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Miami Beach Walking Tour

By Tamara Lush

5 of 5

Espanola Way
Miami Beach Walking Tour

A view of the Clay Hotel on Miami Beach's Espanola Way

Tamara Lush
Stroll north along Washington Avenue and people-watch. This is one of South Beach’s most colorful thoroughfares, with sunburned tourists mixing with the diverse locals. If your energy is flagging stop at any of the small Cuban markets and grab a café con leche or cortadito – a tiny shot of powerful espresso and keep walking. When you hit Espanola Way (just after 14th Street), cross Washington and enter into a four-block, pedestrian-only street.

After being surrounded by Art Deco buildings, you will feel as though you have been transported to a small village in Spain; the architecture here is decidedly Mediterranean, down to the barrel-backed tile and pink stucco. Make sure to gaze at the large peach-colored building on the corner of Washington and Espanola. It is called the Clay Hotel, and it is part youth hostel, part hotel, with a Mexican restaurant on the ground floor. It was originally built in 1925 as a haven for artists and bohemians. You may recognize this building from TV; it was the site of the first and last episodes of Miami Vice.

Strolling down Espanola Way, you will come across art galleries, clothing boutiques and other unique stores. At least two yoga studios are tucked in between restaurants. On the weekends, a farmer’s market and outdoor shopping bazaar add to the foreign feel.

The perfect place to end your walking tour is at the very end of the street, at the Spanish restaurant Tapas y Tintos, at 448 Espanola Way. This tiny tapas bar offers real Spanish fare (the owner is from Spain), including tiny plates of delicious fish, olives and Spanish tortillas. Make your way to one of the bar’s outdoor sidewalk tables nestled under a stucco archway and order a glass (or a pitcher) of Sangria. Chances are, there will be some sort of Latin jazz coming from inside. Soak in the South Beach vibe, and enjoy.

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