Take a walk through Surf­side’s no­to­ri­ous past

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel & Life - By Rod Stafford Hag­wood rhag­[email protected]­sen­tinel.com

You will be for­given for not know­ing ex­actly where Surf­side is or why it’s wor­thy of a free his­tor­i­cal walk­ing tour. 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 is aone-hour his­tor­i­cal walk­ing tour start­ing at 11 a.m. Feb. 17.

The tour 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 Shore Club is now un­der the aus­pices of su­perduper 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?

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 ti­tled “Tales of the Sea­side Tur­tles.”

How to sign up for the tour

The tour will start at 11 a.m. At­ten­dees should gather at the Surf­side Com­mu­nity Cen­ter at

9301 Collins Ave.

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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