BEST FAMILY OUTING Larry and Penny Thompson Park 12451 SW 184th Street

South Miami-Dade

305-232-1049 Two words: water slides. Six Flags Atlantis has been gone for more than a decade, and it's a long haul from Miami to West Palm Beach for a steep slide-induced wedgie and a close-to-drowning experience in the wave pool at Rapids Water Park. For an aqua-inspired good time that won't leave your wallet dry (five dollars for adults, four for children), drop into Larry and Penny Thompson Park and then drop down the slides a few times, or a few dozen times. In addition to the rapid hydro descents, you can take advantage of the campground and nature trails. The park, named after a long-ago Miami Herald columnist and his wife, boasts three water slides and other ways to get all wet: a beach, a freshwater lake, paddleboats. There's a snack stand with ice cream, hot dogs, and other fun food you'd expect, and a picnic area. This is a summer classic, the ice cream melting down your chin and the seriously soaking slips down the chutes washing away the steamy heat and the layabout doldrums.

BEST FAMILY OUTING Larry and Penny Thompson Park 12451 SW 184th Street

South Miami-Dade

305-232-1049 Two words: water slides. Six Flags Atlantis has been gone for more than a decade, and it's a long haul from Miami to West Palm Beach for a steep slide-induced wedgie and a close-to-drowning experience in the wave pool at Rapids Water Park. For an aqua-inspired good time that won't leave your wallet dry (five dollars for adults, four for children), drop into Larry and Penny Thompson Park and then drop down the slides a few times, or a few dozen times. In addition to the rapid hydro descents, you can take advantage of the campground and nature trails. The park, named after a long-ago Miami Herald columnist and his wife, boasts three water slides and other ways to get all wet: a beach, a freshwater lake, paddleboats. There's a snack stand with ice cream, hot dogs, and other fun food you'd expect, and a picnic area. This is a summer classic, the ice cream melting down your chin and the seriously soaking slips down the chutes washing away the steamy heat and the layabout doldrums.

BEST TENNIS COURTS Fisher Island Tennis Center 7 Fisher Island Drive

Miami

305-535-6000 Boris Becker lived and played here; so did Jim Courier. Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis drop by to hit a few as well. And when Andre Agassi lands in Miami for the NASDAQ-100 Open during March, there's one place you can be sure to find him -- practicing his famous base-line returns on the courts at Fisher Island. Rated among the top 50 tennis centers in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine, the eighteen courts come in three flavors -- two grass, two hard, and fourteen clay. Each is so well maintained you'd swear the staff used tweezers to keep everything in shape. Tennis center director and resident pro Jon Hainline teaches the nuances of the game, but not to just anybody. For a chance to charge the nets at the private club you first have to buddy up with a member or resident who will deign to offer you an invite. That, or pony up the $4500 initiation fee and the $6500 annual dues (plus taxes). Either way, there are no better lines, nets, or surfaces in town.

Readers´ Choice: Sans Souci Tennis Center

BEST TENNIS COURTS Fisher Island Tennis Center 7 Fisher Island Drive

Miami

305-535-6000 Boris Becker lived and played here; so did Jim Courier. Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis drop by to hit a few as well. And when Andre Agassi lands in Miami for the NASDAQ-100 Open during March, there's one place you can be sure to find him -- practicing his famous base-line returns on the courts at Fisher Island. Rated among the top 50 tennis centers in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine, the eighteen courts come in three flavors -- two grass, two hard, and fourteen clay. Each is so well maintained you'd swear the staff used tweezers to keep everything in shape. Tennis center director and resident pro Jon Hainline teaches the nuances of the game, but not to just anybody. For a chance to charge the nets at the private club you first have to buddy up with a member or resident who will deign to offer you an invite. That, or pony up the $4500 initiation fee and the $6500 annual dues (plus taxes). Either way, there are no better lines, nets, or surfaces in town.

Readers´ Choice: Sans Souci Tennis Center

BEST PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE Markham Park 16001 W. State Road 84

Sunrise

954-389-2000 The words mountain and Florida rarely come up in the same sentence -- unless you're an upwardly mobile biker who has found the next best thing to an actual mountain range: Markham Park. It may not be the Rockies, but Markham provides intense trails for serious riders. Amateurs beware: If you're not the type who can find an upside to falling down, stick to Oleta River State Recreation Area. "I don't recommend Markham for beginning riders," says Carlos Yulee, who leads group treks at several South Florida parks. He says Oleta is great for a workout and is safer, but for a real challenge he'll take Markham. The park has long steep climbs and even better drops, the latter branded with names like Big Gulp and the oddly (mis)spelled Fred's Foly (which riders have also dubbed Fudge Brownie because it's all dirt the color of bittersweet chocolate). Rider John Sabatier says he likes Markham's variety, adding, "Oleta is technical, Markham is fast and technical."

BEST PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE Markham Park 16001 W. State Road 84

Sunrise

954-389-2000 The words mountain and Florida rarely come up in the same sentence -- unless you're an upwardly mobile biker who has found the next best thing to an actual mountain range: Markham Park. It may not be the Rockies, but Markham provides intense trails for serious riders. Amateurs beware: If you're not the type who can find an upside to falling down, stick to Oleta River State Recreation Area. "I don't recommend Markham for beginning riders," says Carlos Yulee, who leads group treks at several South Florida parks. He says Oleta is great for a workout and is safer, but for a real challenge he'll take Markham. The park has long steep climbs and even better drops, the latter branded with names like Big Gulp and the oddly (mis)spelled Fred's Foly (which riders have also dubbed Fudge Brownie because it's all dirt the color of bittersweet chocolate). Rider John Sabatier says he likes Markham's variety, adding, "Oleta is technical, Markham is fast and technical."

1802 NW 37th Avenue

Miami

305-633-4583 Challenging in every sense of the word, 17 is a 602-yard, par 5 dogleg sandwiched between an impressive lake guarding the left and a tee-side waste bunker and sand traps, looming the length of the fairway, to the right. If you manage to avoid a case of "the shanks," you'll end up on an elevated green -- the front of which greets you with more beach -- with all balls accounted for. Other challenges include low-flying airplanes landing at and taking off from nearby Miami International Airport, and resident raccoons that will gladly steal the hot dog you just bought from the snack cart. Melreese is a public course, and greens fees will run South Florida residents $58 on weekends, $48 on weekdays, and $32.10 after 3:00 p.m.

Readers´ Choice: Sixth at the Biltmore Golf Course

1802 NW 37th Avenue

Miami

305-633-4583 Challenging in every sense of the word, 17 is a 602-yard, par 5 dogleg sandwiched between an impressive lake guarding the left and a tee-side waste bunker and sand traps, looming the length of the fairway, to the right. If you manage to avoid a case of "the shanks," you'll end up on an elevated green -- the front of which greets you with more beach -- with all balls accounted for. Other challenges include low-flying airplanes landing at and taking off from nearby Miami International Airport, and resident raccoons that will gladly steal the hot dog you just bought from the snack cart. Melreese is a public course, and greens fees will run South Florida residents $58 on weekends, $48 on weekdays, and $32.10 after 3:00 p.m.

Readers´ Choice: Sixth at the Biltmore Golf Course

BEST POWERBOAT RENTAL Ablaze Boat Rental 24th Street and Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-674-9300 This business (formerly Beach Boat Rental) has occupied the same spot for 40 years. From the little roadside stand near the pedestrian bridge over Indian Creek, you can rent an eighteen-footer for $99 (two hours) or a yacht for 30 grand daily (with captain and crew, of course). Proprietor Anthony Marzilli owns every boat in his eleven-strong fleet and claims they all have current-model-year motors. He can also hook you up with wake boarding, water-skiing, tubing, and marine tours.

BEST POWERBOAT RENTAL Ablaze Boat Rental 24th Street and Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-674-9300 This business (formerly Beach Boat Rental) has occupied the same spot for 40 years. From the little roadside stand near the pedestrian bridge over Indian Creek, you can rent an eighteen-footer for $99 (two hours) or a yacht for 30 grand daily (with captain and crew, of course). Proprietor Anthony Marzilli owns every boat in his eleven-strong fleet and claims they all have current-model-year motors. He can also hook you up with wake boarding, water-skiing, tubing, and marine tours.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®