South Beach Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches, wonderful lifestyle and stunning architecture especially in the Art Deco district. Another aesthetic attribute of South Beach Miami is the presence of several colorful and unique stands used by Miami Beach’s lifeguards on South Beach, There are 29 iconic towers located from 1st street South Point Miami all the way up to 85th street.
The most famous stands are the ones located between 1st and 23rd street; including the iconic one with the American Flag motif on the 13th street. During my stay in South Beach Miami I took time mostly early mornings to capture these beautiful towers. At around 09:30 every morning the Life Guards start their jobs and put the flags out showing that they are on duty. The South Florida Beach Control Authority uses an uniform flag warning system to advise of potential risks. Red Flag indicates high hazard from surf and/or currents (Yellow is medium hazard, Green shows low hazard). Purple flags are used in conjunction with another colored flag and indicate hazard from dangerous marine life.)
In the 1990ies Hurricane Andrew destroyed a lot of these wonderful towers. Shortly afterwards the City of Miami rebuilt most of old stands and added some new ones designed by architect William Lane.
If you are in South Beach Miami Beach and want to photograph these iconic Life Guard stations here are my top three tips:
- Get out early morning or late afternoon. Leveraging the blue or golden hour light conditions and it is not that hot. (get a cap and water)
- Walking is best , I tried with bicycle but you won’t be able to cycle all the distance as the beach is soft and I got stuck in the sand. The walking distance from South Point to 23rd Street is 2,2 miles so calculate between 1,5 -2,5 hours depending how long you need per station.
- Which camera and shooting angle you use depends on your personal preference. I used my DSLR digital camera, but also smartphone cameras probably do well. For the shooting angle I preferred having the beach and the sea in the background do provide context in the pictures.
I personally like them all so for me it is so very hard to judge which is the nicest. So what is your preferred Lifeguard tower in South Beach Miami? Anyone you like the most?