Things to Do in the Miami Art Deco District

This post covers things to do in the Miami Art Deco District, including where to eat, shop, and a self-guided tour of the best of the Art Deco buildings.

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT

The Art Deco District is bursting with colorful buildings, history and a vibrant atmosphere. 

There are many famous sights to visit and the people-watching is quite entertaining, especially on Ocean Drive. 

You can find many affordable restaurants and enjoy the nightlife including bars, clubs, and live music venues.


What is Art Deco Architecture?

Beginning first in Paris in 1925, Art Deco architecture is a modern take on neoclassical. It exploded on the streets of South Beach, Miami in the early 1920’s and 1930’s with its bright oranges, pinks, yellows, greens and so much more!  

With more than 800+ Art Deco style buildings in South Beach, a typical Art Deco style building features structural pieces like fountains and ornate statues. They also include porthole windows, chrome accents, terrazzo floors and many more glamorous features.


How To Get Here

The Art Deco District is located on Miami Beach along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. It’s located between 5th Street and 23rd Street. 

 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

 

You can use this Google Maps link for directions.


Explore the Art Deco District with a Guided Tour

The best way to see what the Magic City has to offer is with a sightseeing tour. There are several great walking tours in Miami

If you’d like to explore the area at your own leisure, you might enjoy our free self-guided Art Deco tour below. You can read about other free activities in Miami here.


Explore South Beach with the Free Miami Trolly 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a subway system that exists in Miami and the Metro Mover only services the Downtown/Brickell areas.

You can use Uber/Lyft to/from the District or, hop on Miami’s Free Trolly!

 

Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor.

 

Miami Beach’s trolly provides transportation not just around South Beach, but all around the entire city, and the best part is it’s completely free! 

For a small fee, you can also hop on the Citibike shared-bike service and explore the area on two wheels. 


Consider Staying in South Beach

South Beach is full of much more than Art Deco Buildings. It’s bursting with great restaurants, nightlife, beautiful parks and endless beach and water activities. So why not stay here?

Check out the top-rated South Beach hotels on TripAdvisor. We include some hotels at the bottom of this post.


Sample South Beach Art Deco Itinerary 

This sample itinerary covers a full day of activity with an optional evening out. 

Start your day with a great American Breakfast at Front Porch Cafe, located right on Ocean Drive. 

Use our self-guided tour below to see all the best and most iconic Art Deco buildings. The tour takes about 90 minutes, not including any time you stop to do some shopping or eating. 

When you are ready for a bite to eat, try La Sandwicherie. You can grab one of their iconic delicious sandwiches on fresh French Bread, a smoothie or lots of other quick eats. You can also check out Lincoln Road Mall, which has an endless choice of restaurants. 

Head to South Point Park to walk the pier and relax. Spend some time people-watching while you enjoy the white sandy beach and sunshine. You can even rent bikes and cruise along with the ocean breeze. 

For dinner, check out Joe’s Stone Crab, an iconic restaurant in South Beach. While you should obviously eat their Stone Crab, you’ll also enjoy their fried chicken or grilled tomatoes. Do note that they do not take reservations, so it’s best to go before or after peak times. 

Start off the night with a drink at the Clevelander, then head just a few blocks up to see the iconic dancers at Mangos Tropical Cafe

Dance the night away at Story or LIV Nightclub then grab some late night tacos at Bodega


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THINGS TO SEE AND DO 

South Beach and the Miami Art Deco District have so many sights to see and things to do, you could spend days here. 

 

 

Below we list the top things to do and places to stop by to get a true sense of this wonderful section of Miami.

For a more in-depth exploration of the area, we recommend taking a guided tour or following along our self-guided tour below.  


1) People Watch on Ocean Drive 

The BEST place to start any and all adventure in South Beach is certainly Ocean Drive. This is Miam’s most iconic street.

 

 

Countless movies have been filmed along the pastel-hued, art-deco lined streets that burst with colorful night lights, fancy cars, sunshine and palm trees.

What was once a swampland filled with mangroves in 1913, this area has been completely transformed. 

Beginning at 1st street and extending up to 15th, you’ll find an endless array of restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping and, of course, some of the best people-watching in the world.


2) Get Your Shopping Fix In on Lincoln Road

Fulfill your inner shop-a-holic at the Lincoln Road Mall, which is a pedestrian lined street just a few blocks from the the Art Deco District. 

 

 

You’ll find 23 different stores such as ZARA, Gap, Anthropologie, Forever 21, NIKE, Athleta and many more. 50+ restaurants are scattered all throughout and around, offering just about any cuisine that you could imagine.  

Most stores are open daily from 10am – 11pm. 

Check our our section below for other areas in South Beach to shop!


3) Walk the Pier at South Pointe Park

The southernmost point of South Beach offers up a more relaxed and quiet waterfront area compared to the hustle and bustle near Lummus Park on Ocean Drive.

What was once home to police horse stables, South Pointe Park was donated by the Federal Government to Miami Beach in 1979.

 

 

Have a picnic at the park, watch the water traffic enter and leave the Port of Miami and marinas, or simply enjoy the spectacular beach. There’s even a playground which includes a water fountain and a dog park.

Take a walk on the 450-foot-long pier, which underwent a $4.8 million renovation in 2014. The pier offers up views of the city and marina, along with South Beach and the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean.

The best news is, visiting the park is completely free! Check our list of free things to do in Miami for even more fun that won’t cost you a dime.


4) Take a Sightseeing Tour

South Beach is an Art Deco Playground. In fact, it’s the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world.

Even if you’re not into architecture, anyone will enjoy perusing these streets lined with pastel buildings. Interestingly, all of these structures were constructed between 1923 and 1943 and literally resurrected South Beach from a major decline.

 

 

Surprisingly, South Beach wasn’t always this glamorous and posh. It once was polluted with high crime and vacant buildings. It wasn’t until the 1980’s and 1990’s when movies like Scarface (1983) and the Birdcage (1996) transformed it into the world-class travel destination that it is today.

Join a guided tour or venture out on your own with our self-guided tour through the Art Deco District listed below!


5) Soak in the Sun on South Beach 

With 825 miles (1,328km) of sandy coastline in the sunshine state of Florida, it’s almost a crime if you come to Miami and don’t go to the beach!

 

 

South Beach, AKA SoBe, is a picture perfect 4-mile (6.4km) strip of coastline and is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It surely cannot be missed, especially because it’s free! So, pack up a cooler and hit the sand!

If you want to see all the action on the beach, it’s best to start your journey on Ocean Drive near Lummus Park.


6) Stay or Eat at the Former Versace Mansion 

What is the second most photographed residence in the USA (the White House is #1), the Villa Casa Casuarina, formerly known as the Versace Mansion is located right on Ocean Drive just steps away from the beach. 

 

 

The Villa was constructed in 1930 by the architect Alden Freeman, who was the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The mansion was purchased in 1992 by Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. Today, the Villa operates as a luxury boutique hotel and event venue. 

This hotel also houses a well-known restaurant, Gianni’s At The Former, which offers a blend of Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. While dining, enjoy being surrounded by the the beautiful ornate dining room or outside near the famous pool. 


7) Explore Miami on Two Wheels

The most unique, up-close-and-personal way to see the city of Miami is via bicycle and the Citi Bike Program makes it easy for everyone to enjoy it! Citi Bike is Miami’s bike sharing rental system. 

 

 

The bikes are super durable, kept in great condition and even come with a basket on the front to put your personal items in. There are over 1,000 bikes at 100 different stations spread across the greater Miami area, so you’ll always have a place to dock your bike, no matter what destination you have in mind.

They also have a very friendly mobile app for Apple and Android users, which makes finding a station near your location virtually seamless. Bike rentals cost $6.50 for one hour or $10 for 2 hours; a much cheaper alternative than a taxi, Uber or paid tour!


8) Dine at the Iconic Joe’s Stone Crab 

If there ever were a restaurant iconic of South Beach, Joe’s Stone Crab would be it.

 

 

Opened in 1913 by Joe Weis, who had moved to Florida because his Doctors told him he had to move to warmer weather to help his asthma, this famous restaurant is bursting with delicious food, in a comfortable atmosphere. 

While you should obviously eat their Stone Crab, you’ll also enjoy their fried chicken or grilled tomatoes. Do note that they do not take reservations, so it’s best to go before or after peak times. 


9) Explore the Latest Contemporary Art at the Bass Museum 

The Bass Museum, although small, has established itself as one of the leading Museums for contemporary art in the city. 

 

 

Opened in 1964 by  John and Johanna Bass and housed inside an Art Deco building, The Bass offers exhibitions by Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, Isaac Julien and many more talented artists. 

While The Bass is an especially popular museum during Miami’s Art Basel week, it draws a large crowed of tourists and locals alike year round, with their ever-changing exhibitions. 


10) Dance the Night Away at Story Nightclub 

What is owned by the same owners as LIV nightclub, Story is a 27,000-square-foot club with 60+ VIP tables. 

 

 

The most iconic DJ’s and artists have performed here over the years, from Drake to Justin Bieber to the Miami Heat celebrating the team’s NBA championship inside its walls. 


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RESTAURANTS

Below is a long list of excellent dining options for any budget. 

Cheap (under $20)

La Sandwicherie – 229 14th St

Grab one of their iconic delicious sandwiches on fresh French Bread, a smoothie, burgers, burritos and so much more! Be sure to get your food to go, as there isn’t exactly a lot of sitting space, especially during peak hours. 

Puerto Sagua – 700 Collins Ave

This classic South Beach restaurant offers traditional Cuban food at an incredibly affordable price. Grab a Cuban sandwich, chow down on some oxtail soup or enjoy some friend plantains. No frills, just amazing food. 

Las Olas Cafe – 644 6th St

A traditional Cuban restaurant which serves empanadas, guava cheese pastries, fresh-squeeze juices, Cuban sandwiches and so much more! They also serve breakfast all day. 

Fratelli La Bufala – 437 Washington Ave

What is known as Miami’s first Neapolitan Pizzeria, Fratelli La Buffalo uses fresh, local ingredients to create pizza pies straight out of Italy! Their menu offers 18 different types of pizzas as well as pasta. 

Safron Grill– 1049 Washington Ave

Turkish and Mediterranean food in a comfortable setting. Try their Turkish tea and Baklava as well! 

Time Out Miami Market – 601 Drexel Ave

Time Out Market includes 17 restaurants, three bars, a demo cooking area and more, all under one roof. Try their burgers, tacos, sushi, wine and more all at the same time! 


Moderate ($25-$40)

Joe’s Stone Crab

THE iconic restaurant in South Beach. While you should obviously eat their Stone Crab, you’ll also enjoy their fried chicken or grilled tomatoes. Do note that they do not take reservations, so it’s best to go before or after peak times. 

Ceviche 105 – 1245 Lincoln Rd

Arguably one of the best Ceviche restaurants in all of Miami, Ceviche 105 is well known for its incredibly large selection of unique ceviche, as well as many other traditional Peruvian dishes.

Planta South Beach – 850 Commerce St

This stylish, entirely plant-based, vegan restaurant will certainly make you fall in love with all it has to offer, even if vegan food isn’t normally your style. Try their watermelon sushi, croquettes, dumplings or their Sunday Brunch! 

Stilsville Fish Bar – 1787 Purdy Avenue

If you’re looking for fresh, local seafood, look no further! Owned and operated by Top Chef alumni, this laid back restaurant receives 115 pounds of seafood delivered daily by fisherman from Key West, Key Largo and Miami. If you’re looking for something other than seafood, try the famous friend chicken. 

Macchialina – 820 Alton Road

What is argued to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the entire city of Miami, Macchialina is a casual eatery by chef/owner Michael Pirolo. You cannot go wrong with any of the house made pastas that include creamy polenta and sausage ragu.  


Expensive ($40+)

Smith and Wollensky – 1 Washington Ave

Located in the beautiful setting of South Point Park, this steakhouse chain serves dry-aged steaks, wine and seafood. Even if you’re not planning to eat a large meal, simply having a cocktail in the beautiful atmosphere while watching the boats cruise by will be quite enjoyable.

The Bazaar by José Andrés – 1701 Collins Ave #100

A unique, “traditional meets modern” Spanish tapas restaurants by the famous chef José Andrés. Signature dishes reflect Latin American and Caribbean influences. 

OLA Restaurant – 2360 Collins Ave

From chefs Christopher Camacho & Carlos Castro, OLA Restaurant offers modern Latin cuisine with a combination of Pan Latin, Spanish and Caribbean flavors. Be sure to have one of their specialty mojitos. 

Gianni’s At The Former Versace Mansion – 1116 Ocean Dr

Gianni’s offers a blend of Italian and mediterranean cuisines served in a unique setting, the mansion formerly owned by Versace! While dining, enjoy being surrounded by the beautiful ornate dining room or outside near the famous pool. 


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

It’s no surprise that South Beach has an endless amount of fun available when the sun goes down.

There are more than enough entertainment venues to choose from, well suited for any type of traveler! 

 

 

For free nighttime entertainment, simply walk up and down the streets of Ocean Drive. 

You can find drinking spots of every kind of atmosphere and price range. Clubs stay open into the wee hours of the morning (some never closing at all). 

Be sure to also read our guide on Things To Do In Miami At Night for more information! 


Live Music

Mangos Tropical Cafe – 900 Ocean Dr

No trip to South Beach is complete without stopping by Mangos Tropical Cafe. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be transported to another place filled with Latin music and colorfully dressed, talented performers paired with award-winning food and cocktails.

Ricky’s – 1222 16th St

A 1980s-inspired bar & eatery full of craft cocktails, live music, arcade games and the best Happy Hour on Miami Beach. 

The Betsy – 1440 Ocean Dr

From 7pm-9pm on Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays, you’ll find the longest running live music series of Latin Jazz on Miami Beach at the Betsy. 

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila – 1220 16th St

A super funky and fun, quick service taco joint in the front, with a bar/lounge in the back. 


Bars and Pubs

Lincoln Road

You’ll have an endless list of bars to choose from on Lincoln Road. Check out the Yard House, which is a high-end sports bar chain with a never-ending list of draft beers.  

Ocean Drive 

Simply wander up and down the streets of Ocean Drive and you’ll surely find a bar that best fits what you’re looking for. Check out Wet Willies, known for it’s alcohol-filled frozen beverages. 

Clevalander – 1020 Ocean Drive

Located in the heart of the Art Deco District, the Clevalander is an icon on the Miami Beach scene and cannot be missed for a drink or two. 

Lost Weekend – 218 Española Way

If you’re looking for a simple pub with with billiards, games, and sporting events on TV, look no further. 


Nightclubs

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco DistrictLIV Nightclub – 4441 Collins Ave

Located within the famous Fountainbleau hotel, LIV is the number one nightclub in all of Miami and draws an elite crowd. Be prepared to see many celebrities in the VIP areas. 

Hyde Beach – 1701 Collins Ave

With an oceanfront location, Hyde Beach offers a more than 8,000 square-foot pool, which will keep you partying all day and night long. 

Nikki Beach – 1 Ocean Dr

By day or night, Nikki Beach offers up chic decor, great food and a beach front location. Soak up the sun in a luxurious day bed or dance the night away when the DJ starts spinning. It’s a Miami hotspot you surely won’t want to leave! 

Story – 136 Collins Ave

With 27,000-square feet and 5 different bars, a dance floor, live headlining DJ’s, and an infinite hybrid sound system, Story nightclub is one of the most popular in Miami Beach. 


Comedy

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco DistrictVillain Theater5865 NE 2nd Ave

Located just over the bridge from South Beach (about a 15 minute drive), Villain Theater features stand up and improv comedy shows, as well as open mike nights. 

Open Stage Club – 2325 Galiano St, Coral Gables

Located in one of Miami’s hip neighborhoods, Coral Gables, this comedy club is worth the drive away from South Beach for a night. This venue is much more sophisticated and offers upscale American fare and a bar.


Theater and Cinema 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco DistrictO Cinema South Beach – 1130 Washington Ave

O Cinema offers the best in Independent, Foreign and Art Films in a historical city hall building, which was renovated and repurposed in 2011 by the Miami Beach Film Society.

Colony Theatre – 1040 Lincoln Rd

What was originally a Paramount Pictures movie house in 1935, this restored art deco theater recently underwent a 3-year $6.5 million renovation to now feature film, music, dance, opera and more. 

Lincoln Theatre – 541 Lincoln Rd

Originally opened in 1936 as a movie theatre and later a concert hall, the Lincoln Theatre now shows recently released films. 

Regal South Beach ScreenX, IMAX & VIP – 1120 Lincoln Rd Mall

If you’re looking to see the most recently released films while relaxing in plush seating, then look no further than Regal South Beach. 


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SHOPPING 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco DistrictLincoln Road Mall Located between 16th and 17th Street. 

The Lincoln Road Mall is arguably one of the most iconic shopping streets in Miami. This eight-block shopping mall is pedestrian friendly and includes shopping, dining and entertainment. 

Ocean Drive

You’ll find all the touristy goodies you can imagine along Ocean Drive. 

Collins Avenue

Located just a few blocks south of the Lincoln Road Mall, you’ll find more well-known shopping brands like Sephora, Monaco and many more. 

Sunset Harbour

For a more local and trendy shopping experience, head over to the Sunset Harbour neighbored, which is bursting with hip boutiques like Beach Boutique, and Shan.


SELF-GUIDED TOUR

This self-guided walking tour of South Beach’s Art Deco District reveals much of the city’s history through the eyes of several creative architectural designers.

In the early 20th century, Miami was becoming a popular tourist destination.  In order to accommodate the drove of “snowbirds”, developers chose unique Art Deco designs. Many of these locations still exist today, and their architectural style is a fantastic sight to behold.

If you’re looking for a guided tour of the Art Deco District, check out list of guided Miami tours here

 

Click here for a larger version of the map.

 

This tour begins at the Art Deco Welcome Center and continues throughout South Beach, ending at the Delano


1. Art Deco Welcome Center    

Art Deco Welcome Center 1001 Ocean Drive at 10th Street 

Any good tour of Miami’s Art Deco District should start at the Art Deco Welcome Center located near Lummus Park. This is the home of the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), which was instrumental in saving a lot of the buildings that you will be seeing on this excursion.

At the Welcome Center, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about many of the sites on this walking tour before you head out. MDPL also provides their own guided and self-guided tours of the area, but you are not required to take them.


2. Lummus Park 

Lummus ParkOcean Drive from 5th St. to 15th St.

This park runs alongside Ocean Drive for most of the length of our entire tour, so why not take a stroll beneath the palm trees?

As you head south through Lummus Park to your next destination, look to your left for a glorious view of Miami Beach. To your right, you’ll see the beautiful Art Deco skyline of South Beach represented in a variety of businesses and uniquely designed buildings.

Once you reach 7th Street, keep an eye out for the next stop on our self-guided walking tour.


3. Celino Hotel (formally Park Central)

Park Central Hotel640 Ocean Drive 

As of when this was written in 2019, the Celino Hotel had just opened on this site after a $110 million renovation.

The Celino takes several buildings that were previously separate businesses – the main building used to be the Park Central Hotel – and combines them all into a luxury hotel complex.

The renovation takes the interior pretty far off from Art Deco in terms of the exact look, but it sticks to the spirit: Art Deco comes from a time of enthusiastic excess, and what better way to say that in 2019 than a glass-bottomed rooftop pool.

If you’re curious to see the inside, their bar is a particular point of pride – check out the chandelier if you go in.

This building was constructed in 1937, and in fact most of the existing Art Deco structures in Miami Beach were built in the 1930s. The 30s brought the Great Depression to the United States and put the optimism and the consumption of the 20s firmly behind us.


4. The Hotel of South Beach

Hotel of South Beach

801 Collins Avenue 

Despite the fairly unassuming name, you probably won’t have too much trouble finding this historic hotel. All you have to do is look up at the neon spire which reads “Tiffany” in order to locate The Hotel of South Beach.

This beautifully restored hotel was originally designed by L. Murray Dixon and built in 1939. The Hotel was previously named The Tiffany, and it wasn’t until the late 1990’s when fashion designer Todd Oldham stepped in that the name was changed to reflect a more modern appeal.

Although this building has been modernized in many ways, architects and designers elected to keep the Tiffany sign and it is still used to this day.

When you’re done checking out The Hotel of South Beach, keep heading north on Collins Avenue for two blocks. As you walk down the avenue, you’ll notice quite a bit of unique architecture from various eras on either side of the street. At the corner of 10th and Collins, you will find our next stop on this self-guided walking tour of the Miami Art Deco District.


5. Essex House

Essex House1001 Collins Avenue 

Henry Hohauser was in high demand during the late 1930’s, having designed a number of hotels in Miami Beach. Essex House, built in 1938,  is a unique design that resembles a cruise ship heading into the ocean.

In Miami, the Art Deco movement wasn’t just about bold and rich colors, it was also about taking chances on various architectural designs. What better way to stand out than by building a hotel that looks like an ocean liner?

As you walk east down 10th street, continue to enjoy the design of Essex House while you move in the direction of the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive. When you arrive once again at the Welcome Center, walk north on Ocean Drive to continue this self-guided walking tour of Miami’s Art Deco district.


6. The Clevelander

Clevelander Hotel

1020 Ocean Drive 

Located right across the street from the Art Deco Welcome Center, this beauty was built in 1938 by Albert Anis and features a stylish patio bar. Feel free to stop by and get a drink, or just take in the view of this creative hotel.

Renovated and restored in 2009, the Clevelander serves as an excellent counterpoint to Essex House. There’s always something happening at this beautiful and historic hotel in the heart of Miami’s Art Deco district.

Continue walking north on Ocean Drive and take in the sights of the Congress Hotel as you make your way to our next destination. As you pass 11th street, look to your left and take note of a building hidden away by several palm trees to locate the next stop on this walking tour.


7. The Villa Casa Casuarina

Villa Casa Casuarina1116 Ocean Drive

We’ve seen quite a few hotels on this tour so far, but none of them look anything like the Casa Casuarina.

The original owner and designer, Alden Freeman, was inspired to build the mansion in 1930 after visiting Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. While he was there, Freeman saw the Alcazar De Colon which was built during the early 16th century by Diego Columbus (Christopher Columbus’s Son).

It is known for being the oldest residence in the western hemisphere. Freeman was so moved by this structure that he obtained one of the bricks from the Alcazar De Colon  and used it in the construction of the Casa Casuarina.

When clothes designer Gianni Versace bought the mansion in 1992, he decided to expand it by demolishing another historic hotel located next door. Although this wasn’t looked upon favorably by the MDPL, there was little they could do to stop it from happening. When it was purchased by Barton G. Weiss in 2009, he decided to rename the property The Villa.

Legend has it that the mansion was originally named after the last tree that remained on the lot where it was built after a hurricane that hit Miami in 1926. Freeman was forced to cut that tree down, and it is said that he named the mansion in its honor. The name of the tree was the Casuarina equisetifolia, which is more commonly described as the Australian Pine Tree.

Let’s continue our self-guided walking tour by moving north on Ocean Drive toward 12th street. As you move past the Sugar Factory and the Palace Bar, you’ll discover our next stop.


8.  The Tides Hotel 

The Tides Hotel1220 Ocean Drive

By now, you’ve probably noticed that the Art Deco district is peppered with dozens of uniquely designed buildings that tend to stand out from one another. The Tides is no exception, as the pinkish hue and porthole windows make it easy to spot.

The Tides was designed and built by L. Murray Dixon in 1936, just a few years before he worked on The Tiffany. This was the first Art Deco hotel he built in South Beach, and at the time it was the tallest building in the area.

The Tides was renovated in 1997 and continues operating to this day. Described as “The Diva of Ocean Drive,” it’s fair to say that this location exudes an attitude that you won’t find at many of the sights on this tour.

Our next stop on this self-guided walking tour is located right next door. North of The Tides, you will find yet another hotel with a distinctive appearance that can’t be mistaken.


9. The Leslie  

Leslie Hotel1244 Ocean Drive  

If the yellow paint job isn’t enough to catch your attention, the surrounding palm trees and wonderful Art Deco architecture should do the trick.

Built and designed by Albert Anis in 1937, this building combines the best of both the modern world and the Art Deco world. While modern architecture was typically very linear, Art Deco was much more bold and brave.  

You can definitely see the combination of these two art styles when you take a look at The Leslie. Although there are straight lines everywhere, they are painted in yellow and much more ornamental in design. Renovated in 2014, this is one of the newer restorations on Ocean Drive. 

As we continue walking north, you’ll discover our next stop located right next door to The Leslie.


10. Carlyle Hotel 

Carlyle Hotel1250 Ocean Drive 

If you feel as though you have seen this building before, you might not be wrong. The Carlyle has been featured in several notable Hollywood films including Scarface,  Bad Boys 2, and The Birdcage. This is one of the most easily recognizable hotels in all of South Beach and it’s not hard to see why.

Like The Leslie, the design of The Carlyle combines modern architecture with rounded edges and a stand-out paint scheme that is hard to miss. Built in 1939, The Carlyle maintains the same architectural style that defined its earlier days in Miami Beach.

When you’ve finished taking in the sights and sounds of this memorable locale, continue walking north on Ocean Drive. Once you pass 13th street, look left and take note of our next stop.


11. Cardozo Hotel   

Cardozo Hotel1300 Ocean Drive 

Like The Carlyle, The Cardozo may also look familiar, having appeared in Hollywood blockbusters Any Given Sunday and There’s Something About Mary

Built in 1939 by Henry Hohauser and now owned by Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio, this hotel is another fine example of a combination between modern architecture and more artistic fare. Rounded edges combine with the straight lines of the windows creating a design that is unmistakably Art Deco in nature.

Continue your trip down Ocean Drive by stopping at the hotel right next door and discovering yet another unique architectural design in the heart of South Beach.


12. The Cavalier    

Cavalier Hotel1320 Ocean Drive 

Just a few steps from The Cardozo Hotel, you will find a building that looks strikingly different from most of the locations you have visited on this walking tour.

While many of the Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach focus on horizontal lines, The Cavalier bucks this trend by going for a more vertical style. With stucco friezes directing your eyes upward, this Caribbean inspired architectural design is sure to leave an impression.

The hotel was built in 1936 and was recently renovated in 2015. Much like The Carlyle and The Cardozo, The Cavalier has also been a popular destination for filmmakers.

From this point, you will want to continue walking north on Ocean Drive until you reach 14th street. At the corner, you’ll discover the next stop on the tour.


13. The Winter Haven    

Winter Haven Hotel1400 Ocean Drive 

With a name like this, the intended audience is pretty clear. By the time this location was built in 1939, ‘snowbirds’ were making their way down to South Beach every winter, and Art Deco hotels were popping up all over Ocean Drive to accommodate their needs.

Like The Leslie, The Winter Haven was originally designed by Albert Anis. Take note of the awning style, which is very similar to the design we saw back at The Leslie.

Inside, the details of this beautiful hotel have been restored using period accurate materials, ensuring that the original flavor of The Winter Haven remains intact for an entirely new generation of visitors.

Continue walking west on 14th street until you reach Collins Avenue. Once on Collins, walk north until you reach Española Way. The next destination on this self-guided walking tour will be right on the corner  — you cannot miss it!


14. Site of the former Hoffman’s Cafeteria   

former Hoffmann's Cafeteria1450 Collins Avenue 

Depending on when you visit, this location might have an entirely new tenant. As of writing this tour, the current restaurant located in the building is Señor Frogs, but they are only one of many restaurants that have made this historical Art Deco structure their home.

Back in 1940, this was known as Hoffman’s Cafeteria, and it was designed by none other than Henry Hohauser.  Despite the change in paint job, the architecture of this beautiful location still manages to stand out from the crowd.

Eventually, other businesses moved in and set up shop, including the Warsaw Ballroom and Jerry’s Famous Deli. When Jerry’s moved in, they refurbished the building a bit, using pictures from decades past to recreate original Art Deco concepts that had fallen into disrepair.  Why not stop in and grab a bite to eat if you’re hungry.

Once you’re ready, head north on Collins Avenue until you reach 16th street, at which point you will see one of the largest buildings in the area.


15. Loews Hotel

Loews Hotel Miami

1601 Collins Avenue

Although it may not seem like this monolith has anything to do with the Art Deco era of the 30’s and 40’s, it actually houses one of the more notable hotels in the history of South Beach.

Located on the right side of the Loew’s Hotel, you will also see the St. Moritz Hotel, which was restored by Loews and is still in use today. The St. Moritz has been in Miami Beach since 1939, when it was designed and built by Roy France.

The St. Moritz continues to serve as an excellent example of Art Deco architecture and its ties to Miami, as even developers are keen to keep history alive by restoring and renovating classic hotels.

Our next few sites are just past Lincoln road as you continue north on Collins Avenue. All three are right next to each other, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find them.


16. Sagamore Hotel

Sagamore Hotel

1671 Collins Avenue

As you come across this collection of Art Deco hotels on your right, the first you will notice is The Sagamore. The history of The Sagamore Hotel in South Beach is emblematic of the cultural importance represented in Miami’s Art Deco district.

Having been built in 1948 by Albert Anis, the style of this particular hotel is definitely different from others that you will see on Collins Avenue. You will see many more straight lines on display, as well as the characteristic Art Deco awnings that have no doubt become quite familiar at this point.

 Despite the hint of modern design, the architecture is definitely postmodern in concept, subverting expectations by extending its lines beyond the standard cubic structure of most modern hotels. In 1999, The Sagamore was purchased by Martin Taplin and partially converted into a museum of sorts. Although it still serves as a hotel, you will now also find an art gallery inside the halls of this beautiful and historic landmark.  

The next stop on our walking tour is right next door.


17. National Hotel

National Hotel

1677 Collins Avenue

With its bold color choices that draw your eyes upwards, it’s hard to deny the beauty of The National Hotel.

At around the same time that he was working on The St. Moritz, Roy France also began working on The National.  While there are some similarities between these two landmarks, there are also a lot of notable differences.

The hotel originally opened in 1940 and was later restored to its former glory in 1997. You’ll even find a lot of the original furnishings scattered around the inside of this building, as many of them have been updated and restored along with the hotel itself. 

You won’t have to walk far to reach our next location on this walking tour of Miami’s Art Deco district – it’s right next door!


18. Delano

Delano Hotel

1685 Collins Avenue

When it was built in 1947, the Delano was actually the tallest building in Miami Beach. When you look at it right next to The National, it doesn’t appear to be much taller, but these things used to be fairly important to developers back in the day.

Designed by Robert Swartburg in the mid-40’s, the hotel was one of the first in the area to be built after World War II and was used as military housing for a short time before its doors were opened to guests.

The hotel was named in honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who died in 1945. With such a unique design, it’s no wonder that The Delano was listed among 2007’s “America’s Favorite Architecture” list published by the American Institute of Architects.

The design of this building takes the modern approaches of old and twists them out of place. The building was renovated and restored in 1994 under the direction of world-renown architect Philippe Starck hoping to attract a new generation of chic hotel guests. The Delano succeeded and is now one of the hottest hotels in Miami, with celebrity guests like Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z, and Leo DiCaprio.


19. The End

Having just toured almost 10 blocks along both Ocean Avenue and Collins Avenue, it’s about time to wrap up this tour. 

If you’re not tired, we recommend heading over to Lincoln Road for some shopping at their historic open air mall. Of course, you can take a bus tour or boat tour, so be sure to check out our posts about which tours are the best.


HOTELS 

Please note that prices of hotels vary by season and events taking place in the city.  

Inexpensive (under $200 a night)

Unfortunately, it’s slim pickings when it comes to inexpensive hotels in South Beach.  You might find better rates at an Airbnb. Here are a few hotels under $200 a night still around.

The Clevelander 1020 Ocean Drive. If you’re looking to stay in the middle of all the action on South Beach, you’ll want to stay here. Located just across from the beach, the hotel also has its own pool and patio and even an SPF4 Sun Deck. 

Kimptom Angler’s 660 Washington Ave. If you’re looking for something a bit more quiet, but just steps away from all the fun, then the Kimptom is a wise choice. Located one block from Ocean Drive, this hotel offers up rooms with their own balconies, a rooftop pool and a popular restaurant, Seawell Fish N’ Oyster. 

Moderate ($200+ a night)

Loews Hotel 1601 Collins Avenue. Located front and center on South Beach’s oceanfront, this hotel just had a $50 million facelift, and it shows. With a stunning pool deck, spa, fitness center, cabanas and daybeds, you’ll experience all-things luxury staying here. 

Bentley Hotel 510 Ocean Drive. With it’s prime location on the corner of Ocean Drive and 5th Street, you’ll experience pure luxury at this hotel, while being just steps away from the action. It’s rooftop pool was voted the Best Rooftop Pool by Frommers Travel. 

Mariott Stanton 161 Ocean Drive. With luxurious accommodations, resort amenities, a prime location, and Art Deco-inspired decor, the Mariott Stanton is a great place to stay on South Beach. It offers oceanfront accommodation with spectacular views, and a   Mexican and Japanese restaurant inside. 

Expensive ($300+ a night)

W South Beach 2201 Collins Avenue. You can never go wrong with the W Hotel. It offers up an outdoor heated pool, its own private beach, rooftop basketball and tennis courts, and multiple bars and restaurants. 

Fountainbleau 4441 Collins Avenue. Arguably one of Miami’s most popular luxury hotels, the Fountainbleau has 5 award-winning restaurants, LIV nightclub, and one of the most well known spas in the city. 


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About the author

Nichole's love for Miami began when she chose the Magic City as her future home, after living overseas in Singapore. She cannot get enough the city's food scene, culture and 'multiple boroughs,' each unique in their own way. She is an avid worldwide traveler and thrives on learning about new cultures in each place her feet land.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2017, first as a part of administration and then later as a writer. She's a chiropractor and yoga teacher with a full-time business in Miami. Her motto is "Peace, Love, & Travel.”