After our excruciatingly detailed history of how the Collins Park Neighborhood in Miami Beach came to be, as we suggestively promised, we going to make a couple suggestions for why you should bother to visit the neighborhood and possibly even make it your launching off point for enjoying Art Basel. Clearly the neighborhood has an interesting recent history and has seen its share of typical South Florida chaos and development, but its turned in to a very nice area that is still infinitely walkable and slightly off the beaten path, lets be honest, for most of us we really don’t want all that much to do with South Beach, the Kardshianization of the town has more or less made it a tourist nightmare.
The big Art Basel event is of course at the convention center, the back corner of which abuts up to Collins Park on Washington and 20th, you can get in at the 19th street entrance. So you’re literally only a two or three block walk away. Collins Park itself, east of Collins Avenue has some of the containers and more avant garde artists showing, these guys are always fun to see and far less crowded. The Bass Museum always puts on its own exposition for the fair, so rest assured there is more than enough art and culture to go around, with excellent proximity to the beach.
As for hotels, there is a wide selection available to fit almost anyones tastes and budget, Aloft by Starwood is the goto place that anchors the neighborhood, infinitely more hip and groovy than the Roney Hotel of the moment and much less expensive than the W Hotel or the Setai, the latter two of course are for those who want to spend megabucks and have all the glitter and glam of The South Beach experience. Vintro is an interesting option that has been open for just about a year now and gets some modestly good reviews, if you want more of our opinion, go back and visit our discovery write up on the property.
This is also a really good area to find relatively inexpensive vacation rentals, you can either do the VRBO thing, or you might try going direct to Ray Breslin and the Bresaro Suites, Ray and Patrick have been running their own rental business out of the Mantell for the better part of 20 years!!! Seriously.
(Photo From Vice)