NBA-player-size windows overlook the palm-tree-lined street at SoFi Salon and Spa, where light bounces off the equally tall mirrors and dark hardwood floors. Exposed beams, yellow accents, and wicker baskets add decorative delight to the sunny salon, as do the welcoming smiles, hugs, or kisses on the cheek from the friendly staff. The experienced stylists beautify men's and women's hair with barbershop and salon services, plus they perform facials, spray tans, and waxes. Their Brazilian body polishes exfoliate the skin and transform dark body hair into something that’s lighter and blonder, like when Burt Reynolds transformed to play a golden retriever. The team also has hair products, perfumes, and OPI and Essie nail polishes available for purchase.
There's a whole other city off Miami's coast, lurking just beneath the Atlantic. Eels, stingrays, and tarpon swim across terrains as unpredictable as the sonnets formed by a pot of alphabet soup—terrains made of sunken yachts, oil platforms, army tanks, and even a 727 airliner. To date, Miami Beach holds more than 75 wrecks and manmade objects, many of which were sunk as part of an artificial reef program. Only two things stand between adventurers and these submerged wonders: equipment and training.
Enter South Beach Divers, a PADI five-star facility and equipment retailer that has certified more than 4,500 divers since 1995. Its aquatic alumni continues to grow thanks to versatile instructors who, combined, speak seven languages. These experts teach the full PADI curriculum, starting with Discover Scuba and Open Water Certification and working into specialized areas such as night diving, wreck diving, and rescue diving. Once students acquire the basics, South Beach Divers takes them on daily trips to Miami Beach and Key Largo's John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary, where more traditional, coral reefs lay.
Bike and Roll equips locals and tourists with eco-friendly transportation to explore the Magic City. Mounted on roving Segways and pointing out historical facts as they ride, guides swing tourists past such iconic locations as the Miami River, the eclectic Miami Beach Architectural District, and South Pointe Park at sunset. In addition to daily tours, Bike and Roll offers rentals of Trek bicycles for recreation or transportation and in-line skates for carving figure eights into the city's asphalt ice rinks.
The Floridian sun sparkles off rolling waves, reflecting dancing patterns of light onto the white-and-red hull of Aquaworld Miami’s excursion vessel, the Caribbean Spirit . The double-masted catamaran catches the gulf’s gusty winds in its twin sails to journey to a shallow sandbar for a day of watersports, offloading jet skis, banana boats, and a parasailing-equipped speed boat into the knee-deep water. On Atlantic Ocean excursions, the 78-foot vessel parks over a shallow water shipwreck for guests equipped with snorkels to explore. The rhythmic thump of the waves combines with Calypso music that constantly drifts from the boat’s speakers, offering the only method of sonar capable of identifying an undersea dance party.
Not content to make only customers happy, the staff of luxury yacht service The Advantaged have been lauded by a flurry of publications and honored for their contributions to the community by The Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners. Aside from chartering lushly appointed yachts, the pals of Poseidon also launch watersports expeditions via wakeboard or kayak, loft voyagers on air-and-sea excursions, and throw yacht parties for travelers who want a taste of luxury or barge parties for multimillionaires thirsting for the stowaway experience.
Captain Joe, a US Coast Guard master licensed captain, has been sailing for more than 35 years and wanted to share his love for running charters to the Bahamas with others. Within a matter of years after he created Captain Joe’s Boat Rentals, Tours and Charters, Inc., his fleet swelled to more than 12 vessels ranging from 14-foot fishing boats to 45-foot luxury yachts, not to be confused with humpbacked whales. In addition to helming charters to the Keys and Caribbean and island-hopping sightseeing tours, he offers boat rentals, with which patrons can hit the high seas on their own or take boating lessons.