Ocean Drive , South Beach, Miami

We have visited Miami a couple of times both in the summer and “winter”.

We use inverted commas to describe the Winter of Southern Florida because there is nowhere in the world a better way o spend such a soothing “summer”.

The winter season is, in fact, the high season and the summer is for low budget tourists prepared to endure the heat and humidity.

South Beach is also not the best choice for a vacationer contemplating the idea of a tranquil and peaceful getaway, because there are non-stop day and night action and vibrant attractions.

The spotlight of all activity is Ocean Drive, just across the street from equally famous cerulean waters and skies of South Beach, the iconic strip of Art Deco architecture.

This golden mile is the place to see and be seen, as you sat in one of the countless restaurants, bistros, discos, and cafés, watching the people walk in a never-ending “passerelle” of avid tourists, bikini belles, vacation pensioners, beach bums, sidewalk salesman and solicitous waitresses flashing restaurant menus.

This is a “Cuban” territory where Spanish rules as the “lingua franca” of all vocalizations in the most diverse languages.

For the brave, there is the challenge of a midnight pool party at the Clevelander or colossal Margaritas at Gloria Estefan’s Cardozo Hotel Miami.

A must for all sight seekers are the steps leading to the entrance Casa Casuarina, the Versace residence, where the famous couturier returning from his breakfast at nearby News Café, was slain by a madman.

People stop and stare, take snapshots and try an elusive conversation with the porters of what now is a fashionable restaurant and boutique hotel.

In recent years the legendary “art Deco” automobiles, which were the familiar sights of the boulevard, have been removed to make parking space for the most exotic and expensive sports cars on Earth, which is a shame because those classic cars were real icons of Miami forties and the fifties’ era with mannequins of Humphrey Bogart and Elvis Presley at the wheel.

The new visitors will not spot those cosmetic changes because the excitement and vibes are now dictated by new symbols of sights and sounds of one of the world’s most renowned streets.  

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