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Miami (FL)

It's hard to imagine Miami as a sleepy backwater where oranges were cultivated, but that's how it all began. Today, this high-octane city is the kind of glamorous beach destination that attracts celebrities, former presidents and wide-eyed tourists who couldn't imagine being anywhere else on earth.

South Beach is where the party hits a frenetic pitch, with celebrities, supermodels and the world's elite converging on beaches and dance floors. It may be exclusive, but the party is available to everyone, especially to those who don't mind splurging on the kind of service and amenities South Beach can offer. Some of finest accommodation in Miami is here in the Art Deco district, home to the world's densest collection of Art Deco architecture.

What South Beach is today, Miami Beach was in the 1950s. This is where Al Capone and Frank Sinatra used to rest and recuperate. After a brief spell of neglect, this neighborhood is as formidable as ever, and it now hosts some of the biggest hotels in Miami.

While everyone clings to the beaches during the day, none of the real action starts until after nightfall. Night clubs surged in popularity in the 1980s, and they keep gaining ground. What began as a South Beach phenomenon has spread to parts of the city center. To make matters even spicier, the thriving Latino and Caribbean communities of Miami have left a profound mark on the music scene, and today's DJs are mixing some of the most innovative beats in the world.

Miami International Airport is one of the world's largest, and it's busy year-round. To ensure a smooth transition, many Miami hotels are happy to pick guests up at the airport.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Miami, click on the interactive Miami map on the left-hand side of the page.