Ocean Drive is Miami's legendary strip , the bustling road that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, lined with a fantastic array of Art Deco buildings, cafes and bars, shops, boutique hotels, and their fabulous sizzling nightscene...
This is the place to see and be seen, where everything goes and best to be enjoyed when you just go with the flow and have no expectations.
Before noon, the vibe is mellow as everyone lazily rolls out for their cortaditos and cafés con leche, newspapers and morning jogs.
A lot of the action then is accross the road along the beach and Lummus Park with bikers and rollerskaters cruising the promenade and sun worshippers enjoying just another beautiful day in paradise...
As the day progresses, so does the noise level, the traffic and the raucous atmosphere... The neons lit up and Ocean Drive transforms ... lamborghinis cruising up and down... oversized margaritas... hot bodies... music of all kinds, coming at you from all directions... loud, brash and uniquely Miami...
Ocean Drive starts in the southern end of the island at South Pointe, just south of 1st Street and then follows north along the Atlantic Ocean for a short 15-block stretch, not long but it certainly packs a punch.
This is one busy stretch, specially at night. As with many touristy places, beware of mediocre food, overpriced drinks and the occasional annoying peddler or heavily intoxicated mortal...
Sidewalk cafes, restaurants and bars line the road and it gets very lively around the mid-point between 5th and 12th streets. Grab a spot and let all the entertainment pass by... For a change of pace head accross the road to Lummus Park, enjoy the sand, the breeze, the funky lifeguard towers...
Some of the most iconic art deco buildings in the district are found in Ocean Drive. Businesses come and go, but the longtimers that can be credited with energizing the Miami Beach comeback are still going strong. Here are some highlights as you stroll the strip from north to south, click on the pins for an image and short description. Conversely, the info is presented below, you can look up its position in the map.
The trio on Ocean and 14th Street is a popular example of Art Deco architecture with the softer pastels and simple and stylish design, often featured in tourist brochures. These are chic boutique hotels, McAlpin is a Hilton property.
Happy Hour cocktails on the Rooftop Terrace... bliss!
Original Art Deco motifs from 1936!
The Cardozo is owned by one of our famous local superstars, Gloria Estefan. This was one of the first properties to emerge also bringing the celebrity touch that started the deluge to come.
Another iconic landmark, its facade remains virtually unchanged from the original hotel erected in 1939. The Carlyle has been the backdrop of many movies, Scarface, The Birdcage, Random Harts, Bad Boys...
The Palace is the first and only gay restaurant/bar on Ocean Drive.
Now a luxury boutique hotel, The Villa by Barton G. was the former home of Italian designer Gianni Versace, who was tragically murdered in front of its steps in 1997.
The property has retained the extravagant and over-the-top features designed by Versace, including its 54-foot mosaic-tiled swimming pool lined in 24-carat gold.
It stands out with its nautical touches reminiscing of the big cruise liners...
A South Beach classic... live entertainment, four poolside bars, the pool patio stage. For sports fans, this is the place to be with over 40 TVs and a large LED media screen.
This is party central, if you're looking for a quiet stay, look somewhere else.
The Beach Patrol Headquarters with its nautical and ocean liner motifs is located behind the Art Deco Welcome Center. There are public restrooms and shower concessions in the back for all beach goers.
It is a wealth of information about all the different design styles found within the District: Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco and Miami Modern (MiMo). It includes the Visitor Center and the newly opened Art Deco Museum.
Accross the road from Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th Streets, "Lummus Park" is where you come for a day in the sun and more. Watersports, funky lifeguard towers, and an endless promenade for strolling, rollerblading, biking, which connects for miles from South Pointe Park to the boardwalk in North Miami Beach.
Another paramount feature of the South Beach skyline, the Breakwater was originally created in 1936 by Yugoslavian architect Anton Skislewicz. It has a fantastic scenic rooftop lounge.
It's like Carnival every day of the year here... live shows, conga, samba, mojitos, salsa, pop, reggae, merengue, break dancing...
One of two Room Mate Hotels properties in Miami Beach.
Gloria Estefan's restaurant, serving Cuban fare naturally...
One of the pionners, it's hard to imagine a South Beach without News Cafe. Casual atmosphere, all-day breakfast, international newspapers, 24/7 since 1988.
One of the most storied art deco buildings in Miami which is currently undergoing a $40 million mammoth makeover, including a fully renovated lobby bar and a glass-bottom pool that will be visible from the main lobby.
It's a South Beach landmark in prime oceanfront location, which of course features the Nikki Beach signature beach club and Sunday Brunch.
Parking: Challenging unless you come early. Several options, metered parking on street or city lots and parking garages, see Parking in South Beach.
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