Insider’s Guide to Bal Harbour & Sunny Isles Beach - Full-Time Travel

Insider’s Guide to Bal Harbour & Sunny Isles Beach

Where to Stay, What to Eat, and What to Do in Our New Favorite Greater Miami Neighborhoods.

By Phoebe Neuman

Looking for a chic, beachfront village where you can enjoy high-end shopping, luxury stays, and stunning ocean views? Look no further than Bal Harbour. Located in the northern tip of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour is just the right speed for those looking for a sophisticated escape that is equal parts quiet and luxurious.

Serenity—plus plenty of places to shop, sip, and eat—can also be found in nearby Sunny Isles Beach, known for its pristine stretches of white sand and turquoise sea.

Here, we break down a few highlights from each neighborhood.



Both Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles Beach are home to their fair share of five-star resorts. There’s no wrong choice between Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach, The St. Regis Resort Bal Harbour, or The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. All offer excellent service, world-class spas, and access to some of the most pristine stretches of sand in South Florida. Though all welcome families, Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach may be the most family-friendly of the three, as some of its suites are outfitted with kitchenettes. And, for those traveling without kids, the St. Regis Resort Bal Harbour has an adults-only pool—perfect for tranquil days spent soaking up the sun.

There are also plenty of other options in the area. Solé Miami, a Noble House Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, and the Sea View Hotel in Bal Harbour are two that don’t skimp on beachfront access, beautiful views, and great on-property restaurants.


Bookended by the Bal Harbour Shops to the south and Aventura Mall to the north, this 6-mile stretch is home to some of the best shopping in all of Miami. Head to the Bal Harbour Shops for an afternoon spent wandering the iconic mid-century-modern plaza while doing some equally good window shopping and people-watching (you’ll also definitely be coming back to the Bal Harbour Shops for a meal or two—more on that below). If you still have room in your suitcase for a few more souvenirs after your trip to the Bal Harbour Shops, then head to Aventura to browse the mall’s 300-plus stores, and take in some large-scale blue-chip art from artists like Louise Bourgeois, Takashi Murakami, Claire Fontaine, and Virgil Abloh.



If you’re looking for a taste of Miami’s buzzing see-and-be-seen restaurant culture, you’re going to want to head back to the Bal Harbour Shops come dinner time. There you’ll find the ever-popular Carpaccio, Makoto, and Stephen Starr’s Le Zoo, as well as new outposts from European favorites like Monte Carlo’s Avenue 31 Café and Paris’s Café Laperouse (set to open next January).

Sunny Isles Beach’s dining scene is slightly less trendy than Bal Harbour’s but every bit as good. A white-tablecloth dinner at Il Mulino New York at the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach is a must for lovers of Italian cuisine (Timo is also a neighborhood favorite for Italian). And you’ll find a mix of globally inspired cuisine in Sunny Isles Beach—think Ke-uH for Japanese tapas, Ava Estiatorio Miami for Greek, and BALEENKitchen for a little bit of everything.


See & Do

One of the biggest perks of calling this area of Northern Miami Beach your home base is access to some of the most pristine stretches of coastline in South Florida. No matter where you stay in Bal Harbour or Sunny Isles Beach, plan on spending plenty of time enjoying crowd-free private beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. If you’re looking to get a little bit active during your stay, you can stretch your legs on the Beach Path, or head to Oleta River State Park—where a manatee may just join you for your morning paddleboard session.

Sunny Isles Beach and Bal Harbour also offer great access to Miami’s vibrant art scene. In addition to local galleries and historical sites like the Ancient Spanish Monastery (a 12th-century monastery that was painstakingly moved from its original location and rebuilt in Sunny Isles Beach), both neighborhoods are a short drive away from the city’s best museums. Bal Harbour even offers hotel guests complimentary access to 17 of those museums through the Unscripted Art Museum Access Card.


This story was sponsored by Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

The pool at @krallerhof is an elegant and inviting oasis, nestled within the beautiful surroundings of the Austrian Alps. It offers a serene retreat for guests to relax and unwind, with both indoor and outdoor options available. The pool area is meticulously maintained and features luxurious amenities, providing a tranquil escape for visitors to enjoy during their stay.

Reel: @nichodebiasio

164 0

Point Reyes: A coastal gem with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and stunning views. Perfect for hiking, beachcombing, and stargazing.

Reel: @tylerwayneglass

459 2

The Busan Air Cruise, also known as the Sky Capsule Train, is a popular attraction in Busan, South Korea. This unique train ride takes passengers on a journey above the city, providing stunning panoramic views of Busan`s coastline, mountains, and urban landscape. The futuristic capsule-shaped cabins offer a comfortable and immersive experience, making it a must-try activity for visitors exploring Busan.

Reel: @belet_ryu

299 0

"Checking into Estelle Manor, the closest thing to a Saltburn-esque staycation you`ll ever experience in the UK. Imagine a beautifully restored Jacobean manor on the cusp of the Cotswolds and nestled within 3,000 acres of Oxfordshire parkland, with extravagant interiors to match (expect bold artworks and intricate details around each corner), a Riviera-style pool to lounge by, and three different restaurant to sink your teeth into. The addition of the hotel`s new Eynsham Baths (an incredible spa modelled on traditional Roman baths) really takes the hotel up another notch, despite it already being in a league of its own." - @ginagoesto ...

189 0

A scenic coastal drive in Africa.

Reel: @joshstrauss_

213 1

At The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, HaSalon is the spot for upscale, experiential dining. With an energetic atmosphere, exceptional service, and the freshest eats, HaSalon nails high-end, upbeat interactive dining. ...

43 8

Atlantis Ibiza: Famous for its cliffs and coves, perfect for adventurous activities like cliff diving and snorkeling.

Reel: @saltinourhair

156 1

Located in the historic center of Mexico City, @sohohousemexicocity offers a blend of luxury amenities. The pool area is meticulously designed with chic loungers, umbrellas, and lush greenery, creating an oasis in the heart of the bustling metropolis.

📍 @sohohousemexicocity

61 1

"Known for its rugged mountains, Grand Teton National Park has a lot to offer for outdoor adventurers. With the airport located inside the national park, landed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an experience.
It is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elk, wolves, black and grizzly bears. With glacial alpine lakes and mountain ranges all around, Grand Teton National Park is a treat for rock climbers, hikers and backpackers."

📍 Mormon Row
📍 Schwabacher Landing
📍 Delta Lake
📍 Hidden Lake falls

Reel: @seekthatadventure

393 1

Explore the fascinating world of Piedra Pómez in northwest Argentina! This lightweight volcanic rock is used in everything from construction to beauty products, while its unique formations create breathtaking landscapes that attract adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Reel: @danielkordan

329 1

Spring has arrived in the state of Washington.

Reel: @jakeguzman

307 2