At Loxahatchee Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge, the sound of a snail kite could take all the pressures and hassles of your cellularly connected life away. Even the toothy grin of an alligator basking in the sun could unleash the natural beast inside you. In fact there are more than 250 species of birds in the wetland habitat to take away your urban turmoil. Located a little more than an hour's drive north of Miami, just above the Broward-Palm Beach County border, Loxahatchee has all the pristine wonders -- from the serene quiet of a marshy creek to the spectacular quality of sunlight reflecting from the swamp grass -- that you may have seen on postcards. If you haven't experienced the wonders of Florida nature, join the hikers and birders at Greynolds Park Nature Center, who are loading up vans and taking a road trip to the northernmost end of the refuge. Participants are asked to bring binoculars, lunch, drinking water, and bird guidebooks. Let us suggest packing sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent. The outing meets at 8:30 a.m. at the boathouse of Greynolds Park, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy. Admission costs $40 for adults and $20 for children. Call 305-948-2891. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Bladers bombard beach
If the traffic on South Beach is getting you down, why not strap on your inline skates and see what it feels like to glide past it all? The problem is that this weekend about 500 other people will be doing the same thing during The Great EsSkate, a 3-day skating extravaganza based at the Shelborne Hotel (1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). The point is to raise bucks for charity, specifically for the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. In addition to all the parties and picnics you'll share with fellow bladers, you'll get plenty of lower-body workout opportunities via skate tours all over Miami Beach. Registration fee is $89. See skatemiami.com for details; go to active.com to register. -- By Nina Korman
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