Best Team Owner 2018 | Micky Arison | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by B137

You'd be hard-pressed to make a case for a sports franchise owner that has done more for his city than Miami Heat owner Micky Arison. In the mid- '90s, Arison's first order of business was to hire Pat Riley away from the New York Knicks and give him full control of player-personnel decisions. That move has continued to pay dividends for the past three decades. Arison is everything you'd want in a sports owner: He's supportive, kind, and unintrusive, yet competitive. For years, Heat fans have implored him to buy the Dolphins, the Marlins, or both because he's done such a great job running the hometown basketball team. Fans are willing to hand him the keys to any athletic organization.

Courtesy of the GMCVB

The Miami Marlins are having a tough year. OK, fine, they're having a tough decade, but that's not what's important here. What's important is that the Marlins play in one of the most beautiful ballparks in Major League Baseball, and taking a kid to watch a game there always makes for a fun outing. When it comes to game-day excitement for a child, it's not always about winning. For the younger set, food choices — such as the park's many burger options, Papa John's pizza, and bread from Zak the Baker — take precedence over plays or points on the scoreboard. And the stadium's open design makes it easy to grab a bite and walk around without missing a single pitch.

Courtesy of the Biltmore

Fancy golf courses are typically inaccessible to the average joe, but the Biltmore hotel's course makes the game accessible to locals. Designed in 1925 by legendary course architect Donald Ross, Biltmore Golf is home to the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship and the University of Miami Women's Golf Team. And it can be your golfing home too, with discounted rates for Coral Gables and county residents, as well as hotel guests. Though 18 holes on a weekend or holiday can run $100 to $202 during the peak of winter, nine holes in an evening can cost as little as $40 for Coral Gables residents or $73 for visiting guests. The Biltmore's practice facilities boast more than 22,000 square feet of paspalum grass and 27 artificial-turf hitting surfaces, so this is a great spot to get in some practice before you take mulligans galore.

Courtesy of City of Miami

Dinner Key Marina offers a glimpse into Miami's past, present, and future all at once. Dinner Key is the famed former home of Pan American Airways' flying boats, and the defunct air carrier's old terminal building now serves as Miami City Hall, the focal point of the lush marina grounds. In its modern incarnation, the marina sits adjacent to Regatta Park, a stone's throw from Villa Vizcaya and a short walk to the shops and boutiques of Coconut Grove's village center. For the boaters and yachties out there, the marina boasts a whopping 582 slips, 24-hour staff and security, concrete docks, and wooden finger piers. Locals and casual boaters can also rent pontoons and kayaks for hours at a time. This is a great spot to anchor down for a while.

Courtesy of Florida State Parks

Oleta River State Park, Florida's largest urban park, boasts 14 cabins equipped with air conditioning, beds, picnic tables, and covered porches, and bathrooms and showers are located nearby. Glampers can also find a fire pit and grill included with their amenities. Cabin rentals cost only $55 per night, plus tax and a $6.70 reservation fee. Camp with friends and explore the waters of Biscayne Bay by canoe or kayak, or go for a bike ride around the campgrounds. This slice of paradise is a safe haven for those in search of complete seclusion and a reprieve from the clamor of the city just a handful of miles away. While you're there, remember to respect the park's wildlife. If you leave your Cheetos outside after a drunken binge, you will find raccoons with orange fingers.

Photo by Travis Cohen

Miami has plenty of options for picturesque picnic spots, from lighthouses to mangrove hammocks. But few places are more perfect for a cross-legged sit-down meal than Pelican Island. The little spit of land in Biscayne Bay, just north of Pelican Harbor, has been through a lot lately. Some nasty storms have torn through the island over the past couple of hurricane seasons — sailboats have been tossed onto its shores, and some of the wooden structures have been torn to bits. But the boats have been removed, the structures are being rebuilt, and, all the while, Pelican Island has retained its charm. The charcoal grills scattered throughout make this spot the ideal location for a summer cookout. It's just far enough removed from terra firma for visitors to disconnect and decompress, but close enough that getting there — whether by boat, kayak, or paddleboard — with your picnic basket is never a hassle.

Photo by osseous / Flickr

A beach day is always more fun with friends and family, but four-legged company isn't always welcome on South Florida's shores. If your dog favors pairing a game of fetch with a refreshing swim, head to Haulover Park. From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fido can run free with all the other good boys and good girls between lifeguard houses 2 and 3. If your dogs aren't fans of getting sand between their toes, just take them to Haulover's Bark Park, open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. The dog park offers parents separate sections for big pooches and little pups, waste bag stations, and water fountains for you and your fur babies.

Courtesy of Harry's Pizzeria

Plenty of things can go wrong on a first date, but pizza ain't one of them. The pizzas ($13 to $17), wood-oven-roasted chicken wings ($12), and desserts such as the banana-Nutella panini ($2) at Harry's Pizzeria are creatively crafted, delicious, and affordable. The restaurant's intimate space and effortlessly cool decor give the place a classic Italian vibe with a few modern touches. It's the kind of place that feels upscale without making your wallet cry and might just persuade (or fool) your date into thinking you have good taste. Equally important is the location: It's right on the edge of the Design District, so if the chemistry is promising, you can head to the Institute of Contemporary Art up the street and continue the conversation.

Photo by Mercedea / Flickr

Miami is paradise, but it's a traffic-gridlocked one. If you're looking for a weekend getaway, you're probably hoping to escape precisely that traffic — and fast. On a good day (i.e., no accidents on Overseas Highway), you can get to Key West in about three and a half hours. Many hotels offer a Florida resident discount, and if you have a medium-to-high tolerance for sweat, you can take advantage of summertime deals, when a decent room goes for around $100 a night. Start your day with a Cuban breakfast sandwich at the Cuban Coffee Queen ($7) or a huevos and chorizo breakfast burrito at Bad Boy Burrito ($11). When you need a midday break from the sun, head to the Porch, a craft beer spot that's one of the island's few indoor, air-conditioned bars, or the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory (general admission costs $12, and discounted rates are available for children and seniors). Sunsets at Mallory Square are a must, as are late-night cafecitos to break up your Duval Street bar crawl. (You can find one on almost any corner.) And don't leave the Conch Republic without at least one trip to Captain Tony's, supposedly one of the oldest bars in Florida. The beers are cold, the bartenders are zippy, and there's always someone playing guitar in the corner.

Courtesy of Mondrian South Beach

Situated for a picture-perfect view of Biscayne Bay, the Mondrian has that South Beach pool-party vibe you crave without the rigmarole of an invite list. The hotel's pool area is open to the public daily as long as visitors spend a total of $50 at the pool bar. Hotel guests still get first pick of the chairs, but there's plenty of space to stretch out and grab a tropical cocktail for $16 or a bucket of five beers for $30. The best day to take advantage is Sunday, when the hotel offers free yoga on the dock at 10 a.m., followed by a guest DJ playing poolside until the sun goes down.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®