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Scientists have proven it: Florida is flatter than a pancake. In fact, it's flatter than Kansas, Nebraska, or any other state in the whole country. We live in a drained swamp that's slowly refilling from sea-level rise. That means if you're the type of cyclist who gets off on huffing up a hill and then flying down the backslope, you're pretty much out of luck here. There is one notable exception: the William Powell Bridge that spans between Hobie Island Beach Park and Virginia Key on the way to Key Biscayne. Built in 1985 to be tall enough so boats can pass beneath it, the bridge has a fringe benefit of its steep grade: Cyclists can finally click through all their gears. Sure, the way up is a legit workout, but you can find inspiration in the glorious views of Brickell and downtown and the sparkling blue grandeur of Biscayne Bay. Then the way down is all adrenaline, where you can let your bike fly and try to keep up with the cars. But be warned: This is a bridge, after all, so there's no such thing as a one-way ride. If you want to get home, you'll have to scale this beast again.

Jonathan Sauceda

Strap on your helmet cam, roll your pants leg up, and hop onto that fixie. It's the first Thursday of the month, which means it's time for Cañones Sueltos (AKA Loose Cannons among those not fluent in Spanish). Sure, a bike race though the 305 isn't the safest way to spend a weeknight, but Jonathan Sauceda has been hosting this ball-busting ride for years, and he knows what he's doing. Like a cannonball, you'll shoot eight miles from one side of the city to the other. And be warned: Anything goes. Though starting and ending points switch up, Sauceda always advises cyclists to bring a light and a helmet. Safety comes first, even when you're risking it all to win. After all, there's more than pride on the line: Prizes for top finishers usually include bar tabs, free shots, and bike club memberships.

Kat Bein

Warm up in the rays of the rising sun as you stretch those muscles on the sand. Feel the warm ocean breeze against your face. Hear the crashing waves, the caw of the seabirds, and the soft stirring of machines as Miami Beach comes to life. Put in your earbuds. Turn up the volume. Begin to run. Keep a steady pace as you watch the gleaming hotel façades blur in the corner of your eye. Get lost in the motions as you peep the first sunbathers lying on towels by extravagant pools. Nod your head as you pass your fellow athletes. You're all members of the same silent club. About a mile and a half down, make your way off the boardwalk and onto the warm sand. Feel it push against your legs as the sun beats down on your face. The sweat drips and cools in the breeze as you push yourself ever onward. A family builds a sand castle near the surf. The colors of the city brighten as you near your finish line. You get to the end of the boardwalk, a full three-and-a-half miles from where you began, and maybe, just maybe, you're feeling so awake and inspired you dig deep and turn around, ready to run your way back. The scene is never the same twice, but the inspiration to have your best run is always there.

Ruby Dubious

"Twenty-six poses, 90 minutes, 105 degrees." That's the sweaty, salty, flexible promise of Bikram Hot Yoga 305. If it sounds daunting, don't walk away. Dig deep and surprise yourself. It's easy when you're led by studio owner and head instructor Carolina Villalba. Some music fans might know her as half of local booty-bass babe duo Basside, but that's just her night gig. Her days are dedicated to the spiritual and physical practice of Bikram yoga. She's been working at this for more than ten years. It has changed her life, and she hopes it changes yours. "After I started doing this, it completely changed my mind," she says. "I realized what discipline was, what time was, what my time meant. When you're in here, because of the heat and how fast everything goes, it makes you meet your maker. You become really humble when you're in there." A single class at Bikram Hot Yoga 305 runs $30, mat included, and all newcomers are welcome to try a month of unlimited classes for $60. Once you're hooked — and you will be — you can choose from packages of ten classes for $230, 20 for $440, or 30 for $570. Some unlimited packages ranging from a week to a year cost $65 to $1,300, or you can sign up for four-month auto-renewal at $122 every pay period.

Jessica Lipscomb

It's Friday night, and you've already wasted more time than you'd like to admit just getting to South Beach. But where to park? Spare yourself the agony of dodging the tourists screeching around in their rented Lamborghinis and head straight for Sunset Harbour, where the city's nicest — and cleanest — parking garage has 439 spots just waiting for you on Bay Road. Whether you're meeting a friend for coffee at Panther, putting out vibes at Purdy Lounge, or catching a class at Flywheel, you won't have to walk far to get there. For only $1 an hour for the first six hours — an almost unspeakable bargain in SoBe — you might even have some cash left for whatever brought you to the Beach in the first place.

Bob Brown via Flickr

Don't do it. Just take I-95. Sure, Brickell Avenue might not look all that bad, and you're in no real hurry to get to Mary Brickell Village. But trust us on this: It doesn't matter the time of day, the weather, or your skills at weaving through traffic. As soon as Biscayne Boulevard curves west to SE Second Street, chaos looms ahead. Everyone ignores the signs telling them which lane will take them onto I-95 and which will take them south to Brickell Avenue. The zero craps given and the slow-moving Brickell drawbridge combine for a catastrophe where every driver stews and curses Miami-Dade Transit for not offering better public transportation. Thirty minutes later, after the bridge has finally reopened and cleared of traffic, the seemingly endless and ill-timed stoplights on Brickell Avenue make the crawl through Miami's financial district that much more torturous. Why exactly are they doing construction on Friday at 8 p.m. while everyone is trying to go out? Sure, taking I-95 to SW Seventh Street might not be as scenic as cruising on Brickell Avenue, but if you value your sanity, you'll take that back route into Brickell. Good luck finding parking once you finally get there, though.

Photo by Jessica Gibbs

Let's be real for a second: Turtles are awesome. And sea turtles are the coolest turtles of all. Not only do they live inside gorgeous shells and can grow to a massive nine feet and 1,500 pounds, but also they're known to migrate tens of thousands of miles to lay their eggs on exactly the right beaches. Just a two-hour scenic drive from Miami through the Florida Keys is a place where you can learn about these majestic creatures and even help ensure they'll continue returning to Florida shores for decades to come. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles and releasing them back into the wild. Visitors can take a 90-minute guided tour that includes a presentation about sea turtles and a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital. At the end of the tour, you can even feed a few recuperating sea turtles. Admission costs $22 for adults and $11 for children aged 4 to 12.

Jessica Gibbs

Picture it: Water so pure it makes Biscayne Bay look like a murky bowl of pea soup. Water so clear it makes Crystal Pepsi look like regular Pepsi. Water so fresh that — well, you get the idea. That water you're looking for exists, and it's less than a six-hour drive from Miami. Some of the most unbelievably perfect H20 on Earth burbles up from below Ginnie Springs, a private park connected to the nearby Sante Fe River, just west of the town of High Springs. For more than 40 years, the Wray family has been drawing guests from around the world to their slice of aquatic heaven. Admission costs only $14.02 for adults and $3.73 for kids, which nets you hours of soaking in cerulean water that's 72 degrees year-round. Take your pick how to best enjoy it: Float along in a kayak or a tube, or strap on some fins and a snorkel. For the truly adventuresome, the springs flow through a series of caves perfect for scuba divers to explore. Outdoor enthusiasts can camp at the primitive sites (which cost $22.43 per adult a night), and even glampers are covered: An eight-person cottage with A/C, satellite TV, and a full kitchen is available for $175 per night.

Gilbert Sopakuwa via Flickr

It's a tale as old as time: Your snow-cursed friends plan a tropical Miami vacation weeks in advance, and then, when they finally get here, it rains the whole damn weekend. (Thanks, Florida!) Instead of opting for an afternoon matinee, save yourself a few bucks and head to a free jai alai game at Casino Miami. The facility, built in 1926, harks back to the golden age of jai alai in the '60s and '70s, when the auditorium was so packed you could barely hear the action of players with unpronounceable Basque names flinging balls around at nearly supersonic speeds. Decades later, it's still a good time: Beers are impossibly cheap ($3); your friends get a weird, authentic South Florida experience; and you might even win a little money. Games take place every day except Tuesday and begin promptly at noon (except Sunday, when they begin at 1 p.m.). And, yes, the place has Cigar City's excellent Jai Alai IPA on tap.

Hawkins International PR

The typical South Beach pool is a vast, sprawling body of water full of hotel-dwelling tourists so sunburned they might just dissolve in the chlorine. If you're lucky, you might get a corner of the deep end to yourself and an overpriced mojito to keep you company. If you're unlucky, an unconscious Russian man might float by, bumping you in the shoulder like a curious manatee. But Highbar, the name of the pool and bar atop South Beach's Dream Hotel, is a refreshing change of pace. Intimate and cozy yet spacious enough to lounge in, this infinity pool offers vintage vibes with a great rooftop view of the beach. Open till midnight on weekends and with 5-to-8 p.m. happy hour Monday through Saturday, Highbar is that rare South Beach pool that appeals equally to tourists and locals.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®