Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners - 2006
Readers' Choice: South Beach
Though it's unlikely your guests might walk away from a visit to this popular Little Havana landmark with a Paris Hilton sighting under their belts, they will leave with a quintessential postcard of Miami's sabor Cubano. For more than four decades, the gaudy landmark, decked out in chandeliers, murals, and mirrors, has been the meeting place for exilio honchos, noisy Cuban families, and multiculti Miami. It's the place to go if you're hungry for authentic island cuisine served up with a heap of Castro-bashing or peppered in local political intrigue. Open till the wee hours seven nights a week, Versailles offers a cornucopia of old-fashioned Cuban favorites like ropa vieja, arroz con pollo, and lech?n asado at prices that won't dent the wallet. After getting your visitors wired on a shot of cafecito, take a dime tour of Calle Ocho, where you can catch old-timers in a heated dominoes showdown at Maximo Gomez Park, shop for souvenirs at a shabby-chic bodega, and visit one of the many low-rent art galleries. Sure it might not compare to a sultry day at the beach, or the glamour of celebrity gawking at South Beach's exclusive nightclubs, but your friends will leave with a sense that there's nowhere else in America like the place we call home.