We searched long and hard for the best clothing-optional beach and came up empty. Well, maybe not empty, but without a winner. South Beach provided the hunting grounds. First it was off at Third and Ocean, where a bounty of bronzed Brazilians, in full splendor, were walking around wearing nothing but floss, just as they do in Rio and the rest of their nation. Around Fifteenth through Eighteenth streets we saw an unusual number of other tourists flashing flesh. After extensive, grinding, drooling -- er, grueling -- sifting through a sea of suitless tanners, we had to face the realization that, thanks to the wonderfully amoral nature of Miami's citizens, there are no longer any boundaries when it comes to drop-top bikinis. Block after block of beach features people wearing what they wore when they were born, although females exposing their breasts are the most common nudephiles. That's why this year we give this award to all the sunbathers who made South Beach the biggest, coolest wardrobe malfunction this side of the Super Bowl.

We searched long and hard for the best clothing-optional beach and came up empty. Well, maybe not empty, but without a winner. South Beach provided the hunting grounds. First it was off at Third and Ocean, where a bounty of bronzed Brazilians, in full splendor, were walking around wearing nothing but floss, just as they do in Rio and the rest of their nation. Around Fifteenth through Eighteenth streets we saw an unusual number of other tourists flashing flesh. After extensive, grinding, drooling -- er, grueling -- sifting through a sea of suitless tanners, we had to face the realization that, thanks to the wonderfully amoral nature of Miami's citizens, there are no longer any boundaries when it comes to drop-top bikinis. Block after block of beach features people wearing what they wore when they were born, although females exposing their breasts are the most common nudephiles. That's why this year we give this award to all the sunbathers who made South Beach the biggest, coolest wardrobe malfunction this side of the Super Bowl.

To hard-core bikers, pedaling through ungentrified parts of a city is more an exercise for the imagination than for the body. And the south side of Wynwood, with its plethora of factory buildings, graffiti-covered walls, and commercial signage, offers plenty to think about. Begin at North Miami Avenue and 36th Street, heading south. Note the string of art galleries along the west side, a sign that gentrification is around the corner. Soon you'll pass a hatbox of a building, the lovely Dorissa of Miami factory on 27th Street. Turn west on 27th and begin winding through the neighborhood to NW Fifth Avenue. You'll have biked by some of Miami's oldest homes, and businesses with painted signs advertising shoes, handbags, and synthetic or human hair. Keep heading west to NW Sixth Avenue, where you'll run into Interstate 95 humming with traffic. About two blocks south rest the ruins of the RC Cola bottling factory. Its perimeter wall has some of the best graffiti in Miami. Interspersed along NW Second Avenue are little cafeterias where you can stop for a beer. At NW 22nd Street turn east and face the mighty Continental Heidelberg Cement Factory. Though it may seem intimidating at night, the trip is worth the adventure. The glow of street lamps and security lights makes everything appear funkier, and any danger you sense is probably just your imagination.

To hard-core bikers, pedaling through ungentrified parts of a city is more an exercise for the imagination than for the body. And the south side of Wynwood, with its plethora of factory buildings, graffiti-covered walls, and commercial signage, offers plenty to think about. Begin at North Miami Avenue and 36th Street, heading south. Note the string of art galleries along the west side, a sign that gentrification is around the corner. Soon you'll pass a hatbox of a building, the lovely Dorissa of Miami factory on 27th Street. Turn west on 27th and begin winding through the neighborhood to NW Fifth Avenue. You'll have biked by some of Miami's oldest homes, and businesses with painted signs advertising shoes, handbags, and synthetic or human hair. Keep heading west to NW Sixth Avenue, where you'll run into Interstate 95 humming with traffic. About two blocks south rest the ruins of the RC Cola bottling factory. Its perimeter wall has some of the best graffiti in Miami. Interspersed along NW Second Avenue are little cafeterias where you can stop for a beer. At NW 22nd Street turn east and face the mighty Continental Heidelberg Cement Factory. Though it may seem intimidating at night, the trip is worth the adventure. The glow of street lamps and security lights makes everything appear funkier, and any danger you sense is probably just your imagination.

Since Wei Lun Huang won in 1998, the popularity of this "Best Ancient Chinese Secret" has spread far and wide (and word has probably even reached the Great Masters he studied with back in China). Master Huang's patience with students is legendary and his skills in the internal martial arts (tai chi chuan, qigong, liu he ba fa, and ba gua, among others) are over the top. While his teaching style may seem unorthodox to some (especially to those who've dealt with hippy-dippy, New Age instructors), the results are so astounding that among Master Huang's loyal students are several teachers as well. A point of enlightenment to inspire your beginning: Meditation is just as important to performance as are technical skills. You can find his casual Monday-night class behind the North Miami Beach Public Library. Because he travels for numerous out-of-town seminars, it's imperative to keep tabs on Master Huang's schedule either by phone or through the Website.

Since Wei Lun Huang won in 1998, the popularity of this "Best Ancient Chinese Secret" has spread far and wide (and word has probably even reached the Great Masters he studied with back in China). Master Huang's patience with students is legendary and his skills in the internal martial arts (tai chi chuan, qigong, liu he ba fa, and ba gua, among others) are over the top. While his teaching style may seem unorthodox to some (especially to those who've dealt with hippy-dippy, New Age instructors), the results are so astounding that among Master Huang's loyal students are several teachers as well. A point of enlightenment to inspire your beginning: Meditation is just as important to performance as are technical skills. You can find his casual Monday-night class behind the North Miami Beach Public Library. Because he travels for numerous out-of-town seminars, it's imperative to keep tabs on Master Huang's schedule either by phone or through the Website.

Various types of pythons have grown to be the most popular of serpent pets. To obtain a feral python, take a flight to sub-Saharan Africa, hire a guide, trek through the jungle, and pray. Or drive across the Tamiami Trail through South Florida's spectacular River of Grass. Yes, kids, there are pythons in the Everglades. Plenty of them. Mostly erstwhile pets that outgrew their keepers' abilities to care for them, although God knows exactly how many pythons have taken a 747 from, say, Uganda, and found themselves lost in South Florida, or how many were blown free by Hurricane Andrew. (These magnificent rodent-eating reptiles can live for several decades; the oldest captive snake is said to have been a ball python that reached the age of 49.) The plump slitherers only come out at night, but by moonlight (or headlights) they're tough to miss. As you cruise toward Everglades City, keep your eyes open, but the side roads in the western area of the swamp present the most opportunities for a nonindigenous reptilian encounter. If you aren't lucky enough to eyeball one, you should enjoy the beauty of the Glades -- and maybe see some monkeys or a few giraffes. Just kidding about the giraffes.

Various types of pythons have grown to be the most popular of serpent pets. To obtain a feral python, take a flight to sub-Saharan Africa, hire a guide, trek through the jungle, and pray. Or drive across the Tamiami Trail through South Florida's spectacular River of Grass. Yes, kids, there are pythons in the Everglades. Plenty of them. Mostly erstwhile pets that outgrew their keepers' abilities to care for them, although God knows exactly how many pythons have taken a 747 from, say, Uganda, and found themselves lost in South Florida, or how many were blown free by Hurricane Andrew. (These magnificent rodent-eating reptiles can live for several decades; the oldest captive snake is said to have been a ball python that reached the age of 49.) The plump slitherers only come out at night, but by moonlight (or headlights) they're tough to miss. As you cruise toward Everglades City, keep your eyes open, but the side roads in the western area of the swamp present the most opportunities for a nonindigenous reptilian encounter. If you aren't lucky enough to eyeball one, you should enjoy the beauty of the Glades -- and maybe see some monkeys or a few giraffes. Just kidding about the giraffes.

Negotiate the labyrinthine and oddly designed parking garage until you reach the roof. Roll up the windows and roll up a fat spliff or fill a cigar wrapper with hydro. Take the elevator down to the first floor and stroll east on the paved pathway to the well-hidden area behind this gleaming, can't-miss-it skyscraper. Cop a sit on one of the many benches with a view of the crystalline waterway, the towers of downtown, and more. Spark and huff. If by some chance cops or security guards rush you, toss the roach into the water. If not, kick back and enjoy the visuals while nodding goofily at friendly passersby. The real fun comes in trying to drive out of that wild parking garage while you're still buzzing.

Negotiate the labyrinthine and oddly designed parking garage until you reach the roof. Roll up the windows and roll up a fat spliff or fill a cigar wrapper with hydro. Take the elevator down to the first floor and stroll east on the paved pathway to the well-hidden area behind this gleaming, can't-miss-it skyscraper. Cop a sit on one of the many benches with a view of the crystalline waterway, the towers of downtown, and more. Spark and huff. If by some chance cops or security guards rush you, toss the roach into the water. If not, kick back and enjoy the visuals while nodding goofily at friendly passersby. The real fun comes in trying to drive out of that wild parking garage while you're still buzzing.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®