If you've set your sights on moving to Florida, you want to make sure you know know how the most beautiful spots! When people think of Florida architecture, they might think of palm trees, beautiful beaches and Miami's downtown skyline that has been popularized in television shows like "Miami Vice." But did you know that Florida is also the home of some fascinating, historic and beautiful architecture? Here is some of the best architecture in Florida.
Miami Beach Art Deco
Photo Credit: Miami Real Estate Guy
Miami Beach is best known for partying and beach-going, but next time you visit Miami Beach, you should check out the gorgeous Art Deco architecture that exists all along its main streets. Art Deco was a style of architecture popular in the 1930s, which is a time when many people were building properties in Miami Beach so they could live the beach lifestyle and participate in the cosmopolitan culture happening there. According to the Miami New Times, "That era of building focused on resurrecting the fledgling resort community in the chic new style that had come out of the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Artes Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which would be shortened to simply 'Art Deco.'" Some classic examples of Miami Beach Art Deco are the Raleigh Hotel, The Carlyle, The Colony Theatre and Jerry's Famous Deli.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Maybe your tastes range more to the grand Italianate mansion instead of the hip 1930s Art Deco. If so, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens are for you. Vizcaya is an enormous mansion built by a scion of American industrial wealth named James Deering, who retired in the late 1800s after a career as an industrial magnate. He desired to create a mansion designed with all of the luxuries of Europe, from Italian tile and fountains to the finest velvet draperies. Vizcaya Museum in downtown Miami, Florida preserves this mansion for visitors to experience.
Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Photo Credit: Disney Fanatic
You may not think of Disney World as a serious piece of architecture, but you probably should. Walt Disney's theme park designs have influenced architecture around the world, bringing the idea of the "Main Street" to many American and international housing developments. Disney's innovations on architecture include his development of "futuristic" styles, such as those evidenced at Tomorrowland, as well as Epcot Center. Walt Disney also contributed to the popularization of American folk architecture styles, like the New Orleans Bayou style of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is known and beloved the world over.
St. Augustine, Florida
Photo Credit: St. Augustine Social
The architecture of Massachusetts and Virginia is what people commonly think of when they think of early American architecture, but Florida's St. Augustine is also an important example of early colonial architecture. St. Augustine was settled in the 1500s by the Spaniards, and it is the oldest continuously functioning city from colonial times in the United States. St. Augustine features an ancient Spanish fort used to defend the city during the various wars that took place throughout the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s. St. Augustine's downtown also features interesting colonial architecture, as well as later examples of industrial architecture from the 1800s and 1900s. Today, the town has a flourishing restaurant and bar scene that is popular with both tourists and locals.
Tampa Museum of Art
Photo Credit: Marissa Rozas
Just because it's sun-kissed Florida doesn't mean that serious art and architecture can't occur there, and the Tampa Museum of Art proves this. The museum, designed by San Francisco architect Stanley Saitowitz, is a modern masterpiece that will make you feel like you have set foot in Paris or San Francisco. Florida's architectural wonders are everywhere; just take a look!