Even before heading the National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield won accolades and awards from his peers in the industry. Now in the top post in his field, Mayfield has earned the thanks of those whose lives he has saved. As director, he leads a team of scientists who interpret weather conditions and issue advisories. However, as the public face of the center, Mayfield's most important job is alerting the public. If not for Mayfield's persistent warnings, thousands more Louisianans might have found themselves on the wrong side of those broken levees, but they listened to Mayfield early and evacuated voluntarily even when their local officials seemed nonchalant about Hurricane Katrina's strength. Thanks, Max!
For those looking to fill the ice chest with some tasty fillets while boning up on lush, natural beauty, Flamingo couldn't be a surer bet. Located at the south end of Everglades National Park, this angler's paradise is about an hour-and-a-half drive from the city. Although this end of the park suffered damage last fall from hurricanes Wilma and Katrina, the facility is open and again renting canoes and motor skiffs for half-day and full-day fishing excursions. (Call 239-695-3101.) Whether wetting your line for mangrove and mutton snapper, or tackling feisty tarpon, known for explosive strikes and acrobatic leaps and growing up to 150 pounds, hundreds of spots in the area practically guarantee you'll come home with more than a sob story about the one that got away. In addition to seeing redfish feeding in shallow water, or spotting sea trout taking your bait over a grassy patch of bottom, chances are you'll also run into the ever-elusive and crafty snook, which is prized for its delicate taste -- and is also one of the toughest fighters you could snag on a line. Canoes run $22 for a half-day and $32 for a full day, and fifteen-foot skiff rentals cost $65 and $90, respectively.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®