Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 8, 2017)

Ranked second in the US after New York and 13th in the world as a tourist hub, Miami is every traveller's paradise. In 2012, it was classified as an 'Alpha -World City' and Forbes magazine ranked it as America's 'Cleanest City' for its year-round air quality, green spaces, clean drinking water and streets, and citywide recycling programs. It has the third tallest skyline in the US, with over 300 high-rises, while the Port of Miami is known as the 'Cruise Capital of the World'.

It is also the world's fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power and has been nicknamed as the 'Capital of Latin America' for its expansive Cuban influence reflected in the cafes and cigar shops, which line Calle Ocho in Little Havana. On the barrier islands across the Biscayne Bay, is the glamorous neighbourhood of Miami Beach famous for its colourful art deco buildings, white sand and surfside hotels.

Actress-producer-singer Priyanka Chopra, whose upcoming Hollywood debut, Baywatch, is set in Miami, shares her experiences of filming and holidaying there:

Bikini girl on the beach
I know Miami really well because Dostana was filmed entirely there too. We were in Florida for four months in 2008. “Desi Girl“ and the gold bikini sequence...! I have family living there too, who I caught up with at the time.

For the Baywatch shoot though, it was a shorter stay. I was shuttling between cold Montreal where I was shooting Quantico, and the sunny Baywatch set in Miami. While the rest of the cast (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Zac Efron) spent four months on the beach, I didn't get to stay for longer than three-four days at a time.

I'm not an explorer, I'm a vegetator and like to grow roots. And I wish I could have spent more time in Miami and Savannah (which is about 800 kms away) along the same coastline, and equally beautiful. The sun is always shining. Tiny cottages face the spectacular bluegreen sea. I'd lounge on a recliner with a glass of wine or champagne, in a bikini and a cowboy hat, sun-bathing or reading a novel - Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman or Robert Vavra's Horses of the Sun. Bliss!

Cruising along
One weekend in February, we took a yacht out. I felt like a mermaid, walking barefoot on the sand, tucking into the delicious buffet and watching the sun go down. The sky in Miami is always on fire.

I spent the last weekend of 2016 there too, getting pampered by the Venetian pool. Maimi offers the best burgers and I'm always ready for a big bite. I also love a nice spread of English breakfast - eggs, sausages, baked beans and black coffee.

Steak-ing my claim
The beach island of Key Biscayne is serene and secluded. It's the northernmost island in Florida and offers pristine beaches, two waterfront parks and a panoramic view of Miami. Towards the north end of the Key, Crandon Park has a lovely barbecue arena where you can dig into a juicy steak.

The flowers are gorgeous at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden with miles of manicured lawns and waterfalls. I love slipping into a comfortable summer dress and walking around the city, admiring the Mediterranean-style houses with rocking chairs on the porch. Live musicians on the streets and the beat of Latino music streams out of the record shops, giving the neighbourhood an authentic Cuban vibe.

In the main city, there are a string of coffee shops on the sidewalk and art galleries. There's also the 1111 Lincoln Road, possibly the world's most glamorous parking garage, along with local luxury boutiques and gift shops.The street art is vibrant.

Hopefully, next spring, when the city is buzzing, I'll get to visit again with my mom (Madhu Chopra) and friends. Then again, I haven't taken a break longer than three days in the last 15 years, so maybe it will be work, which will take me back there.