Sports & Recreation

  • Best Miami Dolphins Player

    Daryl Gardener

    Everybody knew the Dolphins' offensive line wasn't very good last year, even with a healthy Mark Dixon. While the team's inability to run the ball was often demoralizing, at least the Fins were a team that could stop the run, right? Umm, no. On December 16, 2001, the San Francisco 49ers exposed the Dolphins' vulnerability to a strong running game… More >>
  • Best Florida Marlins Player

    Cliff Floyd

    If the Marlins' ownership had been stable this past winter, Cliffy would already be gone. Of course, had that been the case, he might have had an even better year in 2001. His post-All-Star slump seemed to correlate directly to the failure of the stadium drive and the uncertainty about the team's South Florida future. As it was, Floyd still… More >>
  • Best Beach in Broward

    South Ocean Way from SE Tenth Street to the Hillsboro Pier

    Our favorite feature of this strip of sand in Deerfield Beach is the absence of cars zipping by on A1A ten yards from your beach blanket. In 1967, the Army Corps of Engineers set up boulder piles on the sand every 30 feet or so to prevent erosion. You can sit on the rocks and enjoy the water, lie on… More >>
  • Best Beach in Palm Beach

    A1A and Atlantic Avenue

    Hidden behind sand dunes and patches of natural Florida vegetation, this place can easily be missed. After you find a parking spot, which admittedly can be close to a mission impossible during the winter season, lug your sun umbrella, towels, and folding chairs through one of the thick and canopied beach entrances. There, you will understand why Delray is among… More >>
  • Best Place to Skinny-Dip

    Behind the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

    "Swim Nude to Prevent Sea Lice Infection." Such was the recent headline in a U.S. Public Health Service professional journal. Skinny-dipping is not naughty; it's healthy, experts say, referring to the rash that generally appears on bodies covered in swimsuits. You see, the microscopic jellyfish get trapped beneath the material and release a skin-irritating venom. If that doesn't scare the… More >>
  • Best Place to Snorkel

    Red Reef Park

    One minute, you're lying on the beach. The next minute, you're staring down a barracuda. And you aren't even breathing hard. Red Reef Park is the couch potato's answer to underwater adventure. It's definitely more exciting than another rerun of Jacques Cousteau but hardly more taxing. The artificial reef that attracts everything from barracuda to clown fish to triggerfish to… More >>
  • Best Place to Windsurf/Kitesurf

    16th Street Beach

    Even if you can't do forward loops in 30-knot winds or catch sick air while hanging from your kitesurf sail, you can still come to 16th Street for a great time -- as long as the wind is blowing, that is. This forgiving site offers ocean conditions fit for both intermediate and advanced wind addicts. The inlet pier and the… More >>
  • Best Playground

    Castaway Island Water Playground

    It's another one of those subtropical days. You're hot, hot, hot. Your kids want out. Don't fall apart. Head for Castaway Island, where $5 will buy you or anyone else who's more than one year old admission to the coolest place in South Florida. (Babies get in free.) Opened in 1998 at a cost of $1.5 million, the island offers… More >>
  • Best Boating

    Water Taxi

    Funny how Fort Lauderdale's oft-trumpeted status as "the Venice of America" doesn't apply to the vast majority of its residents. All that the miles of canals mean to the working-class crowd is an annoying wait for drawbridges to close. Yachts are for the rich, and even a nice bass boat will set Bubba back a too-substantial chunk of change. But… More >>
  • Best Place to Canoe

    Loxahatchee River Canoe Outfitters

    Some experiences just can't be topped, and a canoe trip on the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County is one of these. With a friendly and reasonably priced canoe livery just feet from its scenic banks, a long or short trip down Florida's oldest designated Wild and Scenic River is a sure-fire way to remember why we all moved… More >>
  • Best Fishing

    Lake Worth Pier

    The fisher people who gather daily on this quarter-mile-long wooden pier have snagged snook, cobia, jack, bonita, mackerel, kingfish, tuna, and even an occasional tarpon, confides pier master Charles Hamilton. But all of that is nothing compared to the creature that glided by one day and brought all the lines cast into the briny blue up short. There, off the… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts in Broward

    George English Park

    Need a racquet strung? A partner? Just want a quick pickup game? Looking for something for the kids to do this summer? The tennis center at George English Park is the answer to the prayers of every Wimbledon wannabe (or wannabe Richard Williams). Open six days a week (from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to… More >>
  • Best Miami Heat Player

    Alonzo Mourning

    Eddie Jones may have averaged close to 19 points, but he's still just the Best of the Rest. Pat Riley built this thirtysomething team around his center (focal glomerulosclerosis be damned), and the coach has clung tenaciously to an offensive and defensive style that plays to Mourning's strengths. In December, that strategy made Riley look stubborn, inflexible, and not very… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts in Palm Beach

    Howard Park Tennis Center

    Two words: clay courts. One of the few public tennis centers where the rabble can play on a surface generally reserved for the gentry, Howard Park is a hidden gem. Long ignored by West Palm Beach recreation planners, it's a 60-plus-year-old facility where the infamous Bobby Riggs once swung a racquet. And it recently got a face-lift to match the… More >>
  • Best Golf

    Westin Diplomat Country Club and Spa

    OK, the 18 holes at the Diplomat may not be the best golf course qua golf course in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Its 6728 yards are lined with shady banyan trees, and designer Joe Lee lavished water on 16 of the holes -- including a tricky island green on the second one (no, you don't have to wade to… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    Lake Lytal Park

    Not in the 'hood, as one might expect (and romantics might hope) but solidly suburban, the four -- count 'em, four -- courts in the southeast corner of this county park's 525 acres host the area's best-quality round ball. Local players make the trek from all over West Palm Beach and as far south as Boca Raton; collegiate talent on… More >>
  • Best Place to Rollerblade

    Broward County Regional Park at Weston

    So your K2s are oiled, roller hockey just doesn't do it for you anymore, and you're ready to soar. Then head west, young dude, to the skate park in the Broward County Regional Park in Weston. Here, you will find a facility that's $100,000 worth of tubular. Back in December 2001, Weston commissioners -- who are unlikely to ever try… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog in Broward

    C.B. Smith Park

    The biking and jogging path in this 320-acre park is shaded and rarely crowded. Clean (or at least as clean as public gets) water fountains are plentiful, and bathrooms are located at convenient spots along the mostly concrete trail. Whether you're jogging two or ten miles, visit the basketball, tennis, racquetball, or numerous volleyball areas for cross-training or a cool-down.… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog in Palm Beach

    From Boca Raton to Delray Beach on the beach

    In with the good air, out with the bad. Breathe. Deeply. Let the fresh sea air fill your lungs. You'll soon need every molecule of it. Standing at Boca's South Beach Park pavilion on Palmetto Park Road and A1A, while looking out over the beautiful waves breaking upon the shore, do all of your muscle stretches. Once you're warmed up,… More >>
  • Best Place to Ride a Bike

    Hollywood Beach to the Dania Beach Pier

    OK, so this ain't necessarily the numero uno ride for you Lycra-wearing, Bollé-blinded, Bell-headed geeks who zoom through stop signs and endanger the lives of fellow riders. But it is nice. Relaxing and sandy. Kid-friendly too. On a recent weekend day, we started out at Hollywood Boulevard and the beach, headed north a few blocks and stopped at a shady… More >>
  • Best Place to Mountain-Bike

    Markham Park

    Buckle up, you adrenaline junkies, and let the ride begin. This former quarry turned park provides more than ten miles of gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, mountain-biking action. The trails range in difficulty from leisurely four-foot bunny-hops for the intermediate to 30-foot, hold-on-at-all-costs hills for the advanced. The trails run mostly among tall pine and eucalyptus trees, so shade is abundant. But, you… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    John U. Lloyd Beach State Park

    John U. Lloyd State Park in Dania Beach is the only place in South Florida where a park -- a real one, complete with trees, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and enough green space to throw a Frisbee across -- dominates a rise above the ocean. In true Florida fashion, the 310 acres of barrier island stretch from the Atlantic Ocean… More >>
  • Best Urban Walk

    Riverwalk

    An urban walk needs big-city grit. Problem: Downtown Fort Lauderdale doesn't have grit per se. It's too purty, and so much of it near the river is wrought with a Disney-esque sensibility. But just as Disney creates longing for small-town America -- minus the litter, the claustrophobia, the nosy neighbors, and the violence embedded in the winding sheet of the… More >>
  • Best Miami Sol Player

    Debbie Black

    Debbie Black is not only the shortest player in the WNBA at 5-foot-3 but she also has suffered ten broken noses during her 14-year professional basketball career. Her fans at AmericanAirlines Arena sit together in a black-and-blue section, where they tally the number of times she hits the floor in a game. A huge banner sports one Band Aid-style cross… More >>
  • Best Place to Rope the Queen of the Rodeo

    Bergeron Rodeo Grounds

    At the Wednesday-night Jackpot Rodeo at the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, local cowgals and cowboys show their stuff. Amateurs as well as locals hoping to make a go at a professional career come here weekly to ride bulls, rope steers, and barrel-race. If it makes your heart skip to see a pretty girl in a cowboy hat fly like a bat… More >>
  • Best Place to Gamble

    The Resort and Casino at Bahamia

    So you've got the weekend open, and you feel like sitting down at the tables for a bit of gambling. But where to go? The Indian casinos? Not bloody likely. Native-American gaming commissions do not run like Vegas. You will, in other words, get taken for all you're worth, sooner or later. What about SunCruz and those nifty cruises to… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    Shootersville Sports Bar & Grill

    Sinking your balls into the soft center pocket will never be tough again. Just start practicing now at this classy pool hall, where 21 tables in impeccable condition are almost certain to improve your game. And even if no marked improvement is observed, don't worry -- the spacious, full-liquor bar and friendly waitresses are sure to lift your spirits. Happy… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Kid Poke an Iguana with a Stick

    The Jungle Queen Island

    From its departure point at the Bahia Mar Yacht Basin on A1A, the Jungle Queen Riverboat tour chugs west down the New River, passes beneath the concrete canopy of the Interstate, and docks at its secret mini-theme-park destination. When the gator wrasslin' and pretzel-eatin' gets old, a few tots'll amble around the monkey-and-parrot filled "island" (actually a large, tropical compound… More >>
  • Best Trainspotting

    West of the Pompano State Farmer's Market

    Despite the association of trainspotting with the tracks left in the arm of a heroin user, which may have its origin in the 1996 movie of that name, the word is used in England to describe a person obsessed to the point of mania with the trivial. Trainspotters haunt railway platforms in England, notebook in hand, writing down the numbers… More >>
  • Best Clobbering in a Club

    Atlantis

    So you want to make your friend into a punching bag... nothing too horrible, just some friendly, good-natured fisticuffs. But brawling in the streets can lead to misunderstandings with the local police, who generally are willing to demonstrate how to properly whip the tar out of someone. And doing it at your house could break all those valuable family heirlooms.… More >>
  • Best Boxing Gym

    Warrior's Boxing Gym

    After only a brief existence, it can honestly be said that Warrior's Boxing Gym has changed the face of the sport in South Florida. It's no coincidence that major title bouts returned here after decades of absence since the gym opened, though it was sad to see the gym's great hope, Andre "Tombstone" Purlett, get dropped. But since that inaugural… More >>
  • Best Gym in Broward

    The Firm Fitness Center

    Two words that allow Firm Fitness to crush all its girlyman competitors: hypoxic chamber. Michael Jackson ain't got nothing on this contraption that creates a more efficient, thus shorter, cardio workout. From what New Times understands, the treadmill, encased in glass, is temperature-controlled -- read: average 58-60 degrees. It purifies, stabilizes, and thins the oxygen, which makes you breathe a… More >>
  • Best Gym in Palm Beach

    Body Perfect Fitness Center

    With almost 30,000 square feet of workout space, Body Perfect should really have its own ZIP code. It certainly has everything else. This behemoth offers rows of treadmills, bikes, Stairmasters, and elliptical walkers. Build muscle the old-fashioned way with free weights, or for the latest thing, hop on the Flex Fitness machines. All classes -- kick-boxing, Pilates, spin, yoga, and… More >>
  • Best Pro Athlete

    Preston Wilson

    They don't call him P-Rock for nothing. No, it's not because he won that "The Rock" look-alike contest last year when the wrestler formerly known as Dwayne Johnson threw out the first pitch at a Marlins game. It's that body. Though he tips the scales at a modest 213 pounds, it is all muscle, as ex-skipper John Boles discovered last… More >>
  • Best Local Jock

    Clarence Gilbert

    Gilbert was a sensational basketball player at Dillard High School and ended the regular season of his senior year at the University of Missouri on a down note. Missouri was ranked as high as number two early in the year but, in one disappointment after another, eventually fell into unranked territory. They barely made the NCAA tournament as a 12… More >>
  • Best Florida Panthers Player

    Trevor Kidd

    Number 37 perfectly represents the Florida Panthers. Every time trade rumors have surfaced this year, the 30-year-old goaltender's name has come up. He has been here for three seasons, and his lucky break this year was Roberto Luongo's injury on March 20. Maybe now the front office will shut up and Kidd will finally get the ice time he's always… More >>
  • Best Team

    FAU Men's Basketball

    How 'bout them Owls? Coach Sidney Green, the former Runnin' Rebel and NBA journeyman player, inherited a pretty sorry bunch back in 1999. In fact, the team hardly qualified as a "bunch" at all: What with all the transfers, he suited up just seven players that year. Hardly surprising, then, when the team went 2-28; if this squad wasn't the… More >>
  • Best Team You Probably Won't See

    Florida Marlins

    The Marlins somehow escaped Montreal-like fan desertion when Wayne Huizenga sold off all the big talent after the 1997 World Series. A solid base of fish-lovers survived three consecutive losing seasons. But then John Henry skipped off to Boston and Jeffrey Loria bought the team, bringing a little of that Montreal magic with him. Now the Marlins are bringing in… More >>
  • Best Team to Leave Town in the Past 12 Months

    Miami Fusion

    "I wept." With those simple words, Ray Hudson, the most quotable coach this side of Knute Rockne, confirmed what South Florida soccer fans had feared: The four-year-old Miami Fusion was dead, a victim of the money-lusting contraction fever that has gripped professional sports. The Major League Soccer team was killed by owner Ken Horowitz, who had steadfastly maintained he would… More >>
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