The backdrop of Will Smith's "Miami" video may come to mind when one thinks of South Beach, but this Miami neighborhood is no longer just a party destination for the rich and sun-kissed. These days, art enthusiasts and architecture aficionados alike travel to South Beach to enjoy the rich history of this Art Deco district. But those hoping to get down like it's Spring Break of '98 needn't worry, the area's title as one of the US's nightclub capitals remains intact. Travel + Leisure's South Beach Travel Guide will help lead you through the best of both worlds.
Things Not to Miss in South Beach
• Sunbathing – it is a beach after all
• Exploring the shops on the Española Way
• Renting a DecoBike for $6 to explore the area
• Between the old world and the new, merely walking down South Beach's Lincoln road is a delight for architectural buffs. Don't miss the new 1111 building and the classic Art Deco Colony theater.
• Golf – The reason most of the Northeast's "snowbirds" retire to Florida for the winter months.
• The Performing Arts –The New World Symphony at The New World Center of Performing Arts and Miami City ballet are just a few places where you can soak in some culture.
• Partying – Make sure your name is on the list at one of the many exclusive velvet-roped hotel clubs.
• Calendar highlights – Art Basel in December and the Brazilian Film Festival of Miami in August.
When to Go to South Beach
The best time to visit South Beach is during the spring – from March to May – with temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's during the day. As Florida is a retirement destination prices can be high in the winter months, so visiting over the holidays is best avoided if you want to keep your budget in check. As the most southern tip of Florida, Miami enjoys a sub-tropical climate throughout the year. However, hurricane season runs from June through November, so you are almost guaranteed some afternoon showers or tropical downpours if you visit at this time of year. During the summer, the temperature peters out at about 90 degrees but with high levels of humidity. Those in South Beach for Art Basel in December will enjoy some winter sun with temperatures in the high 70's.