Dating divas roadtrip

More recently, it’s also become one of the world’s most fashionable and bacchanalian beach resorts, with deluxe hotels and high-style nightclubs and restaurants lining the broad white sands of South Beach, the relatively small corner of Miami Beach that gets 99 percent of the press and tourist attention.

Here, along beachfront Ocean Drive and busier Collins Avenue (Hwy-A1A) a block inland, you’ll find dozens of glorious art deco hotels, many lighted with elegant neon signs.

Not surprisingly, there are scores of cafés and restaurants in and around Miami Beach.

The Mediterranean Revival-style commercial district along Lincoln Road, developed in the 1920s by promoter Carl Fisher, was the original main drag of Miami Beach; it has been pedestrianized and nicely landscaped and is now packed with dozens of lively sidewalk cafés.

Dozens of these 1930s divas stand out along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, but the wonderful architecture, alas, doesn’t always manage to mask their elderly bones, nor is the 24-hour hubbub that surrounds them especially conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Ocean Drive, by the way, is undriveable on weekend nights, since so many cars cruise up and down it, stereos blasting.

For an unforgettably hedonistic experience, check into one of South Beach’s great old art deco hotels, or at least saunter through the lobby and stop for a drink.

The Delano (1685 Collins Ave., 305/672-2000, 4 and up) is a high-style, Shrager/Starck symphony in white, while the Raleigh (1775 Collins Ave., 305/534-6300, 5 and up) has the coolest pool in South Beach—and that is really saying something.

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