Travel: South Beach – Miami

South Beach is fun. If you like to party and shop, it’s the place for you. I admit, I’m not a big shopper and don’t party all night like a champ, so I wasn’t sure about this choice for a little mini-vacation with friends. However, I was happily surprised by the colorful architecture, beautiful beaches and fantastic people watching. The area has come a long way from it’s “cocaine cowboys” era in the 70’s & 80’s. Now, many of the Art Deco buildings have been restored and Ocean Drive is lined with restaurants filled with a diverse mix tourists. We enjoyed checking out the art galleries, which this week, are hosting the infamous Art Basel festival. We plan to attend that another year for sure!

There is also a wonderful sidewalk system along the beaches where you can run, rollerblade or ride bikes. We rented a couple of DecoBikes, which were a great way to explore the beaches and communities on the island.  Our home base for the extended weekend was the Clinton Hotel, one of many Art Deco hotels in the area. The hotel was comfortable and they were more than helpful arranging another room for us after our stay was extended 3 days due to a canceled flight.

If you’re not a huge fan of the beach, you could always rent a car and explore the Everglades National Park or drive down to the end of Route 1 for a visit to Key West. There really is something for every type of traveller in this area.

The doggie section of South Pointe Park.

Evening in South Pointe Park.

One of the many super fancy condo buildings lining the southern end of South Beach.

Sculpture by Tobias Rehberger in South Pointe Park.

Cruise ship headed into Miami to dock.

Beach chairs at sunrise.

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