Arguably the most exotic city Americans can visit without a passport, Miami is home to sun, sand and irrepressible style. The city's 1970s boom has resulted in a flourishing economy. Home to many Cuban-Americans, Miami is a thriving multicultural metropolis that revels in its Latin American roots.
Miami Beach's white sands welcome you to a tropical paradise where you can soak up the rays, boat, waterski and windsurf. Attend a music festival, enjoy world-class cuisine, browse in fabulous shops and dance all night to the sizzling Latin beat. Hundreds of restored Art Deco buildings await admiration in South Beach, the first 20th-century district on the National Register of Historic Places.
You're sure to hear a symphony of world languages while walking the sidewalks of downtown Miami. Noteworthy attractions in this ethnically diverse area include the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, containing the city's main art museum, historical museum and library; the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, a grand movie palace and concert hall; and the Freedom Tower, a key site for Cuban immigrants.
South Florida's oldest settlement, Coconut Grove is a vibrant mix of posh estates, rustic cottages and sleek modern homes. Drive by the former residences of Sylvester Stallone and Madonna on the Southeast 32nd Road loop. Then marvel at the impressive exhibits at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Miami Museum of Science and Space. In the evening, take in a show at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
Paradoxically, winter is Florida's busiest tourist season, when the weather is mild and activities are at their peak...but so are hotel rates. Summer can be stifling with heat and humidity, though, so travel in spring or autumn for the best compromise.