Top Spots To People Watch In South Florida

South Florida is without question a hustle and bustle area. It continues to attract tourists from around the world, and lures locals out of their cozy homes to explore everything the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area has to offer. This makes for a prime opportunity to people watch. No matter the time of year, you can take a stroll or find a comfortable spot to sit and see some intriguing (and maybe slightly eccentric) people. Choose any one of these places to get glimpse of the melting pot South Florida truly is.

3015 Grand Ave.
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 444-0777

Cocowalk is right in the center of the action in historic Coconut Grove. Its unique structure and design make it conducive to watch people shopping or hanging out. There are plenty of options for dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife, which means you'll get to see different kinds of people depending on what time of day you go. Additionally, you'll see plenty of tourists from surrounding hotels that take to sightseeing on Grand Avenue or locals that live in the area, particularly at the nearby marina. This is an exceptional spot to people watch at night and during weekends, when many of the establishments are open until 3 a.m. or later.

Bayside Marketplace
401 Biscayne Blvd., R106
Miami, FL 33132
(305) 577-3344

This waterfront property provides glorious views to add to the fun and allure of people watching. Also an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment location in Miami, it's a highly popular destination for tourists and locals. The adjacent Bayfront Park is home to many live performances, including the New Year's Eve celebration, which brings out people by the thousands. About a block north of Bayside is the American Airlines Arena, which brings out even more people to enjoy concerts by big headliners and Miami Heat championship basketball. Plenty of spots exist in and around Bayside to watch shoppers, sports fans or concert-goers. The attached marina provides additional seating and a walkway to see people boating or enjoying drinks on one of the party boats that depart from there regularly.

Lincoln Road Mall
Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 389-3767

This is arguably the best place in Miami Beach to people watch. Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian-only shopping experience, which immediately qualifies it as a prime people-watching destination. Located near main thoroughfares Alton Road and Washington Avenue, this mall attracts locals and visitors by the thousands, and offers a wide variety of shopping, entertaining and dining options that are nearly impossible to resist. The boutiques have large windows, giving you views from the outside and inside. You can watch people shopping or watch passersby while ringing up your purchases. Many of the restaurants on Lincoln Road offer outside seating, which provide another great people-watching opportunity. The nighclubs and bars draw in a lively crowd of people, which makes for a fun (and sometimes funny) sight.

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Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
330 N. Federal Highway
Hollywood, FL 33020
(954) 924-2980

This top-rated boardwalk offers a two-for-one deal if you're looking a fun way to spend an afternoon. You can enjoy the nearby beach or get in some exercise by jogging or cycling while you people watch. The boardwalk sits right off of Hollywood Beach, offering miles of beautiful coastline to take in. On your bike, on foot, on a beach towel or in the cool ocean water, you can watch people engage in all kinds of activities, including sunbathing, swimming, volleyball or neighborhood sightseeing. This is a popular attraction during the summer months, but with South Florida's year-round fantastic weather, this is a great option any time of year.

Sawgrass Mills Mall
12801 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Sunrise, FL 33323
(954) 846-2300

Sawgrass Mills Mall is without question an expansive space. It's the largest single-story mall in the U.S., the second largest mall in Florida and the seventh largest mall in the nation. Offering over 2.3 million square feet of retail space, this means there is a lot of room for a lot of people. Sawgrass Mills is consistently busy, bringing eager shoppers from around South Florida and around the globe to rake in the savings at the outlet mall. It's a prime spot for people watching for exactly this reason. People spend many an afternoon going to Sawgrass Mills just to stroll and watch the passersby as they shop, eat or get in a little exercise in the cool confines of the mall.

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For nearly 20 years, Shawanda James has been actively involved in creative writing in Miami, Florida. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is actively seeking publication for her debut novel and collection of poetry. Her work can be found at