Ian Witlen

Twenty-five years ago, no one thought records would outlast cassettes and CDs, except maybe the proprietors of Radio-Active Records. While much music is now streamed, people still like things, and this store has shiny new and fashionably used music on vinyl (as well as on cassette and CD). You can spend hours searching for buried treasures or, if in a rush, ask the friendly clerk to point you in the right direction for an aural treat. Special events like in-store concerts and pizza-party signings when your favorite musicians are in town to play a gig will make you glad this place stays in business.

Readers' Choice: Radio-Active Records

Everybody you know has the coffee table that took three hours to put together and the futon from the big box store. But shouldn't you love the furniture you live on? That's the pull of Adam's Interiors, which draws its merchandise from designers around the world, offering customers a chance to get those sweet finds that typically only overpriced decorators get access to. The store is an exclusive dealer for many lines of furniture, including the plush "Stressless" collection of chairs, and "Adam's Signature" line is unlike what you'll find anywhere else. You can even tie a room together with the perfect rug by designing a custom one on the retail store's website, which allows customers to select colors, material and size that match what you need. Now that you know this place exists, your living room is feeling a little dated, right?

When it comes to acquiring furniture second hand, you have only so many options. You can either scan Craigslist (judging a couch based on a thumbnail picture) or you can find a store that specializes in displaying gently used furniture that doesn't look like it was just plucked out of the nearest dumpster. American Thrift is the place that provides customers with the latter, more appealing of these options. The store has a vast selection of used furniture displayed in such a way that you imagine it in your home, not on the curb after someone moved last week. It's reminiscent of a reputable car dealership that has a huge stock of clean, inspected, approved-for-sale used cars — at a cost that will make you well aware as to why you decided not to buy new. At the Lauderhill location, expect to find friendly employees, like store manager Beatriz Bosio, who will happily help you select the piece that best fits your home, then help you get it there.

You've taken care of the hard part — you got the boat. Now, you need to find out Yacht's Next. (Ha, a little boat supply store humor for you there!) Yacht Next is the place to go if you need anything boat-related — especially if you are looking to pimp your boat out properly. It provides customers with stylish, seaworthy interiors, custom outfitting, and employees who know their Sunbrella from their Naugahyde fabrics. From linens to tablecloths to accessories, pretty much everything is of the highest quality. Don't skimp, skipper.

If you're looking to go out fishing but you have no idea where to begin, you should start by making a stop on Federal Highway at Aces Bait and Tackle shop; it has pretty much anything and everything you might need out on the water. For more than a decade, Aces has stocked lures, rods and reels, hooks, sinkers, and polarized sunglasses. Just off the Hillsboro Inlet, Aces is on your way to the water. It offers professional spooling services and expert fishermen who can answer any questions you might have, so it's the place to stop if you admittedly have no idea what you're doing. On the other hand, if you're an expert, it's like a candy store — a candy store that sells live bait, including pilchards, live shrimp, live crabs, and even live pinfish, that will get the attention of the fish you're looking to nab. Aces Bait and Tackle should be the first and only place you stop before you go out fishing.

When you're shopping, it's always nice to shun the big-box store and support the little guy... but when you're about to drop a grand on a single item, you want to make sure you've considered your options. Enter Surf World: the little guy with the big selection. The team that runs this family-owned business has been known to brag that it has "more paddleboards in stock than all the other paddle shops in South Florida combined" (not to mention a killer selection of sandals and skateboards). The place sells all types of SUP equipment, from inflatables that you can stash in your studio apartment to specialty models for racing, plus a selection of board shorts to wear in the ocean and the waterproof video camera with which to capture your radical exploits. It also does sales, rentals, and lessons ($50 for a group lesson, $80 for a private), so you can go from knowing nothing to knowing everything in no time.

Fitness. Focus. Fun. That's what you'll get at Studio 4 Martial Arts, which is focused more on helping people develop excellent character and self-esteem and less on getting all "hi-yah!" on a stack of bricks. (Stay long enough, though, and you'll learn cool tricks like that too.) The cool moms are opting out of soccer practice and instead bringing the tots here to the instructors, who instill respect, focus, and positive attitudes in kids — without costing their parents an arm and a leg. No contracts are required at Studio 4, so you're free to check it out with no strings attached.

No, tiger mom, Junior doesn't want piano lessons. He wants to record some beats for a killer hip-hop mixtape or tour the EDM circuit and make Avicii-level cash. The deals at Fort Lauderdale-based CMPS — $60-per-month mentoring, or $2,500 for a full music engineering and audio production course (check out the free trial first) — are pocket change compared to paying room and board at Full Sail. CMPS proprietor and super-nice guy Ed Unger explains that, more important than just learning how to use a specific piece of equipment or software, his students develop a deeper understanding of recording, mixing, and mastering that will stick with them even as technologies evolve. The full course is taught online over seven sessions. After an instructor helps students identify their goals and obstacles, they use their home computers to watch tutorials and record tracks. Instructors give homework, feedback, and troubleshooting advice. And because they also help students develop business plans, the course will come in handy even after Junior gives up his electronic dreams and opens that dermatology practice.

Hey, let's be honest here — you can buy condoms anywhere; there is no need for some special trip if you want the basics. But basically, if you're looking to do anything but the basics, Spice of Life is where you should be buying your condoms. Because while you're at it, you can pick up custom play gear or themed lingerie — whatever you're into, this place has it. The vast assortment of videos, lotions, potions, games, and books makes for a fun shopping experience that inevitably results in warming up the ol' credit card... but your partner will thank you.

Family-owned and -operated, Majestic Car Wash has been keeping Fort Lauderdale's whips nice and shiny for more than 20 years. They've been detailing cars since before GPS was a thing, back when the only talking car out there was KITT on Knight Rider. Majestic Car Wash offers everything from a basic exterior wash to a complete and total auto face-lift, and it does it all with speed and precision. Plus, it's right next door to Best Buy, so you can shop around for computers and stuff while you wait for the patient professionals to fish the fossilized French fries out from between your seats.

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