History & Culture
South Beach is the riotous all-hours party that has given Miami Beach its reputation, and it’s been that way since the 1950s — though the area was less stylish then, if no more savory. Led by a few architectural agitators, the city made efforts to preserve its iconic Art Deco architecture — including textbook examples of Miami Modern — and the grand hotels of that era still stand, though mostly remodeled and rebranded. This celebration of urbanism makes for a lively scene full of shops and cafés that spill onto the streets, with music everywhere. The gorgeous white sand beaches are still an attraction, though, and the locals tone their bodies (and show off said bodies) along boardwalks and bridges that line the beaches. This is not to say that all is hedonism here in Miami Beach. There are museums, concert venues, and art galleries everywhere you turn, and the area is a mecca of the art world during Art Basel each year. Though you will see Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis on the narrow streets, Miami Beach isn’t a place you need to hop into a car to experience. You’ll have a better time experiencing this polyglot cultural wonder from a pair of flip-flops or some six-inch platform wedges.