Have a Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in South Beach Florida. South Beach is a dynamic neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida. This section of Miami Beach was developed, starting in the 1910s, by Carl G. Fisher, the Lummus Brothers and John S. Collins.
Here’s my South Beach Video with highlights some of my favorite destinations: http://youtu.be/gkS7YxBUYEU
Here are some great sites to see:
After a 1992 hurricane destroyed most of the lifeguard stations, colorful replacements were erected. Admire the novel lifeguard stations between 10th and 16th Streets in South Beach.
2. Espanola Way is a quaint Spanish Meditteranean Village with plenty of great restaurants and bars. Walk in the footsteps of Desi Arnaz along Espanola Way between Washington Avenue and Drexel in South Beach to see Mediterranean Rivival Style architecture. Desi loved to party in this part of South Beach during the 1940s. He played his bongos and sang his Cubansongs along this charming street. This is where Desi Arnaz created the sultry rumba craze!
Barbara Capitman and her buddies at the Miami Design Preservaton League saved the structures on this alluring street. “The Historic Spanish Village” is modeled after the romantic Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain.
Today it consists of art galleries, restaurants, and quirky shops. See a flamengo dance performance or tour the art galleries and little boutique shops. Check out Havana 1957 for Cuban Cuisine; or the ”Tapas & Tintos” Tapas Bar while you are in the neighborhood. Look into their Flamengo Schedule to see a live performance. Get a refreshing Mojito at the Mojito Lounge. Tour the Clay Hotel on Española Way. Notorious mafia don Al Capone located his gambling ring at The Clay Hotel in the 1930′s. The Clay Hotel’s Old World ambiance is well-suited to the tropical magic of this part of South Beach that runs from Collins Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue.
The hotel dominates the corner of quaint Española Way. The Clay Hotel is nestled in the historic Art Deco District of Miami Beach characterized by the distinctive 1930′s architecture. Don Johnson, Sylvester Stallone and Elton John have all contributed to experienced the special atmosphere of The Clay Hotel. Movies and music videos have been shot at this hotel; including the pilot for Miami Vice and many episodes of the television show.
Spend the day at the beach or play tennis and racquetball at nearby Flamingo Park’s well maintained courts. Cool off in the olympic size swimming pool.
Over the past few years, the bars and restaurants in this area have increasingly become a gathering place for the large Italian community in Miami. There’s an excellent Italian Restaurant next to the Cameo Theater called Osteria del Teatro.
Try some of their authentic Italian Cuisine
3. Lincoln Road Mall was designed by legendary architect, Morris Lapidus. Lincoln Road is a between Washington Avenue and Alton Road. Originally built in the 1920’s, it is brimming with shops, restaurants and galleries. Have some sweet treats at the Ice Box Cafe at 1657 Michigan Avenue.
4. Tour the Deco District in South Beach with outstanding well- preserved buildings. The Miami Beach Architectural District (also known as Old Miami Beach Historic District or the Miami Art Deco District) is a U.S. historic district; designated on May 14, 1979.
Vintage T-Bird in front of the Avalon Hotel in South Beach
South Beach Map Above
The Ocean Drive area received Historic District designation thanks to the efforts of Barbara Baer Capitman and her fellow Art-Deco loving Miami Design Preservation League activists.
Berkeley Hotel on Collins in South Beach
You can buy some charming Vintage Posters in South Beach. The Art Deco era was ushered in with the Paris Exposition of 1925 ; the French name is “Les Arts Decoratifs. There are two distinctive design principles that characterize the geometric facade of these buildings: (1) the center element is the most dramatic; (2) the sides of the facade are symmetrical. The Miami Design Preservation League hosts an annual Art Deco Weekend in January. www.mdpl.org.
The Cardozo hotel is another South Beach gem. It was named after the Supreme Court justice and it has been lovingly rehabbed by Gloria and Emilio Estefan in an Asian Motif. Walk into the hotel to admire the vintage poster collection.
I also love the charming Beacon Hotel is where the movie “Scarface” was filmed with Al Pacino. After your Art Deco walking Tour, have a refreshing Miami Vice with a “Rum Floater” (presented in a test tube) at the Clevelander Hotel on Ocean Drive as you listen to live music. Everyone loves the Clevelander!
Have a Miami Vice at the Clevelander Hotel Outdoor Bar Area on Ocean Drive in South Beach
Hotels in South Beach Florida
Lobby at the Beacon Hotel in South Beach
A Vintage Beacon Hotel Poster.
5. The Holocaust Memorial is the home of Kenneth Triester’s magnificent “Sculpture of Love and Anguish” at 1933 Meridean Avenue. Holocaust victims of concentration camps climb a out-stretched hand marked with an Auschwitz tattoo. Along the reflecting pond, learn about the story of the Holocaust
6. Go to Bayside Marketplace. It is a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex with some of the best Vino con Vista views in the city. Dine at Bubba Gump while you’re there.
7. Visit the Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard was built in 1925 and modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain.
The most dramatic building in downtown Miami is located at 600 Biscayne Boulevard. The brick and terra cotta, 17 story structure is 256 feet tall. On September 10, 1979, it entered the National Register of Historic Places.
Go to the galleries and streets of Wynwood for the monthly gallery walk. This is an industrial district that has been converted to an art mecca. There is a gathering of Food Trucks behind the outdoor museum called Wynwood Walls. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/TRG91NK8GU.DTL#ixzz1t4V1x5oX
8. The Villa by Barton G at 1114 Ocean Drive is the former Versace Mansion. The Versace Mansion, Casa Casuarina was the residence of late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace; founder of Gianni Versace S.p.A. In 1992, couturier Gianni Versace fell in love with Casa Casuarina. When he purchased the property, he went to battle with local preservationists after he announced his plans to tear down a neighboring hotel so he could build a pool. Versace exquisitely restored, expanded, and embellished the original structure by adding the south wing and pool.
Ocean Drive in South beach is packed with outdoor restaurants and cafes. You can check out the food displays that line Ocean Drive.
Go to Joe’s Stone Crab at 11 Washington. It’s only open from October to May. Another must-do is News Cafe t 800 Ocean Drive. I like Escopazzo for Italian at 1311 Washington or the Forge for steak at 432 Arthur Godfrey Rd. Mango’s Tropical Cafe at 900 Ocean Drive is a Latin live-wire with plenty of music.
Stay and/or dine at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel. It is one of my favorite Vino con Vista destinations in Miami Beach! The Fontainebleau is situated on the Atlantic oceanfront at Collins Avenue in the heart of Millionaire’s Row with 12 restaurants and bars; and a 40,000-square-foot spa. It is also the most historic and architecturally significant hotel on Miami Beach. It was designed by Morris Lapidus and opened in 1954. On December 22, 2008, the Fontainebleau was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
I also love the Betsy Ross Hotel at 1440 Ocean Drive in South Beach. It originally opened in 1942 when America was at war and many local hotels became barracks for soldiers who trained on the beaches before being deployed. The hotel under went a total restoration in 2009 and was renamed The Betsy-South Beach. It has the perfect location with a birds-eye view of Lummas Park in the heart of the Art Deco District. It’s across from the beach and it is a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World.” The hotel has Miami’s only fully outdoor Roof Deck Wellness garden that offers spa treatments. Make reservations @ www.thebetsyhotel.com
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com