Miami Beach is majorly a distinct municipality in Miami. Nestled on an island, the beach is connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. This area is majorly known for its prominent beaches as well as the Art Deco District that has the pastel buildings which have been around from the 1930s and sport classic neon signs. It is an expensive tourist district which features a couple of hotels, shops, beach front restaurants and an array of sunbathing opportunities. The most prominent street in the area is the Ocean Drive which is section of the road that lies along the oceanfront and is home to some of the most beautiful Art Deco buildings. A block inland and parallel to the Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue. Here the visitors can find a couple of high end restaurants, hotels and shopping arenas.
Art Deco District
In the Miami Beach lies the Art Deco District. The district clearly brings back the memories of an earlier time in Florida given its magnificently restored Art Deco buildings that have been around since 1930s. The pastel hued ancient structure here displays awnings and the signs which cover the outdoor dining section. Majority of these, lies on front the Ocean drive which overlooks the beach and the ocean.
South Beach lies at the southern end of the Miami Beach. It is the place, where the Art Deco buildings line the waterfront road. South Beach is also regarded as the most popular and famous section of the beach. During the summer months, the beach is major draw for both tourists and locals. If you visit during the winters, taking a stroll around the place is a great thing to do.
The Ocean Drive runs in Miami Beach’s ocean front. It passes through the historic buildings of Art Deco along with the renowned sandy strips which are known as the South Beach. The place is popular both during day and night for some drive and a slow cruise by sightseeing. For those of you who have a major interest in the magnificent pastel colored Art Deco buildings which have been around since 1920s and 1930s, the most notable structures include the Breakwater (940 Ocean Drive; by Anton Skislewicz in the year 1939), the Cavalier (1320 Ocean Drive; by Roy F. France in the year 1936), the Beacon (732 Ocean Drive built by Henry O. Nelson in the year 1926), Waldorf Towers (860 Ocean Drive built by Albert Anis in the year 1937), the Colony Hotel (736 Ocean Drive built by Henry Hohauser in the year 1936) and the Cardozo (1300 Ocean Drive built by Henry Hohauser in the year 1939).
Bayside Marketplace is a huge outdoor style mall. It has over 150 tourist and specialty shops which have a number of restaurants and cafes coupled with enough live entertainment. Visitors can be assured to find some renowned chain stores along with several one of a kind unique places. This marketplace tends to lure both tourists and locals.
As evident from the name, the mall is nestled alongside the Miami’s waterfront which looks out over the boats and docks. People usually come here to soak up in the atmosphere. Several tour boats leave from here to visit the locations around the Biscayne Bay. There is also a water taxi service to the downtown hotels and the Miami Beach which is located around the area.
The Bayfront Park is located on the eastern side of the Biscayne Boulevard. The boulevard was redesigned in the year 1980s. One attractive feature of the park is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain found here. Besides this, there are other highlights too which may seem attractive here. One such highlight is amphitheatre which is often used for the conduct of different types of musical performances of just about every kind and type. Besides this, there is a tower for laser illuminations, three important monuments - the Challenger Memorial, the Torch of Friendship which symbolises the relationship of Miami with the countries of South and Central America and the the World War II Memorial.
Vizcaya Museum and Garden
One of the greatest of the Miami’s treasures is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The artwork, the grounds and the architecture, everything here makes it worth a visit. This estate once used to be the winter home of James Deering who was an early 20th century industrialist. Constructed in the year 1916, the mansion comprises of 34 rooms that are neatly arranged around a central courtyard. This Italian Renaissance-style villa along with its 28-acre estate is brimming with decorative arts and the European furniture that has been around since 15th to 19th century. For the construction of this garden, over 1100 craftsmen and workers were in action to finalize the Vizcaya project. Many of these workers were brought over from Europe to ensure the authenticity in design. The gardens comprise of a variety of French and Italian fountains, sculptures and pools. Towards the base of the steps is the breakwater which leads you to the Biscayne Bay which is carved out in the form of female figures. Vizcaya is basically a Basque word which stands for an elevated place. This estate has hosted a variety of world leaders as well as a number of historical events which includes the meeting between the erstwhile president Reagan in 1987 as well as the Queen Elizabeth II during tour to America in the year 1991 and Pope John Paul II.
Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Little Havana is a Cuban district of Miami. It is not prominently known for its wealth of tourist attractions but is rather known for its distinct cultural flavour. It has restaurants, Latin music drifting through the air and specialty food shops. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare which runs through the district and is home to a couple of activities to do. However, the district spreads way beyond into the surrounding avenues and streets. When it comes to people watching, this place offers a great deal of entertainment. There are a number of open air areas where people can come around and socialize. Murals on the side of the walls depict quintessential figures from Cuba dealing with the scenes from daily life. This is also the place in Miami, to come around, especially if you wish to try some Cuban cuisine.