Miami Beach Art Deco Walking Tour, Part Two

If you are joining us from Part One of our Miami Beach Art Deco Walking Tour, you’ve walked down Ocean Drive and across to Washington Avenue. Maybe you’ve even taken the time to visit the Miami Beach Jewish Museum, or discovered Espanola Way. We’ll pick up at the busy corner of Washington and Lincoln Road. (If you missed Part One, you might want to read that for a primer on Art Deco and Ocean Drive.)

Anybody who’s not super impressed with the beautiful “art-itecture” might humor you by walking along, but they’d probably prefer something else. If you just walked Ocean Drive, they may be rolling their eyes every time you stop to take a selfie at another hotel, and expressing a desire to do anything besides look at buildings. Maybe do some shopping or catch a movie. They might even volunteer to chill with a nice espresso while you hunt down more Art Deco coolness.

Conveniently, we’re at the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall where we can do all of the above while enjoying the open air mall filled with Art Deco sculptures, fountains and green spaces. Look for the historic the Lincoln Theatre, once owned by the New World Symphony, and the Colony Theatre, which has been restored and is still a performing arts venue. Neither hosts movies anymore, but you may spot the large modern Regal Cinemas South Beach. It’s the big building at Alton Road that looks like a giant Mondrian painting.

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When you’ve had your fill of Lincoln Road, head west to Collins Avenue for more Art Deco landmarks, starting with the stark white Sagamore. It’s the only hotel in South Beach with a subtitle – the Art Hotel. So named because the owners are collectors, and their hotel is home to the Cricket Taplin Collection of contemporary art, on display throughout the hotel. Two doors down is the gorgeous Delano, which was the tallest building in Miami Beach when it was built in 1947. The iconic Surfcomber is just past 17th street. It has gained fame recently for much-anticipated annual pool parties, and was the scene of the 2005 MTV Music Awards and Pool Party. The Raleigh Hotel at 18th and Collins is also known for its popular pool parties, and the unique beachfront pool, which is largely unchanged from the original design by prodigious Miami Beach architect L. Murray Dixon.


There are three more landmark hotels on Collins Avenue in the North Beach neighborhood, which is outside of the Art Deco District. If you venture north past 41st Street, you’ll find the historic Cadillac and Ocean Spray hotels, which stand out as the first two Miami Beach hotels added to the National Register of Historic Places. Both are examples of the Art Deco style in an area known more for the MiMo and Resort Modern styles. That brings us back to Morris Lapidus’ masterpiece we mentioned in Part One, the fabulous Fontainebleau Miami Beach at 44th Street. While loosely fitting in the Art Deco genre, it is a pioneering example of the Miami Modern (MiMo) style.

Photo: Cadillac Hotel in Miami Beach

The historic Cadillac Hotel was built in 1940 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Photo: Fontainebleau Hotel

The epic Fontainebleau Hotel in North Beach marks the transition from Art Deco to Miami Modern architecture and modern mega resort hotels. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Depending on far you ventured down Lincoln Road, the walking tour to the Raleigh is just about a mile. Venturing down Collins Avenue to the Fontainebleau is roughly 1.5 miles further. Put together with the Ocean Drive walk in Part One, you could hit almost six miles of easy, level walking (map below). We took these routes both day and night, and felt safe at all times. If you’d like to break things up, we recommend exploring Lincoln Drive and Espanola Way separately, and save North Beach for a walk along the Miami Beach Boardwalk. However you plan it, you’ll have a great time exploring Miami Beach on foot.

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5 comments on “Miami Beach Art Deco Walking Tour, Part Two

  1. I don’t know much about the States, apart from NYC and television. I really love this Art Deco walk, I thought Miami was all high rise. We will get there one day.

    • Hi Jan – Thanks for your comment! The Miami skyline sure has its share of high rises, but across the bay in Miami Beach, I was a little surprised to find that most buildings are not that tall. They’re sure pretty, though!

  2. Pingback: Miami Beach Art Deco Walking Tour, Part One - TravelLatte

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