8 spots where retro Miami shines

On the surface, Miami may seem like an ultra-modern city straight out of future.

But travel the streets of the Magic City and you'll see it, retro Miami in all of its art-deco, pastel glory. Despite its modern sleekness, Miami is a city with a ton of history that doesn't deal with cocaine, and if you want to get a feel for what Miami was like back in the day, here are eight spots where the spirit of retro Miami will shine the brightest.

Enjoy this trip down memory lane.

1. Venetian Pool

The pool is ubiquitous in Miami, but this swimming wonderland tops them all. Located in Coral Gables, the Venetian Pool was built in 1924 and has retained much of its old bones. So why go swimming in some regular pool when you can have a ball in this tropical paradise loaded with history?

2. Art Deco of Ocean Drive

Although South Beach has acquired a reputation where regular folks get kicked out of clubs for not being "cool" enough, South Beach is a place you should visit if you're into history. Those art deco buildings where the ultra-posh hotels and clubs are located in have a lot of history about them, and just looking at them will transport you back to the days of old people waiting to die and Sonny Crockett looking to bust up a drug empire.

3. Deering Estate

The Deeeeeering Estate....mmmm yessss #deeringestate #miami

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Sitting on 444 acres of the edge of Biscayne Bay, the Deering Estate is a house that has retro Miami dripping from its historic walls. The Deering Estate is also one of Miami's most famed haunted houses, so, if you're a daredevil, take a trip through this beautiful, but haunted landscape at night.

4. The Delano Hotel

Miami Beach is filled with ultra-posh, normal-folks-made-need-to-sell-their-souls-just-to-afford-one-night hotels, but this Collins Avenue spot tops them all. The Delano has been the choice of celebrities and the well-to-do for decades, and although it may be tough for us normal folks to stay there, it's worth seeing to get that sense of retro Miami art its finest.

5. Stiltsville

Head over the Rickenbacker Causeway (a treat within itself) and keep straight down Crandon Boulevard towards the very end and you will see it, an entire neighborhood of homes sitting on stilts right in the heart of Biscayne Channel. This unique neighborhood is called "Stiltsville, a spot where retro Miami sits behind the skyline of modern Miami. This is truly a site to behold, and you can either see it from the shores of Homes That Hover Park or take a boat to see these floating houses up close and personal.

6. Freedom Tower

#miaminights #freedomtowermiami #dadecounty #7plusphotography #nofilter

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Though glass and modern skyscrapers now surround it, the Freedom Tower will forever be the iconic tower in Miami. Originally built as the headquarters of the (now defunct) Miami Daily News, the tower was repurposed in 1962 as a place where Cubans fleeing the evil clutches of Fidel Castro could get processed in Ameria. The building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and today, this tower still stands colorfully tall as a symbol of what Miami, the real Miami is made of.

7. Villa Paula

The Villa Paula is another of Miami's famed haunted houses, but it is also a grand statement to what Miami used to be back in the day. Located in Little Hati, this home is very much worth the time to come and check out. But, don't get caught in its gates, or you'll end up like the poor cat that didn't head the other cats advise.

8. Miami Tower

This I.M. Pei building was so mesmerizing to me when I lived in Miami many years ago. Still is. #miamitower #aintshepretty

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This skyscraper can be hailed as the building that touched off Miami's modern renaissance. Built during the "cocaine cowboy" era of the mid-'80s, the Miami Tower is still to this day the city's most symbolic skyscraper. The Miami Tower is both a nod to the days of old and what lies ahead int he future, and there is no way to imagine what Miami would look like without its retro-modern tower.

Kareem Gantt so retro that he still sports a Casio watch like a boss. Follow this award-winning author on Twitter.