Absolutely Florida

More than Just a Pretty Facade

By Liz Johnson

etween 24th Street southward to First Street in Miami Beach, lies the historic Art Deco district, which has experienced a wild revival since the mid-80's. So much so, that it is again a landmark destination for the glitterati - even more than it was for Miami Beach back in the '30s All of South Beach, and particularly beachside Ocean Drive is experiencing such a building boon, that it now beginnning to

This historic Art Deco district has reemerged on international scene, this is view looking north on Ocean Drive, at 7th Street.
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resemble the Costa del Sol, taking on a bit of the chaotic carnival atmosphere of a seaside town, with many new and lavish condo projects looming above the 3-story facades of the old district.

The area was designated in 1979 with the National Register of Historic Places, and many of the hotels are included in a daily tour with the Miami Design Preservation League.

For those seeking more peaceful elegance: take heart, there are still plenty of

Stay the night and perhaps develop a tour plan for a photographic experience within the entirely unique Art Deco district of Miami Beach.
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The newly refurbished and completely updated Beacon
Hotel, which is part of the Preservation League's Historical Tour, has upheld the elegance of the Deco era and is located in the epicenter of South Beach on Ocean Drive.
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lovely, quiet retreats amid the swaying palms and balmy tropical breezes, such as in the cozy Lily Guesthouse and elegant Blue Moon Hotel, both one block over on Collins Avenue, and at the southern end of Ocean Drive, at the swanky Savoy, below 5th Street.

The hotels in the district not only provide, in most cases, world-class service, they are also interesting architectural examples of the Deco era, providing one vast museum for those who wish to understand up close something of the aesthetic and spirit of the style. Bring along a camera and you'll see why these famous pastel wonders have become the backdrop for so many fashion shoots.

The Miami Design Preservation League celebrates this heritage with an annual Art Deco Weekend every January with an enormous street fair which takes over most of Ocean Drive. Immerse yourself in this glorious epoch, where you can shop for deco antiques, vintage clothing, authentic artwork and posters, and hear music of that bygone day.

Check out our comprehensive listing of the Deco District hotels, from the sublimely refurbished, remodeled and revamped, such as the Tides and the National and the Beacon, to the ridiculously resussitated old dives merely dressed up with a new paint job. Click on the links, call ahead and always compare prices, amenities, services and the last date of restoration.