An aerial view  of Miami Beach, Miami, Florida. Community

Experience Miami

To experience Miami, you just have to stay in a hotel in Miami Beach. Truly. As much a part of the landscape as the palm trees, Miami's hotels are on display as if they were contestants in a beauty pageant. Since Miami Beach's renaissance, this area has transformed itself from a beachfront retirement community into a sand-swept hot spot for design lovers.

That's the first of our favorite experiences in this dazzling city. Here are some more:
Men playing dominoes in Miami's Calle Ocho neighborhood. Miami, Florida.
Anuja Madar
Hang With the Locals in Little Havana
If you've never been to Cuba, just visit this small section of Miami and you'll come pretty close. The sounds, tastes, and rhythms are very reminiscent of Cuba's capital city, and some say you don't have to speak a word of English to live an independent life here -- even street signs are in Spanish and English.
Boutique hotels along Collins Avenue in South Beach. Miami, Florida.
Dave Hoffman
Go Back in Time in Miami's Art Deco District
South Beach is alive with an around-the-clock party atmosphere (think "The Birdcage"). The beautiful people are here, but they aren't the only sights -- the perfectly-preserved Art Deco District here has the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the world.
Joe's Stone Crab in Miami, Florida.
Joe Viesti
Prepare for a Feast at Joe's Stone Crab
As much of a Miami landmark as the beaches themselves, Joe's is a microcosm of the city, attracting everyone from T-shirted locals to a bejeweled Ivana Trump. Open only during stone-crab season (Oct-May), Joe's reels in the crowds with the freshest, meatiest stone crabs and their essential accoutrements: creamed spinach and excellent sweet-potato fries.
Flamingos in the water at Hialeah Park, Miami, Florida.
Vincent DeWitt
Check Out the Flamboyant Flamingos in Hialeah Park
This legendary flock of neon-pink flamingos roam around historic Hialeah Park. The racetrack here is a National Historic Landmark, where champions like Seabiscuit - who had his racing debut here in 1935 - made history for many decades.
Versailles restaurant on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Miami, Florida.
Alex Segre
Chow Down on Classic Cuban Cuisine at Versailles
Versailles is the meeting place of Miami's Cuban power brokers, who gather daily over café con leche to discuss the future of the Cuban exiles' fate. It sparkles with glass, chandeliers, murals, and mirrors meant to evoke the French palace.
A surfer in the waves off Haulover Beach, Miami, Florida.
Ken Ross
Soak up the Sun on the Sands of Miami Beach
Perhaps Miami's most popular attraction is its incredible beachfront. Collins Avenue fronts more than a dozen miles of white-sand beach and blue-green waters from 1st to 192nd street. Although most of this stretch is lined with a solid wall of hotels and condos, there is easy public access to the wide and well-maintained beaches.