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Miami & Miami Beach, Florida

The district around Ocean Drive with its Art Deco buildings is one of Miami's visual highlights and probably Miami's most well-known attraction.

Miami's pastel-colored and elaborately decorated residential buildings and motels were built in the 1820s and 1830s. The most famous buildings are located right on Ocean Drive. The coffee shops on Ocean Drive are a perfect place to spot an occasional road cruiser from a bygone era.

When walking to the beach, you may encounter not only inline-skaters but also fashion models at a photo shoot.

At night, rhythmical beats transform Ocean Drive into a cheerful and colorful party venue. At dusk, cityscape silhouettes stand out against buzzing neon signs coming alive. Restaurants and bars along Ocean Drive are starting to get crowded and later on, partygoers venture to one of the more famous "South Beach" clubs.

In the 1980s, thanks to Gloria Estefan and her band "Miami Sound Machine", and to the popular series "Miami Vice", the metropolis in the south of Florida experienced a genuine boom—a trend that continues until today.

Previously dilapidated buildings along Miami Beach were restored to their former glory and almost all renowned fashion labels began to set up shop in the vicinity. Visitors can combine sightseeing and shopping while walking through Miami's Art Deco district around Washington and Collins Avenue (between 5th and 16th Street).

In Miami Beach, exclusive fashion labels and renowned clothing brands set up shop next to countless electronics stores.

The shops and the numerous top-quality hotels all contribute to the exclusive flair of South Beach. If you are on Collins Avenue, don't miss out on Bal Harbor, where the rich and famous shop and where you even might run into a couple of celebrities.

Miami Beach, Florida - Impressions

Ocean Drive Miami Beach, Florida
Ocean Drive Miami Beach, Florida
Ocean Drive Miami Beach, Florida
Ocean Drive Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida

If you would like to spend the night in one of the Art Deco hotels in the area, we recommend the Greenview Hotel on Washington Avenue. With reasonably priced room rates for Miami, this hotel is almost a bargain compared to other Miami Beach accommodations. The Greenview has neat, clean rooms and offers standard breakfast. The hotel lobby itself is very pleasant, which unfortunately is not the case for all hotels in the area.

For lunch or dinner, we recommend taking a trip to The Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne. When you arrive on the island, the Rusty Pelican is located on Rickenbacker Causeway (take a left immediately after the bridge). The restaurant provides a dazzling view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.

If you are feeling refreshed and are in the mood for shopping after lunch or dinner, Aventura Mall on the mainland and Bayside Market Place are perfect for a shopping trip. Directions to Bayside Market Place on the way back to Miami Beach: Take McArthur Causeway, cross the bridge and take the first left after the bridge. Bayside Mall is located at NE 4th Street. Parking is available directly below the Metromover metrorail.

By the way, you can take Metromover's "Inner Loop" line (a 15-minute ride) free of charge and enjoy great views of Miami's high rises and business districts. Sports enthusiasts can buy tickets to a “Miami Heat” basketball game at the American Airlines Arena adjoining the Metromover station.

Coral Gables, a town with sophisticated villas and shopping districts south of Miami, is worth a visit as well.