Known for its colorful architecture and style, the art deco district of Miami Beach earned its place on the National Historic Register back in 1979. Comprised of hotels, apartments, with a few shops and restaurants sprinkled in between, the art deco buildings were constructed between 1923 and 1943.
The 30 block area showcases approximately 800 examples of pastel colored art deco architecture within the district with the most prominent of such located along Ocean Drive. Displaying a unique combination of vertical streamlines and neon signs, the Colony Hotel is a classic example of art deco architecture.
One of the first and best stops you can make in the art deco district is at the beachside Art Deco Welcome Center located at 1001 Ocean Drive across from the Clevelander Hotel. Here visitors will find a wealth of information including free maps and pamphlets along with an array of souvenirs and in-depth information for sale.
Besides Ocean Drive, visitors should also check out the art deco architecture along Lincoln Road. At the corner of Lincoln and Drexel Avenue, you’ll find the area’s oldest church dating back to 1921. Lincoln Road is home to quaint shops and boutiques which include art galleries and antiques plus there’s several large chain stores to choose from.
The art deco district celebrates its heritage with an annual Art Deco Weekend celebration held each January. Visitors to the area can enjoy guided or self-guided walking tours, bus tours, biking or even trendy cell phone tours. Another option for touring around the art deco district is by renting a three-wheeled ‘go car’ vehicle (golf cart/scooter) which comes equipped with a GPS guided tour.
While in the art deco district, be sure to wander over to Plaza de Espana located on Espanola Way. Originally built in 1925 for a private citizen, Plaze de Espana is an authentic Mediterranean/Spanish style village complete with a selection of boutiques, cafes, shops, a market, and even a traditional fountain. Spanning from Washington Avenue to Drexel Avenue, this unique area adds just that little bit more to the already exciting and historic art deco district of Miami.
The art deco district blends into the South Beach district (also known as SoBe or The Beach), one of the most happening places in all of Miami that’s full of nightclubs, restaurants, and endless shopping.
Flickr.com Photo Credit: Vibrant Art Deco District at Night by Wytuition