Sports & Recreation

  • Best Way to Meet Young Professionals

    Emerge Broward

    Working 14-hour days and eating meals in your car isn't really conducive to making a love connection. Emerge Broward is the answer. The Fort Lauderdale-based networking organization boasts 500-plus members and frequent events, which feature anything from a happy hour on Las Olas to community service projects elsewhere in the county. A meetup at Tundra earlier this year was just… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Synergize Crossfit

    Shondelle Solomon-Miles, AKA "Coach," has a body as impossibly skinny and taut as Iggy Pop's, a look as fierce as Nicki Minaj's, and a way of making you obey that's like Mom when she means business. Coach's B.A. from Columbia University and master's degree from the University of Miami don't hurt either. At her gym, Synergize, she follows the standard… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Manor Lanes Bowling Center

    The big, beat-up building just off of Wilton Drive is exactly as vintage as it's supposed to be — the door handles are sticky, and the carpet showcases the standard "bowling pin and explosions" theme, but the lanes are clean, the balls are heavy, and — most important — the games and drinks are cheap. Ten bucks will get you… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men

    Retro Arcade Night at Arcade Game Sales

    The vibe in the Retro Arcade isn't exactly a dimly lit cafe where patrons debate Kant or Joyce over glasses of malbec. But there is a special sort of intelligence to be found at the Retro Arcade Night. The monthly gathering brings together the humble stoners; future, present, and former rocket scientists; and perhaps even a retired English professor. And… More >>
  • Best Sports Enigma

    Dan Borislow

    "Right now, it's time to win in court and then tell the people what the real deal is." That's how Dan Borislow responded to New Times' emailed request for an interview. The media, particularly sports website Deadspin, hasn't been kind to the three-wheeled-motorcycle-riding, West Palm Beach millionaire who made his fortune in the late 1990s in the telecom industry and… More >>
  • Best Place to Bicycle

    The Everglades Levees

    In South Florida, it's easy to live under the assumption that the western edge of civilization lies somewhere around your Aunt Debbie's condo in Tamarac, but that would be a shame. Broward County stretches far beyond the houses and strip malls, into the python-filled plumbing works of the Everglades. Between those two worlds, there is a dividing line: a set… More >>
  • Best Kayaking

    West Lake Park

    Two minutes in West Lake Park is all it takes to get away from the asphalt hell of South Florida sprawl. The trip starts with a light paddle down a serene mangrove tunnel — keep your eyes peeled for the always-awesome manatee and some nice birds. When the trail empties out on the lake, it's your choice. Let the boat… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Rocketman Experience

    In the 1920 novel The Skylark of Space, the hero, Dick Seaton, accidentally spills a solution containing "element X" onto a copper tub that is surrounded by an energy field from a nearby "whatssittron" particle accelerator. The copper tub goes shooting through the wall and into the sky, and Seaton uses the technology to develop the first jet pack. The… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Bahamas Express

    Certainly, more glamorous destinations are within jetting distance, but a perfect escape excludes any trip that involves traffic on I-95 or getting felt up by a TSA agent. So, yay for us, a high-speed ferry to Grand Bahama Island debuted late last year. It's not exactly the Queen Mary, but it does have hardwood floors, a gift shop, and comfy… More >>
  • Best Nature Trail

    Okeeheelee Nature Center at Okeeheelee Park

    There comes a time every so often when the air-conditioned confines of the office, car, and home begin to feel, well, confining. You don't need to be a nature buff to get a recharge from wandering the two-and-a-half miles of trail in the suburban wilderness of West Palm Beach. Given Florida's topography, it's an easy hike, most of which is… More >>
  • Best Bocce Court

    Jefferson Park

    You feel like a pro when the lights at Jefferson Park in Hollywood flick on and bathe the soft dirt of the bocce courts in a yellow glow. The crack of one ball crashing off another, the last glimmer of sunset — it's all simply exhilarating. Then your dreams of bocce glory are quickly shattered by the hardened glare of… More >>
  • Best Touristy Activity

    Airboat Tour at Everglades Holiday Park

    Living in South Florida means a steady influx of out-of-state visitors — some invited, most not. They want to do all the crap that has never even crossed your mind, and it all of a sudden becomes your responsibility to entertain these vacationing pests. Kill a day by driving west to Everglades Holiday Park and jumping on one of the… More >>
  • Best Snorkeling Spot

    Biscayne National Park

    A well-placed snorkel source suggested hitting the waters off Soldier Key, the 1.66-acre island in Biscayne National Park. But park ranger Gary Bremen warns that "snorkeling off Soldier Key is absolutely not allowed. Soldier Key itself is closed to the public for a variety of reasons," including turtle nesting. That doesn't mean there's not great snorkeling in nearby waters. "Snorkeling… More >>
  • Best Beach

    John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

    Imagine a pristine shoreline, untouched by bulldozers or condos. The wind rustles sea-grape leaves and palm trees; the surf is thick and wild. This is a place with rough rocks underfoot and glittering seashells dotting the sand. You can snorkel with tropical fish or take a nap in the sand — you'll have plenty of room, considering tourists rarely discover… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Shark Valley

    Pack up the bikes and head west to Shark Valley, where there are no sharks but plenty of sunbathing gators lounging around the 15-mile looping path. It's a nature-filled workout with ample views of pristine sawgrass and loads of migratory birds between January and March. What's that, you say? Pedal-pushing your way past gators and birds is sooooo touristy? Well,… More >>
  • Best Bait Shop

    Anglers Tackle

    To the nongrizzled newbie, bait shops can be a bit intimidating. They're beacons of seafaring manliness where tales and tips are swapped in a vernacular impossible to fake. Rather than wimping out and heading for one of the watered-down Walmarts of fishing (Outdoor World — where you can buy a boat, a snazzy flannel to look the part, and loads… More >>
  • Best Place to Bird-Watch

    Wakodahatchee Wetlands

    Though it's more a stunning example of the avian diversity residing in our great state, Wakodahatchee also is proof that once in a great while, humans do get it right. What previously sat vacant as 50 acres of "unused utilities land" has been transformed into a manufactured wetlands where the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department naturally filters a few… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Shipwrecked

    Trapper Nelson's at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

    They really need to make a movie about Vincent Nostokovich, AKA Trapper Nelson. According to legend, he grew up trapping muskrats in New Jersey during the industrial revolution. He ran away from home to Mexico but was arrested by Federales for gunrunning. So he headed back East with ten cents to his name, grew that into a living wage by… More >>
  • Best Relic of a Bygone Era

    Fort Jefferson

    Before drone strikes and cyberattacks, long-range missiles and nuclear annihilation, wars were fought with cannonballs and other solid orbs of destruction. That mode of attack might help explain why more than 16 million bricks were used to build Fort Jefferson and it has still never been completed. Construction of the "Guardian of the Gulf of Mexico" began in 1846; officials… More >>
  • Best New Park

    Snook Islands Natural Area

    Once in a blue moon, our elected officials decide to restore a natural habitat instead of bulldozing it for development. In 2005, Palm Beach County created the Snook Islands by filling holes in the Lake Worth Lagoon with dredged sand imported from Peanut Island. Volunteers planted red mangroves on the barren landscape, and today the islands are full of scampering… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Det. Travis Mandell

    Despite being tasked specifically with dealing with the public, many spokespeople seem to pretty much hate dealing with pesky reporters. Unlike other public relations professionals who are either unbearable cranks or dissembling sugarcoaters, Mandell tells it like it is in reference to investigations and public records. He sometimes even — gasp — engages in friendly chit-chat. He's a straight shooter… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    David Garrard

    It's easy to see why David Garrard is the best Dolphin — he's been practicing way longer than everyone else. When Garrard played his first game for the Jaguars in 2002, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey was 13 — that's what we in the biz call "a big head start." He's thrown for 89 touchdowns in ten seasons, which means, if… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Giancarlo Stanton

    Even the Outfielder Formerly Known as Mike Stanton is getting in on the rebranding craze — though his dad calls him "Mike" and his mom calls him "Cruz," Stanton said during spring training that he was more comfortable going by his real first name, "Giancarlo." With 34 home runs last year and a .893 OPS, one can't help but agree… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Brian Campbell

    The Panthers picked up this 32-year-old Canadian last year, and it's paid off big time — in addition to four three-assist games, he had a four-assist game last October and now sits comfortably near the top in the league for feeding goals up to the offense. Plus, who can resist those glimmering white teeth?… More >>
  • Best Miami Heat Player

    Udonis Haslem

    Broadcasters love when Udonis Haslem comes off the bench because it gives them an excuse to use terms like "hustle," "heart," and "power player." The real upside of Haslem checking in is the chance of catching a glimpse of the tremendous, retina-scorching tattoo of Florida carved across the big man's back. Yes, he has an outline of the entire state… More >>
  • Best Jai Alai Player

    Aitzol "Olate" Larruskain, Number 42

    "OLLAAAAAAATTEEEEEEE!" That's what you should scream when you're sitting in the nearly deserted spectator area at Dania Jai Alai, watching players in brightly colored suits scoop up a goatskin ball and hurl it against the wall at breakneck speed. At least, that's what we screamed every time we saw this unassuming 38-year-old from Basque country — the birthplace of this… More >>
  • Best Place to Gamble

    Dania Jai-Alai

    If this place has fallen so far and is still so much fun, it must have been unbearably awesome in its heyday. Once you pick up the rules of the game (if you've ever played wall ball, you'll get it in no time), the jai-alai palace will give you hours of (frustrating) enjoyment in a low-pressure environment with cheap beers,… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Airplanes

    Ron Gardner Aircraft Observation Area

    There are a few options for planespotting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: You can sit on benches at the top level of the Hibiscus Garage or sit on the grass berms in the 30-acre park south of the tarmac. But for true aviation geekery, you can't beat this parking lot by the western end of the north runway. Airplane buffs… More >>
  • Best Place to Dispose of a Body

    Big Cypress National Preserve

    Depressed because everything buried in South Florida eventually rises? Just venture west on Alligator Alley and soon enough, getting rid of your dirty laundry becomes a numbers game. Big Cypress National Preserve contains 729,000 acres, few visitors willing to get off their off-road vehicles, only a handful of access points, and many lightly trampled trails, perfect for throwing law enforcement… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Horseracing at Gulfstream Park

    Not so long ago, Gulfstream Park was a desolate place, inhabited only by grandpas and other Sansabelt-wearing creatures. It came alive only when crowds filled the rickety bleachers for the occasional Blondie reunion show or Tiffany concert. So we had our doubts in 2006 when it underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. Who goes to horseraces anymore? we questioned. Fast-forward and, well,… More >>
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