Depending on the criteria for selection, three cities could be the top cigar city in the United States. If you are looking for a cigar friendly city where you can smoke and enjoy cigars while frolicking in the country's foremost adult playground, the choice is obvious. But, if you are interested in cigar culture, Cuban style, only one U.S. city can compete with Havana. And, if you are searching for a taste of cigar history, yet another city immediately comes to mind. Therefore, we are not going to rank the cities in a typical Top 3 list. Instead, I'll just tell you a little bit about each city, and you can pick your own favorite.
Las Vegas, Nevada. In Nevada, anything goes. Prostitution, gambling, and even smoking cigars in casinos are legal. Las Vegas was the town selected by the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America for their annual convention and trade show during 2008. Cigar Aficionado also hosts their Big Smoke Weekend in Las Vegas. Most casinos on The Strip provide free cocktails for their gambling patrons, but some also provide free cigars. My personal favorite is Caesars Palace. Smoking is permitted in the gaming areas of casinos (at least for the time being), but smoking in other indoor areas within the city has been banned.
HOT TIP: When in Vegas, be sure to visit the Casa Fuente Cigar Bar located in the Forum Shops at Caesar's.
More about Las Vegas
Miami, Florida. Besides a prolific cigar culture in areas such as South Beach, where premium cigars are sold at sidewalk cafes and hotels famous for their "mancations", the section of the city known as Little Havana on Calle Ocho (or S.W. 8th Street), is deeply rooted in Cuban culture. Not only will you find great Cuban restaurants, stores, and more, but here you can find cigar stores owned by Cuban immigrants who make and sell their own brands. Although the Cuban seed tobacco may now be grown in the Dominican Republic, their handmade cigars are probably the closest sticks to Cuban cigars available in the U.S. My personal favorite is Cuba Tobacco Trading, owned and operated by Pedro and Peter Bello (father & son). Although Miami does not have its own smoking ban, the State of Florida has banned smoking in restaurants and other indoor areas within in the state, but retail tobacco shops are excluded. When visiting Miami, also consider a visit to Mike's Cigars.
More about Miami
Tampa, Florida. The Tampa area is famous for cigars, and retailers such as Edwards Pipe & Tobacco and Thompson Cigar are very popular with cigar smokers. Many famous cigar makers also live in the area, as well as radio and television cigar personalities such as Cigar Dave. However, if you are looking for a taste of cigar history, Ybor City near downtown Tampa was once considered the Cigar Capital of the world (back in the late 1800's). The old cigar factories have been transformed into drinking, dining, smoking, and retail establishments, and the area is now a popular entertainment district. However, Ybor is still rich in cigar history, and the Ybor City Museum Society even has an annual Cigar Heritage Festival. There are plenty of cigar stores and establishments to choose from along 7th Avenue in Ybor City. My personal favorite is Gonzalez y Martinez Cigar Factory and Store, which is attached to the Columbia Restaurant. Although Tampa does not have its own smoking ban, the State of Florida has banned smoking in restaurants and other indoor areas within in the state, but retail tobacco shops are excluded.
More about Tampa