Bal Harbour, Florida

ball’ HAR’-ber

You’ve probably seen Bal Harbour, along with other ritzy locales like Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, and Palm Beach, listed at the bottom of exclusive ads in upscale magazines such as Architectural Digest and Town & Country.

In other words, Bal Harbour is one of the places you can go to update your Rolex collection, pick up the latest Louis Vuitton bag, or score a new pair of Jimmy Choos.

But where is this luxury mystery locale?

On the northern tip of the barrier island that’s home to Miami Beach. While the south end of the island hosts well known South Beach and the Art Deco Historic District, the north end is unquestionably the most snobworthy.

Bal Harbour is an independent village with it’s own mayor and village council. Bisected by the attractive Collins Avenue, with its perfectly aligned rows of palms and immaculately manicured grass, the village consists of high-rise condos and hotels on the ocean side, and gated communities of single-family homes on the other.

Bal Harbour is also home to one of America’s most snooty shopping centers: the outdoor Bal Harbour Shops. This ritzy retail mecca, lushly landscaped and furnished with water features galore, is home to every luxury retailer on the planet (except Cartier and Hermès, both of which left the complex several years ago to relocate in Miami’s Design District).

But all the rest are still here, from Armani to Zegna.

Where to stay in Bal Harbour? The Four Seasons, St. Regis, and Ritz-Carlton are all good (and very snobby) options. Expect to pay between $300 and $600 a night.

Suggested snob usage: “Natasha wanted to book a place on South Beach, but I said, ‘Eeeeeeew, gross, with all those sweaty people covered in coconut oil?’ She finally agreed to get a place in Bal Harbour, with the decent people.”