By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Whether one is living in Miami-Dade or visiting Southern Florida, there are a lot of reasons to spend a few days in Surfside, the tiny town of under 6,000 residents parked between Miami Beach (North Beach), and Bal Harbor.
With a main-street strip, a quiet beach and plenty of nice eateries, it’s a no-stress escape from the city pace. The family-focused area also has a large Jewish community and many of the shops are closed for the Shabbat, adding to the sense of calmness.
There are the ubiquitous Southern Florida high-rise towers along the beach between 87th and 96th street, along with a selection of hotels on Collins Ave and Harding Ave at different price points. However another option is just over the Kane Concourse bridge on 96th is Bay Harbor Islands, and there is a gem called the Acqua Bay Luxury Apartments.
For a relatively reasonable price you can have balcony overlooking Indian Creek and the Surfside neighborhood. The place is in good nick (as the British say), and has the feel of a new build, with a pool on the roof, a decent little gym and just enough service to feel taken care of, but not suffocated.
In terms of food, in Surfside there are plenty of well rated restaurants but just one that stands out above the rest. Josh’s Deli on Harding Ave is open from 8:30 AM to 3PM every day and the weekend’s corned beef hash Benedict is a life-changer.
Everything on menu looks amazing at this little unassuming nook, and legend is that Josh is there every morning at 6:30 AM cooking everything himself from scratch. It has a nice local feel and worth a few return visits.
Another activity is a quick stroll across 96th street to the fashion boutiques at Bal Harbour Shops, a luxury strip of designer brands such as Alexander McQueen, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Etro, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Tory Burch and Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Along with an open air garden and a handful of upscale eateries, it is almost as fun to people watch as it is to shop (assuming that the later is in the budget). Even the kids can have fun here in the manicured gardens and ponds stocked with exotic fish.
The Bal Harbour Shops is literally the most productive mall in the world, making $2,555 in sales per square foot, beating malls in the most expensive cities of the world, like New York, London, and Dubai, according to Curbed in 2012.
Surfside is just a thirty minute drive from South Beach ($15-20 with Uber) and forty minutes from the Miami International Airport, and fifty minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. While having a car is helpful it will not be necessary as long as you don’t mind using a car service occasionally.