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Tropical Art Deco South Beach Architecture Tour
Address: 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Celino South Beach
640 Ocean Drive
Begin your tour at The Celino South Beach on Ocean Drive. Designed in 1937 by Henry Hohauser, the 132 guestrooms are an art deco eclectic dream. The regal long lobby is a trademark of the hotel, as are the terrazzo-patterned floors. The Celino balances modern and historical beauty. If you stay, consider the floor to ceiling ocean-view suites with balconies and access to the exclusive rooftop glass-bottom pool.
736 Ocean Drive
Your next stop is another hotel designed by Henry Hohauser in 1935. The Colony features European-style rooms with pine floors and custom Art Deco furniture. The lobby features an Art Deco-style mural and uses a generous amount of mint-pigmented structural glass known as Vitrolite. This hotel was one of the original buildings constructed in the Tropical Art Deco style.
Dream South Beach
1111 Collins Ave.
Dream South Beach is actually a combination of two hotels that were renovated together. Designed by L. Murray Dixon in 1939, the Palmer and Tudor hotels were joined to become the Dream Hotel. The trilogy that includes the Kent Hotel to the north is well-known as strong representations of the original Art Deco District.
Essex House Hotel
1001 Collins Ave.
The Essex House Hotel refers to itself as a hidden treasure, but the 1938 Henry Hohauser-designed hotel is anything but inconspicuous. Steps from the white sand beaches, the Essex House is a Streamline Moderne gem with a lobby that features “Art Deco everything,” in including a cinematic mural by a self-taught artist. If you stay, you’ll be in the hub of the nightlife with endless boutiques and gourmet dining surrounding you.
901 Collins Ave.
The Sherbrooke Co-Op is an apartment hotel that was built in 1947. Known as a McKay & Gibbs iconic example of the Nautical Moderne style, the unique shapes that distinguish the building are prominent. From sweeping round corners with lines that rise to exalt the ship-like structure set sturdily on the corner. Truly a classic.
Theatre, Hotels, Museum South Beach Architecture Tour
The Miami Beach Architectural District is the birthplace of Tropical Art Deco. Adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, one-square-mile of buildings became the world’s first 20th-century historic Art Deco District in the 1930s. Start with an iconic theatre and end with an iconic museum - enjoy!
1040 Lincoln Road
A rare and unique homage to the architectural transition from the 1920s Mediterranean style to the 1930s Tropical Art Deco style, The Colony Theatre is as much historical sculpture as it is performance venue. Designed by R.A. Benjamin in 1934, the Colony Theatre was originally opened in 1935 as a Paramount Pictures movie house. After a $6.5 million recent renovation, the pitched-barrel tile roofs, Vitrolite, and other Art Deco design details have restored it into one of Miami’s architectural gems.
Now updated with modern sound, stage, and technical equipment, the 417-seat state of the art performance venue hosts theatre, dance, music, and comedy performances regularly. The Colony is managed by Miami New Drama and also home to the Miami New Drama theatre company.
1677 Collins Ave.
Roy France designed the National Hotel in 1950 and it is still considered to be one of the finest hotels in South Beach. The lobby blends old and new seamlessly and still captures the essence of elegance for which France was so well known for. Restorations to both the exterior and interior have preserved the hotel’s authenticity, while offering all of the convenience of any international hotel in the world.
1685 Collins Ave.
Representing the architectural transition period from Art Deco to MiMo, the Robert Swartburg-designed Delano Hotel stands apart from other South Beach properties. First built after World War II, the Delano Hotel underwent a major interior renovation in 1994. Most notably, the redesign by Philippe Starck boasts the traditional trademark Miami Beach breathtaking hotel lobby.
Ritz Plaza Hotel/Sls South Beach
1701 Collins Ave.
Look for the smokestack that tops L. Murray Dixon’s 1940 mini-Art Deco skyscraper and you’ll have found Ritz Plaza Hotel/Sls South Beach. The property management company known as Something Lovely's Started (Sls) did a complete make-over of the luxury hotel in 2011 and claim access to “the hottest reservations in Miami” and close friends of the hotel, Lenny Kravitz, Philippe Starck, Chef Katsuya Uechi, and Chef José Andrés. The beachfront getaway’s predominant style is definitely luxury.
The Raleigh Hotel
1775 Collins Ave.
The pool at The Raleigh Hotel says it all. It’s in the shape of Sir Walter Raleigh’s coat-of-arms, an English-man who was instrumental in the English colonization of North America. Raleigh’s life as a spy, courtier, writer, explorer, poet, soldier, and politician, was filled with adventure and drama.
What does a life like that look like when expressed in the form of L. Murray Dixon’s architecture? Well, a pool and The Raleigh Hotel. The Raleigh Hotel features a Cubist façade and an over-the-top meticulously designed lobby. The luxury hotel opened in 1940 and is said to be a culmination of L. Murray Dixon’s architectural design.
Bass Museum Of Art
2100 Collins Ave.
The final stop of your tour is not a hotel, but rather what is known as the first-ever Tropical Art Deco structure. The Bass Museum Of Art opened in 1930 as the John Collins Memorial Library. The edifice itself was designed by none other than Collins’ grandson, Russell Pancoast. In 1962, the library was moved to another location and the transformation into the Bass Museum of Art. Arata Isozaki designed the renovation using a generous amount of keystone as part of an addition that was completed in 2001.
South Beach Taste Bud Friendly Food Tour
South Beach is a mecca of restaurants featuring some of the best foods in the world. Miami’s famous Art Deco District, however, also has some foodie hideaways that you may not find easily. Start hungry, because your taste buds may outlast your stomach sampling an international mix of Peruvian, Cuban, American, French, Haitian, and Italian “best-of’s!”
The Café at Books & Books
927 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Start this foodie tour at an indie bookstore! Don’t worry, there’s food! The Café at Books & Books has the best starter menu in South Beach. Browse your favorite books and then order the famed Avocado Salad or Yucca and Leek Hash Brown. The New American cuisine also features a delicious Black Bean Humus with bagel chips and a daily soup menu.
1659 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Bella Cuba is a family-owned Cuban restaurant that opened its doors in 2005. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and authentically Cuban. Start with buttered and toasted tostadas and sip them in cafe con leche, a strong espresso coffee combined with warm milk. Peruse the menu where you’ll find breakfast foods like lightly breaded smoky creamed ham croquetas.
If it’s lunch time, choose from an array of Cuban sandwiches consisting of a slice of Ham or Pork, on Sweetened Egg Bread, topped with Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Or, try The Pan con Bistec, a thin slice of Palomilla steak on Cuban bread garnished with Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Fried Potato Sticks. Of course, don’t miss out on their signature Mariquita’s or virgin mojitos!
Chalan on the Beach
1580 Washington Ave
Chalan on the Beach is a Latin and seafood restaurant that stays true to its founders wishes, serving both Quality and Quantity. Recognized as a pioneer in traditional Peruvian Cuisine in South Florida, Chalan on the Beach features Ceviche and Lomo Saltado, a traditional stir-fry with vegetables and strips of sirloin. Chose from the Peruvian Steak with the Basics/Bistec a lo Pobre, a grilled palomilla steak with white beans and rice, fried egg, and plantains, or order from the seafood menu and try the Pescado con Mariscos, a combination of grilled fish filet, mussels, calamari, octopus, and shrimp in a tasty seafood bechamel sauce with mushrooms. The Poached Whole Snapper and Seafood Mix/Pargo Sudado Mixto is also excellent offering poached snapper with calamari, shrimp, octopus, and mussels.
1443 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Dessert time! The “traditional Italian doughnut” is called a bombolone and is an Andrix Café specialty. Choose your favorite bambolone flavor; plain, chocolate, custard, apricot, or raspberry. The Miami Beach “go-to” bakery and café dessert menu also includes chocolate brownie’s, fruit tart, tiramisu, chocolate cannolo, occhio di bue, sfogliatella alla mela, and lemon or apricot tarts. Keep Andrix Café on your list and come back another time for Roman-style pizza, more daily home-baked pastries, and freshly brewed coffee.
The Frieze Ice Cream Factory
1626 Michigan Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Dessert option number two can be found at The Frieze Ice Cream Factory in the Lincoln Road Mall. Enjoy a deep menu of all-natural premium South Beach ice cream, made fresh daily using 16% butterfat cream. No eggs, emulsifiers, or other bulking ingredients are added, nor are artificial colors, preservatives or additives. Whether you are a basic yummy vanilla or choco chocolate fan, or a crazy nutty and fruit and spice ice cream fan, you will not be disappointed. Of course, if sorbet is your thing, you can choose 100% non-dairy real fruit sorbet with flavors of lemon, raspberry, lime, guava, orange, strawberry, and many, many more!
Many a cigar-puffing traveler has taken on the challenge of smoking their way through Miami, and if that sounds appealing to you, you’re in the right place. Miami is South Florida’s cigar paradise, filled with cigar factories and shops that cater to every brand and interest possible. There are, of course, too many places to see in a one-time tour, but each of these places is special in their authenticity, customer service, and personal taste. If you like cigars, today is your day! Grab your lighter and hop in, it’s time to get smokin’!
Little Havana - Cuba Tobacco Cigar Company
Whether you are an experienced cigar-smoker or a complete novice, you’ll be fascinated by the Cuban Tobacco Cigar Company. The multi-generational Bello Family has been in the cigar business for more than a century, one of the industry’s oldest companies. Stop in for the always-aromatic atmosphere while learning the art of cigar rolling from the most formidable experts in the world. Pay attention to who is sitting in front of the building as you walk in because there is a good chance you may meet Señor Pedro Bello, founder of the internationally recognized company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Teaching others is how the Bello family learned from each other and they are more than happy to share their incredibly expansive knowledge and passion for cigars. And if cigars are your thing, you’ll never enjoy them as much as you will after having visited the Cuban Tobacco Cigar Company.
CUBA TOBACCO CIGAR CO.
1528 SW 8th Street
Little Havana, Miami, FL 33135
Little Havana Cigar Factory
1501 SW 8th St Miami, FL
The Little Havana Cigar Factory is located in the heart of Little Havana. Customers can relax in the comfortable lounge while tasting a fine cigar and a dark stout beer (or whatever is your preference). The ambiance is that of a cool 1950’s Havana cigar club complete with live music and enticing aromas to match. The helpful staff is both kind and knowledgeable and will help you select the best cigar option. The shop boasts a long tradition of offering a variety of premium cigars and also sells accessories, art, and books. Rumor has it that they have exceptional Cuban espresso as well.