South Beach, or SoBe, is a sandy stretch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, with iconic pink weatherboard lifeguard stations positioned along the shores. SoBe is known as one of the hottest places on earth for another reason: it’s where models and the rich and famous come to relax during the day and go clubbing at night.
Early developers looked to South Beach as the ideal area to build an independent city, a metropolis to rival Miami itself. The earliest family houses were designed in 1912. Architecture buffs should visit the historic Art Deco District, a short walk from the beach. It’s home to hundreds of resort-style apartments built between 1920 and 1940. The houses here showcase Mediterranean Revival style and the later Streamline Moderne style.
Over the years South Beach became a popular and fashionable community for retirees as well as celebrities. Notable SoBe residents have included Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kournikova and Jackie Gleason. Stroll along Ocean Drive, Miami's equivalent of Venice Beach in LA, to find the many upscale restaurants where the stars hang out. Celebrity-owned establishments include Japanese restaurant Nobu Miami, which was co-founded by Robert De Niro, and Larios, Gloria Estefan’s beachside Cuban restaurant.
Lincoln Road Mall (LRM) is a popular pedestrian shopping precinct with art galleries, cafés and clothing stores.
South Beach is on the southern end of Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Explore SoBe by foot or use the local bus service. Walking and bicycle tours of the historic architectural district depart from the Art Deco Welcome Center, where you can also pick up a self-guided audio tour.