There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a beautiful sunrise. Sure, that means getting up before the sun does, but watching the light come over the horizon, the calm awakening of the breeze and wildlife over the ocean can be peacefully breathtaking. Catching the sunrise may prove tricky depending on the season and weather, but if you’re in Miami, you’re in the perfect place to try.
Whether you’re going for a shot of the landscape or want to finish a long night strongly, a sunrise is hard to beat. Bring your camera, some coffee, and maybe a newly shaped smile from the dentist; Miami’s got stunning sunrise backdrops for even the most unwilling to leave bed.
One of the most well-known beaches in Miami is also one of the best spots to watch a sunrise. At South Beach, you can easily find a place to relax on the sand and listen to the waves as the sun peeks over the horizon, rising slowly over the ocean. Located on the skyline of the Ocean Drive, entry to the beach is free and within walking distance of both clubs and breakfast spots to help you get (or keep) the day going.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Located on the island of Key Biscayne, this park includes the oldest structure in Greater Miami, the Cape Florida Lighthouse. If you get there early enough and can deal with the wind and spray coming off the ocean, you’ll experience breathtaking views of the sun cresting over the Atlantic.
Make seeing the sunrise the start of your day with a hike—or bike—around the lighthouse’s surrounding park. Or, grab a bite from one of the nearby cafes after you’ve embraced the warmth of a new day’s sun rays.
Connect with nature and feel at peace while you watch the sun begin to shine over the marina. Cradon Park rests on the northern edge of Key Biscayne and provides perfect spots to sit and watch the morning begin, either along the shoreline or on a walking path in the park.
Haulover Beach Park
If you want to enjoy a fun day in the sand and surf, start with the sunrise at Haulover Beach. Located on a shole between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, this 177-acre urban park is known for its beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Play in the water, relax with a book, or enjoy the park while you’re there. Free entry and parking make it easy to find a relaxing spot at this beach.
Matheson Hammock Park
In the heart of one of the oldest sections of Miami and just off Old Cutler Road, you likely won’t find this destination on any tourist map. Enjoyed mostly by locals during the day, the shallow waters, mossy oaks, intimate mangroves, and tall palm trees line the bay front and make this park a must-visit. Watch the first rays of light come over the bay and hit the skyscrapers in the distant Miami skyline.
Bal Harbour Village
At the northern tip of Miami Beach there are a few blocks of shops, resorts, and shoreline called Bal Harbour. The village is an excellent place for a picturesque view of the sun coming up over the water. Bal Harbour’s atmosphere is “contemporary, luxurious, and serene,” so don’t pass up the opportunity to stroll around as the locals wake up before continuing the rest of your day.