South Beach is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida. Located due east of Miami city between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean it is known for being trendy and attracting rich, famous and beautiful people. This place is always bustling with locals, visitors and things to do. Sobe is high energy and attracts large crowds especially on holidays. I would describe it as stylish, extravagant and luxurious. At night it is the hottest club scene I’ve ever been to. Fashion and music merge on the beach with influences from Latin and European cultures. I wouldn’t be surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two during your visit.
South Beach is also known as the historic Art Deco District. A trip to Miami is not complete until you visit and experience this area for yourself. You will be transported to another time surrounded by the interesting architecture, which dates back to the 1920’s. Everywhere you look you will find fancy details from that long ago era. Today there are over 800 Art Deco Structures lighting up South Beach in a rainbow of neon and pastel.
What is art deco you might ask? The Miami Design Preservation League defines art deco as:
“Art Deco was a product of new ideas and movements and found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th Century European design styles such as Cubism, French Art Deco, German Bauhaus and Expressionism, Dutch de Stijl and Amsterdam School, Vienna Secession and others.”
They offer a free historic district sites map on their site. You can take a guided tour or do it yourself.
When visiting South Beach I highly recommend both driving and walking Ocean Drive. This street has served as the backdrop of countless movies. You will see grand hotels, interesting art deco architecture, the gorgeous beach and when the sun sets the famous neon lights come on. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and places to stay. Most restaurants offer outdoor seating. A great way to do some people watching or just enjoy the ambience and beautiful weather.
Be warned shopping here is more expensive than other spots. A mixed cocktail can easily cost over $20.00.
A few famous places on the strip are Casa Casaurina, also known as the Gianni Versace Mansion, the Clevelander, Park Central, the Tides Hotel, the Cordozo Hotel and the Waldorf Towers.
Be sure to park your car and hit the beach. Lummus Park Beach is on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches. On the boardwalk you can skate, bike, run or take a stroll. There are places for the kids to play as well as places to exercise and work out. Out on the sand you will see Miami’s iconic colorful lifeguard stands, soft white sand and gorgeous blue and jade waters.
Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls. Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner. There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers. You can spend hours here. I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching. You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.
Head to the beach. It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers. I recommend heading out early. I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time. This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks. Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands. No two are alike.
Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels. This street appears in numerous films and television shows. There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.
Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries. The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens. It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.
If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule. Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park. On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.
Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.
If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.
My favorite thing to do at South Beach is to try and catch the sunset. This photo was taken on the beautiful romantic rooftop of the Tudor as the sun was setting.
You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.
Have you been to South Beach?
What was your favorite thing to do here?
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