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This landmark building located in the center of Miami is especially important to Cuban residents. During the 1960s, it was the processing center for nearly half a million Cuban refugees. Designed by George A Fuller, Schultze, & Weaver the Freedom Tower was established in 1925. Prior to its stint as a Cuban refugee center, the Freedom Tower housed the Miami News. The Freedom Tower is home to MDC Museum of Art + Design. Visitors to the landmark can peruse beautiful artworks exhibited at the museum.
Welcome to everybody's favorite spot in Miami. South Beach refers to the locale, as well as the beach itself. Historically, this was the first neighborhood on Miami Beach to be comprehensively urbanized during the early periods of the 20th Century, which was when a vast majority of its magnificent art-deco masterpieces that you can see today had been built. The commune really upped its game in terms of prominence during World War II, when Miami Beach had been chosen as an influential hub for the United States Air Force. Today the South Beach is viewed by the world as a premier tropical destination for vacationers with its pristine golden-sand beaches, swanky waterside resorts and vibrant nightlife. The Lummus Park, Miami Beach Golf Club, and the iconic Ocean Drive are some of South Beach's unmissable sights.
Conceived in 1984 by a group of Holocaust survivors in Miami, the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach is a profoundly powerful experience. Miami Beach is a perfect location for the site, as the South Florida area is home to a number of Holocaust survivors. Before its construction, objections were raised by some who believed that Miami Beach was a symbol of fun and a holocaust memorial would put a damper on that image. However, after the group of survivors pleaded their case, the memorial was finally approved. The Holocaust Memorial is a solemn reminder of crimes against humanity, as The Sculpture of Love and Anguish (the focal point of the site) can be a heart-wrenching reminder of the past. The thousands of victims' names etched into the luminous black granite Memorial Wall is one of the most emotional reads visitors are ever likely to experience. For more information and updates on events, please check the website.
Located in Miami Beach's South Beach, Ocean Drive is quintessential Miami at its finest. Besides being the most picturesque part of the city, this famous stretch of road is the cultural hub of Miami. Trendy hotels, upscale eateries, and beautiful people fill the sidewalks amidst the mass of tourists. Art galleries and clothing boutiques thrive here, offering visitors an insight into one of the worlds foremost fashion and art centers. Ocean Drive includes over 800 preserved and protected Art Deco Buildings which have put South Beach on the map the world over.
The 2.6-acre (1.05-hectare) Miami Beach Botanical Garden showcases a wide variety of plant specimens. In order to attract visitors, it does not charge any admission fee. Regular educational programs and art exhibitions are held at this garden. Tours around the place are also offered. In addition, the garden's Banyan Room and terrace, Butterfly Room and Japanese Garden are available for reservations year round for weddings and other functions.
Unlike many of South Florida's state parks, Barnacle State Historic Park is centrally-located and easily accessible by automobile. Just off the main street in trendy Coconut Grove, this five-acre (2.02 hectare) historic site offers visitors a glimpse into a past full of beauty and luxury. This stately structure was originally the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, a landowner and yacht enthusiast who hailed from New York. Before and after Munroe's passing, measures were taken to assure that the property reflected South Florida's culture and blossoming heritage. Guests can tour Munroe's home or explore the lush land outside. The park also offers ample amenities for wildlife watching and picnicking.
The picturesque Venetian Pool is truly a one-of-a-kind attraction. This public swimming pool, chiseled out of a coral rock quarry in the 1920s, looks like a natural rock formation, except that no natural rock formation could be so perfectly suited to human enjoyment. This historical landmark is a work of art with its gushing fountains, coral caves and waterfalls. The 820,000 gallons of cool, refreshing spring water are replaced daily. Tours are conducted here.
Located just south of Downtown Miami and northeast of the University of Miami, Coconut Grove is a charming neighborhood, though locals refer to it as a village. Surrounded by lush greenery and flanked by the Biscayne Bay, The Grove as it is locally known has been an alluring place for creative artists, eccentrics, travelers and rich entrepreneurs. Coconut Grove is filled with quaint shops, tree lined streets, nightclubs, and fabulous dining options. Some attractions include CocoWalk, Streets of Mayfair, Coconut Grove Playhouse and Barnacle Historic State Park.
Built in 1825, this 95-foot (28.95-meter) lighthouse is the oldest building in south Florida. It originally guided sailors through the dangerous waters along the Straits of Florida. Although it was removed from service many times during various wars, it has weathered the years extraordinarily well. The US Coast Guard has used it as a navigational device for the past 25 years. The lighthouse is part of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Guests can take guided tours or explore the Cape Florida Lighthouse by themselves.
Spanish Monastery was originally constructed in 1141 in Segovia, Spain and brought to America in pieces by William Randolph Hearst to be rebuilt stone by stone. It is the oldest building in the western hemisphere. Now officially named the Ancient Monastery St. Bernard de Clairvaux, the building serves as an historical landmark, an Episcopal church with 200 active members and a tourist attraction. The building is available for weddings, receptions and parties.