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Blessed with year-round mild climate and sparkling waters that lure boating enthusiasts, fishermen, divers and water sports aficionados, Miami offers action-oriented visitors from around the globe some of the world top golf, tennis and sporting facilities. Its sparkling beaches are beyond compare. As if it were not enough for a fabulous vacation, Miami also boasts an endless number of recreational and cultural activities to keep you entertained. In addition, it offers excellent shopping and nightlife activities, such as theater, opera and ballet, not to mention all the celebrity-saturated hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs that has added a great deal of fame to Miami. Rodeo Drive of Miami known as Bal Harbor Shops attracts avid shoppers who wouldn’t mind four-,five- and six-figure price tags.

A resort mecca of Miami, Miami Beach is home to hyper trendy South Beach. 10 miles of South Beach, often referred to as the American Riviera, are known for its shopping, dining, eclectic nightlife and celebrity sightings. Get a taste of Miami chic atmosphere at the new Four Seasons complex in South Beach featuring the brand new Sports Club/LA. Among the amenities here are over 30 different fitness and recreational options ranging from a 10,000 square-foot weight-training gym, three group exercise studios, a 100-piece cardiovascular center, and even a destination “cityspa” with all the massage and treatment varieties that can revive and reenergize you before or after a night on the town or any other of Miami day-time adventuring.

Located South of Miami Beach, off the shores of Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne is forested and secluded. This exclusive residential community with multi-million dollar homes and stunningly beautiful ocean views features outstanding public beaches, top resort hotels and high-end restaurants. Biscayne Bay off Rickenbacker Causeway is very popular among windsurfers, with winds usually blowing side-onshore, and the water staying fairly shallow, so even a beginner can easily walk his way back to shore if necessary. The premier spot for windsurfing, jet-skiing and sailboarding is Hobie Beach, right at the causeway. The drive down toward Key Biscayne is itself an experience that will allow you to enjoy a fantastic view of Miami skyline and the water surfaces dotted with sailboats of all kinds, jet skiers, or just people fishing from the boats.

Bill Bags State Park located on the Southern tip of the island also features great beaches, bike path and dense forests perfect for picnicking and partying. At Crandon Park on the Key you can take a guided tour and kayak out to various underwater preserves and wreck sites off the Key and snorkel off to explore the diverse marine life that is abundant in the dense sea grass beds, sand flats and wreckage. The marine residents you may run into here range from Spotted Leopard Rays to a Bottle-nosed Dolphins, soft corals, sponges, damsel fish to enormous Pufferfish, and Gray Angelfish. Equally exciting is taking a kayaking and snorkeling expedition to fossilized mangrove reef areas formed by petrified black mangroves over 1500 years ago, or to the artificial reefs that have been created offshore to preserve and enhance the marine eco-systems.

Even though Miami coast does not have the powerful waves and cross-currents to match those along the Pacific coast, there are still some respectable surfing conditions just North of Miami Beach, where the swells at Haulover Beach and South Pointe Beach are the largest and most popular. A little closer to the city, some windy days can see five to seven foot waves roll in off the beach between First and Third Streets in the South Beach area.

Miami waters also offer plentiful diving opportunities, mostly due to the profusion of man-made reefs, most of which are located just a few miles offshore, in less than 130 feet of water, providing great diving for all levels. More than thirty ships, tanks, concrete, limestone and other structures have been sunk over the past 20 years off Miami coast, as far South as Florida City and North to Sunny Isles Beach. All these sites are teeming with diverse marine residents. One of the most popular routes is the Wreck Trek, located off Miami Beach, just North of the Art Deco District, where the divers can explore the 85-foot tug Patricia, the 100-foot steel fishing vessel Miss Karline, and an old radio antenna welded into 19 pyramids.

If you love playing golf or tennis, you will find lots of public courses as well as public tennis courts. The state-of-the-art Crandon Tennis Center hosts the NASDAQ-100 Tennis Championships each March, while the rest of the year its immaculate courts are open to the public, along with innumerable other well-maintained tennis courts throughout Miami.

If you have never been to Cuba, there is no need to travel so far, you may just as well visit Little Havana, a small section of Miami, all full of Cuban coffee-shops, tailor and furniture stores and inexpensive restaurants. Here visit the quaint shops to find embroidered shirts, hand-rolled cigars and Latin music or explore gift shops offering unique items and Cuban memorabilia. Little Havana shares its varied Latin culture, boasting a unique collection of art galleries, studios and theaters. The last Friday each month there is a performance along cultural Calle Ocho with music, dance, poetry, visual arts and theater. The historic Tower Theater is alive with performances, cultural and educational programs and multicultural films while Teatro Ocho is home to Spanish-language theater.

Enjoy 38 acres of entertainment, great shows and exhibits at Miami Seaquarium (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149), home of Lolita, the Killer Whale and TV superstar Flipper. Laugh with the adventures of Salty the Sea Lion and thrill to the power and beauty of the Pacific-white sided dolphins performing with a Killer Whale. The new Dolphin Harbor facility allows visitors to slip into a wet suit for an up-close encounter with dolphins.

Visit Miami Metro Zoo. This 327-acre zoo showcases more than 1,200 animals in large open-air exhibits. The recently opened Amazon & Beyond 27-acre exhibit, Wings of Asia Aviary, Dr. Wilde's World, Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station and Humpy's Camel Rides deserve your special attention. Here you can also rent a Safari Cycle, ride the monorail or take a tram tour.

Have a look at Venetian Pool (2701 DeSoto Boulevard - Coral Gables), originally a rock quarry, situated in a residential area of Coral Gables. Used as a source of coral rock for construction during the early years of Coral Gables, the quarry was later turned into a public pool which resembles the lagoons of Venice. The pool is surrounded by several Spanish style buildings, a garden patio and a grotto. The grotto is carved from the coral rock of the quarry walls with waterfalls, a cave and a rock diving platform. Spanning one section of the pool is a Venetian style bridge leading to an artificial island with large palm trees. The terra cotta roof tiles, observation towers and loggias of the pool buildings continue a tradition of Mediterranean-inspired design found throughout Coral Gables.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33129) is famous for its fantastically decorated rooms filled with antiques ranging from the 15th through the early 19th centuries as well as for its ornamental ironwork, particularly the front gate, created by Samuel Yellin. Modeled after a lavish Italian Renaissance style palace, Vizcaya was built in 1916 as the winter residence of industrialist James Deering. The estate is located on the West shore of Biscayne Bay and is operated as a decorative arts museum by the Dade County Park and Recreation Department. The estate is also well known for its formal gardens inspired by Italian Renaissance palace gardens. Vizcaya features many gardens, including the walled Secret Garden, the large Formal Garden with elaborately clipped low hedges; the Theatre Garden, a small garden in the form of an Italian outdoor theatre; and the Fountain Garden, a large circular garden with a 16th century fountain at its center. Also noteworthy are the Casino, a loggia or open summer retreat at the southern end of the garden; the Mount, an artificial hill with man made shell lined grottoes in the front and back; a latticed Tea House on one end of the sea wall and a breakwater built in the shape of a large stone barge.