At Happy Cruises, all the sightseeing and sunbathing takes place on a 42' yacht dubbed Happy Ours. That includes sunset cruises through Biscayne Bay, dinner cruises in a lagoon, and eight-hour day cruises that give folks their fill of the sea and increase their chances of seeing Poseidon come up for air. If you need to step away from Mother Nature for a second, the vessel features an air-conditioned interior with two bathrooms and showers. Best of all, each trip is navigated by a USCG-licensed captain.
Since 1938, the keepers of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have cultivated more than 85 acres of floral displays with a mixture of science and art. The gardens are lush with plants valuable to scientists and educators, and the tropical landscapes designed by William Lyman Phillips are like ever-evolving canvases, blooming and fading as the seasons change. Most of the palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines were collected from the wild, but the grounds also harbor endangered plant species.
Guides give English and Spanish tram tours as well as walking tours through specific parts of the gardens, or visitors can explore the displays at their leisure, wandering through the 16,428-square foot two-level Tropical Plant Conservatory exhibit, which blooms with orchids, fruit trees, and rare palms. Cascading waterfalls punctuate the stream flowing through the 2-acre Richard H. Simons Rainforest, where visitors admire the diverse plant life and reflect on the worldwide threat of rapidly vanishing rainforests. The Wings of the Tropics exhibit features thousands of exotic butterflies with tropical fish and rare plant life. Butterflies are released twice daily and the Butterfly Metamorphosis Lab lets kids experience them up close. The water gardens combine tranquility pools with waterfalls, sculpture, and lily pads to evoke a sense of calm.
At South Miami Physical Therapy and Pilates, founder Michele Gust and her staff of instructors help clients combat pain and strive for healthy living with a program that combines Pilates and physical therapy. Michele Gust helps improve guests' bodies and minds with the expertise she has displayed as a physical therapist for professional basketball and tennis players, and the butlers who carry them around their mansions. Whether clients are recovering from an injury or simply getting into shape, the classes seek to strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility, and alleviate any pain lingering since Firefly was cancelled.
Founded as a sanctuary for flowers, birds, and their admirers, Pinecrest Gardens has flourished into a family-friendly retreat that entertains visitors with horticultural exhibits and artistic events in a scenic setting. Spanning 4.3 acres of forested wetland, the gardens harbor more than 1,000 rare and exotic plants, including a 100-year-old coco plum tree, orchids, and a banyan tree that spreads across three-fourths of an acre. Waterways full of fish snake through these plants, their inhabitants impatiently pursing their lips at visitors for handfuls of food.
Pinecrest Gardens offers other entertainment opportunities for youngsters, who can splash around in the water playground, spot wildlife at Swan Lake, or play with potbellied pigs at the petting zoo. In addition, the 500-seat outdoor Banyan Bowl offers concertgoers pristine acoustics and cool evening breezes along with complimentary views of the stars.
Captained by seasoned yogini Bertha Diaz, Firefly Hot Yoga caters to beginning, intermediate, and athletic cross-training students with heated and unheated classes. The studio's schedule delivers a variety of classes, including Power Vinyasa sessions, which beckon attendees with an elevated thermostat and a dynamic sequences of poses. The poses help students bolster stamina and concentration, and the heat detoxifies cells and leaves muscles as relaxed as a hammock in zero gravity. Eschewing the heated practice space entirely, Gentle Therapeutic yoga enlists slower-paced, restorative poses that soothe chronic pains, baby injured muscles, and buoy postures with such props as blankets, straps, and teddy bears stuffed with marshmallows. During private lessons, instructors tailor their teachings to each student's skill level, along with their fitness and relaxation goals, taking time to ensure proper postural alignment for maximum yogic benefit. Enlisting an arsenal of advanced stretching techniques, yoga props, and suspension apparatuses, private lessons imbue attendees with an understanding of form and control that can prepare students for their everyday yoga practice or bimonthly yoga duels.
Just Om Yoga Studio appreciates variety. The studio's classes include power yoga, hot Vinyasa flow, yoga basics, and therapeutic classes. The 30-minute afternoon chair yoga classes make for an ideal office break, and more adventurous students can opt for suspension classes, which see yogis suspended from fabric swings. Private sessions and workshops are also available.