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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Martial Arts School

    USA Tae Kwon Do & Karate

    If quality time at your house feels more like Mortal Combat, it's time to drag the kids to family tae kwon do class with ninth-degree black belt grand master Joong Keun Suh. Head coach of the U.S. Olympic team during the first half of the 1990s, Suh and his son, master Jay, give new meaning to the old adage "father… More >>
  • Best Hole At A Golf Course

    Number three

    This is a tricky par three. A very narrow fairway is surrounded on one side by an inlet of Biscayne Bay; on the other by mangroves. If your name isn't Tiger, make sure you have an extra ball or two. A hook off the tee (or a slice if you're a southpaw) and you're all wet. Once you make the… More >>
  • Best Topless Beach

    Haulover Beach Park

    What better place to discard your bikini top than a beach where you don't have to think twice about baring your bottom? Clothing is optional at Haulover, though the less you wear here, it seems, the better. Ensconced among naturists who don't care about your age or pear-shape body, even the rare lurking and leering pervert fades into oblivion. Let… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Cloverleaf Lanes

    On Friday and Saturday nights, Cloverleaf sponsors glow-in-the-dark bowling, complete with ultraviolet lights. There are 50 refurbished lanes and a variety of leagues that include bowlers from three to ninety years old. And there's a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a game room for the kids. In true Miami fashion, Cloverleaf is an international mecca, bringing aces from… More >>
  • Best Snorkeling Spot

    Biscayne National Park

    Five times since 1992 we've tooted the horn for Biscayne National Park, always for the right reasons. Mind if we do it again? (1) Unlike John Pennekamp Coral Reef and State Park in Key Largo, this national park severely restricts the number of commercial operations carrying people to the reef. In fact only a single concessionaire (Divers Unlimited) is allowed… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Lunch at Joanie's Blue Crab Café

    Next time the urge to leave town strikes, hop on Tamiami Trail and head west. That's what Joanie Griffin did, and she didn't bother to return. Twenty years ago she took over an old restaurant in the swampside hamlet of Ochopee, about 70 miles west of downtown Miami. You needn't repeat her experience, but we recommend this arrow-straight little journey… More >>
  • Best Place To Rollerblade

    Crandon Park Beach

    If you want to do more than weave in and out of the pedestrian obstacle course on South Beach -- a thrill in its own right -- Key Biscayne's Crandon Park Beach offers a chance to spread your skates. Children may do well to begin at the roller rink that's accessible from parking lots three and… More >>
  • Best Place To Climb A Rock

    X-TREME: The Rock Climbing Center of Miami

    South Florida's topography does not lend itself to extreme sports. It's flat, flat, flat. But don't give up. This 12,000-square-foot Kendall warehouse has been converted into an air-conditioned climbers' paradise. The faux cliffs, boulders, and rock ledges are arranged into everything from a novice, 30-foot climb to an ascent that requires hanging upside down from the 45-foot-high ceiling. Safety ropes… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    Venetian Pool to Bayfront Park

    Mount your trusty metal steed at the Venetian Pool and head north on De Soto Boulevard, which merges into Biltmore Way. Stay to the left at the fork, pass Coral Gables City Hall, and ride east on Miracle Mile. Watch out for the BMWs and Cadillacs backing out of the metered parking spaces. Continue down Coral Way, where the four-lane… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    José Martí Park

    The trash-talking begins around the office water cooler. "Your players are so blind, they couldn't hit the broad side of chickee hut!" "My arthritic grandma can take you to the hole, do a 360-degree spin, and dunk!" comes the retort. Then it's agreed: The challenge will be settled on the court after work. When you reach the nearest lighted park,… More >>
  • Best Place To Hike

    Unpaved section of Loop Road

    Think of this potholed byway as a very wide hiking trail through an expansive swamp. It is one of the only consistently dry pathways for hoofing available in the preserve. About a half-hour west of Miami, the Tamiami Trail swerves northwest, a curve known as 40-Mile Bend at the eastern frontier of the Big Cypress preserve. If you are traveling… More >>
  • Best Natural High

    Introductory flight

    Two people barely fit side by side in the tiny cockpit. The engine roars to life as the propeller spins to an invisible blur. The pilot taxis the Cessna 172 to the runway while speaking to the control tower in techno-babble. After lining up his aircraft, he revs the engine, gains speed, and lifts off the ground. The slow, bumpy… More >>
  • Best Place To Birdwatch

    Snake Bight Trail

    Imagine standing on a boardwalk, looking out upon a vista of pristine Florida bayfront. You see scores of roseate spoonbills foraging through the sand, sweeping their beaks from side to side while emitting low grunting croaks. Nearby are other avian waders, such as herons and white pelicans. These sights and more await you at the end of the 1.6-mile-long Snake… More >>
  • Best Place To Play Pinball

    Grand Prix

    When kids go to the arcade these days, they aren't thinking flippers, bells, and bumpers; they're thinking video. But there are plenty of middle-age men out there reliving the era of pinball madness during their lunch breaks. Just go hang out at Grand Prix in Dania Beach, and you'll see cashiers change dollar bills for tokens faster than cars whiz… More >>
  • Best Tango School

    Jorge Nel Tango Academy

    At this school you'll learn to tango like a porteņo (a native of Buenos Aires) by taking cues from a Colombian milonguero (a social dancer). Indeed Jorge Nel has been dancing most of his life. "I learned my first steps from my parents," he says. His padres also taught him how men and women relate: In dance, as in life,… More >>
  • Best Place To Mountain Bike

    Oleta River State Recreation Area

    This state park covers 1043 acres of woods, mangroves, and canals. So why confine yourself to the impeccably groomed and entertaining mountain-bike course? Travel the path less taken. If you're an outlaw by nature, try the north end of the park. Leave the car in the first lot, and instead of heading west to the marked trails, follow the main… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    The Biltmore Tennis Center

    Ten Har-Tru courts immaculately maintained in compliance with Coral Gables zoning laws. A view of the Al Capone suite overhead. In the background a stand of pine trees and the expansive green lawn of a championship golf course. The Biltmore Tennis Center is a true racket paradise. Hacks and professionals comfortably coexist on crack-free courts, lobbing tennis balls over nets… More >>
  • Best Place To Jog

    Enchanted Forest

    For the novice runner, a lap around the cool, milelong, tropical hardwood hammock trail sure beats going the distance on the beach. The sun won't pound on your neck while you search for the ever-elusive stretch of firm sand. And you won't have to avoid sunbathers or jellyfish. For the marathoner it's a place to loosen up and take in… More >>
  • Best Place To Kayak

    Florida Bay Outfitters

    This is for people who must rent kayaks. We're not here to recommend the best kayaking trail, although there is excellent kayaking here. It is the combination of location and Florida Bay Outfitters that makes this place the best. No rental facility anywhere in South Florida can match this outfit. You name the type of kayak, and they have it… More >>
  • Best Surf Spot

    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… More >>
  • Best Fishing Hole

    Pier at the Hotel Inter-Continental

    Psssst. Reliable sources say the angling at the southeastern tip of Bayfront Park often is excellent. Right in the Magic City's own front yard. Maybe the groupers, grunts, snappers, and other coastal species just want to check out some well-heeled tourists. And even if the fish have decided to head to South Beach for a little club hopping, you and… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Virginia Key Beach

    It's a Thursday afternoon. Your busy downtown office is driving you insane. The 3:00 appointment cancels, and suddenly you have a free hour. Hit the road, Jack! Ten minutes away is a picturesque, deserted, tropical beach where you can lie under a shady Australian pine tree and listen to the waves lap against the shore. Feel the stress disappear. Back… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Porky's Gym

    Okay, maybe Porky's isn't the best name for a gym, but you can't argue with the hours. The place never closes. Far from the distractions of sand and surf, a sea of mustard-yellow machines and no-nonsense free weights attracts serious lifters. Photocopies from bodybuilding magazines plaster the walls with stories of champions whom may you may spot in line at… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    The Village Green

    This 8.75-acre spot, once a coconut-tree farm owned by Richard Nixon's buddy Bebe Rebozo, is a kids' wonderland. Ain't bad for adults, either. There are two tot lots, one for tykes under three years old and another for older children. Overall there are 32 pieces of equipment, including swings, jungle gyms, slides, rings, bars, and even a climbing dinosaur. Then… More >>
  • Best Place To Canoe

    Everglades National Park from Flamingo to Cape Sable

    So rivers bore you? You hate those newfangled kayaks, yet you want to brave some big water? Try the ten-mile paddle from Flamingo to Cape Sable in Everglades National Park. If you have a tent, spend the night on a white sand beach in one of South Florida's most wonderfully secluded spots. When it gets dark, the motorboaters --… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Legion Memorial Park

    Necessary elements for a perfect picnic: scrumptious food, fine wine, engaging company, cooperative weather, and a picturesque setting. You find the first four and we'll recommend the last one. This urban secret, which is nestled between tall condominiums, offers ample grass on which to drop that little-used, red-checkered tablecloth. Once you're seated in the glorious shade of the oak canopy,… More >>
  • Best Place To Play Pool

    Jillian's Billiard Club

    At $11 per hour for a table, it's not cheap. But if you seek pure roll, it is hard to find a place as perfect as Jillian's. "We keep our prices high because we don't want the riffraff," says general manager Jason Klein. There are 26 professional-size, nine-foot tables. Each month two tables are stripped and re-covered with a new… More >>
  • Best Place To Jet Ski

    The lagoon by the old Miami Marine Stadium

    This mangrove-lined inlet provides ample space for personal watercraft fans to get the rush associated with this noisome pastime. What's that you say? You don't have your own personal personal watercraft? Well isn't this convenient? Tony's Jet Ski Rentals is located just west of the marine stadium. For $45 you can splash around for a half-hour ($70 per hour). For… More >>
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