If you are visiting Miami, then visiting South Beach is a MUST. Do not miss the Ocean Drive and taking a dip in the ocean. the water is so pretty, looks Caribbean for sure. Plenty of entertainment as you walk along Ocean Drive and a wonderful stretch to take pictures. A short stroll to Lincoln road for more Restaurants and great shops. The beach is well groomed and nice to visit. We enjoyed swimming in the gentle waves. You can go pretty far out without it dropping off over your head. public parking is affordable and easy to get to. Couple blocks from the beach.
We loved walking down the Art Deco District. Miami Beach’s Art Deco District is the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, with 800 structures of historical significance, most built between 1923 and 1943. The fanciful pastel buildings, with porthole windows, ship-like railings, sleek curves, glass blocks, shiny chrome, and gleaming terrazzo floors are prime eye candy.
We started our stroll where 5th Street dead-ends into the beach at Ocean Drive, heading north. As we walked along Ocean Drive, we saw the porthole windows, curved metal rails and flags copied from the big ocean liners that docked at the Port of Miami in the 1930s. Tried to to shoot postcard pictures of each hotel but we definitely have to go back to take better ones. The most beautiful ones are: Park Central (between 6th and 7th streets). Built in 1937 and renovated in 1987, it was the first hotel to be returned to its original splendor. The hotel was a hangout for Hollywood stars, such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Rita Hayworth.
Also in the 700 block of Ocean Drive: the wedding cake-like 1936 Beacon Hotel and the 1935 Colony Hotel, with its prominent sign and neon accents.
Cross the street to linger at Lummus Park at Ocean Drive and 7th Street, where you can take a few steps east, over a dune, and be on the beach. Look back to the west for a great view of the Art Deco skyline, particularly stunning at night, when the hotels turn on their neon signs. There are usually musicians singing and playing bongos or guitars in the park.
Back on Ocean Drive,we kept keep moving north past the Waldorf Towers, 860 Ocean Dr., with its round glass tower that looks like a lighthouse. When we got to 10th Street, we saw Art Deco Welcome Center. It’s home to the Miami Design Preservation League (www.mdpl.org), which formed in 1976 to save the historical hotels from being razed by developers and restore them to their glory days. There are books, brochures, and guided tours here. Self-guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday.