White sandy beaches, Art Deco architecture, world-class restaurants, and swanky nightclubs that attract celebrities and stars – Miami Beach is flashy, fashionable, and fun. Set on several islands between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and connected by bridges to mainland Miami, Miami Beach is home to the Art Deco Historic district which boasts some of the most beautifully preserved early-20th-century and Art Deco architecture in the world.

Wide, white sandy beaches lined with swaying palms extend from North Shore Open Space Park to South Pointe Park, and the southern end of South Beach is the playground of the rich and famous. Here are some cool things to see and do on your Florida weekend getaway to Miami Beach.

1. Art Deco Historic District

Art Deco Historic District
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The Art Deco Historic District is an area in South Beach that harkens back to a bygone era with some of the most beautifully preserved Art Deco architecture in the world.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the district is home to over 900 historic buildings in the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and MiMo (Miami Modern) styles of architecture.

Candy-colored and pastel-hued buildings have stunning Art Deco design elements like porthole windows, sleek curves, ship-like railings, shiny chrome, sleek curves, glass blocks, and gleaming terrazzo floors.

The Miami Design Preservation League hosts guided walking tours of the district, exploring the history of the buildings, including Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace’s mansion on Ocean Drive. Browse the best beaches in Miami.

1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-672-2014, Map

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2. Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market

Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market
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The Lincoln Road Antique & Collectable Market is a famous flea market held every other Sunday on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida.

The market features over 100 vendors selling a wide variety of goods and items, including antiques, vintage clothing, china, home décor and furniture, jewelry, along with a range of high-quality items and collectibles.

The market is also home to a few artisans, including a woman who creates delicate dresses from crochet and vintage lace and a man selling renowned magazine clippings. Discover the best romantic South Beach vacations.

Lincoln road mall, Miami Beach, Florida 33139, Phone: 305-673-4991, Map

3. Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Miami Beach Botanical Garden
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The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a beautifully maintained 2.6-acre urban green space that features an array of native Florida plants and trees, a Japanese Garden, plant nursery, and an event plaza.

Founded in 1962 and later renovated by South Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles, the gardens feature meandering pathways, water gardens with fountains and ponds, a wetland with mangrove, a native garden, and bio-swale, and a pretty, Japanese Garden.

Species that can be seen in the garden home include palms, cycads, orchids, and bromeliads, and visitors can purchase young plants at the plant nursery. A Great Lawn and event plaza can be hired for special events and celebrations, and nighttime lights add a romantic touch to an evening at the gardens. Dine at great seafood restaurants in Miami.

2000 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-673-7256, Map

4. The Betsy South Beach

The Betsy South Beach
© The Betsy South Beach

The Betsy sits along Ocean Drive, at the quiet end with a convenient location. This pet-friendly hotel has 130 luxury rooms and suites.

Inside, you will find marble bathrooms, walnut floors, and luxury furnishings. Bathrooms have elegant walk-in showers.

Other standard amenities include soft linens, bathrobes, chairs with desks, Simmons mattresses, makeup mirrors, baby alpaca bed throws, feather and hypoallergenic pillows, HD TVs, full-length mirrors, and curated guest libraries.

You can also choose accommodations with a balcony. Upgrade to a suite for nearly twice the space, including a separate entertaining area or living room with a sofa bed. Multi-room suites are also available, with the ability to accommodate as many as 14 guests. More info

The resort fee covers beach umbrellas, towels, and chairs, along with local calls, New York Times online access, welcome beverages, the 24-hour fitness center access, local calls, docent art tours, arts and culture programming, live jazz performances, and rooftop sunrise yoga. The rooftop pool offers 360-degree views, perfect for admiring all that Miami Beach has to offer. There is also an orb-shaped sky bridge that is public art yet useful. Guests can also enjoy valet parking. Dine at LT Steak & Seafood or The Alley for trattoria classics. More Florida beaches to explore on vacation.

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, Phone: 305-531-6100

Where to stay: Miami Beach Hotels

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5. The Wolfsonian - Florida International University

The Wolfsonian - Florida International University
© The Wolfsonian - Florida International University

The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, also known as the Wolfsonian-FIU, can be found in the heart of the Art Deco District of Miami Beach in Florida and boasts an incredible collection of art and design.

The museum, library and research center has been a division of the Florida International University for the past 15 years and features two collections of around 180,000 pieces from the height of the Industrial Revolution in 1885 and the end of the Second World War in 1945.

The collection spans a range of media from industrial-design objects, ceramics, and furniture to textiles works in glass, rare books and periodicals, and paintings.

1001 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-531-1001, Map

6. Art Basel

Art Basel
© Art Basel

Art Basel is a privately owned and managed international art fair that is staged annually in certain cities around the world that was established to showcase local artists’ works and develop art programs. The show is staged in the founding city of Basel in Switzerland, as well as Miami Beach in Florida, and Hong Kong.

Art Basel Miami Beach collaborates with leading art galleries and institutions from North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America to showcase an array of Modern and contemporary artworks from both renowned and emerging artists. Miami outlet malls are fun for shoppers.

Art Basel , Art Basel U.S. Corp., 236 West 30th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001

7. Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park
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Flamingo Park is a 36-acre park in the heart of South Beach that offers a wealth of outdoor activities and recreation for all ages. The park features an aquatic center with an outdoor eight-lane lap swimming pool and a water playground for young children, as well as basketball courts, handball and racquetball courts, a tennis center, and a baseball stadium.

Other sports facilities in the park include a football field and a running track, a soccer field, a softball field, and a playground with a rock-climbing wall and a vintage 1950s train for little ones. The park has designated areas that can be rented for special celebrations. More Florida parks

Flamingo Park, 1200 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-673-7779

8. The Bass

The Bass
© The Bass

The Bass is a world-renowned contemporary art museum with a permanent collection of artworks ranging from the 7th century to the present. Housed in a beautifully preserved 1930s Russell Pancoast-designed Art Deco building on Collins Avenue, the Bass was founded in 1964 after Miami Beach residents John and Johanna Bass donated their private collection of artworks and sculptures.

The Bass museum features a comprehensive collection of works, including European paintings and sculptures from the 15th century, textiles and tapestries dating back to the 7th century, Asian and Caribbean art, and the history of pre- and postwar design in Miami Beach. The museum also has a sculpture garden and hosts an array of art-related events, films, and lectures throughout the year.

2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-673-7530

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9. New World Symphony

New World Symphony
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The New World Symphony is an orchestral academy that provides professional training to young musicians and prepares gifted graduates for leadership roles in orchestras around the world. Established in 1987, the New World Symphony is based in the awe-inspiring and architecturally significant Frank Gehry-designed building in South Beach and offers a range of leadership programs for emerging musicians.

The New World Symphony also presents a calendar of performances throughout the year, including shows presented by the Symphony’s students and performances helmed by visiting conductors. Performances can be enjoyed in the intimate, 756-seat main hall of the New World Center, or under the stars at the Miami Beach SoundScape Park, which boasts a 7,000 square foot projection wall that feeds the indoor performances for the public to enjoy for free.

500 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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10. The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater

The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater
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The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater is a classic Art Deco theater that hosts a variety of shows, comedy acts, and music concerts. The 41,000 square-foot venue has a grand entrance with a porte-cochere, an elegant Main Hall with customized VIP boxes, three spacious lobby areas, smaller club rooms, and expansive front lawn, and can host up to 2,700 people for a variety of events and functions.

The versatile venue features state-of-the-art lighting and sound, full-service event production teams, and can offer tailor-made culinary and beverage menus, as well as some of the world’s greatest musical entertainment.

The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-673-7300

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11. Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet
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The Miami City Ballet is an American ballet company with an international ensemble of over 50 dancers led by artistic director Lourdes Lopez. Founded in 1985, the ballet company performs a repertoire of 88 ballets over 75 times a year at various theaters in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.

The Miami City Ballet tours both domestically and internationally and appear at several festivals throughout the year, including Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Spoleto Festival USA, and others around the world. The ballet company also has a ballet school for students up to the age of 18 years. The school teaches the Balanchine method and students need to audition for placement in the school. More ideas: Romantic Weekend Getaways

2200 Liberty Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

12. Flagler Monument Island

Flagler Monument Island
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Flagler Memorial Island is a secluded and uninhabited island off the coast of South Beach that offers a fantastic place to swim and sunbathe away from the crowds on Miami beaches.

The artificial island is named after the soaring 110-foot monument that was erected in 1939 in honor of Henry M. Flagler and has tall trees and shrubbery that give the man-made island a natural look. The island is only accessible by private or charter boat and promises an untouched and tranquil retreat far from Miami’s buzzing energy.

Flagler Monument Island, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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13. Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar

Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar
© Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar

Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar is a family-owned restaurant and bar that serves traditional Mexican fare and an interesting selection of handmade margaritas in an artsy, vibrant setting.

Established over 25 years ago, the authentic cantina has colorful ceramic tables, quirky décor, and a friendly, welcoming vibe and serves a menu of freshly prepared Mexican cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients such as corn, chilies, and natural spices that are so distinctive in Mexican food. The full-service bar offers a range of Mexican beers and local craft brews, casual wines, and signature cocktails, as well as a variety of margaritas and fine tequilas. Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar is open for lunch and dinner, daily.

Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar, 1884 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-397-8442

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14. Bella Cuba Restaurant

Bella Cuba Restaurant
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Bella Cuba Restaurant is a traditional Cuban restaurant that was founded in Dublin in 1999 and opened a second location in South Beach, Miami in 2005. Located on the corner Lincoln and Washington Avenues in the heart of South Beach, the family-owned eatery is helmed by head chef and owner Juan Carlos Jimenez and serves a variety of classic homestyle Cuban food made with locally sourced ingredients and age-old family recipes. Signature dishes range from Frijoles Negros Tradicional (Fried Black Beans) to Lechón Asado (Slow Roast Suckling Pig) and a full bar menu presents an array of Cuban cocktails, craft beers, and casual wines. Bella Cuba Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily. More ideas: Florida Day Trips

1659 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-672-7466

15. Stiltsville Fish Bar

Stiltsville Fish Bar
© Stiltsville Fish Bar

Stiltsville Fish Bar is a casual, seafood shack-style eatery that specializes in locally sourced seafood and Caribbean-style drinks.

Chef and co-owner Jeff McInnis draw inspiration from Florida’s abundant marine life to create a menu of delectable seafood dishes with a Caribbean flair like smoked oysters, cobia ceviche with sour orange and mofongo, scallops with plantain chips, and fresh lobster with cornbread. The Sunset Harbour restaurant has comfortable, industrial-style indoor seating and a few tables outside in the sun. Stiltsville Fish Bar is open for lunch and dinner, daily.

1787 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 786-353-0477

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16. LOLA Restaurant & Grill

LOLA Restaurant & Grill
© LOLA Restaurant & Grill

LOLA Restaurant & Grill is a sleek and stylish restaurant with a laid-back lounge-like dining space and relaxed atmosphere that serves a menu of globally inspired fusion cuisine and cocktails. Located on the mezzanine level of the Oceanside Plaza, the restaurant offers a menu featuring dishes with Argentinian, Spanish, French, Greek, and Italian influences like Peruvian Style Ceviche Mixto, Mojo Marinated Double Cut Pork Chops, Bocconcini di Parma, and Mussels Provençal.

A full bar menu offers a selection of fine wines from around the world to pair with the cuisine, as well as craft and draft beers, high-end spirits, and classic cocktails. LOLA Restaurant & Grill is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.

5555 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140, Phone: 305-397-8848

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17. Abbey Brewing Company

Abbey Brewing Company
© Abbey Brewing Company

Abbey Brewing Company is a locally owned craft brewery and bar that produces a range of award-winning brews craft beers and spirits and serves traditional bar snacks. Miami Beach's oldest brewpub is renowned for its casual, laid back and non-touristy atmosphere and serves a selection of house-made brews such as Father Theodore's Stout, Immaculate IPA, and Brother Aaron's Quadruple Ale.

The bar also offers a wide range of spirits from around the world and can whip up a classic cocktail if desired and has a small selection of bar snacks to keep hunger at bay. Abbey Brewing Company is open from lunchtime until late. Browse day trips from Orlando

Abbey Brewing Company, 1115-1117, 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-538-8110

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18. South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park
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Located at the southern-most tip of Miami Beach, South Pointe River Park is one of Miami’s most inviting green spaces. The park offers direct access to the beach and walking trails and wonderful views of the Port Miami cruise terminal and the Miami skyline.

The park is a great place to visit with family – children can enjoy building sand castles, having fun on the playground equipment and cooling off in the sea or the mini-water playground. You can bring along a picnic and enjoy a wonderfully relaxing beach day out. Biking and skateboarding are permitted along the paths and there is a great restaurant where you can enjoy lunch with a view. South Pointe Park Map

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19. Lummus Park

Lummus Park
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Nestled between 5 Street and 14 Place on Ocean Drive, Lummus Park is a popular beachfront park with many amenities to attract visitors. Many people are drawn to the park to make use of the outdoor fitness area (Muscle Beach South Beach) where you can work out in the fresh air on two state-of-the-art nature-inspired gym installations. Other amenities in this great park include a field space, 18 sand volley-ball courts, restrooms, walking trails, picnic pavilions and two children’s playgrounds. Besides enjoying a fun day out on the beach, locals and visitors can enjoy regular beach concerts and other events at Lummus Park.

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20. Museum of Illusions

Museum of Illusions
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The fascinating Museum of Illusions invites all social-media fans to come and have fun as you take the most extraordinary photos and selfies using more than 40 3-D illusions which will amaze all your friends and followers. Visitors can look forward to enjoying a range of exciting illusionary experiences which include riding a magic carpet, surviving a lava bridge or walking on the edge of a skyscraper. Each of the installations has been inspired by popular cartoons, the arts, current events and more.

The Museum of Illusions allows visitors to let down their hair and engage in a wonderful world of fantasy in total safety. Explore Miami breakfast restaurants.

Museum of Illusions, 536 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 33139, 305 604 5000

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