As I already told you, I was in Miami in 2014 and I didn’t like the city too much. I think I had very high expectations and for some reason, I still don’t know why, I didn´t like Miami.
Honestly, I never thought about going back to Miami, but as I use to say “never say never” because you never know what will happen. So, in November last year, I had the opportunity to go on a Caribbean Sea cruise thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line and, the departure was from Miami, so I returned to this city for the second time, five years later.
However, my surprise was when, this time I loved it !! I don’t know why I changed my mind this time, but yes, I fell in love with Miami and I would like to go back at least once again.
Miami Beach is all that comes to mind when thinking about Miami.
My favorite street in the city is, without a doubt, Ocean Drive, where is full of Art Deco buildings that have been renovated and have been converted into boutique hotels. You need to go with day light, because it is also the liveliest area of the city. Being the most tourist part, there is a lot of atmosphere, cafes, restaurants and clubs.
But you can not miss walking through it at night, since all the hotels are illuminated by neon lights and you can enjoy their rooftops bars where you can have a drink admiring the promenade and the Lummus Park with the palm trees.
Collins Avenue also has many Art Deco hotels. It is a more commercial street, where you will find several shops. It is definitely a street that you can not miss either.
In Miami Beach you will see several vintage cars, similar to the ones you also would see if you visit Cuba, so it is not surprising that, the image that one has of Miami is Ocean Drive with the Art Deco hotels, palm trees and vintage cars.
What to do?
- Walk around Ocean Drive by day and by night
- Go shopping and admire the windows of Collins Avenue.
- Miami Beach hotels use to have bicycles, some for free or you can rend one for a very small amount of money, so one of the things you can’t stop doing is touring Miami Beach by bike.
- Have a cocktail in one of the rooftops bars or terraces in Miami Beach.
- Spend some time in one of the hotel pools: I recommend to go to Delano hotel on Sundays.
- Admire the different lifeguard boxes on the beach. All of different colours and shapes.
- Take a walk through the South Pointe Park where you will also see all the cruises leaving Miami and heading to their different destinations.
- Take an Art Deco tour. There are several companies that offer this service. They will tell you the whole story behind each building and you will learn about Art Deco architecture. More information here.
- Other excursions that you cannot miss in Miami if you have several days: Everglades, the Keys or the Bahamas.
Art Deco Architecture
What is Art Deco?
It is an artistic movement that began in 1920 in Paris and had its peak during the Great Depression of 1929, so the Americans were interested in this architecture, because it could help lift the spirits of the country.
What are the main characteristics of the Art Deco style?
Art Deco style is based on geometry and symmetry. It has rounded corners, staggered ceilings as well as with a great ornamental abundance, since Art Deco is more decorative than functional.
These buildings usually have terrace floors, tropical colors and pastel colors and, above all neon lights and signs.
Where are the Art Deco buildings in Miami?
You can find them along Miami Beach, Ocean Drive, especially, but also in parallel streets such as Collins Avenue. Here in Miami is one of the largest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world.
Most of these buildings, dating from 1920-1940 have been restored and turned into ostentatious hotels and restaurants in Miami Beach.
I recommend you visit this area by day and by night. During the day, you will see the pastel colours of the buildings, but at night, the neon lights take over the area and you can find a lively nightlife.
The Art Deco that we see in Miami is known as Tropical Art Deco, with marine and tropical influences and is characterized by pastel colors, floral and aquatic ornaments and nautical designs reminiscent of transoceanic ships.
Art Deco Weekend Festival
It started as a small festival but today, it has become one of the biggest celebrations of Art Deco architecture in North America.
It is celebrated for three days in January and the city is full of musical performances, fashion shows, film screenings, etc. It would be great to go one year. Here you can find more info.
Where to eat in Miami Beach?
- Española Way. This pedestrian street is one of the most famous, with European-inspired buildings. It is full of restaurants. You won´t know which one to choose.
- Time Out Market This recently opened market emulates the typical food markets with different food stalls. You will find food and drink from different parts of the world. I recommend you to stop by.
- Cecconi´s Miami. Italian restaurant with a super romantic atmosphere, full of lights and good food.
- Matador Room
- Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami
- For an authentic Cuban food I recommend Mas Cuba. In addition, the place is super nice and the Cuban food in Miami is the best because there are lots of Cuban people living here. I recommend you the tostones that is a Cuban dish based on fried banana with meat on top that can be veal, pork or chicken with mozzarella and lemon juice. Delicious!
- If you are looking for Japanese food, you cannot miss Sushi Samba.
- Nexxt Cafe
- For a fusion meal on a rooftop located on the 6th floor I recommend Juvia, very fashionable. You can’t miss its cocktails and its Japanese-inspired food. If you can, go during the happy hour.
- The Mexican restaurant “Bodega, Taqueria and Tequila”.
- Gianni´s. The place is already worth a visit, located in an ancient divinely decorated palazzo that belonged to the designer Versace, with amazing mosaics and architecture. In 1992, while on vacation with his family in Miami Beach, Versace went around Ocean Drive and was immediately attracted to the “kneeling Aphrodite” statue and fell in love with the property’s unique Spanish architecture. Obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, Versace bought the original house built by Freeman and the old art deco hotel next door, called Hotel Revere.
- Dreamer Miami
- Pura Vida Miami
- Under the Mango Tree
Miami is full of people who really cares about exercise and healthy style of life. If you go to the beach in Miami Beach you will see lots of people doing exercise: running, cycling, etc . Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more people want to eat healthy food.
Enjoy Miami Beach hotels: pool day, rooftop bars and parties.
- Sagamore Hotel
- Nikki Beach
- Delano Hotel for spending a Sunday. With the whimsical path of Alice’s garden in Philippe Starck’s wonderland that leads to the iconic pool with direct access to the ocean, you will spend an unforgettable Sunday.
- Gale South Beach
- Plymouth Hotel for going to the pool and having a drink. Very cool in Art Deco style.
- Townhouse Hotel for having a drink on the rooftop bar, super nice!
- Cleveland Hotel is definitely a safe bet if you’re looking for a party. Every day at sunset they have parties, live music, and on Saturdays, they have a pool party all day called “Splash Pool Party”.
If you have any questions or questions, you can send me an email or write it in comments.
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Rob + Ann @TravelLatteMarch 10, 2020
We absolutely love Miami Beach and the great Art Deco architecture! We didn’t know about Riga, so gracias for that! Also, Napier in New Zealand is a great place known for Art Deco buildings and decor. Reading this has us ready to go back to Miami Beach!! 🙂