As U.S. travelers — increasingly vaccinated — eye upcoming vacations, some are heading south to Miami. The city combines urban verve with the breezy appeal of a beach trip: well-suited, perhaps, to a late-pandemic rush toward fresh air and fresh surroundings.

“Tourism is returning to Miami and Miami Beach in pre-pandemic levels,” said Bill Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). Hotel demand in the third week of May exceeded 2019 levels for the same dates, according to the GMCVB. Rising domestic travel is helping to offset the steep decline of international tourism, which, Talbert said, accounted for 30 percent of pre-pandemic visits.

Sun-seeking vacationers are arriving to a spate of new attractions. The year’s creative headliner is immersive art center Superblue, which opened May 20 across from the private Rubell Museum in the Allapattah neighborhood. Superblue’s first exhibition, “Every Wall Is a Door,” is a color-drenched, digital wonderland by artists Es Devlin, teamLab, and James Turrell. Visitors walk through and into art pieces, which include Devlin’s mirrored maze “Forest of Us,” and a virtual waterfall that parts just before flowing across your feet.

A couple of miles away at Ice Palace Studios is Miami’s version of the sound-and-light show “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” which premiered April 15. There, vast blowups of the artist’s work are projected in 360 degrees inside a 20,000-square-foot space, and visitors can don headsets for a virtual-reality walk with the artist to places that inspired his most famous paintings. (D.C. gets its own version of the show in August.)

Miami’s answer to the London Eye, the Skyviews Miami observation wheel, opened in October. Riders in climate-controlled gondolas glide to 176 feet above the ground, getting views that extend across Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline.

Restaurants opened since the pandemic feature New York names testing southern climes. In December, restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson unveiled the Overtown version of Harlem restaurant Red Rooster, serving upscale comfort food with tributes to the Overtown neighborhood’s Caribbean heritage. (Samuelsson planned to open the restaurant in March 2020 but used the space for pandemic relief instead.) January was the Miami debut of Greenwich Village’s Carbone, famed equally for spicy rigatoni and the impossibility of getting a reservation. Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote, also a New York import, opened a location in Miami’s Design District in February.

Not all buzzy openings are sequels. Design District gourmet food hall MIA Market is newly home to Sushi Yasu Tanaka by Masumura, which opened in January with chef’s-choice omakase platters and a la carte sushi. In the Wynwood neighborhood, near the now-by-reservation open-air street art museum Wynwood Walls, event hub the Oasis opened in May with stylish food offerings clustered around a vast courtyard, a music stage and a counter-service bar.

And in Miami, new hotel construction never stopped. Projected openings for 2021 include 14 properties with 2,264 rooms, nearly double the capacity added in 2019, according to global hospitality data and analytics company STR.

February brought the debut of 202-room Marriott property Moxy South Beach, a resort in the neighborhood’s Art Deco Historic District. At the sandy beach two blocks away is the hotel’s Moxy Beach Hut, while an eighth-floor open-air rooftop has a bar, restaurant and a shallow pool seemingly made for being seen.

Aiming for boutique intimacy is the 52-room Kayak Miami Beach that opened in April, what the travel booking giant Kayak called a “design lab” for developing tech-assisted accommodations. So far, that means contactless check-ins and app-assisted access to staff while on the property, which is a collaboration with hotel brand Life House. A pristineart deco facade and retro room styling make the hotel at home in the neighborhood, and rooftop suites abut a guest lounge with a dipping pool and sun beds.

Exuding post-pandemic cheer is the Goodtime Hotel, a collaboration between musician Pharrell Williams and Miami nightlife guru David Grutman that opened on a full square block in South Beach this April. With muted tropical hues throughout, the 266-room hotel is a short stroll from a waterfront where guests have beach club access. A pink-and-white-striped pool area has plush private cabanas and two open-air bars with DJs, while on-site restaurant Strawberry Moon provides cocktails and Mediterranean fare.

“We’re back and we’re hitting the ground running,” said the GMCVB’s Talbert, speaking — enviably and fittingly — from a poolside location. “We’re in recovery mode.”

Smith is a writer based in Vermont. Her website is Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @jenrosesmithvt.

Please Note

Potential travelers should take local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC's travel health notice webpage.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted travel domestically and around the world. You will find the latest developments on The Post’s live blog at