BEST OF MIAMI® 2001

Chill
We all know we need it, and we all know we don’t get enough of it. No not that, the other thing, the thing that keeps us young at heart, calm at soul, wise at mind — that thing we call relaxation. In a place like Miami, relaxation seems to be the most elusive of all elixirs. Sometimes it feels as though we’re merely existing, not actually living. So to get the 21st Century off to a tranquil start, we bring you New Times’ Best of Miami “Chill Out” issue. Yes, it’s the annual celebration of this city’s outstanding shops, restaurants, services, recreation sites, and entertainers. This time around, though, we’ve decided to ask some locals with jobs that can make the blood pressure soar just what they do to decompress from the stress. Serious downtime is not simply a luxury; it’s a requirement if you treat critically ill children all day, pull people of all ages from burning buildings all night, guide hunks of flying steel to a safe landing at MIA, fly a hunk of steel into the eye of a hurricane, or ferret out corruption in this most corrupt of counties. But even if your job isn’t associated with high anxiety, you still need to plop on the beach, paddle a kayak, read a book, down a beer, and take advantage of what our tip of the subtropical peninsula has to offer. But how, and where? That’s why we’re here! Open these pages and soak up the hundreds of items we have chosen to lead you to the Best of Miami.

Even if you’re a long-timer, you still may be stumped over the best place for a cheap date. (Hint: Think full moon.) Sure it’s hot and humid here, but did you know you can sip some of England’s finest at high tea? If it’s the hard stuff you want, there’s a bar wrapped ’round a banyan that will help ease the pain. Or if it’s adventure you’re after, we’ve got hot spots for boating, surfing, hiking, and, of course, Dumpster diving. But maybe you just want to know where to find the best fresh fish, fried chicken, one-dollar meal, doggy day camp, or the best lava lamp lounge for lovers — that’s all here, too. We’ll also help you get to know your fellow residents and neighbors: the best local girl made good and local boy gone bad (a relative of a certain New York senator rings a bell), the best actress and the best director, the best drag queen and the best weather forecaster, the best Dolphins player and the best park manager (bet you didn’t know there was one).

Finally we’ve let you have your say in all this. The results of our Readers’ Poll yielded surprising and not-so-surprising winners, but we liked some of your suggested additional categories: biggest idiot (looks like a mayor on this one), best beach access, best dance company, and best rehabilitation center, to name a few. Your choice awards are printed at the beginning of each section.

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