Greater Miami and the Beaches is a Paradise of interconnected oceanfront cities, urban hubs, charming villages and tropical parks. Miami Design Agenda wants to introduce you a guide so you can explore Miami’s diverse neighborhoods and see for yourself.
Miami Beach is actually a separate municipality from Miami. It is located on an island, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. The area is known for its popular beaches and the Art Deco District, with pastel buildings from the 1930s sporting classic neon signs. An expensive tourist district, this area features numerous beachfront restaurants, shops, hotels, and plenty of sunbathing opportunities. The most popular street in the area is Ocean Drive, a section of road located along the oceanfront and home to some beautiful Art Deco buildings. One block inland and paralleling Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue. Collins Avenue is actually State Road A1A, and is the main oceanfront street in Miami Beach, joining numerous neighborhoods. Here visitors will find trendy and upper end restaurants, shopping, and hotels.
The Art Deco District in Miami Beach brings back memories of an earlier time in Florida with its wonderfully restored 1930s Art Deco buildings. These pastel colored historic structures display neon signs and awnings that cover outdoor dining areas. Many of them front Ocean Drive, overlooking the beach and ocean.
Located at the southern end of Miami Beach where the Art Deco buildings line the waterfront road, this is the most famous and popular section of Miami Beach. In summer the beach is a popular draw for locals and tourists and in winter the area is simply a popular place to stroll around.
Ocean Drive runs along the oceanfront in Miami Beach, passing the historic Art Deco buildings and the famous strip of sand known as South Beach. It is a popular place both day and night for a slow cruise and some drive by sightseeing.For those with a special interest in these lovely pastel colored, 1920s and 1930s Art Deco buildings, some of the most notable structures are the Beacon (732 Ocean Drive; by Henry O. Nelson, 1926), the Colony Hotel (736 Ocean Drive; by Henry Hohauser, 1936), Waldorf Towers (860 Ocean Drive; by Albert Anis, 1937), the Breakwater (940 Ocean Drive; by Anton Skislewicz, 1939), the Cardozo (1300 Ocean Drive; by Henry Hohauser, 1939), which is busy night and day, and the Cavalier (1320 Ocean Drive; by Roy F. France, 1936).
Bayside Marketplace is a large outdoor style mall with more than 150 specialty and tourist shops, numerous cafes and restaurants, and daily live entertainment. Visitors will find some well known chain stores as well as many unique, one of a kind places. The marketplace draws locals as well as tourists.Bayside Marketplace is a large outdoor style mall with more than 150 specialty and tourist shops, numerous cafes and restaurants, and daily live entertainment. Visitors will find some well known chain stores as well as many unique, one of a kind places. The marketplace draws locals as well as tourists.
Bayfront Park, on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard, was redesigned in the 1980s. An attractive feature is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain. Other highlights include an amphitheatre used for musical performances of all kinds, a tower for laser illuminations, and three important monuments: the Torch of Friendship, symbolising Miami’s relationships with the countries of Central and South America; the World War II Memorial; and the Challenger Memorial, commemorating the crew of the Challenger spacecraft which exploded in 1986.
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is one of Miami’s greatest treasures. The architecture, the grounds, and the artwork it contains are all worth the trip to visit this beautiful place. This estate was the former winter home of early 20th century industrialist, James Deering. Built in 1916, the mansion features 34 rooms arranged around a central courtyard. This 28-acre estate and Italian Renaissance-style villa is filled with European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th century. It took more than 1,100 workers and craftsmen to complete the Vizcaya project, many of whom were brought over from Europe to ensure authenticity in design.
Little Havana, the Cuban district of Miami, isn’t known for its wealth of tourist attractions but more for its distinctive cultural flavor. There are restaurants, specialty food shops, and Latin music drifting through the air. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare running through the district and home to much of the activity, but the district spreads well beyond into the surrounding streets and avenues
The American Airlines Arena is the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat. It is also the main venue for large concerts and other special events, including top name singers and performers. It can hold more than 19,000 people. The structure itself, opened in 1999 has been awarded the Leed Green Building Certification for being an energy efficient building. It stands out prominently on the waterfront in a modern and developing area of downtown
Zoo Miami houses more than 2,000 wild animals in a cageless environment that gives the animals’ similar settings to their natural habitats, and visitors get the feeling of embarking on an safari. Large, open-air exhibits allow visitors to enjoy endangered wildlife at a safe yet close range. This is the only zoo in the continental United States located in a subtropical climate. Although this is not a huge zoo, it often appeals to families, with lots of interaction available with the animals. There is a children’s zoo with all kinds of attractions, including camel rides.
Jungle Island is a bird sanctuary, wildlife habitat, and botanical garden. There are over 1,100 birds presented in a tropical forest setting, some of which take part in daily shows. The gardens contain around 2,000 varieties of exotic plants including Heliconias, bananas, orchids and bromeliads. The site is also home to a variety of other animals including tigers, baboons, alligators, tortoises, monkeys, orangutans and flamingoes. Some of the other shows presented at the Parrot Jungle include a nocturnal creature presentation and the reptile encounter that highlights a rare white alligator.
The Miami Seaquarium has long been a favorite family attraction on Florida holidays.The most notable features are the daily shows featuring dolphins, killer whales, seals and other ocean inhabitants. Observation tanks contain alligators, sharks and tropical fish. The Seaquarium is actively involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of Florida’s endangered manatees, and there are normally at least a few of these gentle giants housed here. Some of the dolphins that take part in the shows are direct descendants of the original stars of the 60’s television program “Flipper.” The facility also offers a “swim with dolphins” program that promises to teach about the physiology, behavior and natural history of dolphins.
One of the most striking buildings on Biscayne Boulevard, Freedom Tower displays a “wedding-cake” style. Built in 1925, it is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the southeastern United States, and served for many years as the headquarters of the Miami Daily News.
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