Located at 1114 Ocean Drive, Casa Casuarina is better known as the Versace Mansion. This was the home of the late clothing designer Gianni Versace.
Built in 1930, this Mediterranean-styled Palace was home to Versace from the early 1980's until his death in 1997. He was actually gunned down on the steps of the mansion.
These days the Mansion is home to a private members club, with restaurants/bars and a day spa. Us tourists just have to make do with a look at the outside unless we know one of the wealthy members.
Lummus Park is a nice stretch of green starting from 14th Street through 1st Street. Its located between Miami Beach and Ocean Drive and makes for a wonderful place to stroll, roller blade, ride your bike or just lay on the grass and enjoy a picnic.
You also get a really nice view of the hotels and restaurants from this park. Ferni and I spent a nice afternoon strolling along Lummus Park before having a wonderful lunch.
Starting at 18th Street all the way up to about 25th Street you can walk the Boardwalk and walkway. It is a really nice walk with nice glimpses of hotels on the beach and the beach itself.
At 18th Street you can also check out the little stands selling wonderful jewelry and other little crafts.
It was a really nice walk back to the hotel from Lummus Park.
When in South Beach it is absolutely imperative that you find a suitable cafe/bar along Ocean Drive, order yourself a drink of choice, sit back and people watch.
Thousands of people- locals & tourists alike make their way on foot down the cafe/hotel-side sidewalk of Ocean Drive. An endless stream of human beauty, character & comedy.... This is an utter and complete spectacle.
Tim & I often end up at the Colony Hotel for drinks, they always have a sign out front that entices us.... be it a tasty drink or a drink special we can't pass up. But let me tell you, they make a TALL & deeeelicious mojito that I recommend you enjoy.
You can always find something to do in Miami Beach to make a buck. Don't let lack of money stop you.
And you won't need a big budget for clothes.
If you're considering it, consider reading this first. it describes how new laws attempt to crack down on the homeless. It is interesting to note that apparently passive panhandling is allowed on Constitutional grounds.
Named A sculpture of Love and Anguish, this is a monument to the people lost in German concentration camps during World War II.
It consists of an arm rising from the central plaza covered with 130 life-sized figures. Do not miss the tunnel, The Lonely Path. In this tunnel are carved the names of major camps in the Nazi system including Jasenovac, Belzec, Chelmno, Treblinka. Sachsenhausen, and Dachau. On the far side of the reflecting pool there is a memorial wall with the names of Holocaust victims.
The view of the bay and downtown from South Beach is simply beautiful... the crispy blue water, the luxurious islands and million dollar mansions of Star Island, the intense light, and, in the background the downtown skyrise.
However, this view becomes even better when the sun sets. It becomes breathtaking. And staying there for hours, watching as the colors change is very much worth it!
I'd recommend to either drive from South Beach to Downtown Miami and back as the sun sets, or simply head to the new South Pointe Park, take a stroll in the park and consider having a cocktail at the terrace of Smith and Wollenski. If you're lucky you'll get to see one of the cruise boats pass by when you're there, and that is really impressive...
And if you can afford it, have dinner on their terrace. The food and the location are great, but be prepared to pay for it!
This is the south end of the "Board Walk". This is a nice place to jog for the exercise or walk in the evening after a nice meal. Specially under a full moon. The way it reflects on the ocean is absolutely beautiful. The board walk extends from 21st Street in the south, north to about 45th street. just past the Fountaine Bleu Hotel. There, you can stop and have drink at Jimmy Johnson's Bar and Grill.
The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens is a beautiful collection of refreshing flora in a quiet and peaceful environment. Stroll around the gardens and take in the beauty of creation. Admission is free, though I would have paid to enter.
The tiny, pink structure in the center also houses two conference rooms for business purposes, weddings, and other events. We held a conference in both rooms, and the environment was just perfect! The Butterfly room is small and cozy, great for powerpoint presentations. The Banian room is large, light, and airy, with glass doors opening to a patio and a well kept lawn. This allows the warm ocean breeze to make it's way through the room, keeping everyone refreshed. :)
If you choose to hold an event here, the woman in charge of marketing knows a GREAT caterer whose last name matches her profession. She cooked for me the best food I had in Miami, and some of the best I've ever had, hands down!
Austrian born Franz Scherr came to America in 1911, and 25 years later, he started a most unusual tourist attraction, Miami's Parrot Jungle.
It's been a few years ago, when we visited Parrot Jungle. Parrot Jungle is the home for 1,100 tropical birds, 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers, and the best trained bird show in the world. A large flock of Caribbean flamingos resides at the lake in the garden section. There are several shows. It was fun for a day, but its stays with one visit.
The Everglades are a vast area of natural swampland situated in the south west of Florida. A large part of this are has been turned into a National Park, therefore preserving its beauty for everyone.
The best way to see the wildlife is to go out on an Airboat. We did have a ride with an airboat in the Everglades Safari Park. A professional tour guide will narrate your thrilling airboat ride as you glide through this jungle of wilderness. During this ride you’ll see many alligators, beautiful flora and fauna and you’ll see breathtaking panoramic views.
After the ride you can watch the Alligator & Wildlife Nature Show. See how they are wrestling with an alligator and a lot more. After the show you can hold Snappy, the alligator and take pictures of Snappy. It’s been a few years now when we’ve visited the Everglades Safari Park and I hold Snappy than, so you can imagine how big this alligator must be right now. They properly changes “Snappy” time after time.
There is also an Alligator Island, where you can watch over 100 alligators on their own “Island Resort” basking in the sun, swimming, or just plain hanging-out. If you have still not enough of the park than there is the Jungle walking Trail. You can stroll around Jungle Trail where you could spot exotic birds, reptiles & flora. All the things I have described are included in the Eco-Adventure Tour. It costs $20,00 for adults and $10,00 for children. I can a sure you that you have a lot of fun.
The only negative thing were the mosquitoes. They seemed especially fond of my European blood! Seriously though, they are a nuisance and you do need to take precautions.
9:00AM to 5:00PM
7 days a week
365 days a year
Saturday Pool Party @ The Clevelander
Situated in the heart of Ocean Drive. Outdoor bars surrounding an outdoor pool. DJ playing latest R&B and house music. Great atmosphere for a daytime drinking venue, good fun. Best body competition held @ 6pm for women winning prizes such as trips to Mexico and cash, open to all – why not have a go?! (I didn’t by the way)
There is something cool about crossing the street towards the ocean on Ocean Drive and strolling along the wide sidewalk that winds its way along the sand.
Especially @ night, turn towards the hotels & cafes for a vision of pastel and neon you've seen only in movies until right then. All the hotels and cafes awash in pastel hues are lit up by night and it's gorgeous!
By day this sidewalk is swarming with locals walking their dogs, rollerbladers, beach bums, young lovers smooching etc. Oftentimes their are sand castle and sculpture artists along this walk too, creating amazing things. There are benches along the way and a nice shady tree grassy area in which you can escape the balmy Florida sun if need be.
Miami being one of the largest VARIETY of Latin influence in America, South Beach surely has its share of music and mayhem with a twist of Latin influence. The Cuban Cafes and music are my favorite venue in South Beach. I would recommend Larios on 8th and Ocean for authentic Cuban food and music, I also has a good time Salsa dancing on the 6th Block of Ocean but can't remember the name of that spot.....
I could only see this from the street, but it was a true work of art. Unfortunately, only exists because of one of the worst atrocities in human history.
The memorial was begun in 1984 by a group of Holocaust survivors, and the monument and surrounding environment was finished in 1990.
The monument is a giant arm and hand, grasping for freedom. On the wrist, numbers are engraved, the numbers the nazis tattood onto the arms of the Jews and other "undesirables." Trying to climb up the hand are nude prisoners of the concentration camps, struggling for life, seemingly consumed by fire.
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