Skip to main content

South Beach Miami - A walk through Art Deco History



South Miami Beach is probably one of the most photographed cities in the United States. It is home to what may be the densest collection of art deco architecture in the United States. It is hard to find something new to say, in fact, when I visited Art Deco Visitors Center I asked if there were any buildings or areas that might not have been well represented in writing. I was told that it was all well documented. How do you write a piece about an area that has been so well covered in print and on the Internet? So I took my camera out and just documented what I found interesting. Here it is.


A good place to start is at The Art Deco Visitors Center on Miami Beach. 



The Center has an excellent museum ($5) on the history of the development of South Beach along with the development of Art Deco architecture. It is a great place to start your walk around the neighborhood.


As you walk along Ocean Drive you will find many wonderful examples of Art Deco buildings.









One of the hotels that I found most impressive was The Tides.



As you enter from Ocean Drive there is a courtyard with places to sit and enjoy the sun, shade and to people watch.





The lobby at the Tides is a beautiful example of the best of Art Deco design.









Walking around South Beach there are many more examples of wonderful buildings:







One example of a smaller but lovely art deco hotel is The South Beach Plaza Hotel. A couple of blocks off of the beach, this small hotel is a couple of blocks off of the beach. Its lobby is also a great example of art deco work.









If you are looking for a place to eat, walk over to Española Way. This two-block stretch of restaurants replicates a street in Spain, or to me, Puerto Rico.






Anyway you look at it, a walk around South Beach will bring you hours of architectural wonder.



Images (32)
  • IMG_0038
  • IMG_0056
  • IMG_0035
  • IMG_0052
  • IMG_0053
  • IMG_0054
  • IMG_0055
  • IMG_0059
  • IMG_0041
  • IMG_0042
  • IMG_0044
  • IMG_0045
  • IMG_0046
  • IMG_0047
  • IMG_0049
  • IMG_0050
  • IMG_0020
  • IMG_0021
  • IMG_0022
  • IMG_0023
  • IMG_0014
  • IMG_0024
  • IMG_0025
  • IMG_0027
  • IMG_0028
  • IMG_0029
  • IMG_0030
  • IMG_0009
  • IMG_0010
  • IMG_0011
  • IMG_0015
  • IMG_0016

Add Comment

Comments (7)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

Jonathan, you did a fantastic job at showing South Beach! It really lives up to it's hype. One thing I love about Miami is Downtown,South Beach and the Airport are all an easy drive from each other.

I'm curious too about your impressions of Downtown? It's experiencing one of the biggest construction booms in the country.


Paul, say it ain't so that your not a fan of Florida!It's like California in the fact that the state is very diverse .You can love parts of the state and dislike others.

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

I didn't get to Downtown this time. The last time I was there (about 6 years ago) I was not really impressed. The overhead highway made the area feel dingy (thank you "urban renewal"). There is an art museum downtown that I remember liking (The Perez Art museum, I think).


The thing is, it was right in the heart of the 2008/10 crash and almost all construction in south FL had come to a screeching halt. Entire buildings were empty. So what is there now is not what I would have seen then.  

  1. I was in Downtown Miami two times about five years ago and then two years ago. The difference was staggering. I've heard the last two years have  even  seen  more of a transpotation becoming much more residential

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

Link copied to your clipboard.