores Country Club, this facility offers services to residents and non-residents alike.
If your serve or backhand are as inconsistent as mine you can book one or a whole block of lessons with a certified USTA professional. The Miami Shores Tennis & Pickleball Club has a high-end complex comprising three cushioned hard courts, and six clay courts.
Seven of the courts are lighted, and there’s a pro shop with all the gear you could need, as well as racket stringing. Added to that is a game arranger service to help you get the right match.
6. North Beach Oceanside Park
If you get lucky with traffic you can reach Atlantic beaches in ten minutes along SR 934 from Miami Shores.
The main public beach park here is North Beach Oceanside Park, which has a more relaxed, family-oriented vibe compared to further south.
There’s nature here too, with a strip of low dunes and a beautiful canopy of mature trees. When I was here the park had recently been improved, with new landscaping, concrete pathways, trees planted, and lighting that doesn’t endanger nesting sea turtles.
Meanwhile the beach itself is broad, clean and peaceful, and feels like a different city to South Beach.
7. Miami Beach Bandshell
Another highlight in North Beach is an impressive mid-century bandshell, dating back to 1961. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2022, this was designed by Norman Giller (1918-2008), responsible for a lot of Modernist architecture around Miami.
The bandshell was renovated in 2015 when the Miami-based Rhythm Foundation stepped in. Now this is one of Miami’s top open-air venues, with upwards of 100 events every season.
Extra improvements have been added in the last few years, including a much-needed canopy. There are concerts here in all genres, and every third Thursday of the month you can catch the North Beach Social, which is free to the public.
8. MiMo Historic District
South of Miami Shores, Biscayne Boulevard is the thread for Miami’s pulsating MiMo Historic district, on the Upper Eastside.
Up to the 2000s this area was associated with some of the shadier aspects of urban life, but has bounced back. What helped spur this revival was preservation of the rich assortment of mid-century Miami Modern hotels, motels and commercial buildings lining the boulevard.
The best examples can be seen as far north as 77th Street, just a couple of minutes from Miami Shores. Now, MiMo is making waves for its food scene, while there’s an awesome farmers’ market on Saturdays at Legion Park here.
9. Miami Design District
Keep going south, and things take on a more exclusive flavor as you enter the Miami Design District. Like the MiMo Historic District this part of Miami was given a new lease of life in the early 2000s.
Eighteen square blocks that had previously been run down were turned into a glittering upscale neighborhood.
This place is replete with galleries, antiques dealers, restaurants, bars, home design stores, and pretty much every luxury fashion brand under the sun.
Think Dior, Balenciaga, Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and that’s just a handful. Something else to keep in mind is the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, which is way more open than you might think.
As well as cutting-edge exhibitions there’s an abundance of programs, free for the public. I brought my little ones to Family Sunday, with a different hour-long workshop every week.
10. Legion Park
An easy drive south along Biscayne Boulevard will bring you to another bayside park, on Miami’s Upper Eastside.
A nice place to be early in the day, Legion Park also has a lovely view of the bay, with the Legion Picnic Islands in the foreground.
But what makes this park essential for me is the weekly farmers’ market, taking place on Saturdays 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
This is an uplifting community event with seasonal fresh produce, as well as jams, baked goods, smoothies, fresh local fish, houseplants, crafts, pet treats, and much more. Dogs are welcome, and there are yoga sessions at the market every week.
11. Green Day Miami Shores
Miami Shores’ biggest annual event is a celebration of sustainability and environmentally friendliness. When I wrote this article this free, one-day event in April attracted more than 10,000 people to downtown.
This strip of NE 2nd Avenue is transformed into a kind of village, with 100+ vendors, live music, food trucks, and all kinds of family fun, from inflatables to face painting.
There’s a pop-up farmers’ market, advice on energy-efficient practices, healthy living resources, and a wide range of vegetable and herb plants to help you embrace South Florida’s gardening season.
12. Miami Shores Aquatic Center
Although I’ve included it on my list, it’s worth remembering that this facility is open mainly to residents of Miami Shores and Bay Harbor Islands and their guests.
If you qualify then you’ll have access to a superb family attraction. The showpiece for parents with smaller children is Wild Waters, a theme park-style water playground with five slides, sprays, and a 300-gallon tipping bucket.
If you’re here for the exercise there’s an eight-lane competition pool. Now, this feature is available to non-residents, provided you’re only here for lap swimming.
13. SkateBird Miami
Opened in the early 2020s, there’s a 32,000-square-foot skate park, a couple of minutes away in El Portal.
SkateBird Miami is the first facility of its kind in the state, combining an outdoor street-style skate plaza with a covered pump track, designed for South Florida’s unpredictable weather.
The latter has 15,000 square feet of unbroken steeply banked turns to build momentum. Skateboarders, roller-bladers, BMXers and scooters are all welcome here in both sections.
There’s also a skate shop, a snack shop, a restaurant/bar, while the facility also hosts pop-up stores from time to time.
14. Food Trucks Wednesdays North Bay Village
A local event to keep on your radar is this food truck festival a couple at nearby Pelican Harbor Marina.
Food Trucks Wednesdays happens from 5 pm to 10 pm, with a lot of free parking, and with picnic tables provided, while you’re free to bring your own blankets and chairs. As well as a big choice of food trucks there’s live music, and a bounce house for kids.
When I attended I was blown away by the choice. I’m talking, elotes, lobster rolls, arepas, burgers, gyros, Cuban sandwiches, BBQ, tostones, and lots of sweet treats, from shakes to churros.