Though Miami may not be the first city that comes to mind when reflecting on important historical landmarks in the world, most visitors will be surprised to know that the city boasts an array of architectural and historical gems. Among them, the unique Art Deco Style of Miami Beach is perhaps the most iconic of Miami's architectural highlights. The Art Deco style unique to Miami beach is the largest concentration of this particular form of architecture in the world. The hotels, apartments, and other structures erected here are symbolic of the 1920s through the 1940s in South Florida. They represented the roaring twenties in America, when an extravagant lifestyle in the form of new automobiles, jewelry and design dominated the cultural scene. This attention to aesthetics is best appreciated with one of the many daily tours held in Miami Beach, highlighting the style of the times. Just across the bay is the Miami Freedom Tower, an emblematic building also constructed in the mid 1920s and formerly the home to the age-old 'Miami News'. The Tower, located in downtown Miami, references the Giralda bell tower in Seville, Spain, and has come to take on an entirely new meaning here in South Florida. While waves of Cuban immigrants first poured into the Florida town, Freedom Tower served as place to process their political asylum requests. It later became a museum recognizing Cuban American history in Miami, which it continues to display today. Another of Miami's beautiful and often overlooked sites is a National Historic Landmark, known as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Also a product of the roaring twenties, this testament to style and tranquility is a mansion built right along Biscayne Bay by the agricultural industrialist, James Deering. The estate took years to build, but features references to Italian and Spanish architecture that make for a stunning daytime retreat in the heart of the city. Formal Events and Weddings are also routinely planned in the 10-acre gardens that make up the property. Though far less historical, the Port of Miami is no less impressive, and a nice segue when traveling across the bridge from the city of Miami to the Beaches. Here, nearly three million tourists pass through annually, as this port is the largest cruise port in the world. Majestic cruise ships that are lit up at night, compose part of a picturesque view across the bay towards downtown Miami.
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