Wandering in Miami’s South Beach

A vacation isn’t a vacation unless one escapes the irritants of ownable life. Because really, where traveling is concerned, is that not what a temporary interlude is for? To run off to new reality and discover a hidden existence from apart from daily trifling. To discover there is more to the person than just making breakfast for the kids or working a 9 to 5 job. Traveling light is ascertaining there is MORE to life than what meets the budget or the eye.

To travel lightly has a lot of advantages, more so on the sanity of the person. It is to appreciate the beauty of the culture without literal and emotional baggage to carry around, half of which you don’t even need for a carefree jaunt. More than that, one will not be forced to take expensive accommodations because some form of protection is needed for all those material things.

The famed city of sun and sand, Miami, is a Bohemian respite. Do not expect another Soho or even a quaint San Francisco. There are no people in heels or expensive suits although this is not brought about by any lack of such whatsoever. Even if the place is one of the richest commercial beach towns, there are no airs of uptightness. Miami has energy in itself, albeit surprisingly calm amidst the cosmopolitan. South Beach is a myriad of skin, slip-ons, shorts, suntan lotion and more skin. In a place where nudity is pride, the laidback atmosphere will make a beach trip more than just visual pleasure.

South Beach is home to 7 miles of beach area where the traveler can engage in what philosophers refer to as ‘necessary boredom’. Swimming is a must, as is walking through the coastline, eating in the several seaside restaurants with access to affordable seafood, talking to pet owners or chess players, actively crisscrossing along with the thousands of bikes and rollerblades or just sitting by the coast with book and iPod ready.

If tired of the constant sunshine, go through Ocean Drive, home to the once infamous Art Deco Buildings of high crime rates. This only adds to the mysticism of the now historic area though. Don’t take a guided tour. Instead, stroll through the streets of Ocean Drive, 18th Street and Collins Avenue as if you had all the time in the world. Everywhere you go anyway, you’re sure to bound into one of the over 800 historic places in the district. The Streamline Moderne, a dominant area in the Art Deco style, is prominently evident in the Cardozo and Avalon Hotels. One can also visit the Wolfsonian-FIU museum, a fascinating display collection of the modern era.

Planning the trip on December? You might even chance upon the Art Basel Miami Beach, a display from almost 200 leading art galleries and over 1,500 artists. If not, there are still several public displays for artistic consumption whatever month you’re planning to travel.

Lincoln Road is also a great cultural sightsee even without visiting shops, boutiques and cafes. The on-street performance artists are constant wonders for tourists and locals alike. Lincoln road now reflects what architects dub as ‘MiMo’ or Miami Modern Architecture. The road itself was redesigned and is now home to concert halls, bars and restaurants but these shouldn’t be the main sightsee to a conscious traveler. Instead, go to Lincoln Theatre where a Frank-Gehry designed space can be seen. The theatre has a constant stream of upcoming artists whose performances are considered steals for such talents. For as little as $10 to $30, the traveler can now have access to Comedy Festivals, Indian Dance Festivals and Film festivals.

Even without paying, Lincoln Road can provide eye candy by going through galleries and studios for new artists at the Art Center South Florida.