Miami Beach, FL

Arguably the most well known topless beach in the US is Miami’s South Beach.  Loosely defined, South Beach is the beachfront area between 1st and 23rd streets on Miami Beach.  Known for its Latin influence, ties to the fashion industry, and popularity with European tourists - topless sunbathing is commonplace on South Beach.

While South Beach ends around 23rd street, topless sunbathing is still observed as high as 43rd street.  However, the areas north of 23rd street are considered more family friendly and consequently a little more conservative.  However, if you go even farther north, you’ll actually find a nude beach, Haulover Beach.

It’s difficult to find laws pertaining to topless sunbathing on South Beach.  A Miami New Times article notes that it’s not technically legal but quotes Nanette Rodriguez, the city public information officer, as saying, "We basically look the other way."  In fact, topless sunbathers are often observed right next to the lifeguard stands.  Police will only enforce that women don their tops on the boardwalk.  That is to say, topless sunbathers must remain on the sand or in the water.  As soon as they step off the sand, they must put on a top.  The police are quite strict about this.

Visitor Trip Report - Spring 2009

My wife and I just got back from a long weekend on South Beach.  We stayed at a hotel between 1st and 2nd street.  This is about the furthest south you can go and still be considered South Beach.  While there is still some beach to the south of 1st Street, it is much more family oriented and not the typical South Beach experience you expect.

Topless sunbathing isn’t as prevalent around 1st and 2nd street as it is just to the north.  However, it’s not uncommon.  Each time my wife and I went to the beach, there were a handful of other topless women.  The highest concentration seemed to be closer to the life guard stands.  We only saw one topless woman in the beach chairs in front of the Marriott South Beach.  Laying out topless in the sand was much more common. 

Even though the topless activity was fairly sporadic, there was never a feeling that it was inappropriate.  My wife laid out topless the entire time at the beach and never got a strange vibe from anyone.  True to South Beach, everyone just appeared to be having a good time.

Of note, thongs are definitely on the rise.  There appeared to be many more thongs this year compared to past visits.  Young and old a like, there was a lot of posterior exposure.

Accommodations are plentiful in Miami Beach and run the gamut from uber expensive to reasonably priced.  You’ll find brand new hotels such as the Setai to restored Art Deco landmarks like the National Hotel, the Raleigh Hotel, and the Park Central Hotel (to name just a few).  Prices can be found on the usual travel websites.  One specialty website, Miami Beach 411, is particularly helpful with articles and an active forum.

Where ever you stay, you’ll be able to enjoy the wide sandy beach, relaxed atmosphere, and gloriously warm year round temperatures.