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Art Deco Walking Tour, South Beach

Miami, FL
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Art Deco Walking Tour, South Beach, Miami FL

Description

It's fun to pop into the small Art Deco hotels that line Ocean Drive and Collins Ave in South Beach, and to learn about the architecture and history of this area! Art Deco architecture, popular in the 1930s and 40s was a reaction to the overly decorated Mediterranean Revival style that had dominated architecture for so long. It was streamlined, with simple, clean forms, and many of its features reflected industrial designs of the time, such as the look of cruise ships with their portholes. Many of the buildings had "eye brows," lines that jut out above the windows.
You can take in all this information on a 90 minute or two hour tour around the Art Deco District. Walking around is more fun with other travelers and the tour guides are usually lively and interesting.
The Art Deco buildings were saved because of the efforts of activists- Barbara Capitman even chained herself to the buildings. This is the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world. They are colorful and fun, and give Miami Beach its unique look.
We took a two hour Walking Tour of the South Beach Art Deco District reserved through zerve.com ($30 per person). This tour took us to the rooftop of three hotels, where we enjoyed glorious views! The man was a friendly guy and we really enjoyed his stories. Kids would be bored, but for adults this is a great way to get to know South Beach.
Another option is the 90 minute walking tours that start at the Art Deco Welcome Center, every day at 10:30am and also on Thursdays at 6:30pm for $25 per person, $20 for students or seniors. No reservations necessary.

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Photo Gallery

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1938 hotel designed by Hohauser, Essex Hotel, with its porthole windows and pylon.
1938 hotel designed by Hohauser, Essex Hotel, with its porthole windows and pylon.
Eyebrows over the windows.
Eyebrows over the windows.
The Breakwater Hotel on Ocean Drive.
The Breakwater Hotel on Ocean Drive.
Shore-Park Hotel, with its royal blue awnings.
Shore-Park Hotel, with its royal blue awnings.
Interior of The Tides Hotel.
Interior of The Tides Hotel.
Carlyle Hotel  with its visor eyebrows, sleek lines, vertical piers and curves.
Carlyle Hotel with its visor eyebrows, sleek lines, vertical piers and curves.
Pink terrazzo floor in The Betsy Hotel.
Pink terrazzo floor in The Betsy Hotel.
Bob Bonis Archive photos in The Betsy Hotel, of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Bob Bonis Archive photos in The Betsy Hotel, of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Hotel on Ocean Drive.
Hotel on Ocean Drive.
Earl La Pan mural in the lobby of Hotel Victor- how could they cover the terrazzo floor with ugly rugs?
Earl La Pan mural in the lobby of Hotel Victor- how could they cover the terrazzo floor with ugly rugs?
Views of the rooftops from the Clevelander Hotel.
Views of the rooftops from the Clevelander Hotel.
Striped multi-colored chairs and ocean view at the rooftop of the Clevelander Hotel.
Striped multi-colored chairs and ocean view at the rooftop of the Clevelander Hotel.
View of Ocean Drive and the boardwalk from the Clevelander Hotel rooftop.
View of Ocean Drive and the boardwalk from the Clevelander Hotel rooftop.
The colors of the beach, as seen from the Clevelander Hotel roof.
The colors of the beach, as seen from the Clevelander Hotel roof.
The Betsy Hotel, built in 1942 in Colonial style.
The Betsy Hotel, built in 1942 in Colonial style.
Crescent Hotel, a beauty.
Crescent Hotel, a beauty.
The clean-lined McAlpin Hotel.
The clean-lined McAlpin Hotel.
Espanola Way.
Espanola Way.

Directions

Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Dr (10th Street and Ocean Ave), Miami Beach FL 33139, call (305) 672-2014.
Exit Highway 95 and take 395 East to Miami Beach. You cross over a causeway with great views. After five miles turn left on Washington Ave. Turn right on 7th Street and park in the public parking lot before you cross Collins Ave, then walk just two blocks to the beach and three blocks north to the Art Deco Welcome Center. You can use your credit card in the machine to pay for parking when you return. Cost is $1 an hour on weekdays or $15 flat rate on weekends.
Other parking lots are at 13th and Collins, 12th and Drexel (one block west of Washington Ave), 10th and Collins, 10th and Washington, and 9th and Washington.
From Miami Airport, you can take Bus 150 for $2.35 each way (bring correct change). The trip takes about half an hour.

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Visitor Ratings

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Last Updated Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:42:04 GMT