Have you been outside lately? The sky is clear and blue, the breeze is blowing, and the sun is shining
There are a precious few moments between now and the great oven-bake of summer, so get out there on your weekends, your afternoons, your sweet days off, and soak up every second of temperate-tropical bliss.
What's that? You're so inundated by the beauty of it all that outdoor plans escape you? No problem. Here are the ten best perfect-weather activities you need to do to take advantage.
The Venetian Causeway is the best bike path in Miami
Photo by Karli Evans
10. Bike the Venetian Causeway
The wait is over, and Miami's greatest mainland-to-beach pathway is back in action. Biking — or even running — this 2.75-mile loop offers a stretch of beautiful lookouts, lavish Miami homes, and plenty of grassy hangs. Take in the skyline from these bridges, and you'll fall in love with this city all over again. The Venetian Causeway has plenty of
9. Fish the Everglades From a Kayak
Everyone knows about the airboat rides, but there's a better way to get up close and personal with the world's most unique ecosystem. Head out on guided tour with the people of Chokoloskee Charters. Catch some delicious dinner and take in the natural wonder of this environmental gem that must be revered, protected, and enjoyed. Trips are limited to six anglers, and gear can be provided. Excursions can run you $225 per angler, though, so be sure you're in it to win it. You could always just do the kayaking on its own.
8. Picnic at Crandon Park
This Key Biscayne hideaway is less crowded and just as beautiful as any location on South Beach. The palm trees are right there on the sand, the ocean is warm and easy, and there are plenty of places to set up camp for a DIY picnic. Or rent a pavilion and have a grill party. Crandon Park is a public preserve, so it's not unusual to run into a peacock or iguana, which
7. Be a Beach Bum at Bill Braggs
Speaking of perfect beaches that aren't SoBe, when was the last time you checked out Bill Braggs? Catch some rays and forget your troubles, then pose for the perfect selfie in front of the famous lighthouse. Admission costs $8, but this is about as close to beachy-postcard-perfection as Miami gets.
6. Paddleboard Into the Sunset
Standup paddleboarding has become all the rage (there's even a cool abbreviation for it: SUP), and tons of companies and Groupons are available if you want to give it a go. There's nothing like sightseeing on the open water, and you're sure to get an all-over workout in the process — not to mention an enviable tan. Just be sure to wear sunscreen.
5. Tour the Bay on a Boat
As with paddleboarding, the options of a Biscayne boat tour are practically limitless. You can catch a ride for just $25 with the Miami Tour Company, but shop around to see what price and program best satisfies you. Boat tours are a great way to get up close and personal with the millionaire mansions our city is renowned for, and you never know who might be outside to send a little wave. This is a great thing to do with friends and family from out of town. Keep it in your back pocket of magical-memory ideas.
4. Camp Overnight at Biscayne National Park
For $25 a night, you can set up camp, harbor your boat, and make unforgettable memories in one of South Florida's most beautifully preserved locations. Boca Chita Key is a popular spot to pop your tent, but reservations are first come, first served, so plan ahead. Once you're in the park, there's a bountiful list of activities, including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and fishing. Let your imagination and your inner explorer run wild. (Don't forget the bug spray.)
3. Snorkel the Keys
Don't make the drive to Key West to simply get wasted. Stop and enjoy the sights under the sea. Some of the best snorkeling in the region can be done just off Key Largo, Key West, and throughout the Middle Keys of Islamorada, Marathon, and Big Pine. Consult tropicalsnorkeling.com and map your exploration. Take along a waterproof GoPro, and enjoy.
2. Walk Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild can be a romantic destination and a great place to take family and friends. Daily garden and flower tours make the trip informative as well as sensually stimulating. Wednesdays and Saturdays, there's yoga in the garden too. Admission to the garden is free, and there's a suggested donation of $5 for tours. You can scrap that together, can't you?
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Rainforest Riptide at Jungle Island is a floating obstacle course of fun.
Courtesy of Jungle Island
1. Get Wet and Wild at Jungle Island's Parrot Cove
Jungle Island has its own beach in the middle of Biscayne Bay, and there's plenty of fun stuff you can do besides catch a tan. You can try out a water-fueled jetpack and pretend you're a superhero. But don't miss the water playground: a floating obstacle course full of trampolines and climbing walls and jump ledges that will have you sweating and laughing for hours. Get the best workout of your life in the guise of old-fashioned fun. The playground, called Rainforest Riptide, costs $15 in addition to Jungle Island's $33 to $40 admission, so plan accordingly, but it's totally worth trying at least once.