You were expecting us to say A1A, Las Olas Boulevard, or Clematis Street. But we're contrarians to the core, so we're going to impart a warm sense of confusion by naming this out-of-the-way residential through street as the finest little drive in our neck of the woods. Before you get all apoplectic, hop in the jalopy and check it out. This smooth, two-lane street is fronted by modest houses that don't all look alike, sporting big yards and wide lawns. Between the houses are empty lots (!), home to nothing more than lush stands of Australian pine. The whole place has a genteel, countrified feel to it. If memory serves, there's even a white fence or two demarcating horse pastures and empty fields. As if to remind you that this is South Florida, though, an ugly gated community sits at the end of the road, and a big piece of pastureland slated for rezoning threatens to make way for still more McMansions.
You were expecting us to say A1A, Las Olas Boulevard, or Clematis Street. But we're contrarians to the core, so we're going to impart a warm sense of confusion by naming this out-of-the-way residential through street as the finest little drive in our neck of the woods. Before you get all apoplectic, hop in the jalopy and check it out. This smooth, two-lane street is fronted by modest houses that don't all look alike, sporting big yards and wide lawns. Between the houses are empty lots (!), home to nothing more than lush stands of Australian pine. The whole place has a genteel, countrified feel to it. If memory serves, there's even a white fence or two demarcating horse pastures and empty fields. As if to remind you that this is South Florida, though, an ugly gated community sits at the end of the road, and a big piece of pastureland slated for rezoning threatens to make way for still more McMansions.
There's a reason you can get really cheap flights to Fort Lauderdale in, say, mid-August: The weather sizzles. It's not that the weather here is significantly worse during the summer months than it is in any other East Coast city south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it seems to go on forever. In South Florida summer runs from April to November, no matter what the calendar or weathermen want you to believe. To survive it you must have a place to seek refuge from the heat, and we know of no better hangout than the Broward County Library. Think of the attributes: It's free, it's air-conditioned, the bathrooms are clean, the bookshelves are stocked, and best of all, you paid for it with your own tax dollars, so there's no guilt factor. Nobody has the right to hurry you on your way. Dig out that latest Carl Hiaasen page-turner and search out a table in the far stacks, then sit down and chill. Kick off your shoes, wring out your socks, sleep -- whatever. This is your temple.
Broward County Main Library Theatre
There's a reason you can get really cheap flights to Fort Lauderdale in, say, mid-August: The weather sizzles. It's not that the weather here is significantly worse during the summer months than it is in any other East Coast city south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it seems to go on forever. In South Florida summer runs from April to November, no matter what the calendar or weathermen want you to believe. To survive it you must have a place to seek refuge from the heat, and we know of no better hangout than the Broward County Library. Think of the attributes: It's free, it's air-conditioned, the bathrooms are clean, the bookshelves are stocked, and best of all, you paid for it with your own tax dollars, so there's no guilt factor. Nobody has the right to hurry you on your way. Dig out that latest Carl Hiaasen page-turner and search out a table in the far stacks, then sit down and chill. Kick off your shoes, wring out your socks, sleep -- whatever. This is your temple.
It doesn't look like much, just a big square of vacant land with a few benches thrown around, but for your pet this park is like doggy Disneyland. Cooped up all day while their owners are making a living to keep them in Kibbles, the canines are turned loose at Poinciana Park. There is no snobbery, cliquishness or breedism among dogs here. Dobermans, beagles, and golden retrievers run together, fight playfully, and roll on their backs on the soft grass. The socialization is good for the dogs, say owners and trainers, and the pooches clearly appear to be enjoying the freedom to romp. But it's also a social experience for the owners, who stand around like parents watching their toddlers play, trading tips on dog collars ("Where'd you get that mood dog collar?" asked one owner), food, and discipline problems. One caveat: You have to watch where you're walking. Apparently few follow the park's scooping rule.

It doesn't look like much, just a big square of vacant land with a few benches thrown around, but for your pet this park is like doggy Disneyland. Cooped up all day while their owners are making a living to keep them in Kibbles, the canines are turned loose at Poinciana Park. There is no snobbery, cliquishness or breedism among dogs here. Dobermans, beagles, and golden retrievers run together, fight playfully, and roll on their backs on the soft grass. The socialization is good for the dogs, say owners and trainers, and the pooches clearly appear to be enjoying the freedom to romp. But it's also a social experience for the owners, who stand around like parents watching their toddlers play, trading tips on dog collars ("Where'd you get that mood dog collar?" asked one owner), food, and discipline problems. One caveat: You have to watch where you're walking. Apparently few follow the park's scooping rule.

Why wait till next season for the heavily attended Boca Raton Historical Society's annual house tour that'll cost you big bucks (that's because it's a fundraising event) when every Sunday at the non-security-gated Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, you can casually walk through at least four open houses. Call it a self-guided tour through lavish homes for sale. It's usually held from 1 to 4 p.m., is never crowded, and is always free. That's because real-estate agent David Roberts is hoping that you're in the market to buy, but certainly he must realize that he's providing a golden opportunity for Mr. and Ms. Just Curious, who want to see how the other half (make that 1 percent) lives. Well, maybe not so famous, but definitely rich. Many of these places are going for two or three million dollars or more. And of course the homeowners have all used interior designers, so this is a golden opportunity to pick up some decorating ideas -- furniture placement, floral arrangements, use of mirrors. Or just ogle. Imagine, a fireplace in the master bathroom! And 18 karat gold faucets. Go ahead; try them. Yup, cold and hot water come out -- just like in your bathroom. Don't worry, nobody's going to ask to see your assets. Still, it's a good idea to dress as if you have some.

Why wait till next season for the heavily attended Boca Raton Historical Society's annual house tour that'll cost you big bucks (that's because it's a fundraising event) when every Sunday at the non-security-gated Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, you can casually walk through at least four open houses. Call it a self-guided tour through lavish homes for sale. It's usually held from 1 to 4 p.m., is never crowded, and is always free. That's because real-estate agent David Roberts is hoping that you're in the market to buy, but certainly he must realize that he's providing a golden opportunity for Mr. and Ms. Just Curious, who want to see how the other half (make that 1 percent) lives. Well, maybe not so famous, but definitely rich. Many of these places are going for two or three million dollars or more. And of course the homeowners have all used interior designers, so this is a golden opportunity to pick up some decorating ideas -- furniture placement, floral arrangements, use of mirrors. Or just ogle. Imagine, a fireplace in the master bathroom! And 18 karat gold faucets. Go ahead; try them. Yup, cold and hot water come out -- just like in your bathroom. Don't worry, nobody's going to ask to see your assets. Still, it's a good idea to dress as if you have some.

It's here that the people of Broward County, and indeed all the world, can come to find out God's stance on all the hot political issues of the day. The good Rev. D. James Kennedy calls his white, towering church, "God's house," and that's where the Creator lets his political views be known. Gay rights? Not on your eternal life. Disney World, with its "Gay Days," has become a "Gomorrah with rides," according to God as told to Kennedy. God's having none of this abortion stuff, either. Just look at one of the church's Websites (www.reclaimamerica.org), where God has a hand in telling antiabortionists how to "control the debate" and "sell" their image, which needs to be changed from one of "intolerant, inflexible, unintelligent religious fanatics." Coral Ridge tells all those unintelligent religious fanatics, "We must become a NEW pro-life movement…, reasonable people with a credible position." While God has a big problem with abortion, Coral Ridge reminds us that there are few things the Big Guy likes better than a good execution of a sinner. Violence is OK, too, as long as it's against the young. ("He who spares the rod hates his son," Coral Ridge reminds us on that Website.) And finally, never, ever watch the act of human coitus. God knows pornography is a damnable thing -- even if He did invent it.
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
It's here that the people of Broward County, and indeed all the world, can come to find out God's stance on all the hot political issues of the day. The good Rev. D. James Kennedy calls his white, towering church, "God's house," and that's where the Creator lets his political views be known. Gay rights? Not on your eternal life. Disney World, with its "Gay Days," has become a "Gomorrah with rides," according to God as told to Kennedy. God's having none of this abortion stuff, either. Just look at one of the church's Websites (www.reclaimamerica.org), where God has a hand in telling antiabortionists how to "control the debate" and "sell" their image, which needs to be changed from one of "intolerant, inflexible, unintelligent religious fanatics." Coral Ridge tells all those unintelligent religious fanatics, "We must become a NEW pro-life movement…, reasonable people with a credible position." While God has a big problem with abortion, Coral Ridge reminds us that there are few things the Big Guy likes better than a good execution of a sinner. Violence is OK, too, as long as it's against the young. ("He who spares the rod hates his son," Coral Ridge reminds us on that Website.) And finally, never, ever watch the act of human coitus. God knows pornography is a damnable thing -- even if He did invent it.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of