BEST BEACH Miami 2004 - Haulover Beach Park
10800 Collins Ave.
Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160
Readers' Choice: South Beach
Haulover took this award in 2002. Then, as today, it had competition, most of it from Key Biscayne. That island's eight-mile-long eastern shore offers the full range of amenities, from crowds and condos to seclusion and wilderness. (It has also won this honor twice.) South Beach, once a strong contender, can no longer be given serious consideration. Its fatal flaw: congestion. You can spend half the day (and a small fortune) just parking your car. Parking, however, is never a problem at Haulover, where the lots cover many acres and the price is a reasonable $4.25. But Haulover's greatest attraction is its spaciousness. South of the crowded clothing-optional area it is possible, even on holiday weekends, to claim a patch of sand without feeling like you're crashing someone else's party. Often the place seems deserted, a rare luxury these days.