South Beach, Miami Beach
Found at the southern tip of Miami Beach, South Beach or "SoBe" is a stylish, trendy, mostly up-market district famous for the pastel colored, Art Deco hotels that line Collins Avenue, one the main thoroughfares. This is where visitors and locals alike come for an entertaining day or evening. The ocean front here is a long stretch of soft sand, which is always busy during the warmer months. Immediately behind the beach is the Art Deco District. Visitors can spend the day at the beach and the evening dining in one of the restaurants below a bright neon sign.
South Beach Map
Art Deco District
The Art Deco District, now statutorily protected, extends between 6th Street in the south and 23rd Street in the north and between Ocean Drive Avenue and Lennox Avenue. It contains several hundred buildings, mostly dating from the thirties and restored in recent years. This historic district, decried in the sixties as the "old people's home of the United States", has now taken on an astonishing new lease of life. Many of the old hotels and apartments have been restored to their former splendor, and there are numerous inviting cafes and restaurants advertising their attractions with colored neon signs.Walking tours are offered by the Art Deco Welcome Center, with a guided exploration of the history, architecture and style of Miami Beach.
The main traffic artery of Miami Beach is Collins Avenue, known as the Strip, which is also flanked by handsome Art Deco buildings. Among them are: Tiffany's (801 Collins Avenue; by L. Murray Dixon, 1939), the Franklin (860 Collins Avenue; by V. H. Nellenbogen, 1934), Fairmont (1000 Collins Avenue; by L. Murray Dixon, 1939), with a famous cafeG terrace, Essex House (1001 Collins Avenue; by Henry Hohauser, 1938), one of Hohauser's most interesting buildings in the style known as Nautical Modernism, the former Hoffman's Cafeteria (1450 Collins Avenue; by Hohauser, 1939), which became the Club Ovo and China Club, Haddon Hall (1500 Collins Avenue; by L. Murray Dixon, 1941), the St Moritz tower block (1565 Collins Avenue; by Roy F. France, 1939), the Surfcomber apartment block (1717 Collins Avenue; by MacKay and Gibbs, 1948) and Greystone (1926 Collins Avenue; by Hohauser, 1939). Also on Collins Avenue are three of the largest Art Deco hotels, built in the forties, the National, the Delano and the Ritz Plaza. The streamlined structures and architectural detail are designed to recall 20th century means of transport - rockets, submarines, aircraft.
Bass Museum of Art
The Bass Museum of Art is a two-story, marbled museum featuring a permanent collection of Old Master paintings, sculpture, numerous tapestries, pieces of contemporary art and finally, architecture displays. It was established in 1963 but has grown considerably over the years, expanding its focus to include more contemporary works. The regularly scheduled temporary exhibits showcase modern artworks.It was built of coral limestone in 1930 to the design of Russell T. Pancoast. The style is reminiscent of Mayan architecture and has fine reliefs by Gustav Bohland. The pictures by both old and modern masters include works by Rubens and some of the Impressionists.
Address: 2121 Park Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139-1729, United States
Opening hours: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Mon, Tue
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Students $6.00, Senior $6.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: No photography without advance permission from the curator.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Typical Visit: 2 hours
Jewish Museum of Florida
The Jewish Museum of Florida is comprised of two former synagogues, both on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings were restored by the museum and joined with a glass domed café.The primary building is an Art Deco structure, completed in 1936, features a copper dome, a marble bimah and 80 stained-glass windows. The expansion site is Miami Beach's first synagogue.This museum traces the history of the Jewish experience in Florida since the 18th century. The permanent collection is called "Mosaic: Jewish life in Florida" and displays various relevant objects and Judaica. The films presented at the Jewish Museum highlight the Jewish life cycle and holiday observances.
Address: 301 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139-6906, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in USD: Family $12.00, Adult $6.00, Senior $5.00, Child 6 & under FREE
Useful tips: Free on Saturdays. Closed on Jewish holidays. Group discounts available.
Typical Visit: 1 hour
The Colony Theatre at 1049 Lincoln Road (by R. A. Benjamin, 1934) is a classic example of Art Deco. Reopened with great pomp in 1976, it is now one of the focal points of the city's cultural life. All kinds of entertainment, from opera and theater to comedy and dance, are performed here.The theater was owned by Paramount Pictures, when it originally opened in 1935
Spanish-style Espanola Way was once favored by artists, but later degenerated into a red light district. Its former charm has more recently been rediscovered. This small street is now home to numerous restaurants. It is well known ethnic foods, particularly Mexican. Mostly it is a pleasant area to stroll through and stop for dinner.The richly decorated facades were originally designed by Robert Taylor in 1925, and have recently been restored by Polonia Restoration. A particularly striking building is the Cameo Theater (by Robert Collins, 1938) at the end of Espanola Way.
The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial was commissioned by Holocaust survivors in the area and is dedicated to the millions of Jews killed by the Nazis during their reign of terror in Germany. There are five different parts to the memorial including the outstanding sculpture of an outstretched, 42-foot bronze arm rising from the ground with people climbing it looking for an escape. Around the arms are numerous free sculptures as well. Surrounding this center piece is a lily pond and meditation garden. The memorial also consists of a long granite wall with names of some of the victims, the Dome of Contemplation, and an eternal flame.
Miami Beach's principal business and shopping street is Washington Avenue, which also has a number of notable Art Deco buildings. The George Washington Hotel (534 Washington Avenue; by William P. Brown, 1924) was one of the first seafront hotels in Miami Beach. Other fine examples of Art Deco are the Taft Hotel (1044 Washington Avenue; by Hohauser, 1936), the Kenmore (1050 Washington Avenue; by Antom Skislewicz, 1936), the Main Post Office (1300 Washington Avenue; by Howard L. Cheney, 1939), in Federal Deco style, with a decorative rotunda, and Old City Hall (1130 Washington Avenue; by Martin Luther Hampton, 1927).
Notable Art Deco buildings on 21st Street are the former luxury Plymouth Hotel (No. 226; by Anton Skislewicz, 1940) and the neighbouring Adams Hotel (by L. Murray Dixon, 1938). A masterpiece by Henry Hohauser is the Governor (No. 435; 1939). Nearby is the Tyler Apartment Hotel (No. 430; by L. Murray Dixon, 1937). At No. 300 is the Abbey (by Albert Anis, 1940). At the corner of Washington Avenue and 21st Street is the clubhouse of the municipal golf course (by August Geiger, 1916; restored).
Euclid Avenue is one of the main north south roads running through the Miami Beach area. It contains several architectural highlights that visitors may want to keep an eye out for.Notable buildings on Euclid Avenue are the Denis (No. 841; by Arnold Southwell, 1938), the Enjoie (No. 928; by Albert Anis and Henry J. Maloney, 1935-36) and the Siesta (No. 1110; by Edward A. Nolan, 1936).
Wolfsonian FIU Museum
A large, diverse collection at the Wolfsonian FIU Museum has more than 150,000 pieces, focusing on American and European art and design from the Industrial Revolution through to the Second World War. On display are furniture, glass and ceramic, paintings, textiles, metals, and texts. The museum looks at how art has changed and inspired change. There are regularly changing exhibits and touring exhibitions, in a addition to the permanent collection.
Address: 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139-5017, United States
Opening hours: May 1 to Sep 15: 12pm-6pm; Fri: 12pm-9pm; Closed: Mon, Tue, Wed
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $7.00, Child 12 & under $5.00, Senior $5.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Free admission after 6pm on Fridays.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Typical Visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
Casa Casaurina (closed)
More South Beach Pictures
Map of Miami Beach Attractions
More Miami Beach Attractions
Popular Destinations Nearby