- Florida Keys Trip Report (Introduction)
- Hampton Inn Key Largo Hotel Review (Florida Keys Trip Report)
- Key Largo and Everglades (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Casa Marina Key West – Waldorf Astoria – Hotel Review (Florida Keys 2014 Trip Report)
- Key West, Part 1 (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Key West, Part 2 (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Angler’s Hotel Miami – Hotel Review (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Miami and South Beach (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
We only had one day to spend in Miami. Since our flight was leaving from Miami, we had made travel arrangements to leave Key West the previous day and spend the night in Miami so we wouldn’t be rushed or worried about sitting in traffic on the Overseas Highway from Key West to Miami in order to make a flight. Instead, we drove to Miami the night before our flight and had the entire evening and following afternoon to enjoy Miami Beach.
Art Deco Walking Tour Miami
Our first stop was the Art Deco Walking Tour. The tour originated at the Art Deco Welcome Center, which was just a few blocks from our hotel, the Angler’s.
We bought our tickets for the 10:30AM tour and then walked around the Welcome Center for a while, which had Art Deco-related exhibits:
Then there was an announcement that the tour was beginning. Our guide began our walk down Ocean Drive in South Beach. The tour started with a stop outside the Beach Patrol Headquarters building:
Our guide was very knowledgeable and I tried to absorb as much as possible as what she was telling us, but I know I won’t do the descriptions of these buildings nearly enough justice.
Our next stop was the Congress Hotel:
The guide explained that two buildings side-by-side in Miami Beach cannot contain too many similar design elements. In other words, when new buildings are constructed in Miami Beach, they cannot appear similar to the one next door!
We made a lengthy stop outside of this building, which used to be the home of the designer Versace. It now serves as a hotel:
I just kept snapping photos of all the amazing and gorgeous buildings along Ocean Avenue, even if they weren’t a focus or a dedicated stop on the walking tour:
Even the post office in Miami Beach is an Art Deco style!
The tour includes stops inside a few buildings as well, to see some of the art deco elements used in the interior designs. One of our stops included The Tides Hotel:
The tour group circled back, viewing more Art Deco style buildings:
The walking tour ended where we began, at the Art Deco Welcome Center. We walked across the street and took a quick photo of the actual beach in Miami, since we hadn’t even seen it yet. (Even though our walk took us along Ocean Drive, there was almost a slight elevation from the street that blocks a view of the ocean!)
We grabbed lunch, checked out of our hotel and put our luggage in storage, and then headed to our next stop, the Wynwood Walls!
We took an Uber and traveled to the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor grafitti art space in Miami. (We didn’t want to worry about finding parking, hence the Uber).
This was a really cool spot. And it wasn’t terribly crowded at all (likely because it was an early Friday afternoon).
I’ll just let the photos do the talking here:
There was also an indoor space featuring the works of Peter Tunney:
Anyway, this place was well worth the Uber drive (especially since Wynwood Walls is free to visit). I definitely recommend it if you have the opportunity to go.
Ocean Drive … Drive
We took an Uber back to our hotel. We loaded up our luggage into the rental car, and we still had some time to kill before our 6:00PM flight departure. So we decided to do a drive up and down Ocean Drive. We put the roof down of our Camaro rental car and just enjoyed the drive. It’s definitely a slow drive. Lots of cars, pedestrians, and traffic lights. It’s still enjoyable, but definitely requires a lot of attention!
We even spotted some sort of fun-looking photoshoot!
And that was it! We started our drive to Miami Airport. We hit a TON of traffic on the way out of Miami Beach, likely because it was rush hour. Luckily we gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport. We kept the convertible roof down on our entire drive, and we were able to see a stunning Miami sunset while stuck in traffic!
We dropped off our rental car, checked in for our flight, and we were on our way back home from a fantastic trip!