Haulover Beach Park
Photo by osseous / Flickr
BEST TOPLESS BEACH Haulover Beach 10800 Collins Avenue

North Miami-Dade

305-944-3040 Wandering around South Beach, the average tourist might think it's the place to go au naturel. The drunk women who parade along Ocean Drive while having deliberate "wardrobe malfunctions" sure make it seem that way. The bare-naked transients taking advantage of the free beach showers add to the effect. But it's a few miles up the coast at the north end of Haulover Beach where getting your privates sunburned is socially acceptable and legal. There's a marvelously diverse display of nature's bounty; some delightful days see thousands of disrobed sunbathers. It's easy to let those bikini-top strings loosen or trunks drop in this setting. Actually you sort of feel like a pervert if you keep the bathing suit on. Go ahead. Take it off. Nobody's looking. Just remember to dress before you drive away.

BEST TOPLESS BEACH Haulover Beach 10800 Collins Avenue

North Miami-Dade

305-944-3040 Wandering around South Beach, the average tourist might think it's the place to go au naturel. The drunk women who parade along Ocean Drive while having deliberate "wardrobe malfunctions" sure make it seem that way. The bare-naked transients taking advantage of the free beach showers add to the effect. But it's a few miles up the coast at the north end of Haulover Beach where getting your privates sunburned is socially acceptable and legal. There's a marvelously diverse display of nature's bounty; some delightful days see thousands of disrobed sunbathers. It's easy to let those bikini-top strings loosen or trunks drop in this setting. Actually you sort of feel like a pervert if you keep the bathing suit on. Go ahead. Take it off. Nobody's looking. Just remember to dress before you drive away.

Amelia Earhart Park
BEST DOG PARK Amelia Earhart Park 401 E. 65th Street

Hialeah

305-769-2693

and

The City of Miami Beach There are a lot of good dog parks in the area, which, given the population density, may be surprising. Nonetheless, in a crowded, ruthless, and sometimes lonely city, dogs, aside from wanting to run your life and have you catch a delicious bass for them, don't ask much. Whether you share your recreation time snoozing on a bench with a drooling, pulmonarily incapacitated English bulldog or chasing Frisbees with an agile whippet, the time spent with a pooch is time spent in the company of somebody who loves you. So it's natural, even for a scofflaw, to want to show a canine a good time. Law-abiding citizens and their pets can find enjoyable, shady dog parks in Coconut Grove -- there's a little one on Virginia Street and a big one at Kennedy Park on Bayshore -- but the crme de la crme of Miami-Dade legal dog parkdom is at Amelia Earhart. The five-acre Bark Park is a puppy paradise, but humans love it too because it's completely fenced and thus safe for escape-minded, car-chasing beagles. There's even a special area for smaller dogs. Amenities include paved walkways, benches, shade trees, waste stations, and specially designed drinking and spray fountains for thirsty pooches and their owners. Better yet, Bark Park admission is free (after a four-dollar parking fee to Amelia Earhart). However, the Atlantic Ocean is nearby, and dogs love the sea. Though the law against dogs on the beach is in fact enforced when there are lots of humans there, Miami Beach is really the place to roam with a dog. Older dogs and dogs with joint problems can run on the sand without risking injury, and younger dogs can really zoom along the shore and sometimes even surf the waves or wade through the breakers. And there are lots of clumps of seaweed, the occasional dead fish, and many other interesting smelly things for dogs to unearth, bury in the sand, or just roll in. Lifeguards will not and cannot enforce the no-dogs law, but the cops will. A still beachy tried-and-true alternative is the informal "dog beach" on Virginia Key near the Seaquarium, a dog-friendly patch of sand for decades.

BEST DOG PARK Amelia Earhart Park 401 E. 65th Street

Hialeah

305-769-2693

and

The City of Miami Beach There are a lot of good dog parks in the area, which, given the population density, may be surprising. Nonetheless, in a crowded, ruthless, and sometimes lonely city, dogs, aside from wanting to run your life and have you catch a delicious bass for them, don't ask much. Whether you share your recreation time snoozing on a bench with a drooling, pulmonarily incapacitated English bulldog or chasing Frisbees with an agile whippet, the time spent with a pooch is time spent in the company of somebody who loves you. So it's natural, even for a scofflaw, to want to show a canine a good time. Law-abiding citizens and their pets can find enjoyable, shady dog parks in Coconut Grove -- there's a little one on Virginia Street and a big one at Kennedy Park on Bayshore -- but the crme de la crme of Miami-Dade legal dog parkdom is at Amelia Earhart. The five-acre Bark Park is a puppy paradise, but humans love it too because it's completely fenced and thus safe for escape-minded, car-chasing beagles. There's even a special area for smaller dogs. Amenities include paved walkways, benches, shade trees, waste stations, and specially designed drinking and spray fountains for thirsty pooches and their owners. Better yet, Bark Park admission is free (after a four-dollar parking fee to Amelia Earhart). However, the Atlantic Ocean is nearby, and dogs love the sea. Though the law against dogs on the beach is in fact enforced when there are lots of humans there, Miami Beach is really the place to roam with a dog. Older dogs and dogs with joint problems can run on the sand without risking injury, and younger dogs can really zoom along the shore and sometimes even surf the waves or wade through the breakers. And there are lots of clumps of seaweed, the occasional dead fish, and many other interesting smelly things for dogs to unearth, bury in the sand, or just roll in. Lifeguards will not and cannot enforce the no-dogs law, but the cops will. A still beachy tried-and-true alternative is the informal "dog beach" on Virginia Key near the Seaquarium, a dog-friendly patch of sand for decades.

BEST PLACE TO JOG Key Biscayne from lighthouse to Bear Cut Here are the ideal conditions: early morning, clear skies, low tide. Obviously we´re recommending the shoreline route, which offers a sublime experience of light playing on water, serene stillness, and panoramic vistas. Commonly there is marine-life activity easily visible to the jogger. Uncommonly there is another jogger. Which is one of the reasons this particular run, even if undertaken only on special occasions, is worth the effort.

BEST PLACE TO JOG Key Biscayne from lighthouse to Bear Cut Here are the ideal conditions: early morning, clear skies, low tide. Obviously we´re recommending the shoreline route, which offers a sublime experience of light playing on water, serene stillness, and panoramic vistas. Commonly there is marine-life activity easily visible to the jogger. Uncommonly there is another jogger. Which is one of the reasons this particular run, even if undertaken only on special occasions, is worth the effort.

Strike Miami
BEST BOWLING ALLEY Strike Miami 11401 NW Twelfth Street

West Miami-Dade

305-594-0200

www.strikemiami.com Let's face it, with the countless ways this city has to tempt the masses into unbridled debauchery, bowling ranks pretty low on the list. Maybe that's the reason many local bowling alleys tend to be in a state of dilapidation. There is, however, a silver lining at the end of that gutter ball. Strike Miami offers 34 lanes of new-and-improved black-light bowling madness. There's even a waterfall to soothe the approach toward the pins. That's just the beginning, though. The retro design mixes seamlessly into the futuristic environment. Above each lane is a giant high-definition big-screen TV that perpetually plays music videos or sporting events. So you won't miss Shaq breaking the backboard just because the kids want to knock down a few pins. The 37,000-square-foot building also serves as a sports bar and Latin restaurant. Bands amp up and jam out each Saturday. Remember to bring ID: After 9:00 p.m. the fun is a tad more adult-oriented. Oh yeah, even though crappy beer seems to be a constant of bowling alleys everywhere, the brew here tastes cold and fresh.

BEST BOWLING ALLEY Strike Miami 11401 NW Twelfth Street

West Miami-Dade

305-594-0200

www.strikemiami.com Let's face it, with the countless ways this city has to tempt the masses into unbridled debauchery, bowling ranks pretty low on the list. Maybe that's the reason many local bowling alleys tend to be in a state of dilapidation. There is, however, a silver lining at the end of that gutter ball. Strike Miami offers 34 lanes of new-and-improved black-light bowling madness. There's even a waterfall to soothe the approach toward the pins. That's just the beginning, though. The retro design mixes seamlessly into the futuristic environment. Above each lane is a giant high-definition big-screen TV that perpetually plays music videos or sporting events. So you won't miss Shaq breaking the backboard just because the kids want to knock down a few pins. The 37,000-square-foot building also serves as a sports bar and Latin restaurant. Bands amp up and jam out each Saturday. Remember to bring ID: After 9:00 p.m. the fun is a tad more adult-oriented. Oh yeah, even though crappy beer seems to be a constant of bowling alleys everywhere, the brew here tastes cold and fresh.

BEST PLACE TO GO FLY A KITE Skyward Kites Haulover Park

10800 Collins Avenue

North Miami-Dade

305-893-0906 You know the place. Just north of Haulover Cut on the west side of Collins. What you may not know is that by arrangement with the county parks department, Skyward Kites, a commercial outfit devoted to (duh...), is there every day of the year -- barring bad weather. From 10:00 a.m. until sunset (or 7:00 p.m. during daylight-saving time) the good people at Skyward welcome you to simply sit back and enjoy their daily show of spectacular kites or to join in. Their on-site mobile store sells kites from five dollars on up; experts there can help you put them together and learn to fly them. And just a reminder: If it's been a while since you last flew a kite, you may have forgotten how much fun it can be -- soothing in the manner of pond fishing, or as exciting as having a fighting marlin on the end of your line.

BEST PLACE TO GO FLY A KITE Skyward Kites Haulover Park

10800 Collins Avenue

North Miami-Dade

305-893-0906 You know the place. Just north of Haulover Cut on the west side of Collins. What you may not know is that by arrangement with the county parks department, Skyward Kites, a commercial outfit devoted to (duh...), is there every day of the year -- barring bad weather. From 10:00 a.m. until sunset (or 7:00 p.m. during daylight-saving time) the good people at Skyward welcome you to simply sit back and enjoy their daily show of spectacular kites or to join in. Their on-site mobile store sells kites from five dollars on up; experts there can help you put them together and learn to fly them. And just a reminder: If it's been a while since you last flew a kite, you may have forgotten how much fun it can be -- soothing in the manner of pond fishing, or as exciting as having a fighting marlin on the end of your line.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®