Lincoln Road Miami Beach was built on the foundation of an incognito artist haunt, filled with studios and galleries galore. Today the pedestrian avenue is ripe with shopping and dining opportunities, design outposts, a few small but vital galleries, and plenty of literary hangouts. Set between Alton Road and Washington Avenue and running headlong into Meridian Ave, Lincoln Road is one of the most thriving areas in Miami Beach.
Prior to becoming a hangout for artists, the road was a backdrop of mangrove trees in its most natural state. In the earlier 20th century, Lincoln Fisher, an entrepreneur, had the forest cleared out and replaced it with establishments that made the area the social center of Miami Beach. In the 1960s the immediate area underwent a complete overhaul, redesigned by a local architect who established an amphitheater, vibrant gardens, shelters, and fountains along the expanse. The road was styled after the MiMo (Miami Modern Architecture) pioneered by the same architect, Morris Lapidus, in the 1950s. Subsequently, the road was closed off to vehicles and became a pedestrian thoroughfare.
Today, Lapidus' vision and efforts have nudged Lincoln Road Miami Beach along to become one of the great social centers of South Florida. The 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage, an architectural masterpiece and a base for some of the best parties during Art Basel, is located there. Lincoln Road also features boutique shops and national retail chains, a multiplex movie cinema, the New World Concert Hall, and scores of top-rated bars and restaurants. In addition to studios and galleries, ArtCenter South Florida is located on Lincoln along with the recently renovated Colony Theatre.
Dining along Lincoln Road is a must when visiting, especially if people watching is your thing. As South Beach’s sunny weather endures, people come out in hoards to walk along the popular thoroughfare to shop and sightsee, making some great people watching from the roadside cafes and restaurants, especially those with outdoor seating, which are aplenty. The stream of tourists and locals seems never-ending. And don’t miss the open-air antique market featured along Lincoln Road Miami Beach on select Sundays.