The Best City to 'Go Parking' on a Romantic Vacation

Posted on 02/10/2022
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d resurrect that retro, ‘50’s dating cliché with a travel twist. Instead of poodle skirts and romance in a souped up convertible in Lover’s Lane, American Graffiti-style, we suggest a romantic trip to Miami. Well, maybe rent the convertible.

Steamy Miami may be made for a vacation version of ‘Date Night.’ A dynamic, seaside lifestyle extends up from the beach to hotels and urban resorts with famous round-the-clock cocktails, dining, and party scenes. Not to mention the show-stopping design. Many hotels have Art Deco or Mid-century design pedigrees, and make you feel like a jet-setting celebrity from those glamorous eras. You might even run into one of the modern-day celebs who flock there for their own, uplifting dose of Miami’s trend-setting lifestyle.

Picture yourself cruising across one of the city’s coastal causeways in that convertible… en route to a gallery, the newest, chic restaurant, pastel-colored landmark Deco hotel, or of course the beach.
In Miami, every part of your journey can be peak chic. Even parking your car. The city is so stylish, even the parking garages are designer! Miami has a growing collection of ‘park’-itecture: parking structures designed by some of the world's leading architects – or 'star-chitects'. 

We’re not actually suggesting you ‘go parking’ in any of these car culture destinations. With modern security systems, that might be embarrassing. Get a room, will you? (We can suggest some good ones!)

Ballet Valet Parking Garage

210 Seventh St. at Collins, Miami Beach

Nicknamed the 'Chia Garage' for its lush green walls, the Ballet Valet Parking Garage was in the vanguard of South Beach's renaissance in the mid-90's and was Miami's first statement 'park-itecture'.

Like the chia pet it resembles, the 'vertical green zone' wrap of the building grows in the tropical climate. It even requires occasional trimming. When filled out, the breezes from the sea only a block away rustle through the greens like a wave, simulating the ocean surf. Watch for it flying into town; it's in the flight path to MIA airport.

1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach

Designed by celebrity architect firm Herzon & deMeuron, this edgy, minimalist-design-lover's dream really put Miami parkitecture on the world style map. Since its acclaimed debut in 2010, 1111 Lincoln Rd has been dubbed 'the world's most beautiful parking garage'.

With slanting angles and exaggerated ceiling heights, 1111 Lincoln Rd is parking garage, event space, a residential penthouse for the developer, semi-secret retail space in a glass box perched at the edge, and a restaurant.   
Wangle an invitation to an event here if you can to have the pleasure of sipping a cocktail while enjoying the spectacular views of Miami and Miami Beach, Fisher Island, the bay and the ocean from the top floors.


Pennsylvania Avenue Garage at New World Symphony

500 17th St., Miami Beach
The City of Miami Beach and the New World Symphony brought on celebrity architect Frank Gehry to build the parking structure for the NWS Orchestral Academy. Less dramatic at first glance than other Gehry designs, it's wrapped in metal mesh that is illuminated with an LED light show by night. 

 (Photo by Craig Hall)

For the best view, head to 17th street – or if you're in town on business or bleisure (business + leisure), there's a great view from the convention center. 

City View Garage

59 NE 38th St., Miami
Split-personality City View Garage stands out as you drive into Miami on the elevated I-95. It's a billboard for Miami's new Design District. Each of 4 facades was given to a different designer. The perforated gold metal panels on the southwest side are famous for catching Miami's spectacular sunsets in an explosion of brilliance.

(Photo by Ra-Haus)

The garage gives you a stylish place to park as you shop among luxury boutiques in the neighborhood.

Museum Garage

1 NE 1st St., Miami
2018's Museum Garage livens up Miami's Design District even more, doubling down on the eclectic design with a mash-up of 6 eclectic, eye-popping facades.

Different designers were given free rein without knowing what the others were creating. The playful, standout designs range from psychedelic candy cane stripes, to black and white comic graphics, to gold and silver 3-dimensional car installations whose lights go on at night…
Museum Garage cements parkitecture in Miami as an attraction of its own; you'll want to make sure you walk around and appreciate it from all sides to appreciate the full creativity of the designers, and get a chuckle from the next design that pops up at you.

Wynwood Garage

321 NW 26th St, Miami

The Wynwood Garage is Miami's Wynwood Arts District’s first public parking garage. It pays homage to the creativity of the district. Visitors come from all over the world to admire the curated, world-class street art on its Wynwood Walls, visit art galleries and studios and draw energy from the creative community.

The Wynwood Garage takes inspiration from this neighborhood of painted building walls, with a unique façade of abstract shapes that become a 3-d canvas for urban design. Sections of the graphics can change appearance – swapping out 'skins' with different pieces of curated art.

Parked cars share the structure with ground floor retail, and office space on upper floors. It's a traffic-stopping street corner; The Wynwood Garage is next door to the dramatic, black and white striped Wynwood Building.

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