Sunny Isles Beach, Florida: A Trip of Unexpected Nostalgia

Sunny Isles Beach Florida Sportfishing


When the city of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida invited me down for a father-son-weekend, I located the city on a map. It sat directly between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. On my past trips down to Florida, I had never heard the name Sunny Isles Beach. I assumed it was an overlooked stretch along the A1A.


But after arriving at the beach, where one of the lifeguards was waiting to tour us along the 2.5-mile strip, the ride turned out to be a journey back into the past.


At first, our lifeguard/guide named all of the new high-rises that stood along Florida’s cleanest beach. (The garbage cans situated every twenty paces are a testament to such tidiness). But then my father chimed in.


“That’s the Marco Polo,” Dad said, pointing to one of the least impressive buildings along the strip. “That’s where Grandma and Poppy used to stay. And this,” he added, indicating Donald Trump’s nightmare–a squat, run-down motel occupying land that will inevitably be the seat for some skyscraper–“was probably that dump that Grandma and Poppy stayed in before the Marco Polo. Do you remember this?”


I did.


When I was a kid, my grandparents, like many New York Jews, wintered down in South Florida. We always called the place Miami. (Anything south of Fort Lauderdale and north of the Keys was Miami to us.) But the little isle where my grandparents had wintered each year was Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.


We continued down the strip, toward the new pier and neighboring nude beach; but the tour was interrupted by memory, memories of when I would join Poppy in the smoke-filled card rooms and accidentally hint to his opponents about the flush he held in his hand; memories of Grandma marching through the sand in her house dress and clutching a crystal bowl that she had overflowed with fruit; memories of when we would dine out and no matter how fancy the restaurant, Grandma would locate dust in the high reaches of the booth just to give the poor busboy indigestion.


Sunny Isles Florida Sportfishing


Where I Stayed Near Sunny Isles Beach Florida:


Sunny Isles Florida Golf<


Though it would have been great to stay at my grandparents’ old stomping grounds, my father and I enjoyed a few nights across the Intracoastal at Turnberry Isle Miami, in Aventura. With two 18-hole golf courses, waterfalls surrounding the property, and a protected 100-year-old banyan tree, it’s hard to imagine that you’re only twenty minutes from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. While the weather ruined most of my experiences–I was rained out of a golf clinic and banned from paddleboarding or jet-skiing the rough seas at Turnberry’s beach club back over in Sunny Isle Beach–my father and I did enjoy a couple of hours at the massive Laguna pool at Turnberry.


Sunny Isles Florida Turnberry Isle Miami


Posted on by Noah Lederman in Somewhere, United States

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