Posted February 8, 2009 by Kate Hamman
Miami is the mambo king of cool, especially with its diverse architecture, prime beach location, and happening hot spots. However, you don't have to spend big bucks to be a part of the scene. Stay in the heart of all the action and hit one of the new hip bars located in a luxury boutique hotel. But before you say goodbye to Miami's colorful buildings, take a walking tour to familiarize yourself with their history.
The Park Central: This Art Deco hotel is not only located right on Ocean Drive overlooking the turquoise sea, but its prices are downright unbeatable. Stay in the hotel known as the "Blue Jewel of the Art Deco District", and enjoy the water views from the rooftop sundeck, swim in the heated pool, and surround yourself with its custom-made period furniture. Rooms start at $125 during low season.
The Coral Bar: Once known as the Diva of Ocean Drive, the Tides Hotel has recently undergone a major renovation and is ready to reclaim its title. If you can't afford to stay here, don't despair. With the opening of its Coral Bar, you can now be treated like a guest for the price of a cocktail. The new lounge serves twilight cocktails and seasonal appetizers. Sit in one of the outdoor cabanas while you sip on a rum-umbrella drink and listen to the waves.
Art Deco walking tour: Miami's architecture has always been a topic of conversation, and now you can take a guided tour to find out why. The Miami Design Preservation League takes you on a 90-minute stroll through the architectural historic district, which features more than 800 buildings built during the 1920s, '30s and '40s. You'll learn about the different styles, such as Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo), which make Miami's landscape so unique. Tours cost $20.
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