Crandon Park Tennis Center
Photo by Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

miamidade.gov/parks/crandon-tennis.asp

it's been a minute since the Miami Open packed up its tournament and moved to Hard Rock Stadium, but the tennis courts on Key Biscayne where Jimmy Connors, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, and Chris Evert once served and volleyed are still standing and are open to the public. The Crandon Park Tennis Center has 27 tennis courts available for use to anyone with a racquet. And it's affordable, too: $5 per player for hard, $7 for clay. Thirteen of the courts are equipped with night lighting for a $2-an-hour upcharge. Beyond the quality of courts and the history of the site, the tennis center boasts a beautiful setting, nestled among coconut palms, with the occasional iguana speeding by. If you insist upon making like a pro, you can play on the stadium court ($18 an hour per player).

Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne
Courtesy of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department

With lush mangroves, water hazards aplenty and pops of palms throughout, Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne is what Miami golf dreams are made of. This year the par-72 bayside course officially celebrates its 50th birthday. And five decades in, it remains on top of its game, from its mammoth par-five first hole to the dogleg right over water that awaits on the iconic seventh to an 18th that features water, water, everywhere but straight ahead. There are a couple of things any emerging or seasoned golfer should bring with them for a round at Key Biscayne: ample supplies of both self-confidence and spare balls. The course's finest feature might be its egalitarian nature: It's owned by Miami-Dade County and open to the public. You can buy a membership and save a bundle on each round, but locals who golf only occasionally catch a break on greens fees too.

Strawberry Moon
Photo by Alice Gao

Since its 2021 grand-opening spectacle with Kim Kardashian, David Beckham, and A-listers galore, Strawberry Moon has kept the momentum going as the buzziest pool in town. Good vibes abound in the 30,000 square foot space on the third-floor deck of the Goodtime Hotel, the well-publicized partnership between club mogul David Grutman and entertainer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams. The little details add up to a memorable day in the sun, with pinstripe awnings, pastel tiling, and scalloped bar seating among the art deco touches. On weekends, the pool evolves into a turnt club landscape with a rotation of DJs – DJ Purple, DJ Don Hot, and Ariel Assault, among others — delivering the beats. the cocktails can be as colorful as the pool's frolickers, which helps to make Strawberry Moon the best splash around.

GluteHouse
Corey Jenkins Photography

Miami loves a good booty. And whether that rump requires a daily regimen or just needs a one-day boost, GluteHouse in Brickell is the destination. It's a gym like no other for a city like no other, complete with state-of-the-art equipment. Workouts come in the form of a circuit-style strength training program. They last 50 minutes and are guided by an app and a floor coach. Memberships start at $99 per cycle, encompassing two workouts per week for four weeks. Sure, it can be intense, but the Miami River views make your butt-tastic workout that much better. For home gym-ers, there's the GluteHouse On-The-Go online training program. And this fall, GluteHouse plans to expand its space to more than 3,500 square feet and add new equipment and membership elements. Get your ass moving already!

Yoga's origins date back 5,000 years, but at some point this spiritual practice lost its way with the glitz of Lululemon leggings, diamond- and ruby-studded yoga mats, and talk of weeklong retreats that cost more than a loaded Honda Civic. But amid the pageantry of Sunset Harbour you'll find Modo Yoga Miami Beach, a no-frills heated studio inconspicuously hidden above a salon and boutiques on West Avenue. The studio embraces the more traditional aspects of yoga. That's not to say you'll find yourself choking on nag champa incense or forced to sing in Sanskrit, but curating a calming, meditative space before and after classes is integral to the practice (cell phones and chitchatting are banned inside). The hatha-inspired Modo series is the studio's signature class, but they also offer challenging vinyasa and restorative yin classes. Annual and monthly membership prices rival other studios in the area, and, because most classes are filled with regulars, studio managers and instructors tend to greet nearly every yogi by name.

Lot 11 Skatepark
Photo courtesy of Nick Katz

Lot 11 is a skater's 48,000-square-foot dream. The spacious deck allows for all disciplines — skateboarding, scootering, BMX, and inline or quad skating. The park prioritizes Miami's dynamic cityscape with new obstacles that pay homage to iconic street spots. But what really makes Lot 11 stand out is the skaters themselves. Every stranger becomes a homie here as soon as you drop into the bowl. Glide through the rails, stairs, transition zone, and street plaza — all at no charge and sheltered from Florida's unpredictable rains beneath the deck of Interstate 95. Even if you don't skate (yet), you can catch vintage pop-ups, art shows, and concerts here on a regular basis, or just hang out and people-watch. No matter your experience, age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or attire, Lot 11 is the ideal spot to break in those wheels.

Get your pooch off of the couch and tell them to make some friends already. Tails & Trails Park's eight-acre site boasts two large enclosed settings — one for large dogs, the other for small dogs — so your furry friends can romp around on the grass (manicured on the regular) to their hearts' content. There's also a wash station to freshen up Fido after the rolling around is done, and drinking fountains that offer multiple heights so Doggo doesn't have to balance on hind legs. For the human set, Tails & Trails has restroom facilities and extensive bike and walkways that extend all the way to Doral Meadow Park. Bonus: The dog park includes and a children's playground, allowing parents to do double duty. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. till sunset.

Want to know what life was like in Miami during the Roaring Twenties? Five bucks gets you a guided tour of the childhood home of George Merrick, the complicated figure who transformed an unassuming agricultural area into Coral Gables, AKA the City Beautiful, one of the most desired real estate destinations in the nation. A docent will walk you through the Merrick House's 14 rooms and around the grounds, which include a garden, a lily pond, and a grotto filled with ten species of fish. Pro tip: The Merrick House, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, makes for a picturesque setting for wedding photo shoots.

Tucked away in downtown Miami near the Edgewater neighborhood nestles a beauty of a park that adds natural charm to an otherwise concrete-covered part of the city. Margaret Pace Park is home to plenty of open waterside green space where on any given day one can find families playing soccer, locals practicing yoga or meditation, and the occasional outdoor martial-arts class for those trying to hone their eye of the tiger. The park has tennis courts that are open to the public at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as basketball courts and volleyball nets. Picnic tables allow for any gathering (bring your own pastelito trays and cake), all with a gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. The park is fun for the whole family, right down to the dog park for four-legged friends and children's playground for those pesky offspring — not to mention ample bathrooms so no one has to hold it in. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Miami may be known as the "Magic City," but near the southeastern edge of Coral Gables is a wondrous greenspace that'll make you think you've stepped into a fantasy novel where a fairy might be hiding beneath any leaf or branch. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, founded in 1938 by a passionate group of environmentalists and plant collectors (and named after one of them, David Fairchild), is a veritable Garden of Eden hidden amid Miami's suburban sprawl. For $24.95 ($11.95 for kids, $15.95 for students, $17.95 for seniors), visitors can spend a day surrounded by some of South Florida's most magnificent tropical plants and trees and tour the 83-acre grounds while they learn about endangered flora and the Fairchild's mission to preserve them. Don't miss the butterfly garden while you're there — and grab a bite at the Glasshouse Café.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®