2. Go back to the twenties on art deco Ocean Drive
Tans may seem beautiful, but they're temporary; take a stroll past the art deco buildings in South Beach to admire architecture's more permamanent golden era. The glamorous hotels were born when a theatrical style swept the design world in the ’20s, and the best of these giddy individuals are crowded along Ocean Drive. Park Central Hotel and the Imperial, designed by New Yorkers Henry Hohauser and L Murray Dixon, feature bold bands of colour and window 'eyebrows', which are characteristic of this flamboyant style. This is the ideal place to start off exploring the Art Deco District, which contains over 800 buildings from the 1930s and '40s. Visit the Art Deco District Welcome Center for self-guided audio tours.
3. Make your home more Miami in the Design District
If your home is crying out for a facelift, then the Design District is the answer to your makeover prayers. Once a pineapple grove, the area evolved into Decorators Row during the building boom of the 1920s, when home-design stores occupied this space. Among the high-end showrooms is Holly Hunt, with deluxe furniture and interior designs by Rose Tarlow, Christian Liaigre and Wendell Castle. And European kitchen-cabinet maker Bulthaup sells reproductions of mid-century modern classics here. Making the most of the Design Art trend are a number of galleries. Established names include Daniel Azoulay (3900A NE 1st Avenue, at NE 39th Street, 305 576 1977) and Barbara Gillman (414 NE 2nd Avenue, at NE 41st Street, 305 573 1920), which show internationally acclaimed artists.
4. Kick back with a Cuban in Little Havana
Visit Little Havana for a taste of Cuba. Miami Cubans are incredibly proud of this neighborhood, even if they don't live there. Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) and the surrounding area are testimony to the American dream followed by the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who fled to Miami after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. Here, you'll find many restaurants and shops that are replicas of the ones they'd left behind. Mediterranean-style houses with rocking chairs on the porch, fragrant tobacco scents wafting from cigar stores and the hum of Latin music from record shops all help to make this feel like their home away from home.
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