Since 1979, the Art Deco District, which features some 800 buildings dating from 1923 to 1943, has been listed as a national heritage.
If South Beach is the heart of Miami Beach, Ocean Drive is its main artery: the flow of traffic never stops here, both day and night.
The Holocaust Memorial (1933-1945 Meridian Ave., tel.305-538-1663) offers a particularly moving tribute to the victims of the Nazi regime.
The Biltmore Hotel (1200 Anastasia Ave., tel.305-445-8066) opened in 1926. The hotel's imposing facade and 100m-high bell tower were modelled after Seville's famous Giralda cathedral, and never fail to impress.
Formerly a simple limestone quarry, the Venetian Pool (2701 De Soto Blvd., tel.305-460-5356, www.venetianpool.com) was successfully converted into an attractive pool with crystal-clear water in a European-style setting in 1923.
At the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave., tel.305-250-9133, www.vizcayamuseum.org) visitors can not only admire 35 room filled with quality antiques, sumptuous carpets, classical paintings and splendid mirrors, but also the luscious, manicured 4ha gardens that surround this magnificent, princely estate.
South of Miami
Open since 1981, the Miami Metrozoo (12400 SW 152nd St., tel.305-251-0400, www.miamimetrozoo.com) has quickly become one of the largest zoos in the United States.
A unique blend of mystery, passion and beauty, the Coral Castle (28655 Dixie Hwy., Homestead, tel.305-248-6344, www.coralcastle.com) is a landscaping masterpiece that is rumoured to have been built by Edward Leedskalnin in an effort to overcome the heartbreak of his unrequited love.
North of Miami
The Spanish Monastery (16711 W. Dixie Hwy., corner of NE 167th St., North Miami Beach, tel.305-945-1462, www.spanishmonastery.com) is the oldest building on the western side of the Atlantic, but it was first erected in Spain around 1141! This magnificent medieval Spanish cloister was purchased at the beginning of the 20th century by press tycoon William Randolph Hearst.