Delano South Beach
Gentlemen, please take note: A classy lady wants to be taken to a classy place on the first date; she wants a handsome man who can offer intelligent conversation in an elegant atmosphere; and a perfect cocktail will add just the right lubricant to relax the nerves and loosen the inhibitions. While a dinner may be too formal for a first date, you can never go wrong with drinks at a swanky hotel. Escorting your lady through the billowing curtains of the Delano's vast lobby is an excellent way to make a great first impression. The Delano is quintessential South Beach, a veritable playground to the stars, and whether you decide to sit at the Rose Bar or under the palms alongside the infinity pool, you will have the perfect backdrop while getting to know your possible new mate. With plenty of people to watch and celebrities to spot, the Delano offers enough diversions in case your date is a dud, but if it's going really well, you can get cozy on a settee in the lobby or sneak out the back for a romantic stroll on the beach.
Kendall Ice Arena
Escape the heat and embrace your inner Russian triple-axel champ: Chill out at this enormous twin-rink arena. Don't know how to skate? No problem. This is where falling on your ass is not only okay but also desirable. Where else can you make your date laugh uproariously while still eliciting her compassion? Maybe she'll even make a fuss over your boo-boo. You can flail about, or you can take a private lesson together, which also ensures some physical contact. The best part here is the price -- six bucks if you come on a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday evening -- so you'll have enough left over for a nice dinner after you've worked up an appetite. Check the Website for public skate times.
It's one thing to glance at downtown's twinkling lights while you're moving along with a stream of commuter traffic at 60 mph. It's another thing altogether to park down by the bay, cut the engine, and check out the skyline in all of its glory. The best viewing spot is a gravel lot under the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island. Just pull off at the exit for Parrot Jungle and follow the road around to the water. You might have to share it with a couple canoodling in a Cadillac, but you'll get an unobstructed sight line across Biscayne Bay to the business district's crystal canyons, with the illuminated Port of Miami bridge in the foreground.
A long enough stretch for a serious power walk (about four miles) and close enough to the water for a romantic stroll, this stretch is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Originally built in the Eighties and renovated in 1996, the boardwalk wends behind the fabulous beach hotels, providing views of sparkling pools and oiled sunbathers on one side and the powerful pull of the Atlantic on the other. On any given Saturday you'll find yourself next to serious joggers, darkly cloaked families on a stroll after shul, and couples relishing a romantic vacation. It is also a popular spot for professional photo shoots, so don't be surprised if you see nubile teenagers posing with surfboards or silicone melons heaving out of Brazilian bikinis as spray-tanned beauties strike a curious pose in the sea oats. Covered benches spotted along the path provide a reprieve from the midday rays or a cozy nook for a little sunset lovin', and public parking lots are located near both the north and south ends.
While some Miami-area high schools have nonnative mascots like bulls and Vikings, Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School, set to open this fall, has gone far afield for its: the bison. Hunted nearly to extinction during America's frontier days, the bison has since made a comeback, roaming Western plains and, apparently, a Miami high school. The Ronald Reagan Bison will wear green, blue, and gold.
What lures cycling fanatics to make the long, arduous trek to Cutler Bay? We understand diehard road-bikers thrive at the prospect of settling into the saddle for a six-hour century or powering into headwinds so strong they make flat roads seem like the slopes of Alpe d'Huez. But doing so around most parts of Miami also means trying to avoid a collision with a vehicle whose driver refuses to share the road. And it's difficult to yell back, "Why don't you get off the road, you stupid a*!<\"
Back during the Depression, when nobody had anything and African Americans had even less, members of the local black community formed the International Association of Pallbearers. As members found themselves in need, the group provided funeral and other services that, because of racism and segregation, were difficult to obtain. Chapters existed throughout Florida, but the main lodge and activity were here in Miami. Local lore even has it that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the former lodge house. Because of the historical importance of this unique organization, and the architectural significance of the 1947 Art Moderne structure, the Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board voted to protect the edifice.
Although exotic white ibis and great blue herons seem almost as common as pigeons on some city streets, other birds still prefer that you expend a little energy in order to spy on them. At Castellow Hammock you can spot painted buntings, black-chinned hummingbirds, and other avians that shy away from human neighborhoods. The park also boasts excellent examples of endangered pine rockland and tropical hardwood hammocks, which no doubt draw the feathered friends there. The State of Florida recently honored the park by including it in the newly founded Great Florida Birding Trail. Hint: Ask them about guided owl walks.
Raleigh Hotel
The Raleigh was designed in 1940 by Lawrence Murray Dixon, a New York architect who moved to Miami Beach in 1928; he also designed The Victor Hotel (1937), The Marlin (1939), The Tides Hotel (1936), The Senator (1939), and The Ritz Plaza Hotel (1940). The Raleigh began the way most of the Decos did, attracting rich, young celebrities like Esther Williams, a Forties bombshell and Olympic swimmer who would practice in The Raleigh's swimming pool, which was named "the most beautiful pool in the state of Florida," with good reason, by Life magazine. Its popularity steadily declined until the early Nineties, when it began a spirited revival, but then quickly dropped off the cool map once again, this time sinking into total obscurity. In 2002, for $25 million, André Balazs, boyfriend of Uma Thurman and owner of the hippest hotels in the nation, took the property off the hands of its desperate owner, Ken Zarrilli. Balazs refreshed it and made it hip again. What Balazs and The Raleigh sell are not rooms or cocktails so much as the idea that anyone can walk off Collins Avenue and step into a world of luxury. Here you can down a $12 drink on a bed next to a pool that has been pictured in the New York Times and Vanity Fair. Who knows? Matt Damon might stroll right by. The Raleigh's Sunday Soiree is the main attraction, where every Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to midnight in the Oasis (a closed-in beach area in the very back of the hotel) DJs, dancers, club kids, businessmen, and celebrities hang out by the fire or get drunk and end up in the pool. The $20 cover charge and pricey drinks might seem a little steep, but hey, that's part of the life, bitch.
"Um, we need to talk." Oy, you've been putting this off for months, but it has to be done. You are a Sagittarius and he's a Taurus, so you should have known this would have never worked out. But you stuck in there because he's cute and smart and he loves your pets as if they were his own. You really thought this maudlin experimental musician could have been the one, until he began complaining about your fun-loving, free-spirited attitude -- yes, the same attitude he fell in love with three years ago -- and now you realize the bull loves the same old routine while you are ready to fly off to Myanmar at a moment's notice. There is no use delaying the inevitable -- it must be done so you can both move on -- you just don't want to do it at your place or his (too many memories, too easy to backslide into the bedroom, too complicated). Just tell him to meet you at Noir Bar. You can have a drink, and the annoying techno remix version of "Mr. Brightside" bumping from the crackling sound system will add a bit of irony to the incident. The view is obstructed, the bartenders are a little clingy, and the martinis are a bit too dry -- kind of like your soon-to-be ex. Beer may never leave him, but you certainly will, so you might as well do it in a place that you would prefer not to go back to.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®