Art-Deco Hotel in Heart of South Beach
Miami Beach didn’t start booming until the 1920s, when Harvey Firestone, J.C. Penney, and other millionaires built family homes along its sandy shores. In the 1930s, an architectural revolution hit, giving South Beach the art-deco buildings that it’s known for today. Built in 1937, the Beacon Hotel is one of those historic gems, featuring the flat roofs, smooth stucco walls, and geometric flourishes typical of an art-deco exterior.
The hotel enjoys a prime location on the famed Ocean Drive, just steps from a 7-mile stretch of beach as well as trendy boutiques and nightclubs. Before heading out, ask the concierge for recommendations on places to visit and help with making reservations, or grab a cocktail at the hotel’s Mojito Bar. The hotel’s interior reflects the area’s art-deco roots and modern South Beach style. The lobby is filled with high-backed leather chairs, and the second-floor lounge area has red sofas facing a flat-screen TV.
Deluxe two-double and deluxe king rooms echo the art-deco aesthetic of Ocean Drive. There are complimentary chairs and towels in each room that you can take down to the beach, which awaits just outside the hotel’s front doors.
Miami’s South Beach: World-Famous Beach Parties and Art-Deco Icons
Just east of downtown Miami, on the barrier island that forms Miami Beach, stands one of the world’s epicenters for nightlife: South Beach. The clubs along Ocean Drive are legendary for their boisterous, all-night blowouts, and for good reason—between the rum-soaked mojitos, colorful neon, and celebrity sightings, it can feel like an endless party. Perhaps that’s why the area pops up so often in film and TV, including Burn Notice and The Birdcage.
South Beach’s coast is known as Lummus Park, which Frommer’s calls Miami’s “best beach for people-watching.” While the bleached sand and curving palms are gorgeous, they’re almost overshadowed by the chiseled beach-goers dotting the sand. From here, a wood-slat boardwalk runs all the way up to North Beach, attracting joggers and roller bladers. You can also head about a mile south to South Pointe Park or to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park across the bay for quieter, more secluded shores.
It’s easy enough to spend the entirety of a trip to South Beach face-down on a beach towel, but that would mean missing out on the city’s other trademarks. The historical art-deco district boasts iconic, streamlined hotels in pastel shades and was the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Every morning at 10:30, local experts from the Miami Design Preservation League lead a 90-minute walking tour that highlights the neighborhood’s signature architecture.