Best Surf Spot - 2000
Haulover Beach Park
On this tsunami-starved coast, finding the monster wave means settling for the rare six-footer. To secure a place on it takes perseverance and patience. Persistence and gratefulness are therefore touchstones of the area's most experienced and devoted wave-riders, who monitor weather advisories for signs of barometric disturbances throughout the winter months. They await cold, cloudy, often rainy weather, and launch their boards in the sort of windy conditions that typically send their Australian, Hawaiian, and Californian brethren back indoors. Sometimes they get lucky. Incoming hurricane swells made 1999 an uncharacteristically long season. As early as August, conditions were ripe for set-seekers. Far enough north from the sometimes cramped surfing conditions on South Beach is Haulover Beach Park and its clothing-optional beach. Here -- ideally during low tide -- you can surf either lefts or rights, depending on which way the wind is blowing. For a northerly wind, pack plenty of quarters and park in front of the Harbour House on the south side of the Herman B. Fultz Bridge. It's ten minutes per quarter at this lot but worth every penny. This is the only place to be when twenty-knot winds make conditions unbearable in Miami Beach. If the wind is southerly, leave your car for a flat $3.50 at parking lot number four. Plenty of respect for your fellow surfers is a must. Hot dogs quickly become pariahs on this beach where everybody knows your name.