Billie Swamp Safari Wildlife Park
Except for the beaches, South Florida is one big swamp. So why not show off the primitive, more adventurous side of the party town, throwing in a little dash of danger for good measure. Billie Swamp Safari is more than 2,000 acres of wilderness stretching through Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the heart of the Everglades, close to Alligator Alley. Witness wildlife in the vastness of the Florida wetlands on the Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, and spot deer, antelope, bison, several species of birds, and, if you're lucky, the elusive Florida panther. Or take an exhilarating high-speed airboat ride across the river of grass and check out all manner of snakes, turtles, and fish. The summer-wet season is the best time to spot alligators as they wade through the obsidian waters of this fragile ecosystem. But for folks really thirsting for adventure, stay overnight in an authentic Seminole chickee and take a special nighttime tour of the fabled Everglades under the moon and stars. Sure beats sitting in traffic waiting to arrive at an overcrowded beach. The park opens at 9 a.m., with airboat rides beginning at 10 and swamp buggy tours beginning at 11. Rates start at $15 for airboats. It's best to arrive early; tours and rides run every half-hour.
"McCay back to Baumeister, over to the far side, Frolik takes a feed from Baumeister, he fires, he scores! L.A. face with an Oakland booty!" So goes just one of a myriad hilariously classic calls from Florida Panthers radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller after every Panthers goal. A former first-round NHL draft pick of the Quebec Nordiques, Moller finished his playing career with the Panthers in 1995 before landing in the booth as their radio color analyst. When 790 the Ticket named him feature play-by-play man, Moller blew up the radio waves, peppering every Panthers goal with pop-culture references from movies such as Wedding Crashers ("He scores! Ma! The meat loaf!") and Austin Powers ("Score! Get in my belly!") to classics such as Jaws ("Score! We're gonna need a bigger boat!") and Animal House ("He shoots, he scores! Do you mind if we dance wif yo dates!"). Moller has also taken to quoting the likes of Christian Bale ("He scores! Oh, good for you!") and Tracy Morgan ("He scores! And I draw ding-dongs on people!") after every goal. The next time you watch a Panthers game, do yourself a favor: Turn down the volume on the tube and turn on Moller's broadcast. It's pure fun, as sports should be. And in an industry that features the same old, cliché-ridden, stodgy game-callers, Moller has solidified Panthers games as must-listen radio during the NHL season.
The Palms Hotel & Spa
We're convinced this recently renovated gem is now the ultimate place for a resident's staycation or a visitor's escape. Let's boil it down to the basics: First, the interior designers have gone for an organic theme with the décor but didn't go over-the-top with Tommy Bahamas touches. Blessedly, no one made it all MTV-ed up in there with damask wallpaper, thumping techno music, or Alice in Wonderland-esque embellishments. Instead, they opted for a neutral color palette, incorporating lots of natural woods and fibers with pops of color, and even gave those who spring for an ocean view full-out floor-to-ceiling windows (rooms run anywhere from $275 to $375 a night for liquid scenery). The whole place is still light, bright, and lush, and the pool and beachside areas remain highlights. (Try a cocktail on the wraparound porch; then nap off the hangover on a swaying hammock.) Palms restauarant Essensia's new executive chef, Frank Jeannetti, uses ingredients that are wholesome, local, organic, and seasonal. The Palms also boasts a luxurious Aveda beach spa where locals are entitled to special discounts, and everyone gets a good ol' rubdown for a fair price. All in all, the location is sublime, the prices are right, and everything is new, new, new. The Palms is the bomb.
Radio waves travel through empty space at the speed of light in all directions at once. Smoke on that deep thought. Commercial ones flood the electromagnetosphere with an endless tsunami of horrible adverts and lame, overplayed music. But every Friday night, cool water washes over Miami radio with Sound Theory Live as local and touring bands perform at the WDNA studios and answer questions about their music. So far, acts such as Morning Flesh, Suenalo, Radioboxer, Fusik, Ketchy Shuby, Locos por Juana, Ed Calle, Jacob Jeffries, ArtOfficial, the State Of, Mayday, Afrobeta, Nil Lara, Conjunto Progreso, Jahfe, King Bee, the Spam Allstars, the Big Bounce, and many others have played the show. Since March 27, 2009, Carlos Garcia has volunteered his time and energy to provide this unique venue on the public airwaves and via the global information superhighway at WDNA.com. Born and raised in the MIA, the 38-year-old Belen, UM, and FIU grad — who works as an accountant by day and is the vice president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana — shows a true commitment to supporting local music. Got a band? Wanna play live on the radio? Contact [email protected].
When Virginia Gardens elected J. E. Hardy mayor in 1947, only 50 residents of the small, lush green village were registered to vote. Virginia Gardens ceded from neighboring Miami Springs after that town passed a law banning the keeping of horses — something that didn't sit well with the transplants from the Old Dominion state. They transformed Virginia Gardens into a community of barns, stables, and a duck farm. More than half a century later, Virginia Gardens maintains its rustic appeal, minus the barns and stables. And residents work hard to keep up the village's manicured lawns and abundant tree canopy. The Virginia Gardens beautification committee stays busy by regularly planting trees in the swale areas of residences and village property. According to recent U.S. Census data, the population of Virginia Gardens hovers around 2,300, with more than half the residents married with kids. The enclave is tucked between Miami Springs and Miami International Airport.
Jorge Sedano is a loudmouthed Miami Cuban (we know that's redundant) with a morning sports/talk radio show on 790 AM. He and his crew come from the Dan Le Batard school of broadcasting, where pop-culture side talk is just as important to the show as the sports talk they feature. Sedano deals heavily in obscure movie and TV references, rap music, and offbeat interviews. He has talked American conspiracies with Minnesota wackjob Jesse Ventura, pissed off the U with Cocaine Cowboys producer Billy Corben, and let athletes play with Miami legend Uncle Luke. He has also interviewed Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Topanga from Boy Meets World, and Alyssa Milano. So when we say Sedano's show proudly features Q&As with some of the most recognizable stars of the '80s, we also mean Hammer, Ernie Hudson, and Chuck Norris. But sports are king, and Sedano talks about them 24-7 not only on the radio but also on Facebook, Twitter, his show blog, podcasts, and videos. He was even featured by the BBC on Tim Westwood's show explaining a Miami Super Bowl to the entire UK. He also features comics, and the day he interviewed Lisa Lampanelli, he ended with, "That was one big curse fest and one big sexual orgy on AM radio." Keep up the good work, Sedano.
Her rock-gray back snake-winds through the green life on a shark's path through this sacred, ancient land. Every segment of humanity Miami has ever hosted has recognized her as a transport route. Tequestas, pirates, pioneers, settlers, farmers, builders, artists, killers, doctors, liars, cocaine cowfolk, and suburban homeowners have all staked claims along her highway. Today this engineer's line through Coconut Grove is as lush as a jungle in a concrete landscape. The sun glows through the hot, wet air, lighting up the branches of the canopy with a luminance resplendent in the dusk.
In an ocean of fiery morning-radio clatter, Bernadette Pardo is a cool, unwavering presence. Her direct approach to local news keeps listeners informed, proving there's still a place for serious journalism on the AM dial. Coming from a family of respected journalists, Pardo gets to the bottom of the daily events. From 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, Pardo (along with cohost Jose A. Almora) brings Miami up-to-date while giving our extreme local events a level-headed analysis.
Founded in 2008 by local boy Andy Blazquez and Icelandic filmmaker Ingi Larusson, Life.is attempts to capture everything that makes Miami cool without selling out or looking to the old and tired Magic City tastemakers. Instead, with the help of local hipsterati member Barbie Bertisch, the duo captures the city's essence through decidedly apt text, video, and photography. "We are trying to boost Miami's local talent, whether it be art, music, fashion, or film through the site," Bertisch explains. Life.is has already profiled the likes of Danny Daze, Pirate Stereo, Alexis Mincolla, and Panic Bomber. Expect even bigger things this year — Bertisch vows the site will continue to showcase the city's talent using an array of media that makes Life.is much more than your average amateur blog.
If you've ever ventured into Doral, you've probably had to brave the nauseating, car-sickening, I-just-want-to-get-out-of-my-car and-stab-someone traffic, especially on Doral Boulevard, AKA 36th Street, AKA 41st Street (maybe the confusing three names have something to do with its madness?). So do three other factors: insane construction on adjacent streets, which draws escaping traffic to the boulevard; the proximity of Doral Academy (elementary, middle, and high school), which jams the street with a sea of parents, guardians, big brothers, sisters, and abuelos dropping off and picking up the kids; and the omnipresence of police officers filling their quota of fines. So avoid Doral Boulevard, because attempting to drive on it will cause you to commit some random act of vehicular violence.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®