Only a few lucky residents of South Florida can brag about having a single-family home right on the beach. While there may be hundreds of condominiums
lining the gorgeous East Coast of Miami, few, if any, detached beachfront households exist – except for those in the quiet North Miami Beach
community of Altos Del Mar.
This six-part, mainly residential subdivision has an impressive collection of early-1920s to mid-1940s homes,
ranging from Modern architecture with curvy lines to Mediterranean Revival styles displaying barrel roofs and stucco walls. The area is centrally located between the larger business areas of Miami Dade and Broward County.
Schools in Altos Del Mar South
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Bailey's Crossroads offers a wide variety of restaurants. Bamian Restaurant serves amazing Afghan cuisine, including appetizers such as sambosas, scallion-filled steam dumplings, and stir-fried eggplant. Some other specialties include marinated kabobs served with Afghan bread, sauteed pumpkin topped with yogurt, and mint and charcoal-broiled chicken or lamb.
Meaza Restaurant on Columbia Pike serves authentic Ethiopian cuisine, including beef or lamb tibs, injera made with teff flour, cubed red snapper cooked in an Ethiopian hot sauce, and kitfo -- ground beef cooked with mitmita, Ethiopian butter, and cardamom. Vegetarian options include lentil stew, yellow pea stew, and cooked collard greens.
When you crave Asian cuisine, the best restaurant to visit remains Peking Gourmet Inn, a regional staple since 1978. Although it looks like a hole-in-the-wall joint from the outside, as soon as you step through the doors, you'll be treated to an elegant, welcoming atmosphere. The staff works hard to accommodate customers with special needs such as allergies or food restrictions. In addition to the house special, crispy Peking duck, other restaurant specialties include spicy Szechuan beef, gourmet pan-fried noodles, flavorful jeo-yen shrimp and garlic sprouts sauteed with chicken, pork, or shrimp.
Hookah bars and sport bars comprise the majority of Bailey's Crossroads' nightlife scene. For example, Fairouz Cafe on George Mason Drive combines live entertainment with a variety of hookah flavors, including blue mist, code 69, passion kiss, rose, margarita, and wild mint, just to name a few. This hookah bar also boasts great happy hour specials, including $5 sandwiches and half-priced alcoholic beverages every night from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., plus a half-price hookah special for ladies night on Mondays. DJs spin a variety of Arabic and popular music nightly from Wednesday through Saturday in addition to a live belly dancing performance on Friday or Saturday night.
History & Culture
The Tatum brothers, a group of real estate brokers and developers dating back to the late 1800s, established the Altos Del Mar area, which stands for Highland of the Seas in Spanish. In the 1980s, the State of Florida began to purchase lots in the community as part of an initiative to conserve the coast. However, the State’s project failed due to homeowners' unwillingness to sell their homes, so the lots were sold back to the public.
Altos Del Mar became a designated U.S. Historic site in 1987, restricting the design standards of new homes and alteration of older properties, which has given birth to an interesting new neighborhood that mixes modern and classic styles.
There are no museums or art galleries inside the community; however, the Altos Del Mar Sculpture Park holds several art exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Most residents prefer to drive their cars around town, as they enjoy easy access to major highway such as the Florida Turnpike and Interstate 95. This northern area of Miami Beach offers plenty of affordable parking spaces, although weekends may get a bit full.
Public transportation includes plenty of public buses, and a free, local circulatory system. The transit layout is simple to follow and surprisingly efficient for traveling within the city of Miami Beach. However, getting out of the area can be a bit more complicated, depending on when and where you want to travel.
Cabs are easy to hail around the Bal Harbour Mall area, but you will need to arrange for a pickup within the quieter residential sections. Uber and Lyft services are also available at cheaper rates.
Inside the peaceful community, residents can walk or ride their bikes on the ample beachside boardwalk that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.
The cost of living in the Bal Harbor area is slightly higher than the Miami average, as it offers an enhanced level of luxury and comfort. A one-bedroom
apartment averages at around $960 a month. Inside the Altos Del Mar community, private residences start at $2,500,000.
Making your way around the city in public transportation will run you about $2.25 for a one-way trip. Gas prices are about 10 percent lower than the national average, and a pint of beer in a local bar costs $6.
Altos Del Mar residents can relish in the upscale, open-air shopping scene at the beautiful Bal Harbour Shops, which carries the most extensive luxury fashion collection found in America.
High value stores include international designer brands like Chloe, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and much more. Boutique lovers will be happy to find gems like Audemars Piguet Boutique, which sells modern, high-end watches. Another favorite with the locals is St. John Boutique, a lovely little store that carries beautiful women's fashions. If you're in the market for unique jewelry items, then stop by the charming Chopard boutique.
Find fresh groceries at the Publix located on Bal Harbour Island. Kosherland Supermarket has a great selection of kosher food products and meats. The Normandy Village Marketplace, a farmers market held on Saturdays, offers locally-grown produce, fresh-cut flowers, clothing, jewelry, crafts, and other items.
The serene Altos Del Mar Park includes plenty of palm tree shading, open lawns, picnic tables, native flora, and a sand volleyball court. This park is also part of a one-mile beach trail that runs between scenic oceanfronts and sand dunes. Additionally, the community holds several art exhibitions throughout the year, most of them dealing with sculpture.
Dog lovers can head to one of the two dog parks at North Shore
Park. The first park caters to small dogs, and the second park welcomes bigger dogs. This area is also great for kids as it provides plenty of safe open space for outdoor activities. For those that like to stay fit, an exercise
course runs through the park. Active kids will love the tot lots.