Art Deco Historic District, South Beach, Miami
The heart of South Beach, 18th St. and south along Ocean Dr and Collins Ave, one of the largest areas in the United States on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the Region’s rejuvenation and rebirth as an important tourism destination is directly due to its preservation as a historical site in 1979.
The National Register designation prevents the developers from heartily smashing important parts of a crime-ridden smattering of glamorous collections populated mainly by drug-crazed lunatics, Cuban refugees and elderly residents in the 1980s. It’s a far cry from that, with a lively mix of neighbors for winters only, including gay men, plus a dash of old-timey. Today, hotel and apartment facades are decidedly colorful with pastel architectural details.
Your first stop here should be the Art Deco Welcome Center (305-531-3484; 1001 Ocean Dr; 10:00-7:30 Mon-Sat, 18:00 Sun). this will give you a good idea of the much loved but often misunderstood neighborhood. You’ll find an informative permanent exhibition at the gallery, a number of walking tours you can sign up for (including an excellent self-guided audio tour), and a very well-stocked gift shop selling souvenirs from old-fashioned postcards to decorations. style jewelry.
Venetian Pool, Miami
When tons of soil and rock were taken for Merrick’s construction boom, a massive limestone quarry soon formed. Then a creative thinker; Why not turn this glaring thing into an extraordinarily beautiful swimming hole by filling it with water? From the National Register of Historic Places, this 1924 spring-fed pool (305-460-5306; 2701 DeSoto Blvd; adult/child November-March 6.25/3.25, April-October 9.50/5.25); usually changes with the season, but 11am-5pm), boasting an 820,000-gallon capacity, coral rock caves, cascading waterfalls, a palm-fringed island, vine-covered porches and Venetian moorings. It was designed by Merrick’s uncle, the ubiquitous muralist Denman Fink, and is large enough to accommodate a large waterfall, children’s area, and adults’ lap swimming area. In fact, at the 1920s Heyday, it hosted synchronized swimmers Esther Williams and Johnny ‘Tarzan’ Weismuller, both seen in historic photos at the pool. Whether you want to swim or not, this pool is a sight to behold.
Mallory Square, Key West
Mallory Square is the belly of the beast. While during the day it is just another beachside park filled with shops, in the early evening the area turns into a bizarre sunset party – an exaggerated display of artisans, firefighters, singers, unicycles, mimes, and other miscellaneous characters, all competing with one another. for the tourist dollar. The event quickly turns into a mob scene as people rally around the most infamous artists. But love it or hate it, it’s an integral part of Key West culture, so be sure to check it out at least once. You can always relax yourself by watching the magnificent sunset.
Author : Kenneth Ng, Lonely Planet