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All about Miami Beach

By: Jim Hartley

With summer approaching, it may be a nice idea to take a break from one’s gruelling daily routine and splash around in the cool waters of the Atlantic. Talking about beach resorts, why look any further than Miami Beach?

Originally established in 1915, the city, located in the Miami-Dade County of Florida, changed its name to Miami Beach in 1917. It is a city known not only for the excitements that it offers as a seaside resort but also for its cultural and artistic heritage.

The city’s Art-Deco style architecture won recognition in 1979 when the city’s Art-Deco Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures built during the period 1923-43 provide the architectural basis for declaring the district a historic place of national importance. Besides Art-Deco, Mediterranean and Streamline Moderne are the other architectural styles that are well represented in the district.

The city’s South Beach is one of the most popular areas.

Being a great draw to European tourists and largely influenced by their preferences, South Beach is one of the few public beaches in the country that tolerate topless sunbathing. Today, this part of the city is a major entertainment destination with hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants and oceanfront hotels.

The city is also very well known for its nightlife, fine dining culture, bike riding and shopping. While the once down-trodden Lincoln Road in the South Beach area is today acknowledged throughout the US as the destination for quality food, adventure thrills and great shopping experiences, its real claim to fame is the fact that Lincoln Road and the South Beach area has today replaced Los Angeles and New York City as the country’s top night life destination. Incidentally, the city happens to be among the top 30 destinations for gay tourism in the United States. The city is also the world’s fashion shoot hub with more than 1500 models living in the area and many more arriving during the October to March season.

Often called the Sun and Fun Capital of the world, Miami Beach offers tourists several points of interest. Take Collins Bridge for instance. Way back in 1913, John S. Collins and Carl G. Fisher built a 21/2 mile bridge to connect the City of Miami on the mainland and the City of Miami Beach on a barrier island in southern Florida. It was then the longest wooden bridge in the world. Although the Venetian Causeway has today replaced the original Collins Bridge, it was this link that ushered in rapid development for Miami Beach. Today the Venetian Causeway follows the original route taken by Collins Bridge.

Another must-see landmark is the Miami Beach Botanical Garden spread across 4.5 acres of land. The garden includes a conservatory and has several varieties of palms and orchids.

For fun, sun and so much more there is nothing to beat Miami Beach!

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