Free historical walking tours through the notorious past of Surfside in Miami-Dade
You will be forgiven for not knowing exactly where Surfside is or why it’s worthy of a free historical walking tour, much less two.
But that’s exactly what’s happening in the quaint little town in Miami-Dade just south of Bal Harbour and north of Biscayne Point and North Shore Park in Miami Beach. There are two one-hour historical walking tours starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Feb. 17.
The tours will be facilitated by HistoryMiami’s resident historian Dr. Paul George, who says in an email interview: “The idea for the tour emanated from the fact that the town has a unique downtown, is bracketed by the Atlantic and has the historic Surf Club.”
What’s the big deal about Surfside?
Back in the day, Prohibition to be precise, Surfside was a hot hamlet. The legendary Surf Club was a boozy bacchanal filled with the demimonde of the day. Later on luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, the Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill and the Shah of Iran stayed there. Recently reopened and sharing a block with the Four Seasons hotel, the Surf Club is now under the auspices of super-duper chef Thomas Keller.
The downtown area of Surfside on Harding Avenue has a collection of Art Deco and Miami Modern architecture built between 1946 and 1957. George says he will also talk about some of Surfside’s Mediterranean revival buildings and homes, some of them inspired by the Surf Club’s look.
Any surprises on the tour?
Spoiler alert, but the tour will include information on the protected loggerhead turtles, which return every year to lay eggs on the Surfside beach. There is also an outdoor exhibit with local artists pay tribute to the turtles titled “Tales of the Seaside Turtles.”
How to sign up for the tours
Both the Jan. 27 and the Feb. 17 tours will start at 11 a.m. Attendees should gather at the Surfside Community Center at 9301 Collins Ave.
For more information, go to Facebook.com/VisitSurfside.
To reserve a space on the tour, go to Eventbrite.com/e/surfside-historical-walking-tour-with-historymiamis-dr-paul-george-tickets-53966518309.
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