Here are some of the top ways to explore this faboulous part of town, whether you're up to a leisurely walk or a fun ride on a segway, we got you covered:
This is the official walking tour run by the Miami Design Preservation League.
Tours depart from the Art Deco Welcome Center and are led by architects and historians (mostly volunteers) that have an obvious passion for our city's revival and design trends, past, present and future.
You get to explore the different styles found throughout the District, including the interior of buildings representative of such styles and trends. The tour lasts 90 minutes, bring drinking water and sun protection, specially in the summer months.
When?: Every Day at 10:30 a.m., additional evening tour on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
Where?: Meet at the Art Deco Welcome Center, some 10-15 minutes before the tour: 1001 Ocean Drive - 10th Street and Ocean Drive
How Much?: Adults $25, Students, Veterans and Seniors $20
Reservations are not required, you can buy your ticket on the spot or online here.
Also an official walking tour offered by the MDPL.
We really like this option as you get to go at your own pace and take little detours for a refreshment here, window shopping, people watching, lunch in between, or even a dip in the water to cool off.
You get a pre-recorded tour on an ipod nano, how cool is that, and a map pointing out the route and 14 stops of interest.
They recommend taking a minimum of 90 minutes to complete the round. We took a detour and walked further north towards Española Way where we stopped for lunch, then on a bit futher to the Lincoln Road Shops and then "rejoined" the tour again.
Although having your own expert guiding the way is probably best for the real design and architecture lovers out there, I found this self-guided tour quite practical, full of information, more than some people might need actually, and really enjoyed the flexibility.
You start your tour at the Art Deco Welcome Center where you pick up the map and ipod. You will need to leave some ID as "deposit" which will be returned when you bring the ipod back.
I also recommend taking some time before you set off exploring to read and study the map and information you receive, specially the "Selected Glossary of Art Deco Terms" on the pamphlet which gives you a very good introduction of what to look for as you walk around.
When?: Every Day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Where?: Pick up your ipod and map at the Art Deco Welcome Center: 1001 Ocean Drive - 10th Street and Ocean Drive
How Much?: $20, Seniors and Students $15
Languages available: English, Spanish, German and French
This one is a lot of fun, not only a great introduction to the Art Deco District but also the main highlights of Miami Beach while enjoying the outdoors and the city's most spectacular views with stops at some of the favorite local hangouts.
Fun for all ages and fitness levels, an easy ride.
The tour lasts approximately two hours. A great easy ride that starts in the heart of the Art Deco District, these are some of the highlights you will pass along the way:
This tour gives you a broad overview of the Art Deco District, some interesting facts but no in-depth coverage as the MDPL tours above. But it is definitely a fun way to get your bearings and cover a little more of the area.
When?: Every Day at 10:00 am
Where?: Starts and ends at a central location in Miami Beach
How Much?: $ 40
What's included?: Bike, Helmet and Professional Guide
You start with a 30 minute orientation which will teach you all you need to know about maneuvering a segway, then you're off to explore the retro fabulous Art Deco scene, the beaches, the trendy bars and the beautiful people...
The tour lasts approximately two-and-a-half to three hours and covers many of the attractions and areas highlighted in the Bike Tour above.
When?: Every Day 10:30 am, 2:30 pm, sunset tour varies based on time of year.
Distance: Approx. 5 miles (8 km)
Where?: Starts and ends at a central location near Collins Avenue.
Who?: Segway participants must be at least 16 years old and 100-260 lbs (45 kg-117 kg), not suitable for pregnant women.
How Much?: See below
What's included?: Segway rental and helmet, 30-minute orientation session, Professional Guide
There is also a shorter Sunrise Segway Tour which is the perfect way to kick off the day. The tour starts at 8:00 am and lasts about one-and-a-half hours. The early start might be a put-off for some, but this is actually the tour we recommend if this is your first time on a Segway.
This is a more relaxed ride since the streets are empty at the early hour and not having to deal with crowds and traffic is definitely a bonus!
This is a great and fun way to enjoy two of South Beach's top attractions:
You start by walking through the historical and architectural highlights of the District with a small group and guides that share their knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for this corner of Miami.
And along the way, you also get a chance to try the different flavors of the area, there are some five to seven stops that will give you more than a taste of the region and mesh of cultures.
It's definitely good value for money, and if you don't know your empanadas from your patacones, this tour is the perfect introduction so you can explore the many restaurants and kitchens later on during your stay.
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