Book Review: Rough Guide to Miami

The new edition of the Rough Guide to Miami & South Florida covers the larger area of greater Miami and a few other highlights of South Florida, but a large chunk of the guide is devoted to South Beach and to the most popular parts of central and north Miami Beach. It’s nearly all text with just a few pretty pictures in the first section, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in solid information.

The South Beach chapter includes a history of the development of South Beach, from some attempts at fruit growing in the early 1900s through to tales of undesirable criminal residents in the early 1980s, and then on to its rebirth in the late 1980s with first off, the gay community moving in, followed by a larger collection of trend-seekers. There are also quite detailed maps, extensive descriptions of tourist attractions like Casa Casuarina, the Wolfsonian and where to spot some of the many great Art Deco buildings in the area. It also provides information on some of the small islands you can reach from Miami Beach.

The chapter covering central and north Miami Beach is structured in the same way, and includes details on the glamorous Fontainebleau and where to find examples of MiMo – Miami Modernism buildings and design.

The second half of the guide has listings for everything you need to plan a vacation or just enjoy spending time at South Beach or Miami Beach, including dining, nightlife, shopping and accommodations. There are numerous listings for South Beach and Miami Beach, with South Beach offering more possibilities than any other Miami District.