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ESSENTIALS: Miami Beach

miami beach, florida

Miami – and just across the bridge to Miami Beach – boasts picturesque beaches, exceptional nightlife, plentiful shopping, and delicious dining options. Although there is an abundance of things to do in the city and on the beach, don’t pass up the chance to take one-day excursions to see some of the breath-taking natural surroundings of the city.

The Art Deco Historic District. The Art Deco District was built in and around the 1930s in Miami Beach at the height of this architectural movement and embellished with exotic geometric motifs. The 800 buildings have been restored, making it the largest grouping of Art Deco architecture in the world.

Dance the night away with the beautiful people at the ultra-modern, high-energy Liv nightclub inside the Fontainebleau Hotel and Nightlife Complex. Inside, you can find four full service bars, and if you’re feeling fancy you can reserve a banquet spot or a private skybox. This is where the stars come for both their shows and the after party, so keep your eye out for stars on the stage and off it.

South Beach. Locally known as SoBe, South Beach is technically from South Pointe Park to 23rd Street on Miami Beach. It’s known for art deco, nightlife and beautiful people, but the beach in South beach is a white sand public-access beach with typically flat and calm ocean waters.

If you’re looking for a way to take in all the sights of Miami Beach, then climb aboard a Miami Beach Duck Tour. In a vehicle that’ll take you by land and sea, this tour delivers multiple excursions that offer spectacular views the local architecture, the homes of the rich and famous, and some history lessons on the city narrated by entertaining tour guides who all have backgrounds in comedy and performance. The tours are wheelchair-friendly, so everyone can join in and see the sights.

Pick up one-of-a-kind antique Miami memorabilia at the Lincoln Road Antique and Collectible Market. Held every other Sunday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, this market draws over 100 vendors selling every vintage item you can imagine, and quite the crowd to boot.

North Beaches. On the north end of Miami Beach is the area called North Beach. It’s only a few miles away, but it feels like a completely different place from the bustle of South Beach. It’s a quiet, family beach with plenty of space to open up and spread out.

Everglades National Park. Less than an hour west of Miami is The Everglades, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the only subtropical wetland in North America. It is rich in birdlife and the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side. There are trails where visitors can hike and get close to the wildlife. As there is no public transportation to the park you’ll either need a car or take one of the many organized tours out of Miami.

Stay at one of the most architecturally significant hotels on Miami Beach, the Fountainbleu, or take advantage of an all-inclusive package at the centrally located Eden Roc Miami Beach. And don’t forget, just visit your AAA Travel Agent or call 800-444-9691 to see Miami for yourself!

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