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What’s Better? Sunny Isles Beach V/s. Surfside!

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If you’re planning on relocating to Miami, it’s likely that you’re drawn to the stunning beach views the city has to offer. If you’re seeking a more laid-back lifestyle and want to avoid the hustle and bustle of urban Florida, you have two options to consider: Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach. Both of these neighborhoods boast a wide variety of residential options to choose from.

When it comes to the neighborhoods of Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach, there are both similarities and differences to consider. To help you make an informed decision about where to settle in Miami, we’ve put together a breakdown of the pros and cons of each neighborhood. We’ll be comparing the two on the following fronts:

1. Lifestyle

Lifestyle - Chateau Beach Residences’ sunny isles - The Gosalia Group

The lifestyle in Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach are quite distinct from one another. While Sunny Isles Beach offers a blend of natural beauty with an urban flair, it is home to more luxury high-rise buildings and resort-condominium properties. This neighborhood offers a high-end urban lifestyle with the added bonus of stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

On the other hand, Surfside offers a more tranquil and laid-back lifestyle, with a small-town feel. This neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a peaceful and quiet time surrounded by nature. The beaches in Surfside are less crowded, allowing for more undisturbed time to enjoy the natural beauty. Despite its more relaxed atmosphere, Surfside still offers luxury amenities such as swimming pools for kids and adults, a community center, and various civic activities to keep residents engaged.

Despite its overall small-town atmosphere, Surfside has its share of upscale offerings as well. The oceanfront luxury buildings like the renowned Antonio Citterio’s ‘Arte’ and the Chateau Beach Residences’ sunny isles, as well as luxury boutiques, spas, and other high-end amenities, remind residents that they are indeed in the city of Florida.

2. Transportation and Walkability

Transportation and walkability - Chateau Beach Residences’ sunny isles - The Gosalia Group

Both Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach are relatively less hectic neighborhoods, making them ideal for those who enjoy walking or biking around. Many people who work in busier parts of Florida choose to live here due to the ease of commuting to and from home and work. In addition to personal transportation, locals also use buses to access areas such as South Beach and the Miami mainland.

3. Parks and Greenspace

Parks and greenspace - Chateau Beach Residences’ sunny isles - The Gosalia Group

Sunny Isles Beach is truly a sight to behold, with its beautiful beaches boasting breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and sparkling white sand. Both Surfside and Sunny Isles are located near Haulover Park, a large grassy park that borders the ocean and offers peaceful picnic areas.

In addition, Sunny Isles Beach also offers a variety of green spaces and parks, such as the 4-acre Heritage Park, Town Center Park which is loved by fitness enthusiasts and families for its fitness trail and picnic areas. The latest addition to the list is the 5-acre Gateway Park and its Butterfly Garden. Both neighborhoods offer ample green spaces for residents to enjoy.

4. Food, Shopping and Recreation

Sunny Isles Beach is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of dining options. You can savor Middle Eastern cuisine at Chayhana Oasis, Cuban dishes at EL Tropico, and the best Argentinian delicacies at La Barra. Health-conscious individuals will appreciate the offerings at places like Sproutz, Miami Juice, Epicure Restaurant and Gourmet Market. The Acqualina Resort is renowned for its fine dining, and the beach bar at Newport Pier is famous for its cocktails.

Surfside may have a limited selection of dining options, but the quality of the restaurants is exceptional. The Italian cuisine at Specchio and Café Ragazzi is particularly noteworthy, and Sushi Republic is a beloved spot among locals. If you’re in the market for a fine dining experience, the Grand Beach Hotel and Surf Club offer excellent options.

Furthermore, Surfside is just a short walk away from the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, where you’ll find a plethora of high-end dining and shopping choices that will leave you feeling like you’re in heaven.

5. Architecture

Sunny Isles Beach is a destination that boasts a variety of resort-condominium developments, each offering luxurious condos with the amenities and quality you would expect. The experience of staying in one of these properties is like being on vacation while still being able to work. One of the most striking features of these buildings is their signature floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which give the towers a unique, futuristic aesthetic.

Surfside is a coastal suburban neighborhood that is characterized by its single-family residences, lush lawns, and peaceful streets. It offers a welcome contrast to the bustling Floridian cities of Miami, providing a more laid-back, countryside vibe. The older buildings in the area are particularly noteworthy, as they transport you back in time with their vintage charm. In summary, Surfside offers the perfect blend of residential living with breathtaking ocean views and top-notch amenities.

6. Schools

When searching for the perfect place to settle down with your family, it is important to consider the quality of the schools in the area. In both Sunny Isles and Surfside, there are a number of elite public and private schools, such as Bay Harbor Elementary School, Nautilus Middle School, Miami Beach Sr. High School, St. Patrick’s school, Hebrew Academy and more. These schools are conveniently located in proximity to both Sunny Isles and Surfside, providing easy access for families living in either of these neighborhoods.

7. Business

While both Sunny Isles and Surfside boast a variety of upscale dining options, as well as a diverse array of small and large businesses such as spas, salons, boutiques, fitness centers, and yoga clubs, it can be argued that Sunny Isles has a greater concentration of commercial activity and a larger number of businesses overall in comparison to Surfside.

8. Art and Culture

Located in proximity to Miami Beach, both Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside host a variety of cultural events, such as the annual Art Basel art fair, the Fillmore theater, and the Bass museum. These areas offer residents a unique blend of contemporary art and rich cultural heritage, making them ideal places to live for those who appreciate the arts.

9. Cost of living

Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside are both known for their luxurious facilities and resources, and this is reflected in the prices of properties in these communities. In Sunny Isles Beach, the average cost of properties ranges from approximately $1,260,000 to $17,300,000.

On the other hand, Surfside offers slightly more affordable options, with property prices ranging from around $2,264,692 to $32,950,000.


Both areas have a lot to offer and the decision should be based on the type of lifestyle you desire. If you are looking for a peaceful suburban or rural lifestyle with access to the beautiful Atlantic waters, then Surfside would be a great option to consider.

If you want to experience the suburban lifestyle with a touch of urban sophistication, then Sunny Isles Beach might be the perfect place for you. With some self-reflection, you can determine the location that best suits your needs and preferences.

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