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The Holocaust Memorial in Miami | Courtesy of Dennis Goedegebuure/Flickr
The Holocaust Memorial in Miami | Courtesy of Dennis Goedegebuure/Flickr
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What To Do In South Beach If You're Not On Spring Break

Picture of Laurence Kidd
Updated: 9 February 2017
South Beach is a name that is instantly associated with the glamorous lifestyle of Miami, but it’s also a place that draws in an international crowd that visits for its hailed beaches, shops, restaurants and nightlife. There have been plenty of articles, books, stories and screenplays written about South Beach’s allure to young spring breakers who want to spend a week in Florida’s most iconic destination, soaking up the sun, having fun at the bars and clubs on Ocean Drive and letting loose before heading back to wherever they came from; however, this is not one of those articles. If you find yourself wondering what in the world there is to do in South Beach while it’s not spring break season, have no fear — we found some interesting and often overlooked ideas that will help you maximize your time in Miami.

Take An Art Deco Tour

Having been featured on National Geographic’s Ultimate City Guide as one of the most unique and entertaining things to experience in Miami, an art deco walking tour is definitely something that you should find time for while in South Beach. For those who don’t know, art deco is a product of new ideas and movements that found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th-century European design styles such as cubism, French art deco, German bauhaus, and expressionism. Things to look for as you take a walking tour of South Beach’s preserved Art Deco buildings and designs are: symmetry, stepped roof lines, decorative sculptural panels, round porthole windows, terrazzo floors, curved edges and corners, elements in groups of three and neon lighting.

The Breakwater Hotel displays Art Deco architectural designs
The Breakwater Hotel displays Art Deco architectural designs | Courtesy of Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Try Water Sports

No, we’re not talking about sports that require chugging a beer and holding your breath underwater — we’ll leave that up to the specialists (college students). Water sports and ocean-related activities are bountiful in South Beach and provide an exciting opportunity to do something new with friends or family; the best part is that these activities can be done year round due to the ubiquitous nature of South Florida’s warm and welcoming weather. There are many places on South Beach where you can rent a boat (sail or motor), go diving and snorkeling or challenge your fitness levels by renting a paddle board and heading out onto the beautiful waters of the Atlantic.

Paddle Boarding is great way to excercise and experience South Beach
Paddle Boarding is great way to excercise and experience South Beach | Courtesy of Pixabay
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Visit The Holocaust Memorial

Switching gears slightly, we move on to a more emotional and educational experience that everybody in Miami should take time to discover. In 1984, a small group of Holocaust survivors joined together to develop a permanent memorial in Miami for the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis. A year later, the Holocaust Memorial Committee was formally established and decided that Miami Beach was the perfect location for such a memorial. This memorial is considered to be an important symbol that is representative of the large Jewish community in South Florida and it is absolutely worth a visit. Coming to the Holocaust Memorial is, nevertheless, a sobering experience that puts things into perspective and will undoubtedly leave you feeling thankful for being alive and free of religious or political persecution.

Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, 1933-1945 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL, USA +1 305 538 1663

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Enjoy A Spa Day

If you’ve been busy with the kids or simply are just an exhausted local of South Florida looking to relax, then what you need is a spa day — go ahead and treat yourself, you deserve it! After all, Miami is famous for its world-class resorts and spas. One South Beach location, however, stands out above the rest; The Wellness Garden and Spa at The Betsy Hotel is one of the only places where you can find a facial mask made of 99 percent pure nano gold, which makes the spa’s “Moment of Gold” facial a definite anti-aging treatment. The unique element of this spa that makes it so amazing is that you can choose to have everything done at night under the stars.

The Betsy-South Beach, Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL, USA +1 305 531 6100

Take A Segway Tour

Now here’s something most of us haven’t tried yet… Segway tours! We’ve all seen them, but we usually tend to decide that they’ll be there at a later date and time, so we move on. Well, let me tell you… South Beach is a pretty big place to cover on foot, especially in the heat and humidity. Covering distance has never felt cooler or swifter than on a Segway. Traffic on the bustling Ocean Drive is usually bumper to bumper, so a Segway rental is probably your best bet to see the best attractions of South Beach without spending all of your time doing it. Some suggestions we have are that you cruise down Ocean Drive and head towards the Villa Casa Casuarina (aka the Versace Mansion), the famous Art Deco District and the Lincoln Road Mall, all the way to the edge of beautiful Biscayne Bay.