What can you do with only three days in South Florida? Turns out quite a lot, and although more time would have allowed me to dig deeper, I think I did pretty well with the amount I had. The was a solo adventure, which meant I was able to focus almost completely on art and photography, and by organizing my list of potential activities into neighborhoods and then into must, want and hope I prioritized my time, and hit the ground running…
Miami Beach, and more specifically the South Beach neighborhood is famous for it’s large concentration of Art Deco architecture (the largest in the world), and its vibrant nightlife has been featured in films, television and books.
However, it was the collection of colorful and unique lifeguard towers dotting the beach that cemented Miami Beach’s place on my Florida To Do List. Delighted by their cheerful candy colored existence I had to see them. All! Half walking and half running, I went up and down the beach stopping at each one, snapping photos from every angle.
These iconic stands, many of which have been around since the 1980s, have withstood not only sun, sand and time, but hurricanes as well. Six of them were recently auctioned off and will be used as everything from DJ booths, to tree houses and backyard art pieces. Here’s hoping their new, more resistant aluminum, replacements will be equally as enchanting.
Once I’d checked my number one Miami Beach “must see” off the list I set about exploring the rest including, a stroll along Ocean Drive, a peek into some of the area’s glamorous hotels, and a delicious Cubano sandwich on Lincoln Road.
Art Week is a great time to explore the area’s famously chic hotels as most of them will be hosting art shows and parties many of which are free and open to the public.
Art Week saw the historic National Hotel transformed inside and out by alumni of the University of the Arts Philadelphia.
The gorgeous pool deck at The National Hotel is a great place to grab a bite to eat or a drink, and if you fancy it you can pay an additional fee to while away the afternoon lounging by the pool.
This neon sign in the Sagamore Hotel bar was a favorite, though I admit I’m not sure it was part of the art show.
Renowned for its art deco architecture on the outside, and its playful yet chic styling on the inside it’s no wonder the Delano South Beach has stayed so popular. The cool dark interiors are a welcome respite from the bright hot Florida sun and the light airy curtains coupled with large columns create secret spaces in which one can retreat out of the spotlight.
While the origins of the Cubano sandwich are surprisingly less than clear, what isn’t in question is their popularity, and that meant having one was high on my list. I admit to grabbing mine in quite a touristy spot, but the Cuban bread layered with marinated pork, sweet ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and a mustard mayo spread paired with a traditional mojito not only met my expectations, it exceeded them.
When asked what he might like me to bring back from Florida, my younger son had what might be considered an unusual or even difficult request, a photo of a large lizard, unless of course you’re visiting a place with an exploding iguana population. Though I only saw this one “little” fellow during my stay, I think he more than met the requirements.
Given it’s touristy reputation I was surprised at how much I enjoyed South Beach, and I hope to find myself there again one day.
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Those are some of the most awesome lifeguard towers! Why can’t Cali have some like that!? Would love to visit Miami Beach one day (or possibly again…think I was there as a teen??) Happy New Year! #FarawayFiles
Aren’t they wonderful! Happy New Year!
I just love the south beach architecture #farawayfiles
It’s pretty great! So glad they’ve preserved it for all of us to enjoy!
Trish @ Mum's Gone To
I so would have run up and down the beach to snap those iconic lifeguard towers. What a fabulous collection! And that’s some iguana!
I get like a crazy person they were so lovely! Wasn’t he huge?! I might have freaked out but I had to take his photo instead!
I’ve been in Florida many times and mostly about an hour north of Miami. I’d love to go see the lifeguard towers – they look like fun. I’m also a fan of art deco architecture so I would spend time admiring the buildings.
I too had been before, but so long ago I think it may have predated those lovely towers. 😳
Those lifeguard towers are just to die for, aren’t they? I LOVE those bright colours! I’ve always thought that those South Beach hotels were pretty cool, too. Great destination for an arty weekend. #FarawayFiles
They sure are! There was so much to see I hardly knew where to go or look at any one moment. Sensory overload/heaven for sure!
Ohh no, it’s such a shame those lovely old booths are being replaced, they’re are so iconic and fantastic to look at.
Great iguana/lizard shot. #farawayfiles
I’m fairly certain they’ll be replaced with equally cheerful huts, just not wood… at least I hope this is the case?
cute&colorful beach huts! #farawayfiles
Aren’t they adorable!
I love the colourful life guard towers and took many pictures of them when I was there too. The art deco architecture of ocean drive is beautiful too. Going during such an artistic weekend must have been great full. We made the very British mistake of going during spring break. Days were very quiet but from about 2pm onwards, well you can imagine!! #Farawayfiles
Ha ha! I went specifically for art week, and it was pretty crazy crowded, so can only imagine the chaos of spring break!
fifi + hop
South Beach is the best..so much life. Funny iguana story..girls and I were eating breakfast outside at a table at our hotel, when out of the blue a huge iguana fell out of the tree next to us, and fell on the floor right next to L’s feet. At first we were stunned, no one moved. Eventually he made his way back up the tree :))). #farawayfiles
Oh my gosh! I think I might have screamed!
Love how colorful everything is! Your pictures remind me of the instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson ❤
Ooh! I’ll have to check that out!
I LOVE Miami, it’s such a cool city, I always like to stop off on my way down to the Keys if we are heading that way! Your photos really capture the place! 🙂 #farawayfiles
Thank you! It had been years and years since my last visit and I found that I liked it so much more than I remembered.
Catherine’s Cultural Wednesday
I spent 2 hours in Miami between planes once and always wanted to return, now I have to to see that beach huts
Aren’t they special!?
Caity Pfohl | The Pamplemousse Papers
I’d love to visit Miami, especially after hearing it has such a large concentration of art deco architecture. The lifeguard stands are amazing, I’d prioritize those too! 🙂 #farawayfiles
SOBE is a family fav of ours! You captured the spirt so beautifully with your pictures. Thanks for sharing