Insider’s Guide to Bal Harbour - Full-Time Travel

Insider’s Guide to Bal Harbour

Where to stay, eat, and (of course!) shop in the iconic Miami neighborhood, Bal Harbour.

By Phoebe Neuman

Though it spans just 10 blocks, Bal Harbour is one of Miami’s most iconic neighborhoods—and the ideal place to call home for a long weekend that is equal parts peaceful and playful. The enclave, located at the Northern tip of Miami Beach, is best known for its unparalleled shopping (a day at the Bal Harbour Shops is always a must—more on that below), but it’s far more than just a place to pick up the latest designer “IT” bag. Here, Full-Time Travel gives you the insider’s guide to Bal Harbour.

Where to Stay

There’s no shortage of great options when it comes to hotels in Bal Harbour. The neighborhood is home to a handful of five-star hotels and resorts, including The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour and The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. Both award-winning hotels offer a resort-like experience complete with private beach access, world-class spas, and stand-out service, and are perfect for families and couples looking for a luxe getaway.

The Sea View Hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a stay on the more affordable end that doesn’t compromise beach access or sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, while Beach Haus Bal Harbour is the place to check in if you want to feel like a local. The property offers up chicly outfitted one- and two-bedroom apartments (complete with full kitchens and in-unit laundry) just steps from the white sands of Bal Harbour Beach, and is the perfect pied-à-terre for groups and families.

Where to Shop

No trip to Bal Harbour is complete without a day spent window shopping—or, let’s be honest, splurging—at the Bal Harbour Shops. The mid-century-modern icon is home to 100 luxury boutiques and department stores, a number that is set to go up thanks to a 250,000-square-foot expansion project that is currently in the works. (But don’t worry, the expansion hasn’t disrupted the tropical-meets-glam shopping experience.)

From legacy brands to local designers, there’s something for everyone at the Bal Harbour Shops. You’ll find us stocking up on our favorite perfume at Santa Maria Novella, checking out the timepieces at Richard Mille, and picking up a coffee table book at Assouline.

What to Do

Bal Harbour is Miami’s quiet enclave. Days here stretch out luxuriously, and it’s best to embrace the slower pace by starting your morning like a local with a bike ride or jog down the beach path that skirts the pristine mile-long stretch of Bal Harbour Beach. After you’ve worked up a sweat, take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic, and then head back to your hotel for an afternoon spent by the pool or at the spa.

When you’re ready to head out into the city, pick up an Unscripted Art Museum Access Card from your hotel, which will give you complimentary access to 17 of Miami’s best museums. But before you head out to The Bass and the Institute of Contemporary Art, swing into the Opera Gallery at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort to see what’s on exhibition.


Where to Eat

Whether you’ve spent your day shopping, swimming, or museum-hopping, there’s no shortage of places to refuel in Bal Harbour. Carpaccio, Makoto, and Stephen Starr’s Le Zoo are perennial favorites in the Bal Harbour Shops—and all will give you a taste of Miami’s see-and-be-seen restaurant culture. Newcomers Avenue 31 Café—the first U.S. location of Monaco’s beloved Avenue 31 Monte Carlo—and the first U.S. outpost of Parisian hotspot Café Laperouse, set to open in January 2025, should also be on your must-hit list at the Bal Harbour Shops. If you’re craving Mediterranean, snag a table at the breezy and chic Atlantikos inside The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort or head to Aba, which is helmed by Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson.

Miami’s energetic entertainment scene doesn’t quite spill over into Bal Harbour (which is part of what makes the neighborhood perfect for a relaxing retreat). That said, the St. Regis Bar—the only live music venue in Bal Harbour—is the perfect place to stop in for a nightcap. 

This story was sponsored by Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

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