Art Deco District in Miami Beach

Discover all the beauty and history of Miami's Art Deco district. Learn about the different architectural styles of the city, attend special events and take guided tours.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Art Deco District in Miami Beach

Art Deco District, Miami | ©Wyn Van Devanter

Miami is a city whose great architectural history can be seen reflected in any of its streets. However, the Art Deco district, at the end of South Beach, is the most iconic place in the entire city. This area is composed of more than 900 buildings designed under the distinctive architectural style that bears the same name of the jurisdiction.

On your tour of Miami, visit the Art Deco district to experience the glamorous and colorful buildings, mostly built between the 1920s and 1940s, which were later renovated to preserve the architectural legacy of the city.

In addition, during your visit you can take part in traditional activities, visit museums, take guided tours and even stay in some emblematic hotels. With so many options, you won't have to worry about what to see and do in Miami.

Art Deco Weekend: Join an event with a long history in Miami Beach

Miami Art Deco| ©Hugo Pardo Kuklinski
Miami Art Deco| ©Hugo Pardo Kuklinski

The Art Deco district is a must-see destination if you are in Miami Beach, and even more so if your visit is in January. During this month the Art Deco Weekend takes place, an event with more than 40 years of history, which celebrates architecture, art and music, among other cultural expressions.

If you are in Miami during these dates you will surely be interested in attending this great event, which takes place from the third Friday of the month of January. You can enjoy three days of continuous and free activities for adults and children:

  • Guided tour of the Art Deco district.
  • Lectures given by professionals explaining the history and importance of the Art Deco architectural movement and how it came to shape Miami's famous district.
  • Exhibitions of sketches and photographic records, showing the evolution of the Art Deco district in Miami.
  • Craft market, so you can acquire a souvenir of this event.
  • Projection of films with iconic scenes, filmed in specific sites of the Art Deco district and in locations of the city of Miami in general.
  • Musical show to liven up each day of the event.
  • Children's area with games and special activities for the little ones.

Book an art deco tour in Miami

Enjoy a guided architectural tour along the legendary Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive Street| ©Francisco Anzola
Ocean Drive Street| ©Francisco Anzola

If you are passionate about architecture and you are visiting Miami, you will be interested in discovering the Art Deco hidden in this coastal city. Therefore, include among your tourist activities a guided architectural tour along the famous Ocean Drive. You will observe some representative buildings of this artistic movement.

This type of tour usually lasts up to two hours, during which a specialized guide will accompany you along Ocean Drive Street, while introducing you to the origins of Art Deco and how it came to influence architecture.

You will have the opportunity to explore the interior of some commercial structures located in the area: hotels, restaurants, cafes. In addition, you will enjoy a privileged view of the sea, as Ocean Drive is right next to the Atlantic coast.

Tour South Beach and get to know its architecture

Versace Mansion| ©Thank You
Versace Mansion| ©Thank You

Don't waste any more time thinking about what to see in Miami in 1 day and join a tour of South Beach.

With the help of a guide you will get to know the main buildings with Art Deco architectural style of the area. In addition, you will be able to see up close some iconic sites, which served as scenery in the filming of famous series and movies.

You can stop to take pictures for souvenirs or simply contemplate carefully each of the buildings.

You will be amazed by the precision of the rectangular lines, the elegance of the geometric shapes and the presence of ornamental elements.

You will walk in front of the renowned ** Versace mansion, the 11th Street Diner, the Tudor Hotel and the Carlyle Hotel**.

Meanwhile, the guide will tell you the history of each building and indicate which of them have appeared in TV series of the 80's such as Miami Vice (Miami Vice) or "Scarface"; a big screen film starring Al Pacino.

Book a Miami architecture tour

Explore the Art Deco district at your own pace

Art Deco Ocean Drive Hotels| ©Phillip Pessar
Art Deco Ocean Drive Hotels| ©Phillip Pessar

If you are on vacation in Miami and want to discover all the architectural elegance of the Art Deco district, you can choose to purchase a self-guided tour. This way, you will go at your own pace and you will not have time constraints to stop and observe each building.

The first thing you should do is look for the official tour of the Art Deco district, developed by the MDPL Center.

To do so, you can purchase and download the app in Spanish, English, French or German through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

This is one of the most complete tours, designed to last at least two hours from the moment you leave the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive. You will learn about the history of the city and each of the buildings as you pass by.

Take a look at the peculiar architecture of South Beach Miami while tasting its gastronomy.

The Criollo, Cuban food in Miami| ©eugenio kim
The Criollo, Cuban food in Miami| ©eugenio kim

There are many tours of South Beach in Miami and each one offers varied routes, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

Among them is a tour of approximately three hours, to experience the gastronomy and peculiar architecture of this area.

You will taste the best multicultural dishes of this famous neighborhood, along with a gastronomic guide, who will explain the origin of each preparation. You will taste Mediterranean, French, Haitian, American, Italian, Cuban food, among others.

You will also learn about the Art Deco district, located at the end of South Beach. A colorful, elegant and unique place in the world, which brings together more than 900 buildings built under the emblematic Art Deco style, which emerged in the 1910s.

Book a gastronomic and Art Deco tour of Miami

Step inside the historic Versace mansion for an unforgettable experience

Versace Mansion| ©Chun-Hung Eric Cheng
Versace Mansion| ©Chun-Hung Eric Cheng

If you want to live an experience full of luxury and elegance, you must visit an iconic building of Art Deco architecture in Miami. It is the Versace Mansion that currently has its doors open to tourists as an exquisite hotel and restaurant.

You can stay at the Versace house for approximately $800 to $2,000 per night. Certainly, it is a little high, but you will enjoy a dreamlike atmosphere:

  • You'll be able to relax on the rooftop while soaking up the sun and admiring the fabulous view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • You'll swim in an ostentatious 24-karat gold-tiled pool.
  • You will have access to a private gym.
  • Pamper your body and release pent-up tension in a beautiful spa.
  • You will dine in an impressive dining room.

On the other hand, there is the mansion's restaurant service and garden bar, which are less expensive than staying at the hotel, but still allow you to enjoy a luxurious and peaceful atmosphere.

Come to the Art Deco Welcome Center in Miami Beach and learn about the city's historic design

Miami Art Museum| ©Phillip Pessar
Miami Art Museum| ©Phillip Pessar

At the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive in the Miami Beach neighborhood, you will find an incredible museum. Here you can learn all you need to know about the historic design that characterizes the city.

You will learn about the predominant design styles in Miami Beach: Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern, better known as Mimo. Afterwards, you will observe a series of scale models, so you will be able to pinpoint the elements that identify each style.

You will also learn about the development process of the city of Miami and see some visually appealing exhibits. In fact, if you are traveling with your children, you won't have to wonder what to do in Miami with kids, as they are sure to enjoy this educational tour through the history of architecture.

Be part of the Mimo tour of Miami Beach

Mimo Miami Architecture| ©Phillip Pessar
Mimo Miami Architecture| ©Phillip Pessar

Among the tours offered in Miami Beach to show the history and beauty of its buildings, you will find the Mimo or Modern Miami tour. It is an architectural trend originated from Art Deco. Be part of this expedition through the city and learn everything related to this peculiar style.

During the tour, the guide will accompany you through the streets while commenting on how Modern Miami was born and pointing out what are the features that distinguish this style. In addition, you will be able to enter some representative buildings and see every single detail in the construction.

This tour usually lasts two hours and the groups do not exceed 10 people, making it ideal for any tourist who wants to quickly explore the city, but does not know what to see and do in Miami in 3 days of travel.

Visit the Wolfsonian museum in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach.

Wolfsonian Museum| ©Phillip Pessar
Wolfsonian Museum| ©Phillip Pessar

On your tour of Miami Beach's Art Deco district, you should visit the famous Wolfsonian Museum and enjoy its architectural beauty, restored and preserved over the years. In addition, you will be able to observe incredible art exhibits.

Exhibitions, installations, workshops, lectures and guided tours are organized on a daily basis. All of them are available at a very affordable price, since the entrance fee does not exceed $10.

This museum also has an incredible library and a research center, very popular with locals, school groups and tourists.

Discover the lively nightlife of the Art Deco district during your visit to Miami

Art Deco, Miami| ©Piutus
Art Deco, Miami| ©Piutus

Visiting the Art Deco district after 7 p.m. will help you solve the question of what to do in Miami at night.

In this elegant neighborhood of Miami Beach you will find a lively atmosphere, full of color and many shops to eat, dance, have a drink, among other activities.

When you start your night tour, you will immediately notice the neon lights on the facades of the buildings, which provide a mind-blowing visual spectacle. In addition, this is often the ideal setting to take some souvenir photos.

Regarding nightlife, you will have access to a large entertainment area. You can go into a restaurant and sample any number of culinary delicacies for dinner. Afterwards, go to one of the countless bars and end the night in a lively Latin dance hall.

Prices in the Art Deco district

Clinton Hotel, Art Deco| ©Phillip Pessar
Clinton Hotel, Art Deco| ©Phillip Pessar

Miami's Art Deco district is characterized by fairly high prices for lodging, bars and restaurants. This is due to the fact that most of these buildings are luxury buildings, such as the Versace mansion, where you will need up to $2000 to spend a night there.

But, don't be discouraged if you don't have a big budget. You can participate in a guided tour, whose value does not exceed $ 100 per person. This way, you will get to know this iconic neighborhood, learn about its history and take lots of pictures of the facades.

Tourist crowds in Miami's Art Deco District

Art Deco, Tour| ©Kent Wang
Art Deco, Tour| ©Kent Wang

The influx of tourists in Miami's Art Deco district is usually constant throughout the year. Hundreds of people walk the streets of this neighborhood located at the end of South Beach every day to enjoy the 900 buildings located there.

You will see a large number of people in the morning, afternoon and evening. All of them admiring and photographing the architectural beauty of the place: colorful facades in pastel tones, elegant designs that combine straight lines, striking ornaments, spherical and cuboid.