As one of the first 20th-century neighborhoods to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, the Art Deco District continues to prove that there’s more to Miami Beach than enviable warm weather and coveted beaches. Characterized by distinct geometric shapes, ocean liner motifs and bright pastel colors, the Art Deco style of the 1920’s and 30s is a key influence in the city’s landscape and recalls visitors back to the past. From walking tours to featured exhibits, the city is offering an array of events year-round to share the rich history and culture of Miami Beach’s defining style.
A tour of Ocean Drive, the center of Art Deco in Miami Beach, is a must-see for guests wanting to soak in the atmosphere and culture of the city. With buildings painted lovely shades of eggshell blue, pastel pink, and more, Ocean Drive is a kaleidoscope of color. With more than 800 structures to explore, one simple stroll down Ocean Drive represents the 1920’s style moderne.
“Whether guests experience the history through a stay at one of the many boutique hotels that paint Ocean Drive, or by taking the Miami Design Preservation League’s official Art Deco Walking Tour, a glimpse into Miami Beach’s past is an essential part of any visit,” says Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA).
For visitors with a knack for both art and history, there is no shortage of events. Just this month, the annual Art Deco Weekend celebrated its 40th edition, with numerous free Great Gatsby themed events. In addition, once a month, the Miami Design Preservation League offers a special Gay and Lesbian version of their walking tour. This tour shares the gay and lesbian history of Miami Beach and informs guests on how Gays and Lesbians are playing an integral part in shaping the future of Miami Beach. On Friday’s, the Wolfsonian Museum on Ocean Drive also offers a free guided tour of permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.
“From the sidewalk cafés to the many hotels that line Ocean Drive, Art Deco architecture is at the core of Miami Beach’s essence,” says Grisette Roque, Executive Director of the MBVCA. “There’s always something going on, with so much to see, it truly is a one of a kind experience. The bustling sidewalks and neon hotel signs draw guests right into the heart of the action, providing the perfect photo opportunities.”
The signature Art Deco style isn’t just limited to Ocean Drive. For guests hoping to continue exploring Miami Beach’s architectural beauty, Collins Avenue also features many Art Deco buildings such as The Raleigh and The Delano.
With so much to see and learn, Miami Beach invites travelers from around the world to explore, discover and sightsee. Download the Miami Beach Information App at www.MiamiBeachAPI.com for the latest on hotel deals, events and special offers.
ART DECO HOTELS:
- At the corner of Ocean Drive and Seventh Street, the Colony has been one of the undisputed symbols of South Beach since 1935. The iconic Art Deco hotel is currently offering discounted rates on three, five, and seven-day stays for all guests.
- First opened in 1939, The Carlyle is still a landmark of the Art Deco style. The hotel merges modern luxury with classic elegance and boasts a 2,800-square-foot penthouse. The Carlyle poses as the backdrop of many iconic movie scenes, including Scarface, Bad Boys 2 and the phenomenally popular French musical La Cage aux Folles; The Birdcage.
The Tides South Beach
- Known as the “Diva of Ocean Drive,” The Tides is all about the era of glitz and glamour and exudes Miami Beach elegance. Located right in the middle of Ocean Drive, guests can experience all there is to offer just a short walk away. With a winter sale going through January 31, now has never been a better time to book a stay in the heart of Ocean Drive.
The Raleigh Miami Beach
- Located on Collins Avenue, The Raleigh was designed in 1940 with Art Deco influences and features the “most beautiful pool in America,” according to Life Magazine.
ART DECO WALKING TOURS:
- To get a full appreciation of the area’s architectural gems, take one of the Miami Design Preservation League’s daily Art Deco Walking Tours, led by local historians and architects. The ninety-minute tour provides an introduction to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles found within the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. All tours are $25.00 or $20.00 for seniors, veterans and students.
- Once a month on every second Saturday, the Miami Design Preservation League also offers a Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour, focusing on all things Gay and Lesbian history in Miami Beach. Not only will the guides share history and information on how Gay and Lesbians are shaping the future of Miami Beach, but guests will also be introduced to some of the hot spots of gay life on South Beach.
WOLFSONIAN MUSEUM TOUR
- Every Friday at 6:00 pm, the Wolfsonian museum offers a free 45-minute tour of the featured permanent collections and temporary exhibits. Guests are invited to learn about the themes that define the Wolfsonian’s collection, including labor, public works, political propaganda and more.