Discover the South Beach Miami Art Deco District: A Travel Guide

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Art Deco residential building

Art Deco district and Beaches

Miami Beach has the second largest Art Deco district in New Zealand after Napier. Here you will find the largest collection of Art Deco style buildings in one place. The Art Deco Quarter in Miami Beach worth a visit. The buildings in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District were built in the 1930s and 1940s. The Art Deco District in Miami Beach extends from the southern tip of the island to about Dade Boulevard.



The birth of the Art Deco style

Art Deco, a movement in architecture and design, emerged in France in the 1920s. Inspired by modernism, this style features geometric shapes and vibrant colors. You can find a good overview of what Art Deco architecture can look like in this one Image collection.

Art Deco crosses the Atlantic

The Art Deco style reached America in the 1920s. American designers and architects, impressed by the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925, brought this style home. The first Art Deco buildings were built in the USA New York City, including famous buildings such as the Chrysler Building.

Miami Beach: A city is born

Miami Beach, founded in the early 20th century, was initially a pristine swampland. The founders of Miami Beach, including Carl G. Fisher, had a vision: They wanted to create a luxurious seaside resort that would attract tourists from all over America.


Details in the Art Deco district of Miami
Details in the Art Deco district of Miami

History of Art Deco in Miami Beach

Famous Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach

In the 1930s and 1940s, when Miami Beach became a popular vacation spot, the Art Deco style played a central role. Miami Beach architects used Art Deco to give the city a modern, stylish image. The buildings should exude elegance and modernity in order to attract wealthy tourists. This is one of the most striking buildings Colony Hotel*. With its neon green facade and characteristic lettering, it is a real eye-catcher. This is another highlight Carlyle Hotel*, which was seen in many films. Today, however, it is no longer operated as a hotel. Instead, you can now rent apartments in this Art Deco building (Example 1* and Example 2*). These buildings tell stories of a time when Miami Beach emerged as a glamorous vacation spot.

Preserving Miami Beach's Art Deco Heritage

Today, Miami Beach's Art Deco District is a living testament to that era. The colorful buildings with their distinctive neon lights and geometric shapes tell the story of a city that wanted to establish itself as a glamorous vacation destination. The Art Deco style in Miami Beach is more than just architecture; he is a piece of living history. It is a symbol of the revitalization of Miami Beach in the 1980s. At that time, committed citizens campaigned to preserve these architectural treasures. Today the district is a lively cultural center.


Book hotels in the Miami Art Deco District here *

Art Deco hotels and accommodations in Miami Beach

These are five great Art Deco hotels and accommodations in Miami Beach in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District for your Miami vacation.

1. The Betsy Hotel, South Beach*

The Betsy Hotel offers direct beach access and features a courtyard and a rooftop pool. Enjoy the 360 ​​degree views and proximity to shopping and entertainment.

2. Viajero Miami*

Just 300 meters from the Art Deco District you will find the Viajero Miami. This boutique hotel offers three pools in a courtyard and is opposite the beach.

3. AxelBeach Miami – Adults Only*

AxelBeach Miami is an LGBTIQ-friendly, adults-only hotel. It offers a garden, fitness center and bar.

4. Kent Hotel*

Kent Hotel, just 350 meters from the District, offers free beach towels and access to a garden. Enjoy the proximity to the beach and free WiFi.

5. Colony Hotel*

The Colony Hotel is one of the most photographed hotels in South Beach. It is right across from the beach and offers free WiFi.


The Art Deco District in Miami Beach is a listed building

The Art Deco District in Miami Beach has been a listed building since 1979. Many of the buildings were to be demolished at the time. However, popular protests prevented this. Therefore, the entire neighborhood is now a US Historic District. The Miami Design Preservation League is one of the organizations that looks after the preservation of the Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach. The listed part of town is between the Sea, 5th Street, Alton Road and the Collins Canal. There are a total of 960 Art Deco buildings. Many of them are now used as hotels, shopping malls or even cinemas. Be sure to check out the indoor areas, which are open to the public. You can find Art Deco not only on the facades, but also in the interiors of these houses.


Lounge in an Art Deco hotel in Miami Beach
Lounge in an Art Deco hotel in Miami, as they were typical in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District


We begin our walk through the Art Deco district of Miami Beach in Florida therefore in the Lincoln Street Mall. This is the pedestrian mall in South Beach. This is lined with boutiques, restaurants and bars. A little away from the Miami Beaches you can not only shop well, but also take a break with a fruit cocktail or a Cafe Cubano.


Advertising in the Miami Art Deco district
Miami Art Deco as advertising in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District


A walk through the Art Deco district

As you walk through the Art Deco District, pay attention to typical features such as round corners, nautical elements and the famous neon lights. These details are typical of the Art Deco style and speak of the creative energy that once characterized Miami Beach.

As we stroll through the pedestrian zone, we first discover Art Deco jewelry on the houses in the Art Deco architectural style. This Cadillac Art Deco advertisement dates back to the early days of Miami Beach's Art Deco district. It is a good example of how the Miami architectural style was used for commercial purposes at that time.


Here's what you should pack for the Art Deco District Miami and the Beaches:


Art Deco District Miami - Lincoln Theater Miami and Beaches
Lincoln Theater in the Art Deco District in Miami Beach - Art Deco Miami is everyday art


Art Deco design elements in Miami Beach

The curved lines are typical of the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach. We often notice them. One example of this is the Lincoln Theater, a movie theater on Lincoln Street Mall. The pastel colors of the houses are also typical of the Miami architectural style. Together with the layout of the rooms, which are often grouped around an inner courtyard, they also give the buildings from the Art Deco era an airy appearance.


Reception at a hotel in the Art Deco district of Miami
Hotel reception in a former hotel in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District - furniture in the Art Deco style welcomed visitors


What is Art Deco?

Art Deco is not limited to architecture. It is decorative art that has also been used in furniture, fashion, jewelry and everyday objects. Art Deco paintings and drawings also have their own unique style. It is therefore definitely worthwhile to look at the buildings in the Miami Art Deco District not only from the outside, but also from the inside. The Art Deco style developed at the end of the 19th century. One finds Art Deco elements up to the beginning of the Second World War. The heyday was in the 20s of the 20th century.

In contrast to Art Nouveau, Art Deco has no clear style feature. Instead, the elegance of the forms, precious materials, colors full of intensity and sensuality play a role. Organic and floral motifs appear frequently. The artists do not attach importance to a natural representation of the motifs. Rather, they look more like posters.

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Discover the South Beach Miami Art Deco District and its surroundings




Art Deco residential building
Miami Beach Art Deco apartment building


Spanish Quarter Miami

We then continue our walk south past pastel-colored Art Deco-style houses. Our destination is Espanola Way, a Miami neighborhood with many buildings in Art Deco architecture. Typical are the sun visors over the windows. These should keep the heat and sun out of the living quarters. Because the houses were built at a time when air conditioning systems did not provide coolness in the interior. Miami's beaches can get hot and muggy, especially in the summer. Since the windows are often wide open in the hot season, bars have been installed in front of the windows. The architects fitted these seamlessly into the Art Deco design. Therefore, they are not disturbing, but underline the effect of this architectural style. The residents can thus open the windows even on hot summer days and thus ensure a draft in their apartment.


Miami Beach building
Well-ventilated buildings in which bars serve as decor


Many of the Art Deco houses are therefore built around a private courtyard. This enabled sufficient air exchange in the rooms because windows can be opened on both sides of the room. When the window is open, the cooler air from the inner courtyard ensures a room climate that is pleasant even at more than 30 degrees. So the summer days on the beaches of Miami are also bearable.

We continue to

Espanola Way, Miami Beach


Espanola Way Miami
The Espanola Way is reminiscent of Spain


This part of the Miami Art Deco District is not only worth a visit for its architecture. Here you will find good bars and restaurants where you can eat well during the day. An evening stroll will show you Miami's nightlife with Art Deco flair. On Espanola Way, we notice elements of style on the pastel-colored houses that are reminiscent of Spain. The Mediterranean style prevails here. Hotels, hostels, bodegas, bistros and street cafes line the street on both sides. Some of them came to fame because of their regulars.

Al Capone was vacationing in the Miami Art Deco district


Clay Hotel Miami
The Clay Hotel – This is where Al Capone spent his vacations


The Clay Hotel is one of them. This is where Chicago mobster Al Capone and his gang of gangsters spent the holidays. In return, he assured the city that he would not engage in any criminal activities during his stay. Allegedly he kept his promise. The facade of the hotel also appeared in the opening credits of the television series "Miami Vice". This ultimately ensured a renaissance of South Beach.


Staying at the Espanola Way


Jerry's Deli Miami
Jerry’s Deli, which resembles a steamboat – The deli is now closed.


Art Deco ornament in the Art Deco district

If you follow Espanola Way to Collins Avenue, you will eventually come to Jerry’s Deli. The deli is now closed, but its facade is reminiscent of a steamboat. This is also typical of the Art Deco style, which likes to use nautical elements in its architecture. This fits well with the lifestyle on the Miami Beaches. The sea and its ambience are never very far here. You can treat yourself to a Café Cubano or enjoy an ice cream sundae under the umbrellas along the street.


Z Ocean Hotel Miami
Z Ocean Hotel near Miami Beaches


Across the street, the Z Ocean Hotel takes up this architectural style again. Here, however, the facade of the hotel is more reminiscent of one of the oceanliners that sail to the port of Miami Beach every day. For example, you can take a look at the lobby of the hotel. Art Deco elements also play a role.


Are you traveling by motorhome and want to get to know the Art Deco district?

  • Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these  booking options.
  • Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
  • In North Miami Beach, you can go to Oleta River State Park, 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, United States



Ocean Drive in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach


Ocean Drive Art Deco District Miami Beach
Ocean Drive and Miami Beaches


We walk through the Z Ocean Hotel. This is how we finally get to Ocean Drive and the Miami Beaches. Here, one Art Deco building follows the next with its decor in the pastel colors for which the Art Deco district of Miami Beach is famous. A stroll along this street takes you past Art Deco buildings in South Beach. Many of the buildings date from the early days of Art Deco in Miami Beach. However, the builders of that time were not interested in artistic beauty. Rather, they wanted to build a seaside resort that corresponded to the taste of the time. Instead, their aim was to attract bathers to Miami Beach who were looking for a seaside resort in the style of the time. They did not expect that they would create an attraction that still attracts visitors to Miami Beach to this day.

Discover the region around the Art Deco Quarter from a boat

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If you want to know more about the Art Deco district in Miami Beach, it's definitely worth a visit

Art Deco Museum and Welcome Center
1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL

During a visit you will learn more about the three architectural styles of Miami Beach. Art Deco, Mediterranean and modern Miami style. In addition to these permanent exhibitions, there are also special programs and temporary exhibitions.

The Miami Design Preservation League also offers tours of architectural styles found in Miami Beach. This also includes an Art Deco neighborhood tour in Miami Beach.

Did you also discover any other Art Deco style buildings in the South Beach Miami Art Deco District that you liked? Then share them with us in the comments.

FAQs about the Art Deco District in Miami Beach

What is the Art Deco District in Miami Beach?

The Art Deco District is a historic area in Miami Beach with unique buildings from the 1930s and 1940s.

Where exactly is the Art Deco District?

It is located in South Beach, Miami Beach, between 5th and 23rd Streets and Ocean Drive.

Why is the Art Deco District so special?

Because of its colorful Art Deco style buildings that preserve a piece of history.

Is it good to eat in the Art Deco Quarter?

Yes, there are many restaurants and cafes offering local as well as international cuisine.

Are there guided tours of the Art Deco Quarter?

Yes, there are various guided tours available that explain the history and also the architecture.

Are the buildings in the Art Deco District accessible?

Many buildings are open to the public, some serve as hotels, shops or restaurants, for example.

What shouldn't you miss in the Art Deco District?

Be sure to visit the Art Deco Welcome Center and famous hotels like the Colony Hotel.



Travel Arrangements

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Travel Guide to the Miami Beaches and the Art Deco District

Florida travel guide for the Miami Beaches*

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Hotels in Miami in and around the Art Deco District

Accommodation in Miami Beach* you can book here, for example.
Miami accommodations * you can also find here.

Excursions and tours not only in the Art Deco district

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Art Deco District Miami
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Travel Tips for Slow Traveler you can also find here.

Source Miami Beaches and Art Deco Miami: On-Site Research. Thank you for inviting Miami Beaches. However, our opinion remains unaffected.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Discover the South Beach Miami Art Deco District: A Travel Guide

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika

6 thoughts too "Discover the South Beach Miami Art Deco District: A Travel Guide"

  1. Hey,

    we were also in Miami but somehow we didn't notice it "consciously".
    Next time I will pay more attention to it. I really like the kind ...

    Best regards,


    1. Hello Saskia,

      There are certain streets in Miami Beach where Art Deco houses are frequent. It's best to take one of the city tours offered through the Art Deco district.

      Best regards,

  2. Oh look, I did not connect with Miami at all and I love the Art Deco style. Really nice translated! Must Miami on my travel list.
    Greetings from Zadar,
    Nicole from the travel blog PASSENGER X

    1. Dear Nicole,

      If you like Art Deco then you are in the right place in South Beach. There are great Art Nouveau houses not only on the sea, but also in the streets behind. We discover new ones every time we are there. Have fun in Zadar and best regards,

    1. Dear Michaela,

      that's it too. So far, I do not know any place where you can see more Art Deco houses than Miami Beach. Every time we are there, we discover new ones :).

      Best regards,

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