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 surface of fine, 21-ounce felt. Likewise the house sticks are regularly retipped and replaced at the first sign of warping. And there's a 35-foot-long, full-service bar where domestic draft beers go for three dollars. Yes it's a chain (there are 33 Jillian's in fifteen states), but Miami's place started up eleven years ago, just after the first location in Boston. Jillian's is open seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday until 2:00 a.m. and Friday and Saturday until 4:00 a.m. There is an $11 flat rate from noon until 5:00 p.m. After 5:00 the cost is $11 per hour. Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 6:00, the hourly rate is $13 for a table.
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 the same price, you and your honey can mount a tandem unit. If you can afford to pony up a few more bucks, you and two honeys can ride a three-seater. To reach the marine stadium, take the Rickenbacker Causeway toward Key Biscayne and look to your left. If you're in the market to rent, follow the signs to Tony's.
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 that never sag. Lights illuminate night play. Racket rental is available, as are private lessons. The center, which caters to hotel guests, is open to the public and is rarely overcrowded, even during the tennis prime time of Sunday morning. If you live in Coral Gables, the cost is a mere two dollars per hour. Those of us who can't afford a million-dollar home in the City Beautiful pay four dollars per hour, still acceptable for such fine facilities. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekends.
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 the surroundings before heading out for the nearby causeway. And while burning off your breakfast, you might see a soft-shell turtle plop into Arch Creek or spot songbirds in the shrubs near the bank. Or maybe you'll catch a heron pacing through the mangroves or an anhinga perched on a branch. Just make sure that while you're negotiating the sabal palms, firebush, and milkweeds, you don't trip and fall. That could hurt.
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 available for sale and rent, from fiberglass to plastic to sit-on-top to rudder or rudderless. This provides a great way to learn more about these watercraft. In addition FBO offers lessons at all levels and expeditions, ranging from the beginner's day trip to weeklong treks through Everglades National Park. Plus the bayside setting is gorgeous enough to entice you to linger once you've come ashore. Oh yeah, they canoe, too.
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.
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 your pole will add a little rustic charm to our classy downtown waterfront. Live bait is available just a few minutes away by car from the fishmongers on Watson Island. Another unique perch for dropping a line is an old chunk of road, once part of the Rickenbacker Causeway, that became a pier when the county replaced the drawbridge with an elevated span. Take the first exit after the tollbooths. You're likely to hook big ones here without having to spend a mint on a boat, because you're practically in the middle of Biscayne Bay. No wonder they call this city magical.
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 in Jim Crow days, Virginia Key was a blacks-only beach and it remains a refuge, though of a different sort. Thanks to activists' tenacity, it recently was rescued from private development -- again. Windsurfers cherish the place because it's sheltered by offshore reefs. But the further south one walks, the more secluded and exotic it becomes.
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 the drinking fountain or working the leg press. In the aerobics studio, a suspended wooden floor protects the knees, while the cool blue and cornflower-yellow walls soothe the nerves. And those nerves will need soothing after a Tae-Bo class with competitive fitness pro Maria Bellando or a toning session with onetime Reebok National Aerobic champion Gina Kourany-Aleman. If your limbs ache for a little tenderness, try flexing with the seniors weekday mornings during the Young at Heart workouts, which are taught by health-care professionals from Baptist Hospital. Weekend nights the gym is packed with the club-bound, eager to pump before they primp. In the wee hours, you may have the place to yourself. Just imagine what you and your workout partner could do with soft mats, soft lights, and a whole lot of mirrors. Porky's is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
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 there's our favorite thing: a splash fountain. Press a button and sea horses spit out streams of water while little ones prance around on a rubberized surface. It's great for the hot months. Finally there are two soccer fields, one adult size and the other pint size, as well as a half-mile-long running track. Hang around this place on weekends and you'll feel young again. That is unless you're all wet.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®