Check out the Art Deco Historic District
South Beach’s heart is its Art Deco Historic District, from 18th St. and south along Ocean Dr and Collins Ave – one of the largest area in the USA on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the District’s rejuvenations and rebirth as a major tourist destination results directly from it’s protection as a historic place in 1979.
The National Register designation prevents developers from wholeheartedly razing significant portions of what was, in the 1980s, a crime-ridden collection of crumbling eyesores populated primarily by drug-crazed lunatics. You can find more information at the Art Deco Welcome Center (305-531-3484; 1001 Ocean Dr; 10am-7:30am Mon-Sat, to 6pm Sun).