Since 1976 the Miami Design Preservation League has sponsored the annual Art Deco Weekend, celebrating the popular era’s unique and colorful architecture preserved in beautiful Miami Beach, Florida. The three day festival attracts nearly 300,000 attendees and offers dozens of tours, performances and popular events. Head to Ocean Drive, the heart of the district, for this year’s festival held January 13-15, 2012. The historic district boasts over 800 structures featuring all the elements you would like to see, including eye-appealing symmetry, glass block, eyebrow accents, curves, steps and, of course, the iconic neon lighting enjoyed best at night. There’s no better place in the world to explore Tropical Deco!
There are all kinds of activities planned to entertain you during your visit, including guided tours, informative lectures and exciting films. Lighten up with dance and theatrical performances – music is in the air everywhere you turn! If you know nothing about Art Deco, no problem, because you will have every opportunity to learn in a fun-filled atmosphere.
All weekend long the Welcome Center will feature an exhibit of Mid Century Modern Furniture, sure to spark some redecorating ideas. Each day from noon to 11 pm you can browse booths overflowing with trendy arts and crafts, antiques, collectibles and art – plan to pick up something fabulous! Local food and drink vendors will be on hand for sustenance, as well. Charles Kropke, author of the book South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance, will be on hand during the weekend for signings at the Art Deco Gift Shop Booth. Additionally, you can browse a Bunny Yeager Photography Exhibit, Bettie Page: Miami Noir, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. Bunny Yeager was one of the most photographed models in Miami, who began a career in photography after retiring. Her photos of Bettie Page are great representations of 1950’s glamour.
Friday’s highlight is a Fashion Show featuring the most current styles, held at 7 pm at the Art Deco Welcome Center. Saturday brings the annual Art Deco Weekend Parade, held at 11am from 5th to 14th streets. The Classic Car Show can be viewed 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday, on Ocean Drive between 5th and 7th. Saturday’s back-to-back lectures at the Wolfsonian Museum should be quite intriguing with topics Miami Beach Developers and MDPL: How we did it, starting at 1 pm and 3 pm respectively. Friday and Saturday evenings you can enjoy special live music performances at the Clevelander and at the Betsy. For more information, check out the complete weekend lineup at the Art Deco Weekend website.
Guided tours of colorful architecture are the main feature of the weekend, with trained guides and historians available to impart their knowledge about the Art Deco movement and the local buildings’ histories. Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modernism are all exemplified in Miami Beach, along with contemporary interpretations. Strolling along Ocean Drive is a classic Miami Beach experience – be sure to stop at the Versace mansion and take a photo! Be sure to make your way to Espanola Way, one of the four local historic districts. It is located north of 14th Street between Washington and Pennsylvania Avenues. European in flavor, cobblestone streets, unique eateries and one-of-a-kind boutiques combine for a cool boho experience. Lively music and dancing accented by wonderful ethnic foods create a perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable evening.
Art Deco Weekend is just the excuse you need to visit Miami Beach, Florida. Local attractions (besides the stunning beaches!) include the historic Vizcaya Museum, Zoo Miami, one of the best in the country, Biscayne National Park, where you can take a glass bottom boat trip, and abundant professional sporting events. The nightlife is incomparable, the food divine, the shopping world-class and the weather perfection. A vacation to Miami is just what you need!
With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For Art Deco Weekend, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book a Miami, FL hotel and air package deal. Staying in one of the fabulous art-deco style boutique hotels along Ocean Drive is the way to fully experience the area’s architecture. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Miami, FL discount hotels at the lowest prices. If you are budget-minded, check out our Miami FL Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.