Casa Casuarina - Gianni Versace
Favorite thing: Miami Beach is unlike any other beach or city in the continental United States. At 11pm, an hour when many people are turning in for the night across the nation, this is the hour that restaurants, bars, and clubs are just getting started. South Beach is the most popular part of Miami Beach and the heart of all the action.
In the square-mile Art Deco District there are yellow hotels trimmed in mauve and aqua, buildings with pink 'eyebrows' above the windows, to block the sun, and 1,000 other architectural confections.
Fondest memory: Each Art Deco building has a story. Gianni Versace once owned the Mediterranean Revival mansion, Casa Casuarina, at 11th and Ocean. The Birdcage was filmed at the Carlyle. You can take a Miami Preservation League guided walking, in-line skating or biking tour, or rent iPods for self-guided tours.
- Arts and Culture
Miami Beach's Old City Hall
Favorite thing: Miami Beach City Hall was constructed in the 1930s in the Mediterranean Revival architectural style. Located on Washington Avenue, this historic structure was renovated in 2006. The building stands nine stories tall and is part of the National Historic District. The building houses government offices and a County courtroom. The real estate developer who created this facility was also part of the group that created the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Old City Hall is located at 1130 Washington Ave. City Hall was moved to another location in the 1970s.
Freedom Tower - downtown Miami
Favorite thing: Freedom Tower was built in 1925 as memorial to Cubans that had immigrated to the US. The tower stands 255 feet above the city streets; was designed after the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain; and was originally the headquarters of The Miami News. After the newspaper sold the property in 1957, the US government used the site to process hundreds of thousands of refugees from Cuba. The federal government sold the tower in 1974, and year later, in 1997, the tower was converted to a museum and renamed to Freedom Tower. In 2005 developers donated the Freedom Tower to Miami Dade College.
Miami Beach Police Monument
Favorite thing: The Miami Beach Police Department has lost seven officers since its inception. The 1980s was the worst decade with four deaths.
The Miami Beach police department in South Beach has a memorial dedicated to these seven officers, as well as a deceased police dog. It's really an impressive monument and right beside our hotel.
1100 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
What is this Art Deco business?
Favorite thing: Art Deco, from the French words "Arts Décoratifs," simply means decorative art, and it began in Europe in the 1910s. It peaked there in the 1920s, but stayed in high fashion in the US until the 1930s. Art Deco describes not just architecture, but also painting, the graphic arts and film. It is said that art deco saw its popularity grow after World War I, due to the end of the wartime conservation and austerity. Art deco is typically based on geometric shapes and patterns , and it eventually spawned other related artistic styles such as cubism and futurism.
Many countries around the world, and many cities in the US has surviving examples of art deco such as Havana, Cuba; Copacabana, Brazil; Valencia, Spain; Mumbai, India; Bandung, Indonesia; Napier, New Zealand;
Miami Beach, with some thirty blocks of hotels and apartment houses dating from the 1923 to 1943, is said to have the largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world. The Art Deco Historic District here was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and has since been well restored and maintained.
The Art Deco Gift Shop is operated by the Miami Design Preservation League and has information on tours of the area.
Art Deco Gift Shop
1001 Ocean Drive
10 Street and Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL
Favorite thing: If you need a beach for people-watching and partying, then visit South Beach, on the lowest third of Miami Beach, the island between the Atlantic and Biscayne Bay.
Action is non-stop on the wide, 16-kilometre beach, starting with early morning fashion shoots for catalogs, commercials.
Sunbathers - some topless - spread out towels; seniors carry in folding chairs and umbrellas; couples stroll hand-in-hand; teens play volleyball; children frolic in the gentle surf as boats and jet-skiers ply the blue water.
Breezes are salty and sultry. South Beach temperatures hover around 20 degrees C. in winter and 27 degrees C. in summer.
Across a grassy meridian, studded with palm trees, rollerbladers share a pink sidewalk with joggers, dog-walkers and parents pushing strollers. Bordering it is Ocean Drive, packed with limos, Harleys, rental cars and Hummers. But there's no need to drive. Everything in South Beach is within walking distance.
Fondest memory: To the west, are the hotels, restaurants and shops of the Art Deco Historic District. Buildings, the color of strawberry, pistachio and vanilla ice cream, boast portholes, palm tree bas-reliefs and jutting 'eyebrows' that block the sun.
Interspersed with the Art Deco architecture are red-roofed Mediterranean Revival buildings. Many resemble European villas. It's not surprising that South Beach is called “America's Riviera.”
It is only 15 minutes from Miami International Airport.
Favorite thing: Miami Beach like many other cities throughout the country has become such a dog friendly city that everywhere you look you'll can find these stands with the disposible doggie bags to help you clean up after your pooch.
One thing I noticed though was that this particular dispenser was all out of baggies..
Art Deco District
Favorite thing: Miam Beach is lined with building after wonderful building of Art Deco designs. I read that Miami Beach has the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the country, quite impressive.
Many of the art deco buildings are in use as hotels.
South Beach Parking Part II
Favorite thing: Yes, we all hate parking in South Beach, but I've been finding great spots lately even in the afternoon and evenings on the weekends.... my latest find is a garage on the 1000 block of Collins, on the East side of the street. I came in after a Marlins game on a Friday night and found plenty of spaces.... and the price was $15 flat, MUCH cheaper than valet!!!!! I was so happy after getting the car out 3 days later that I took a pic of the garage. Valet wouldve hit me for about $25 a day plus tips.
Fondest memory: Just little tips like this make Hotspots that much better. Save a few hundered on your flight, save 50 or so on parking, maybe 50 more on your room, next thing you know you've got maybe $500 extra to spend on a VIP bottle service, or a meal in S & W or Joes, or some shopping. We're still in the George Bush economy, you have to be smart with your money these days!
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
South Beach Parking
Favorite thing: If you care at all about how much money you waste on a vacation, then knowing where to park your car in South Beach is a very important. Valet parking is now near $30 every 24 hours at many South Beach hotels; priovately owned garages are just under that. Most even have flat rates on the weekends of $10 in addition to the $20-$30 you already pay, bringing some parking fees over $120 for a 3 day weekend. My solution to this was the 17th street garage- $8 a day, no hidden fees. Its near the intersection of Pennsylvania and 17th St. I parked there on Friday night, took a $6 cab to my hotel and returned on the same $6 fare 10 days later- total cost $92. Same cost in the garage right next to my hotel would've been $270. Who wants to *** away almost $200 without at least getting fat or getting a nice buzz?
If you are just parking there for a few hours try the ticket-printing parking meters. Park your car, find a meter, pay about .25 a minute and place your ticket in view. Just be sure to get in SoBe before the popular afternoon check-in times to find a space.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: Homelessness is a way of life in Miami Beach. There are many people without. It is easy to get caught up in the glam of Miami Beach, but don't forget the reality. There are many people starving, and they are used to tourist treating them as pesks, although some can try your nerve. So don't get caught up in the hype. Remember to give when you can, when you feel it will do some good.
Favorite thing: Miami Beach, in particular the South Beach area, is famous for its fabulous Art Deco architecture. The district is covered in deco hotel after deco hotel. If you are a fan of the genre like me, then you won't be disappointed!
Curved walls, neon signs, canopy porches and the like are everywhere.
We spent a lot of time photographing buildings on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, trying to capture the perfect blue sky shots and then night time ones with the fabulous neon signage.
Fondest memory: Some buildings to check out are: the Miami Beach Post Office (1300 Washington Avenue); Jerry's Famous Deli (1450 Collins Avenue); The Leslie Hotel (1244 Ocean Drive); and The Carlyle Hotel (826 Ocean Drive).
Pop into the Art Deco Welcome Centre at 1001 Ocean Drive to find out a little more about the Art Deco district and pick up the obligatory souvenirs. If you are interested you can book in to participate in a walking tour from here.
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Art Deco (1)
Favorite thing: Located in South Miami Beach, the Art Deco district has a lot of well remodeled buidlings erected at the beginning of 20th Century.
The District is mainly limited at Ocean Blvd, Collins Ave and Washington Ave between the 16th and the 5th streets.
Fondest memory: Picture taken Collins Avenue
- Family Travel
- Beer Tasting
Free Internet at the library
Favorite thing: We stayd at the Holiday Inn South Beach which had an expensive and very slow internet access in the lobby for people who had not there own computer. But just in front of the hotel, there was the library (227 22nd Street) which provided a free internet access.
The clerk gave me code for half an hour and told me it was possible to have an other free access if nobody needded the computer.
The library is open :
9AM to 9PM
Except : Fri Sat : 6PM and Sun 1PM to 6PM
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Bring a lot of cash to South Beach
Favorite thing: The restaurants are to die for, the clubbing and nightlife are like no other, the shopping is amazing, and the strip is a great place to people watch. But it all comes with a high price. South Beach is very expensive, as it caters to the rich and famous from all over the world. Make sure to bring a bundle of dough when visiting!!!
Fondest memory: Of all the trips my best friend and I took together, this had to be both our favorite. There was nothing like it. The beach, the hotel, the food, the pool, the shopping, the bars...I couldn't complain about anything--even the prices! It was all worth it. We even met another group of people at our hotel that were visitng from detroit! We all ended up on the same plane coming home, it was great!
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