Sports & Recreation

  • Best Place to Spearfish

    Reef off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

    Walk to the end of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea pier to discover some of the best hunting in all South Florida. But you're going to have to get wet. And you have to be a certified scuba diver even to have a shot, because the quarry, found between 30 and 60 feet down, is fish. Delicacies such as hogfish and mutton snapper… More >>
  • Best Pro Athlete

    Luis Castillo

    They say hitting a Major League pitcher is the most difficult feat in sports. We sometimes wonder about that -- tackling, say, Earl Campbell head-on in his prime sounds pretty hard, too. But still, hitting breaking stuff from the Big Unit or El Duque must be damnably difficult, despite how easy Castillo makes it look. And he does it in… More >>
  • Best Public Swimming Pool

    Fort Lauderdale High School Swimming Pool

    White lights flicker on at dusk, like moons setting on the horizon. The stench of chlorine is oddly comforting. You'll have no parking problem here, encounter few spectators, and will have to do without even the comfort of a locker room. Rinse off under the trickle of the outdoor shower instead. Once in a while, the pool will close because… More >>
  • Best Seats in the House

    Section 106 at Pro Player Stadium when the Marlins play the Atlanta Braves

    You love this part of the park for many reasons: lots of foul balls, great sight lines, and best of all you're within point-blank heckling range of the enemy bullpen. And when those stinkin' Braves are in town, the fireballing, immigrant-bashing, racist homophobe nincompoop every baseball fan loves to hate is sitting right in front of you. His thick, red… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Phipps Ocean Park

    Maybe because it stands between two intimidating neighbors -- the Millionaires' Row of lake-to-ocean mansions to the north and the luxury-condo wonderland to the south -- this pristine little strip of land along A1A remains everything a public beach should be, even in the height of season: uncrowded, clean, and quiet. You park your car (at a dollar an hour,… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    The Diamond Dash

    Ballpark financing woes aside, the Florida Marlins can be just as dreary on the field: waiting for Alex Gonzalez to chase yet another breaking ball in the dirt or watching Matt Clement walk the bases loaded -- again. And games can be especially unpleasant during those hot summer Sundays, when the hammering sun makes just sitting in the stands akin… More >>
  • Best Boating

    Peanut Island

    All right so this is South Florida, not the Bahamas. But what's the point of owning a boat if you can't do a little island-hopping? The Palm Beach County Department of Parks and Recreation has made it easy for boaters to feel like true nautical people by offering a chance to cruise the Intracoastal Waterway for the day, then tie… More >>
  • Best Free Ride

    Tram at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport

    Because of the airport tram's resemblance to a theme-park attraction, you can calm antsy kids by taking them on a ride around the terminals and parking lots. "Just like Busch Gardens' pseudosafari," you can tell them. But it is fun, not because of the view from the tram (parking spots, terminals, and travelers, oh my!), but because of the sights… More >>
  • Best Fishing

    Anglin's Fishing Pier

    If anyone knows fishing, it's worms. Thus by extrapolation, the guys who sell worms to fishermen ought to know where the good fishing is; four of five bait shops surveyed recommended Anglin's Fishing Pier. And why not? The fish are biting. Ask folks along the pier, "Havin' any luck?" (asking if anglers have caught anything is taboo), and they will… More >>
  • Best Hunting

    J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area

    Precious few spots exist in Broward and Palm Beach counties where you can let loose a pebble from your slingshot, much less a volley of buckshot from your gun, without hitting the side of a building. But the Corbett Wildlife Area offers a whopping 60,000 acres with game aplenty. Managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the preserve… More >>
  • Best Hike

    Quiet Waters Park

    Famous for its annual Renaissance festival, Quiet Waters boasts some qualities that have nothing to do with thousands of pseudo-Brits juggling, forsoothing, and quaffing swill. Unbeknownst to many it's a light hiking and camping locale. The park, open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., offers a great escape from the suburbanized domesticity of its surroundings with 430 acres of… More >>
  • Best Place to Rollerblade

    The Lakes section of Hollywood

    Say you are the kind of skater who doesn't go for the fancy stuff -- trick skates, snazzy wheels, too many pads. You want an ocean breeze but don't have the perfect thighs and svelte tummy required to traverse popular stretches such as Fort Lauderdale beach. You just like a good workout where the chance of death is low and… More >>
  • Best Place to Camp

    Markham Park

    Now that South Florida is perilously close to maximum density, places to pitch a tent are hard to come by. Developers who map out suburban hells like Weston simply don't pay much attention to camping. But we'll always have Markham Park. In this 666-acre county idyll, you'll find mountain bike trails, tennis courts, a personal-watercraft lake, boating, a swimming pool,… More >>
  • Best Place to Mountain Bike

    Camp Murphy Off-Road Bicycle Trails

    "If rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, alligators, scorpions, wasps, mosquitoes, chiggers, horseflies, spiders, palmetto stumps, swamp, sugar sand, sawgrass, briers, wild pigs, or World War II ordnance bother you, go back to Yahoo! The rest of you, listen up!" Welcome to the opening lines of the Website of Club Scrub, a group that has spent nearly every Sunday morning for the last year… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    The best part of a trip to the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve is the engendered sense of superiority. As you motor toward Naples on I-75, smirk at the lightweights en route to guided airboat rides. Cackle at the sandal-wearing sissies sauntering through the Miccosukee Indian Reservation's mammoth rest stop. You, stoked for adventure, are leaving the cakewalk behind for the… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    Hollywood Billiards

    There's just something comfortable about this place. Maybe it's the olive-green carpet, which is worn but not ragged. Or perhaps it's the paneling or the mounted deer heads on the wall. Whatever the reason, Hollywood Billiards feels like the kind of joint where you can play a game or two even if you stink. Nobody laughs as you blow shot… More >>
  • Best Golf Course

    Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course

    Oh sure, you can hack the greens at plenty of swank and ritzy courses. But we recommend Pompano Beach because it offers two great golf experiences and you don't have to sell your kidney on the Internet to play there. You can go out tomorrow and glide through 18 holes in the morning for a mere $22. If you walk… More >>
  • Best Place to Ride a Bike

    Jupiter Island

    Sure, well-heeled folk would like to keep this little slice of paradise to themselves, but the 17-mile-long island is so peaceful and so doggone pretty that it demands a two-wheel tour. With speed limits of 25 miles per hour on most stretches -- and as low as 15 mph in places where golf carts need a fighting chance -- combative… More >>
  • Best Place to Nail Balls

    C.B. Smith Park

    Everybody knows that one of the best stress relievers in the world is to go out and whack balls. (We're talking golf balls here, gutter head.) The sprawling park has a new golf center that includes a pro shop, greens for putting and pitching, and a two-tiered driving range that offers both artificial and natural tees. While you're hacking away,… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop

    Location, location, location. No bicycle shop has a better spot than this gem of a place, and owner Mark Quinn knows it. "We're 100 yards from the trail," hesays, motioning toward the nearby Intracoastal Waterway, where bikers, joggers, walkers, and 'bladers cruise along a roughly four-mile paved path that takes them within ogling distance of some of the priciest and… More >>
  • Best Bar Game

    Ring toss

    Get a brass ring about the size of a silver-dollar pancake. Tie one end of a four-foot string to the ring and the other end to a hook in the ceiling. Make sure that your ceiling hook is positioned so that the arc of the ring just grazes a nearby wall. Now hang an upturned hook on the wall. Take… More >>
  • Best Amusement Park

    Boomers!

    Last summer Grand Prix Race-O-Rama was bought by the Boomers! amusement park chain, which already had a location in Boca Raton. The place has been given a facelift, and a wooden roller coaster, the only one of its kind in South Florida, was built. In addition to the go-karts that have whizzed through the place since the Race-O-Rama days, bumper… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Downtown Gym and Fitness Club

    For less money per month than you'd spend on a basic cell phone plan, you can buff your bod and stoke your heart at Downtown Gym. It's smallish and seems geared more toward free-weight equipment than weight machines, but the essentials are here. There's a wall of dumbbells with poundage that most of us can only dream of lifting some… More >>
  • Best Jockey

    Michael J. McCarthy

    At five feet nine inches tall, Michael McCarthy is an unlikely jockey -- until you realize he weighs only 110 pounds, at least during racing season. (Off-season he lets his weight balloon to 128 pounds.) To maintain his slender build, McCarthy eats like a supermodel. To maintain his competitive edge, he works harder than most jockeys half his size. In… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Pavel Bure

    We hate to repeat ourselves, but in this case we can't help it. The Russian Rocket wrapped up his second consecutive 50-plus scoring season this year with 59 total points. His numbers lead the league for the third year straight and total 11 more goals than the closest runner-up, Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bure notched 30 percent of… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Ryan Dempster

    Apologies to Cliff and P-Rock, both of whom might go 30-30 this year if they stay healthy, but Demp gets the nod. In a starting rotation full of question marks -- as in, "Can Matt Clement find the strike zone?" "Can Brad Penny build on last year's strong finish?" "Can A.J. Burnett and Chuck Smith come back from early injuries?"… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Lamar Smith

    Smith gets the nod not only because he brought a solid running game to the 'Fins for the first time since Nixon resigned but also because of the hardships he's had to overcome during his seven years in the NFL. When he was a rookie in 1994, he was involved in an alcohol-related car wreck that partially paralyzed teammate Mike… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Eddie House

    On a team the age and health problems of which were its undoing, House's youth and upside win him the prize. When the Heat made the Arizona State guard the 37th pick in last year's NBA draft, the question heard at breakfast tables across South Florida was, "Who is Eddie House?" He's a scorer, we were told -- in fact… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    Florence Hardy Park

    For a tennis scene devoid of tea-party etiquette, Hardy Park is the place to go. The four hard courts, lit until 9:45 p.m., attract scrappy players who don't wear white and who don't need well-manicured courts. And best of all, they're free.… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Ray Hudson

    When Ray Hudson won his first game as Miami Fusion head coach, he kissed his players on the lips, grabbed team co-owner Ken Horowitz in a bear hug, swung him around and announced, "I'm higher than a hippie at Woodstock." This transplanted Scot may not know the meaning of the word restraint, but he knows enough others to be a… More >>
  • Best Paragon of Coaching Patience

    John Boles

    South Florida has its share of topnotch pro coaches. Dave Wannstedt is a fundamentally sound boss who sets a good tone for his football team. (We're forgiving him for keeping a hurt Jay Fiedler on the field to lose key games when he had a proven backup QB in Damon Huard.) In round ball, we're lucky to have Pat Riley,… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

    For most of A1A's course through Fort Lauderdale, the west side of the street is a hideous combo of strip malls, restaurants, condos, hotels, and curio shops: crap, in other words. But then you come upon a strange little strip of mangroves and sea oats corralled behind a wrought iron fence, which seems as out of place on this road… More >>

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