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Miami Beach walking tour through the Art Deco District

For many years now, I have been meaning to make a video about Miami Beach. The problem is that since Miami Beach is practically in my backyard, it is one of those places that I don’t think of visiting all that much anymore. Anyways, taking advantage of some great December weather and the fact I had a couple of days off, I decided to pay a visit to my old playground: South Beach.

We begin our South Beach walking tour at its southernmost point: South Pointe Park. From here we enjoy great views of Fisher Island, Downtown Miami and the Port of Miami to the west. To the north we can see commanding views of South Beach in all its glory, especially from its newly reopened fishing pier.

From here we walk north, first on the Beach Walk trail and then on Ocean Drive towards the most iconic area, the strip with all the historic Art Deco hotels, bars and restaurants. The main drag is about a mile long, from 5th to 15th street, and it is, as I say in the video a one mile long tourist trap, although it is nice to see. From here we go into a different area, a couple of blocks to the west, called Española Way. This is a narrow pedestrian street with a bunch of restaurants. To be honest I am a little disappointed that it is perhaps a little run down and under construction, and that our favorite restaurant of yesteryears is closed at the moment.

The main crossroad is Washington Avenue, and the main landmark at the corner of Española is the Cameo Theater. The Cameo is another iconic art deco structure, which was converted into a night club many years ago.

A couple of blocks north, between 16th and 17th streets we encounter the Lincoln Road Mall. This is one of the first pedestrian streets in the United States, dating back to the 1950s. Here we also have a plethora of restaurants, shops, boutiques, art galleries and even an historic church.

After walking around Lincoln Road for a couple of blocks we decide to get away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy area and continue about a quarter mile further north to visit the Holocaust Memorial.

From here we slowly return back south, to where our four-dollars-per-hour parallel parking spot is located, but before we go back to the mainland, we decide to hang out at South Pointe Park to see the cruise ships leave port.

What follows is a map of our trajectory north along the streets of south beach.

See you on the road!

Miami Everglades RV Resort and the Monkey Jungle

It is neither in Miami proper, nor the Everglades National Park but it is called Miami Everglades RV Resort, probably because it is equidistant to both places. It is actually the closest resort type RV park to the City of Miami. We spend the weekend camping there. We also go to the nearby Monkey Jungle, and historic attraction, part of the Redlands Trail.

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The Monkey Jungle is a historic theme park in south Florida dating back to the 1930s. The concept is that humans are caged while the monkeys run free, and that’s true to a certain extent. The visitor walks through these caged passageways, while the monkeys are all around you, running free, playing and occasionally fighting each other. There are several small metal trays hanging from the ceiling where you can put some “monkey food” and they pull on a chain to raise the tray and eat the food. Some species are behind bars and you can feed them through a pipe. The one exception is the gorilla, which is technically not a monkey. The gorilla is considered an ape because it lacks a tail. Formerly belonging to a circus, it seems to be the only trained animal in the whole park. They put on a show where they make him do certain acts for the enjoyment of the visitors. There’s also an “Amazonian Jungle Experience”, in which for an extra charge you get to interact directly with the spider monkeys. There is also a swimming monkey presentation. Even though the park’s glory days are far behind it, especially after it was partially destroyed during hurricane Andrew in 1992, it is still a pretty unique experience and I would recommend it.

Back at the RV resort, it has all the amenities of a good RV park. We visited in the low season so it was nearly deserted. We spend the rest of the time relaxing, swimming in the pool, grilling, and biking around the park’s trail.

As always, thank you for watching and see you on the road!