How Do You Spend A Morning on South Beach, Miami Beach?

How Do You Spend A Morning on South Beach, Miami Beach?

South Beach, situated on Miami Beach, exudes a captivating allure and timeless fascination. Tucked away in the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, this tropical haven beckons individuals from every corner of the globe and every walk of life. With its enchanting art deco architecture, picturesque beachfront scenes, and rich multicultural ambiance, South Beach cultivates a vibrant culture that is as welcoming as it is invigorating.

The Art Deco Historic District is located between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue on Miami Beach. As you travel through the streets of South Beach, the iconic art deco architecture is so prominently showcased with every turn. Living in Miami, I have taken advantage of my proximity to South Beach and have photographed there too many times to remember. Each photo session brings a new unanticipated series of compositions. 

My typical shoot on South Beach begins approximately 2 hours before sunrise, where I walk along Ocean Drive and take advantage of the sparsity of people on street. There is a wonderful calm on the streets and Ocean Drive is lined with art deco hotels radiating brightly colored neon lights; add a little rain in the mix and beautiful reflections become part of the composition.


Then, it's over to the beach 45 minutes before sunrise to capture the lifeguard towers as the sun casts its ethereal glow across the beach. These lifeguard towers stand as iconic symbols of Miami Beach's spirit, ready to protect and serve. The lifeguard towers transform into more than just watchful protectors; they become vivid expressions of Miami Beach's unique identity. Adorned in an array of bold colors, these towers echo the optimism of Art Deco and the comforting embrace of Cracker Style architecture.

See my series on the lifeguard towers titled: "Sentinels of South Beach



What Exactly is Art Deco?

Art Deco is a distinctive and influential design style that emerged in the early 20th century, reaching its peak in popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. It originated in France before spreading around the globe and leaving its indelible mark on architecture, art, fashion, and design. Art Deco architecture is characterized by :

  1. Geometric Shapes: it often incorporates bold geometric shapes such as zigzags, chevrons, and stepped forms. 

  2. Symmetry and Repetition: this is a prominent feature in Art Deco design, with balanced compositions and repeated patterns adding to the visual attraction.

  3. Luxurious Materials: the style incorporates the use of luxurious materials such as exotic woods, metals like chrome and stainless steel, lacquer, marble, and glass.

  4. Streamlined Forms: the architecture frequently makes use of sleek, streamlined forms that evoke a sense of speed and progress. This streamlined look is often associated with the Machine Age and the technological advancements of the era.

  5. Bold Colors: vibrant and bold color schemes are common in Art Deco design. Colors like rich blues, greens, reds, and gold are often used to add drama and flair to interiors and exteriors.

Rounding out the morning is a quick breakfast at one of the many cafes, then wandering through the various hotels capturing the essence of Art Deco. Although each hotel has its own charm and personality, the common elements of the Art deco style are immediately apparent. 






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