Just twenty minutes north of South Beach, the “village” of Bal Harbour is a study in opulence, from the million-dollar penthouses that dot A1A to the mecca of luxury shopping known as The Bal Harbour Shops that flank the west side of Collins Avenue. Nestled between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the city is part laid-back coastal village, and part glamorous jet-setting destination. If visitors are lucky, they’ll get to experience both.
But there’s also a cultural presence here, with galleries and a town-sponsored public art program that infuses this enclave with a jolt of creativity and modernity. Art and sculpture abound as part of the city’s well-funded “Unscripted” public art program where visitors can opt for a self-guided walking tour through the town with stops along the beach path to view blue chip pieces of art. And here’s another perk to staying at one of the town’s luxurious hotels like the St. Regis Bal Harbour: all Bal Harbour guests receive the “Unscripted” card which gives them year-round complimentary access to, and private tours of, Miami’s top museums, private collections and cultural destinations.
Start at the northern end of Bal Harbour’s beachwalk (around 102nd St. by the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour) a public walking, running and cycling path that features three annual exhibitions in collaboration top cultural institutions from around the country. In addition to the placards placed along the path, walking south you’ll find Jeff Koon’s “Seated Ballerina” located in the rotunda of the Oceana building.
A bit south of that is New York-based, Swiss-born Ugo Rondinone’s “2,000 Year Old Olive Tree” located outside the Kennilworth Bal Harbour. Fabricated in aluminum and coated in white enamel, the sculpture is cast from trees found in the countryside outside Naples, the hometown of the artist’s parents.
The last stop on the sculpture tour is located inside The Bal Harbour Shops with artist Barbara Neijna’s iconic steel balls suspended by cables located on the second level of the shops.
Getting exercise and upping your culture game sounds good to us. Stroll down Bal Harbour’s walking path immediately.