Whether it’s gawking at the semi-celebs in South Beach , admiring the area’s accidental art deco history, digging into some ropa vieja in Little Havana , or relaxing on some of the nation’s best beaches , Miami offers a vacation that’s as tropical as it is urbane.
Between cop shows and glossy magazines, the concept of contemporary Miami has been all but reinvented over the past couple of decades. The southernmost American city is no longer thought of as “God’s waiting room,” and instead it’s now on par with Los Angeles and New York City as one of the country’s most glittering fashion-forward metropolises.
Unlike Manhattan or Hollywood, though, Miami has earned its star status somewhat quickly. Although the area’s nouveau-riche tendencies show through in its sprawling rapid development and trend-chasing attitude, what makes Miami great today is what’s always made it great: near-perfect weather, a hodgepodge of global influences, and a sense that it’s possible to do anything here, as long as you’re a big dreamer and a smooth talker.
As a result, Miami today manages to combine fast-paced luxury with old-school Florida style. So yes, you can certainly indulge in a vacation here that’s filled with nothing but $15 cocktails, velvet-rope parties, and platinum-card-straining shopping sprees. But you can just as easily spend your time here admiring the offerings of top-notch galleries and museums, exploring the multiple cultural and ethnic enclaves throughout the area, soaking up rays on the beach, or wandering through peaceful low-key neighborhoods like Coral Gables  and Coconut Grove  that are flecked with gorgeous architecture and hidden historic treasures.