Have you ever waited in line for an hour at the MIA security checkpoint and fantasized about what it would be like to have your own private plane? Channeling your inner mogul for the day is easier (and less expensive) than you think with Platinum Aviation, a flight instruction operation that teaches on Cirrus Aircraft, basically the Ferrari of airplanes. These babies cost about a cool half-million, and you, poor schmuck, can get behind the stick without any previous training and take to the skies. This bad boy is yours to fly just about anywhere in Miami — along the beach, over the Everglades, or for a fly-by of your ex-girlfriend's condo — it's up to you. You can even bring a passenger. The cost for an hourlong "fantasy flight" is about $280, which includes plane rental, fuel, and private flight instructor.
Revo Soccer
Ever since the movie Tron came out in 1982, we've been dreaming of some neon-colored alternate world where we were totally awesome in sports. Now, with the help of some liquid courage, we've finally found it: glow-in-the-dark soccer. With the flip of a switch, Revo Soccer transforms its small indoor soccer field into a spectral, glowing galaxy. With a shot or three in your system before the game, you're sure to feel like you're playing on the surface of the moon instead of in a warehouse just off Biscayne Boulevard. Under UV lights and blaring speakers, the soft, synthetic turf fades into a black abyss beneath your feet, while the phosphorescent ball zings back and forth between the boards. Revo Soccer hosts regular matches seven days a week, so the best way to set up a game of "glow soccer" is to call ahead. Rates generally run $120 an hour, or slightly cheaper the longer you play. If you tipple before taking the field, be careful not to crash into the wood and Plexiglas walls surrounding the pitch. And, of course, make sure you have a sober driver to take you home.
Magic City Casino
Whether you smoke rapper weed from mediCali, downtown brown bags, saguesera hydros, or superphonik krypto is not important. The point is, you're stoned, you're bored, and you're looking for something to do — preferably free, and with munchies and cold drinks available. You might have been to a casino before, but Magic City is different. For one, it's located smack in the center of the city of Miami, which anybody here on vacation will tell you actually increases your high by as much as 37 percent. Catch the chauffeured golf cart (whoa, I feel like I'm flying) from the parking lot to the front door, show the off-duty cop your ID, and head up the escalator. The rugs are trippy as hell, there are blinking colored lights everywhere, and more bells and whistles than you can throw your life savings at. Now, a crucial aspect to this adventure is not going there with the intent to gamble. Losing your rent check, kid's dental payment, or food money will totally blow your high. Trust us. There's still plenty of entertainment for the discerning burnout. When the dogs aren't running, the place throws big-name classic concerts (America, War, Rey Ruiz) in the amphitheater. The casino bar overlooks the action on the floor, and Secada's serves up a mean $12 lemon drop martini. Grab a $2 Bud (the beer kind, dummy) for happy hour Monday through Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and wander around the place. Gamblers are funny to watch, so the laughs are easy here. And the employees are friendly and courteous. When they catch you staring off into space for ten minutes without moving, just tell them you're looking for pizza. They'll point you in the right direction, and a slice is just $2.50. If you're really hungry, there's a seafood buffet for $16 every Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. And if you hit a lick, it's like they're paying you to be there. But anybody who thinks he's going to beat the house must have his head in the clouds.
Shake A Leg Miami
Because we're perched on the edge of the great blue Atlantic, tropical wildlife flock, swim, and grow just steps from Miami's busiest intersections. Coconut Grove is not only the appropriate place to score your next date and suck down a Call a Cab, but also ideal for viewing historical sights and nature in its habitat, all from the water. In addition to teaching kids with disabilities to sail, Shake-A-Leg affordably rents kayaks. The nonprofit organization has adopted two spoil eco-islands lush with native mangroves, sea grapes, sea grass, and coconut palms that offer homes to birds and critters. One of the islands has a dock, a beach, and picnic tables, where a packed lunch, a healthy amount of curiosity, and a bathing suit equal a day of relaxation and exploration. After you spy on small fish living in the mangroves, a paddle north presents a taste of the Italian Renaissance on the bay with a view of Vizcaya. You can't gain entry from the water, but the mangrove hammock is home to pelicans, ibis, egrets, anhinga, cormorants, and the underwater creatures they might eat, as well as snapper, stingrays, angel rays, and leopard rays. Heading south, you'll spot the Barnacle, built in 1891 by Grove pioneers. It isn't merely a beautiful old house; it's one of the last remnants of Miami's natural hammock. Hourly rentals cost $15 for single or $20 for double.
If not for Mario Cristobal and his scrappy, young FIU Golden Panthers, this city would be devoid of good football teams, what with the Dolphins and Canes sucking things up in monumental ways. During Cristobal's four seasons as the Golden Panthers head coach, we've seen the team go from so-so to SoFla darlings, firmly planting their flag in the nation's college-football-watching psyche. As Cristobal's recruiting classes took shape in the first three seasons under the Columbus High grad, the team finished with a combined 16-33 record. This past season, after stumbling out of the gate with four straight losses, FIU quickly righted the ship and finished the season 7-6. The team went on to win the Sun Belt Conference Championship with a 6-2 conference record and ultimately snagged its first bowl game after taking down Toledo 34-32 in a nail-biting Little Caesars Pizza Bowl victory. There used to be a time when the FIU football program was an afterthought in Miami. No more!
In a sport that has given us Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, The Cinderella Man, and The Fighter, a boxer's rough-and-tumble life story is as vital as his left hook when it comes to carving out a place in pugilism history. Lucky for Erislandy Lara, he has a killer swing and a hell of a backstory. The five-foot-nine southpaw, a native of Guantánamo, Cuba, caught the world's attention in 2005 when he bested a heavily favored Magomed Nurutdinov to take the world amateur crown in Moscow. The next year, he won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games. But disaster struck in '07 when he tried to defect before a bout in Brazil. Local cops caught the young fighter and shipped him back to Havana, where his punishment was a ban from sparring. Faced with a life without boxing, Lara in 2008 took the ultimate risk: He hopped a speedboat for a treacherous cross-gulf journey to Mexico. He survived, made it to the States, and has been knocking suckas out ever since. As a pro, Lara has gone 15-0 and shot up the middleweight ranks. He has fought on ESPN2 and Telefutura, and played to Vegas audiences seven times. This past January, he destroyed Delray Raines, a highly ranked kid from Arkansas, in less than five minutes with a devastating left hook to the jaw. Hollywood, you payin' attention?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®