Contributor Review – Lisa Trabin
Local Expert. Visited 2023
Located North of Miami Beach, with the open Atlantic ocean on one side and picturesque Intracoastal on the other, Haulover Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach with a large clothing optional section. A rare unbuilt area between the exclusive village of Bal Harbour, and Sunny Isles Beach, Haulover is a piece of true South Florida beauty. Blessed with coarse and fascinating shell sand, it feels perfectly soft underfoot but brushes off the skin easily. It won’t fly around in the wind and ruin your lunch. Although the Haulover nudist section is the smaller part of the beach, it is the most visited part. With beautifully swimmable blue-green waters and more amenities than the average nudist beach, Haulover stands out from the crowd and is one of the best beaches in North America.
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With its 0.4-mile, beautiful stretch of white sand beach, you won’t find any bad sunbathing spots at Haulover. Lay out in the sun or walk the shoreline and take in the view. As the stretch of the park has no residential or commercial buildings directly built on it, you can eke out every minute of the sun, with no towering buildings to the East or West blocking the rays. This also means there is no free available shade. But with a limited but reliable snack concession and a full rental service for loungers and umbrellas that never misses a beat, you can bring your full beach gear and coolers or just come as you are. Like amenities at many beaches, many are cash only, so keep that in mind when making your plans. Only a five-minute drive from the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops, you can fit ultra-high-end designer shopping into your day if that’s your thing.
Haulover Beach is a longtime favorite of vacationers and locals alike. The chilled atmosphere attracts mainly couples and groups from far and wide and a dedicated local fan base. You will find day-long bathers and those just looking to catch the last few rays when the sun doesn’t burn as brightly. That Miami UV index is no joke, so bring plenty of sunscreen! The popularity with locals can sometimes be a downside. Many people flock to the beach on the weekends and holidays to avoid the crowds at the non-nude beaches, making things a tight squeeze on the sand. Weekdays are a sweet spot where mornings, in particular, are often a quiet and postcard-worthy bliss. People are friendly yet keep to themselves and allow personal space. First-timers will quickly feel at home among the veteran naturists just looking for some rays.
At its peak beauty and temperatures in the fall, winter, and spring, the summer brings heat, humidity, and regular storms, making beach plans unpredictable. The weekdays see more visitors for nude bathing, and the busy weekends see a higher percentage of clothed beachgoers. The Haulover inlet into the Intracoastal from the Atlantic is well known locally as one of the roughest areas to move a boat out from. The current around Haulover Beach can be rough, making a few more red-flag days for swimming. Despite this, on those calm days, the ocean is a picture-perfect dream for bathing and swimming.
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A few miles North of trendy South Beach and South of Fort Lauderdale, most visitors and locals travel to Haulover by car. For those looking for as much nude bathing time as possible, several high-end, beautiful hotels are available within walking distance of the beach. These areas make a wonderfully quiet and chic alternative to the bustling South Beach area. The number of vacation rental apartments has increased nearby in recent years, making accommodation near Haulover more available than ever.
For car drivers, a large outdoor parking lot on the Intracoastal side of the park connects to the beach by several pedestrian tunnels that run under Collins Avenue. The northern stretch of the beach, indicated by signs, is assigned for nude bathers. With all-day parking that costs around $7, much cheaper than the average Miami pricing, Haulover Beach is a bargain for a day out in South Florida. Although Miami doesn't have a particularly good public transit system, there are some limited bus options in the city stretching up to Haulover Beach. For those not driving and not looking to ride the bus, ride-sharing is plentiful in Miami, and if you stay near the beach, the local bike rental system is convenient and environmentally friendly.