The word Miami is certainly evocative. Say it out loud and see how it feels. Immediately a tune of a certain rhythm plays in your mind, all tinged in sepia. Known as the ‘Capital of Latin America’, pack your dancing shoes if you love to get down. There’s an excitement in your stomach, too. Such Hispanic influences also lend themselves to an eclectic, delicious food culture, with everything from food trucks to fine dining lining the boulevard.
What else can you hear in the distance? Yep, that’s the roar of the crowd. Because the United States’ sixth most populated city is a mecca for sports of all kinds. Perhaps it’s the country’s capital for all things recreation. With that in mind, and with all bases covered, here are 5 IDEAL things for sports lovers to do in Miami.
TEE OFF IN STYLE
Golf in Florida has gotten a pretty bad rep of late. With a certain orange fella known for cheating on the fairways and his squalid Mar-a-Lago resort just an hours drive away, the sport is in danger of being rendered decidedly unglamorous in the state; a mean feat in such an incredibly cool place.
But look beyond that obvious handicap and there’s so much to love about teeing off in Miami. There are plenty of golf clubs to choose from, from the exclusive Doral Resort for the pros and high rollers, all the way to the more welcoming Crandon Course where anyone can play to putt. The biggest drawer? Most greens are close enough to the coast to boast an incredible backdrop of both shore and city to your every shot. There’s also the annual Cadillac Championship held every March. Altogether now; fore!
HIT THE HARD ROCK STADIUM
The city’s oldest sports franchise (that’s what they call ‘teams’ across the pond) are NFL side Miami Dolphins, and they strut their stuff in the ultra-modern, ultra-massive Hard Rock Stadium. If you know your blitz from your bomb, then catching a game here is a must; a huge spectacle which only the Americans could pull off. The Fins are one of the biggest draws in the division. In fact, they’re the only team to win the Super Bowl undefeated. Speaking of that illustrious event, the Hard Rock Stadium is set to host it next year, in February 2020. With home advantage surely making the Dolphins one of the NFL playoff favourites, Miami is set to be more sports mad than ever early next year. Time to plan a trip?
If you’d prefer to have your hands on the wheel rather than playing with balls, then Miami is also a petrolhead’s paradise. The final race of the NASCAR season takes place here, at the Homestead Miami Speedway, a 65000 capacity racing facility which hosts dozens of massive events throughout the year. If you’re after something more hands on still, driving in the city can get pretty hairy with Miami’s drivers consistently voted the worst in the country. Good luck!
Surely Miami’s most famous sporting export are basketball team Miami Heat. While actually catching a game courtside at the American Airlines Arena is pretty, prohibitively pricey, some tickets in the upper rows go for as little as $15. Though you won’t see as much, the sheer spectacle of such an occasion is worth it. There’s also the secondary sport within the stadium of celeb’ spotting, particularly prevalent here as the Heat attract huge names such as Justin Bieber, Rick Ross and David Beckham to the Arena. Surely worth the ticket price alone?
Not to be outdone or outswum are the city’s other piscine team the Miami Marlins, the city’s chief baseball side, who ply their trade at Marlins Park in the buzzing Little Havana district. Though the game may be slow and seemingly impenetrable for us Brits (cricket anyone?) it’s one hell of a day out whatever your colours or recreational preferences.
It’s a summer sport and accordingly, Miami will be hot, hot, hot, but the stadium has a retractable roof and hugely powerful air conditioning. Perhaps contribute to the Carbon Footprint organisation or plant some trees afterwards to render your attendance carbon neutral. With your conscious clear, get stuck into the snacks (ours is a footlong hotdog, crackerjack and a beer), singing and spectacle. Take me out to the ball game, indeed.