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Discovering Miami, Off Ocean Drive


The newly renovated boutique hotel Circa 39 gives you everything you need for a full Miami experience.

In the hip new mid-beach area coined as Miami Beach’s “Wundermile,” just minutes from the heart of South Beach’s entertainment areas, Circa 39 stands out as an eclectic and worldly gem. Located just a few steps from the white sandy beach and the balmy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel provides travelers the option of enjoying private loungers on the beach area across the street or simply relaxing poolside.

Originally built in 1939 as the Copley Plaza Hotel and the Sherwood Apartments by acclaimed architect Albert Anis, Circa 39 Hotel ( was part of the Art Deco building surge on Miami Beach and underwent a thorough renovation and upgrade in 2013-2014.

Above: Circa 39

Showcasing its new facilities, Circa 39 invites guests to enjoy colorful decor, refined service, and eclectic beachside style in a chic and historic boutique hotel setting. The Miami Beach hotel touts an eclectic design, melding beachy simplicity with tropical vibrancy, vintage charm, and old-world comfort. Custom-designed furnishings in teak and white finishes and solid wood floors give the rooms a casual island feel.

Above: Circa 39

Whether seeking business or pleasure, Circa 39 serves as a happy home away from home within easy access to South Beach, Miami’s Arts District, and other cultural attractions. Just a few miles up the road, city-goers can take part in the Wynwood Arts District, a year-round draw for lovers of street and graffiti art. Wynwood is the most colorful neighborhood in Miami, attracting both well-known and emerging graffiti artists, with murals covering the facades of buildings. With guided tours available, visitors are able take in the art and learn about the artists and their place in street art history, as well as the messages behind their work.

Wrap up a hot day with a cold beer at Concrete Beach Brewery ( With an artistic array of classically brewed ales and lagers, like Rosé Ale and Mussels from Brussels, this locally owned and operated brewery also offers free tours and hosts a full weekly calendar of events like Monday Night Trivia and Tuesday Game Night just steps away from Midtown and the famous Wynwood Walls. While exploring neighborhood attractions, guests can conveniently access a Citi Bike to Lincoln Road or the Sunset Harbor area, a bus to the Fillmore, or an Uber to the Gallery District.

Above: Little Havana and a food bar

No Miami visit is complete without experiencing Little Havana. Miami Cubans (and pretty much every local) take great pride in the neighborhood just west of Downtown Miami, where the famed Calle Ocho strip remains a testament to the American dream pursued by the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who settled it. More than simply the best place to find incredible Cuban restaurants in Miami, Little Havana is teeming with culture, plus places to discover art and knock back a few cocktails at some of the best bars in Miami.

In Little Havana, taste authentic Cuban cuisine and enjoy a picadillo-stuffed empanada while listening to the stories behind those doing the cooking. Tourists can learn about spiritual beliefs the community practices (including Santeria), visit a cigar factory, and explore Domino Park and The Cuba Ocho Art Museum.

Stop by Ball & Chain for more authentic Cuban experience with a few Cuban-inspired cocktails: the Mojito Criollo (made with the mint leaves unmuddled for enhanced aroma — and more sugar), the Canita (white rum, lime, house-made honey syrup, guarapo or sugarcane juice, sugarcane stick) and the Pastelito Daiquiri (pastelito-infused aged rum, lime, simple syrup, and a side of pastelitos or guava pastries).

Even without all the beautiful attractions of the city, guests will have a full experience staying at Circa 39. At the hotel’s WunderBar, guests can enjoy well-crafted spirits with a focus on rum — the essence of the tropics. Using fresh ingredients and passion, flavors from around the world and vibrant presentation, Jules Kitchen takes pride in creating global comfort food for globetrotter’s basic needs.

Above: Wynwood Arts District mural

Another highlight of the hotel is the WunderGarden, an enchanting hidden courtyard connecting the East and West buildings with tropical plants, exotic birds, and relaxing seating options while the lushly landscaped pool deck invites guests to linger with a cool drink long after the day of sightseeing comes to an end. Across Collins Avenue, comfortable beach lounges provide for a base to chill and soak in the glorious Miami sun.

With smiles all around, an intangible positive vibe and the music of laughter, the sense of having discovered a hidden gem is the take-away for guests at Circa 39. Leave with warm memories, new friends, and the sense that you now belong to the Magic City.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Gerald Garth