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Most of Miami Beach is reasonably gay-friendly but since the 1980s, the main gay area has been South Miami Beach or (SoBe) for short. This is a part of Miami that is continually reinventing itself and growing; it is a popular destination for fun in the sun for international gay travelers from all over the world. Every year in March the area holds a massive White Party complete with all-gay cruises and an all-night dance party.
The lifestyle here is openly gay and it is not uncommon at all to see LGBTQ couples holding hands in the cafes and shopping areas of Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Lincoln road. The area also has a dedicated gay beach located at the foot of 12th Street and Ocean Drive and a clothing optional beach known as Haulover Beach Park nearby along Route 20.
Just about the entire area is also designated to be a historical district. It is situated just east of Miami between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and includes barrier islands south of Indian Creek. It has a population of 39,186 but the number of people in South Miami swells during late winter and spring due to the thousands of tourists that pass through to enjoy the endless days of good weather.
South Beach really is one of those areas in the United States that was revitalized by an influx of gay men and lesbians who moved there in the eighties. They bought and restored many dilapidated Art Deco hotels, clubs and homes and touring the streets to view these homes is a wonderful experience in itself.
South Beach is an area that is about three square miles. It consists of several residential neighborhoods each with their own history and green space.
One of the loveliest areas is the Flamingo Park area that consists mainly of boutique art deco buildings from the 1930s and 1940s. It is also known for its Mediterranean buildings. Property here is expensive due to its proximity to the high-end Lincoln Road Mall.
The South of Fifth neighborhood features glassy upscale luxury condos in South Beach. This is also known as the Sofi neighborhood. It is famous for its gorgeous fifties buildings. There are many beautiful condos here including the Apogee, Icon South Beach, Murano Grandee and the Continuum.
The “artsy” neighborhood is considered to be the Cultural Arts District, which is now referred to as CANDO or the Cultural Arts Neighborhood District Overlay which is a neglected residential and arts district. Major arts institutions are located in this area including the Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Public Library, New World Symphony and Bass Museum of Art.
If you are worried about being overrun by tourists when you live here, don’t be. The residential part of South Miami is very much cut off from the commercial areas of town. You pay for this type of luxury, especially on the waterfront where condo space has been known to go for as much as $1,200 per square foot. It is a good idea to consult with a resident gay South Beach realtor. You can also find out more the beaches, neighborhoods and architecture of South Beach by visiting the city’s chamber of commerce website at: www.miamibeachchamber.com.