Jackie Abraham & Co.

The baubles at Jackie Abraham & Co. are wearable works of art. The diamonds scream for your attention, while the cool platinums dare you not to look. Face it — if you flip off someone while wearing a jewel-encrusted panther upon your middle finger, the recipient of your gesture will know you mean business. The same thing goes for a pair of $222,000 platinum and diamond drop earrings, except you don't even have to move — your enemy will be blinded by all the ice. Abraham has been bedazzling the Magic City since 1993 with his distinctive designs and collections of mid- to high-end estate jewelry, which includes pendants, watches, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Maybe you can't pull off a quarter-size hunk of turquoise encased in white gold, but with hundreds of chic, classic, and exotic pieces to choose from, you'll find one that will surely fit.

This past March, a few clothing racks popped up in place of the never-popular washing machines at the former Laundry Bar on North Lincoln Lane in South Beach. That's because the venue — which has been revamped and renamed Black Sheep Bar — is now more than just a place to down Coronas and meet boys dressed like girls. Inside, these days, you can simultaneously sip a cocktail and browse for a skimpy purple bikini, a classic black blazer, or an animal print dress. In the back, Shop Bar showcases a small but stellar collection of local student designers and several rolling racks filled with secondhand treasures. Pieces include a so-wacky-it's-hip dolphin-print disco shirt, a knockoff '50s polka-dot dress, and a vintage sweater with a simple sailboat print. Co-creator Carolina Benitez, a 24-year-old recent Art Institute of Miami grad, personally plucks items from consignment stores from Hialeah to Miami Springs. Prices range from $15 for a sweater to $135 for a sundress. "It's for people who like experimenting with the '60s, '70s, and '80s in their own modern context," Benitez says. "But it's also about community; we want people to come in and hang out." Hours are Monday through Wednesday by appointment, and Thursday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

Marni

Being broke has an upside: You generally pay less taxes, know about the coolest free stuff in the city, and have an excuse to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Then there's the downside. Like, say, when you spot a gorgeous green jacket in the window of Marni, peek at the price, and realize it's worth more than your car. Still, fashionistas with disposable income will fall in love with this low-key, high-priced boutique on the corner of NE Second Avenue and 39th Street in the Design District. Among the collection: quirky old lady-print tanks, knee-length dresses in Jackie Onassis cuts, and hand-sewn designer bohemian accessories. Think Anthropologie's classy (possibly Italian) older sister. Most garments look as if they've been yanked from the runway — only you don't have to be a twig to find something that fits: knee-length layered skirts ($885), chunky wood-beaded necklaces ($990), and simple, sophisticated slacks ($750). Just be careful about developing a Marni obsession; you might have to take out a second mortgage.

Modani

We thought Jane Jetson's interior design aesthetic was an unattainable vision of what the year 3000 would bring to our homes. The lines were both hard and soft, straight and curved — in other words, oh so unlike the tufted disasters sitting in our own living room. Ultimately, we didn't have to wait a thousand years to follow in Jane's furniture footsteps, and stores such as Modani are making the style accessible to the masses. This haven of modern, minimalist furniture is the Design District's answer to "Dude, where's my coffee table/couch/ottoman/bed/desk/etc.?" Each piece is stripped down to its most basic features, without sacrificing great style or breaking the bank. Take the Belini modern bed, a structure made of wood and white or orange Italian silk, which effortlessly says "chic" while its $690 price tag says "buy me." Or the queen ball chair, a white cocoon with blood-red cushions that look so cushy they practically beg you to sit down. Whether you're outfitting an entire home or simply injecting a little mod with one or two pieces, you won't go wrong if you take your design cues from Jane.

Miami has so many waterways that it would seem appropriate if residents got boats when they reach the legal driving age. But time, money, and an overall dislike of having to anchor your vessel might deter you from actually purchasing one. Luckily, Club Nautico has an entire fleet of powerboats and luxury yachts to rent for four or eight hours. You can take the yellow-paneled Buddy's Joy, a 23-footer, for a sunset ride to Stiltsville, or jet to Brickell on the 34-foot Primetime for an expensive lunch. Some models have convenient swim platforms, others feature full galleys and wet bars, but none comes with Dramamine, so bring your own. With prices starting at $899 for a half-day (and specials on Tuesday and Wednesday), you and your homies can definitely afford to spend some time on the high seas. Just don't let that kid Gilligan take the wheel.

Beach Scooter

Many South Beach scooter rental joints are guilty of shilling the same Japanese-born vessels, which is an absolute shame, because when you're coasting down Ocean Drive with your hair blowing in the wind, you want to be in something exclusive. Beach Scooters gets it and has a fleet of 49cc and 250cc two-wheelers that will get you from point A to B in some serious style. Plunk down a $300 security deposit to try out a candy apple red Malaguti or a sick black Strata, and do SoBe the best way imaginable — on two wheels made for city coasting. And if you're more into four-wheeled motion, Beach Scooters is the only place to find Hummer, Escalade, and Roadster electric cars. Round up a few friends and get into one of these convertible mini luxury cars without guzzling gas. Because, you know, riding those two-wheeled thingamajigs is torture after downing a Superman from Wet Willie's.

Austin's Diving Center

The last time Austin's Diving Center made the news was back in 2002, when the FBI issued an alert that terrorists were seeking "an offensive scuba diver capability." The FBI checked out more than 1,300 scuba shops across the nation, including Austin's, and pretty much came up with zilch. They're still looking for those weapons of mass destruction too.

The thing is, it doesn't really matter if Austin's is in the news or not — locals know it's the best place for scuba gear. If you need snorkeling equipment, they've got it. They've got underwater cameras, metal detectors, fins — pretty much anything you'd need for diving.

And if you're looking for a spear gun, they have 60 different models in stock, which is more than anybody in South Florida.

Just don't blow up anything.

You know that saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, week-old milk and scratched James Bond DVDs sort of disprove that one. But over at Urban Garden, a charming, slightly kitschy art studio-meets-furniture shop on NE 79th Street, the ponytailed, Coral Gables-born artist in residence, William Valanilla and Peter Caruso, may as well have invented the idiom. He has spent most of his life turning junk into one-of-a-kind, useful home décor. Chandeliers are molded from bulky electrical wires. Sculptures are made using an abandoned mannequin and old car keys. A portrait of Christ emerges from a tossed piece of plywood. And none of this comes across in a pretentious next-big-Basel-project kind of way. The place smells like Grandma's moth balls, is always out of toilet paper, and is filled with the types of paintings and 1950s trinkets that will keep you browsing for hours on a rainy day. When we say "junk," we mean it only as the highest form of compliment.

Shorty & Fred's Garage

In that ironic way that makes perfect sense only to Miamians, one of the county's busiest independent garages is parked in the least car-friendly neighborhood outside of downtown. Shorty & Fred's has serviced the needs of Miami Beach's drivers since 1956, when the city had way fewer cars fighting for precious spots. Although Fred long ago sold out, and Shorty left us for better pastures just a few years back, Shorty's son, Nelson, carries on the tradition of service that keeps customers coming back with their oil leaks and intermittent pings decade after decade. So, how do you really know when a mechanic isn't out to cheat you? When he turns your business away. Unless it's something vital to your safety, Nelson and crew will tell you when you don't have to get something fixed right away. They just have too much real business to waste effort on phony repairs — so while they might charge a little more than the cheap place across town, you definitely pay only for what you need, and they'll get it done fast. The queue generally forms on Alton Road every weekday before 8 a.m., so get there early.

Cycling enthusiasts come in many varieties. There are those who love the racetrack and those who prefer mountain trails. With so many biking alternatives around, there's bound to be some confusion when getting a new set of wheels. Thankfully, that's not the case at Bell's Bicycles, the place to go for all cycling categories. Whether you are just starting out or are an old hand, Bell's will have exactly what you are looking for. Prices start at less than a $370 for a quality beginner's bike and go up from there, depending on your level of expertise. The shop also specializes in the brands Giant, GT, and Jamis, among the top bicycle culture manufacturers in the world. And to top it off, Bell's boasts an awesome bike repair/maintenance annex that provides low-cost service. A well-stocked neighborhood bike shop with a mom-and-pop feel, Bell's is the perfect place to get (and fix) your wheels.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®