South Florida's best block is... Española Way in Miami Beach

Española Way, the cozy Miami Beach lane built as an artists’ colony in the 1920s and designed to evoke a picturesque Mediterranean village, has captured The Miami Herald’s best block in South Florida competition. Hands down.

With little debate, four expert jurors unanimously selected the street’s “Spanish Village’’ block between Washington and Drexel avenues as winner of the Goldman Prize — named after the late urbanist and developer Tony Goldman — from among the scores of urban blocks in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties nominated by readers.

“It jumps out at you right away,’’ said juror Victor Dover, a Coral Gables-based town planner and urban designer. “There were places centered around nightlife and shopping, or art or music. There were places that had great architecture and walkability. But there were few that had all of those, and that made Española Way stand out. It’s got it all.’’

The popular South Beach street also snagged two other prizes Saturday evening during the award announcements at the Goldman family’s Wynwood Walls patio: the $600 top video prize for Jared Robins , a 17-year-old Country Day School student whose father owns the small Española Way Villas hotel, and the previously unveiled $400 third prize in photo for a serene view of the block at dusk by Barry Miller. He’s a Miami landscape architect whose firm designed the 2002 Plaza de España at the intersection of Drexel and Española Way.

“I put my heart into it,’’ a surprised Robins said after getting bear-hugged by his friends, noting his homespun video didn’t have the slick production quality of some other entries.

Española Way will be rewarded with a block party this fall.