Miami Sports and Outdoor Activities
(Miami, Florida - FL, USA)
The sports scene in the city of Miami is quite simply huge. Stadiums, arenas and parks all offer the opportunity to watch spectator sports such as basketball, baseball, American football and tennis.
Especially notable and impressive is the Sun Life Stadium, which stands on Northwest 199th Street and was opened in 1987. The stadium boasts an overall capacity of up to 75,000 spectators (depending upon the sport), with its main tenants including the Miami Dolphins (a pro American football team) and the Miami Marlins (a pro baseball team). Many championships and tournaments have been staged at the Sun Life in recent years, such as the BCS National Championship Game, the Champs Sports Bowl, the Discover Orange Bowl, the Super Bowl and WrestleMania.
Located on Marlins Way, Marlins Park is a relatively new addition to the city's sports scene, being opened as recently as 2012 and home to the Major League Baseball team named the Miami Marlins. Other stadiums of note include the Orange Bowl (outdoor athletics), the university's Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park (baseball) and the American Airlines Arena (basketball), while Crandon Park is also of note for tennis fanatics. The world-famous tennis tournament named the Miami Masters is staged at Crandon Park each March and this huge sporting event now boasts prize money topping $4 million, drawing in excess of 300,000 spectators.
A number of the city's largest hotels come complete with their very own tennis courts, which may even include personal sports instructors. Local parks also offer their fare share of tennis courts, while Crandon Park (on the Crandon Boulevard) is particularly appealing, since it features a sizeable tennis centre, with approximately 30 individual courts and a 7,000-seater stadium.
Florida is famous throughout America for its plentiful golf courses and in fact, there are over 1,000 courses scattered around this state. Within the city itself, you can choose between a number of scenic links courses, such as the Miami Beach Golf Club and the La Gorce Country Club, both of which reside on Alton Road. Also very much of note is the Crandon Park Golf Course at Key Biscayne, which is reachable via the Rickenbacker Causeway / Crandon Boulevard and is amongst Florida's finest, with mangroves, saltwater lakes and many other attractive hazards.
The city has no less than three major American football teams playing in the national football league. These are the Miami Dolphins (Super Bowl champions), the Jackson Jaguars and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Colleges frequently boast their own teams and compete in various leagues, such as the Miami Orange Bowl, the Orlando Citrus Bowl and Jacksonville's Gator Bowl.
Those looking to catch an exciting game of basketball whilst visiting this part of Florida will find two main teams two choose between. Founded in the late 1980s, Miami Heat serves the city as a professional basketball team, being based at the American Airlines Arena (capacity of almost 20,000) on Biscayne Boulevard. Residing within the southwesterly suburb of Coral Gables, the university's Miami Hurricanes sports association comes with an accomplished basketball team, who play at the Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park (capacity of 5,000), within the university campus.
Baseball in Miami has a large following and is one of the city's most avidly watched spectator sports. The major baseball teams in Florida include the Tampa Bay Red Devils and the Florida Marlins. Of note, the baseball season runs from April to August.
For many locals, angling has become something of a way of life, or at least a serious pastime. For others, fishing offers the chance for a day out. Visitors may like to join one of the many chartered deep-sea boat trips and head out into the neighbouring Gulf Stream.
Angling equipment will always be provided and generally consists of strengthened rods and reels, which are used to land sizeable game fish such as barracuda, dorado, grouper, marlin, sailfish, tarpon, tuna and wahoo, amongst others. The Miami Keys are perfect for a variety of shallow-water and off-shore fishing, providing a different dimension to the hobby of angling.
Snorkeling and Diving
The established coral reefs of the Miami Keys are well worth exploring and even if you have no experience of scuba diving, as long as you are able to swim, this is something that will be within your grasp. Basic scuba diving courses will provide all the grounding necessary for your first dive, where you will be accompanied by instructors.
Various superb dive spots present themselves around nearby Key Largo, such as Elbow Reef and the Molasses Reef, as well as the Eagle Ray Alley and the Benwood Wreck, the latter of which resides within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Benwood ship was a Norwegian freighter and sank here in 1942, being colonised over the years by the likes of groupers, lobsters, moray eels and snappers.
Perhaps a little easier for novices is an afternoon of snorkeling, with masks and flippers being available for hire or purchase from an assortment of seaside outlets. Crandon Park on Key Biscayne is the perfect place to try your hand at snorkeling, being just over 10 miles / 16 km to the southeast of downtown Miami and easily reachable from the South Beach in under 15 minutes.
Boating and Sailing
The numerous waterways in and around Miami make this an excellent area of Florida for boating and sailing, and this is a particularly popular pastime for many residents. There are numerous marinas based around the city, most of which provide the opportunity to hire boats. Located on Alton Road and close to the MacArthur Causeway, the Miami Beach Marina boasts deep water, various waterfront eateries and berths for more than 400 vessels. Close by, both the Interstate I-20 and the I-95 make this marina easy to reach, although perhaps you are planning to sail here?!
Jogging and Running
Jogging in Miami is especially popular and many of the city's residents regularly choose to jog along the coastline and parts of the beaches, making full use of the countless miles of designated pathways and enjoying the picturesque scenery. Some famous celebrities often jog along the firm sands of Miami Beach or on its boardwalk (on Collins Avenue), so you may well bump into a film star or two if you are lucky. Further jogging trails can be found within the city's Kennedy Park (on the South Bayshore Drive), at Morningside Park (on Northeast 55th Terrace) and in the South Pointe Park (on Washington Avenue).