About Miami Beach
Originally chartered and incorporated in 1915, Miami Beach was developed and promoted by Carl Fisher (for whom Fisher Island would be named) and the Collins family (memorialized by “Collins Avenue” in the heart of Miami Beach).
Together with Miami bankers the Lummus Brothers, Fisher & the Collins family built a paradise on land that had once served as a failed coconut plantation … a successful avocado farm—even an emergency outpost for shipwrecked sailors. They constructed an unprecedented 2.5 mile bridge from the islands to the mainland, kicking off the city’s first real estate boom before it was even technically a city.
This first crop of wealthy tourists and transplants spent their evenings at the luxurious Flamingo Hotel … or the Floridian … the Nautilus, any one of the city’s first generation of grand hotels. But then the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 struck … putting an end to the first real estate boom, and giving the city its first dose of character …
Becoming Miami Beach
The name “Miami Beach” alone can conjure memory and fantasy for millions of people … many of whom have never even set foot on the shores of Miami Beach—they simply remember the city’s starring role as a tropical paradise in dozens of classic films and TV shows; from Miami Vice and Burn Notice to Scarface and The Birdcage.
But her face on the Silver Screen is only the beginning. Because from its warm, tropical waters to the lush palm trees, Art Deco district and the trendy neighborhoods like SoFi, Miami Beach is alive with an exciting energy unlike any other. A sensation that the entire city is on permanent vacation … and the comfort of knowing you’ve arrived at true paradise on the Beach’s white sand shores.
But Miami Beach’s unique brand of decadence wasn’t inherited or innate—it was earned. Because through all its ups and downs, Miami Beach has constantly rejuvenated itself with an audaciously bohemian sensibility; an aggressively colorful and unique personality.
Only through decades of constant self-reinvention has Miami Beach become the iconic city that we know and love today.
A Tropical Wonderland
The official uniform of Miami Beach (if there is one), would be a light, linen “Guayabera,” not just as a matter of fashion but as a practical solution to the city’s tropical heat …
Like the rest of Miami, the Beach has average temperatures that reach almost into the 90s during the hottest months of the year, with the city’s beautiful beaches providing little relief (since the water temperature can reach as high as 86 degrees).
All that just makes for perfect winter weather though, giving you the chance to slip into 73 degree Atlantic waters while everyone at home is dealing with feet of snow on the ground in January. Just make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen!
See and be Seen on the Beach
Separated from downtown Miami by Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach has been one of the country’s pre-eminent beach resorts for over a hundred years. Home to just 87,700 residents (and often more tourists), The Beach can still feel like a laid-back town while providing world-class shopping and luxury accommodations—part of the reason why so many celebrities have started to frequent its shores.
It’s also the perfect place to see and be seen, though.
Each December, Miami Beach hosts a show that’s increasingly becoming a household name and earning worldwide acclaim—Art Basel, the unique international show that combines a handful of the world’s top galleries with a series of special exhibitions and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture, and design.
There’s also the Miami City Ballet, founded in 1985 and housed in Miami Beach’s Bass Museum of Art. The New World Symphony, established in 1987 under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, also calls Miami Beach—more specifically the iconic Frank Gehry-designed New World Center building—home.
Occupying the southernmost 2.5 square miles of Miami Beach, you’ll find the city’s most popular neighborhoods; South Beach and “SoFi” (the exclusive sub-neighborhood south of Fifth Street in South Beach).
These areas combine with downtown Miami and the city’s port to form the commercial center of South Florida—not to mention containing most of the area’s most recognizable landmarks and scenes.
The Undisputed Home of South Florida Luxury
Miami Beach isn’t just one of the most exciting cities in South Florida either—it’s increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after addresses for luxury buyers from all over the world …
With almost a billion dollars in total luxury condo sales between March of 2014 and February of 2015, the average high end condo in Miami goes for $1.89 million in total, or $1,063 per square foot. That’s nearly twice the price per square foot and total sales figures you’d find in Miami proper, where neighborhoods like Brickell have been the talk of the town.
Miami Beach is also just home to the best condo residences in the area—if not the country …
First, there’s the Continuum. Finished about a decade ago and perched on the Southernmost tip of South Beach, there’s simply nothing more to say about the Continuum than that it is the very best. Plain and simple. Home to billionaires, celebrities, and hundreds of other happy residents, the Continuum is the cream of Miami’s condo crop.
But there’s also the Miami Beach Edition, one of the city’s most hyped-up new projects by Ian Schrager, the pioneering mind behind Studio 54’s success in the late 70s. This building has sold some of the most expensive residences in the city’s history, and—like Studio 54—it’s becoming harder and harder to get into.
Of course there are so many more. The Setai, ICON South Beach, The Murano at Portofino and so many more. It’s all just a matter of finding the right kind of luxury for you…