In Miami, neon means paradise. And after one step inside this futuristic, eye-popping temple to tanning, you'll know you're on a rocket to somewhere sexy. The front desk is framed in purple lights. Once you're past that, with a bottle of body grease in hand of course, it's on to the important decisions: Spray or light? For the former, the salon has more luxurious-sounding options than a Maserati dealer. How about the Norvell Auto-Revolution ($18.88)? Just remember to keep your fingers and toes spread; you don't want any weird zebra lines. For a lamp tan, Electric Sun offers almost a dozen options across its three locations. A pair of iDome ($18.88) stand-up tanning rigs offers 37 lamps, music, air-conditioning, a mister, and aromatherapy. All this thing needs is wheels to drop you off on South Beach.

Readers' choice: Boca Tanning Club

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
George Apostolidis

Living in Miami isn't always great for the nerves. When you aren't staring at "cones of concern" and listening to meteorologists warning of impending death by hurricane, you're probably risking life and limb on I-95. Sure, you've learned to Zen out amid the 305's particular flavor of tropical chaos, but sometimes you need something extra. That's where the Mandarin Oriental comes in. Think of this spa as the nuclear option for your stress levels. Tucked away in Brickell Key, this luxurious, five-star relaxation haven allows guests to take a break from reality with an array of treatments, ranging from Thai massages ($295) to illuminating oxygen facials ($250) to ocean and earth body wraps ($195). Yes, the prices fall decidedly into "emergency option only" for most Miamians, but you aren't paying for any ordinary spa visit. At the Mandarin Oriental, the staff is incredibly meticulous about its standards. The highly trained therapists are some of the best in South Florida. Service is topnotch. Arrive early and spend some time in the luxe sauna and steam rooms before your treatment, such as the 50-minute customized essential facial ($160). You've survived another day in Miami — you've earned this.

Readers' choice: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

The perpetual humidity-drenched summers in Florida might theoretically keep your skin looking younger than that of your pals, who weather the full four seasons, but by August, Dade dwellers are forever asking themselves: "Do I look dewy or greasy?" Let's be honest: You probably look greasy. That's what makes facials such an essential luxury. Skincare by Pevonia, located in a converted house near South Miami, has been caring for Floridian skin for three decades. After 30 years and nothing but rave reviews, this small, locally owned spa is the perfect place to pamper your largest organ. You can flush the hurricane-season funk out of your face with a deep pore cleansing for $80, a high-tech microdermabrasion for $100, or a luxurious apple facial peel containing wine and flower acids for $145. Face up to the fact that your face could use some TLC.

Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar
Courtesy of Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar

There's a fairly limited set of circumstances when a manicure or pedicure would require an alibi. Perhaps you've launched an international hacking attack while getting your toenails buffed, or you've committed high treason by leaking state secrets to a rogue agent sitting in the next chair while you each get your pinkies filed away. Or, if you're in Miami, you might simply need Alibi because you desire some topnotch service and a little pampering — Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar, that is. You don't need any excuse to feel good at this Alibi, thanks to the complimentary mimosas and champagne for you to sip while technicians soak, shape, scrub, massage, and polish — using only natural, chemical-free products. Alibi is well known for its nail art, and its specialists can turn your fingernails into tiny works of art. Manis start at $25 and nail art at $6 per nail. And, boys, before you start feeling left out: Alibi has a pampering treatment just for you, complete with a manly, musk-scented scrub that really puts the "man" in "manicure."

Unless you're the type who wears a lot of silk bathrobes and spends hours lounging on velvet bedspreads — and more power to you if you are — you're probably picky about whom you pay to rub your glutes. So why spend big bucks for another cattle-call-style massage place in a big South Beach hotel when you can get a personalized and therapeutic experience at Dania Beach's Awesome Aura Massage. This isn't a massage palace with 50-foot waterfalls and hundreds of employees; it's a small space that isn't easy to find from the street. But once you enter the Buddha-happy, peaceful atmosphere, expect to be treated right by the highly trained staff ready to perform a range of therapeutic massages, from Swedish to deep-tissue to Hawaiian lomi lomi. A one-hour session costs $70, and a discounted package of five hourlong massages runs $300. Ask for Holly for a full body-and-mind experience, and you'll be content you chose Awesome Aura.

Sometimes it's fun to bathe with a friend. Shower With Us is an organic soap company with dozens of scent options to liven up your next bath time, whether you choose to spend it alone or with someone special. Some soaps, such as the activated charcoal with tea tree oil, are ideal for battling acne or oily skin on the face or the entire body. Shower With Us also offers unconventional scent options that can be customized or rotated in the home according to season. Orange hibiscus is the perfect summer scent after a brutally hot day in Miami, while apples and cinnamon can bring some winter feels to the home, even when it's 75 degrees outside in December. One bar blends skin-soothing goat milk and honey, along with oatmeal oats as an exfoliant. The company has been selling soaps in Miami for only a year and doesn't have a storefront yet, but you can regularly find its booths at farmers' markets in Kendall Village, the Shops at Sunset Place, Country Walk, Coconut Grove, the Shops at Merrick Park, and even Islamorada. The company also offers custom gift baskets for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and weddings. Shower time!

Radio-Active Records
Photo by Ian Witlen

After two decades of internet-induced chaos, the music industry is still defying all predictability. Illegal streaming turned record labels on their heads before they eventually embraced Spotify and Apple Music. Then, just when it seemed digital music had won, vinyl underwent a miraculous resurrection. Even cassettes have made a comeback in some bastions of hipsterdom. But what of the lowly CD? For the connoisseur who wants the warmth of vinyl but also enjoys the clean sound of a CD without the compression of an MP3 or phone speaker, there's still a shop looking out for you. Radio-Active Records offers aisle after aisle of vinyl records, but tucked in the corner beside the entrance are a few racks stacked with shelves of CDs in a wide range of genres. Below the racks are dozens of crates stuffed with CDs that don't quite fit on the shelves. Most albums, even rare imports, tend to stay in the $1-to-$8 range, and the store can also order albums for pickup upon request. Radio-Active has been wise to keep its CD stock full, because at the rate music fans change their minds, hipsters will rediscover the humble disc any day now.

Books & Books
Courtesy of Books & Books

If you live in South Florida and you know how to read, Books & Books hardly needs an introduction. Mitchell Kaplan started his venerable temple of the turned page in 1982 and — amid national cries about the death of the printed word and the rise of Amazon — has grown it into one of America's premier local bookstores, all while expanding to Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, downtown Miami, and even Grand Cayman. Kaplan found time to cofound the Miami Book Fair while he was at it, and his flagship Books & Books in the Gables echoes that commitment to connecting authors with readers thanks to its nearly nightly readings and book signings. All of Kaplan's locations remain impressively stocked and curated, and with cafés and full bars in the Gables and South Beach, his shops are the perfect place for bibliophiles to happily wile away a Saturday. ¡Viva los libros!

Readers' choice: Books & Books

Maybe you've heard this one: Donald Trump doesn't believe in exercise. He honestly thinks that his body has only a "finite amount of energy" and that moving his flabby ass will deplete his internal battery. As with all other things in life, you shouldn't listen to him. Next time you're ready to recharge your engine, skip the same old treadmill or sticky road run and head to Body & Soul, where there's enough variety to keep your workout from ever being boring again. Want to spin your way into shape? Duck into one of Maria Sentmanat's fast-paced M*ergy classes. More of a CrossFit fiend? Body & Soul has you covered on that too. The gym also offers yoga, barre, Pilates, and dance classes, including the popular, high-energy Videosync series, taught by Jay Marcos. If classes aren't your thing, you can train on your own using the 10,000-square-foot facility's state-of-the-art equipment. Prices vary: Membership costs $85 for the gym only or $185 for full access, including classes and CrossFit. That's a hell of a lot cheaper than a Mar-a-Lago membership.

Readers' choice: Anatomy at 1220

The Groupon specials might lure you in the doors of Reforming Pilates, but the topnotch instructors, like Nellie Triana and Estefania Garcia, will keep you coming back. They're all legit masters of Pilates, the muscle-toning, posture-improving, flexibility-boosting workout regimen. Walk up the stairs to the building's laid-back second-floor studio for a challenging one-hour class ($30 drop-in) that will have you exercising muscles you never knew existed. Classes at this cozy studio are conducted on reformer machines, which help Pilates practitioners of all levels stay in proper alignment and form as they work out. With small classes, the passionate instructors are always intently watching, making sure students are performing the exercises correctly — which means you'll get a tight bod in a safe environment. If you can't blast through a class without the right tunes, don't worry: You can always count on Justin, the studio owner, to come prepared with excellent music selections. The studio also offers unlimited monthly classes ($175), a monthly pass for up to 12 classes ($200), and private sessions. Even though this studio is located in Miami Beach, parking is usually easy to come by at the metered lot across the street. Get ready to shake like a leaf.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®