What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “spring break?” You guessed it. MTV’s sea of beautiful bodies grinding up against each other in a tropical paradise for the fun-loving and rich college student.
But what happens to the rest of us starving college students who eat $3-grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch every single day just because it’s the cheapest thing at the Rat? Lucky for us, we live in the sun and fun capital of the world, where it’s spring break every day. Besides the beach, there are a lot of fun, inexpensive things to do in Miami. Here are a few ideas:
Remember back in the day before your friends got cars and your bike became a garage ornament? Bike riding can be an adventure and a great way to relieve stress in the week off from school.
There are a bunch of places to go bike riding in Miami. One of the best is Everglades National Park’s Shark Valley, on Tamiami Trail about 35 miles into the Glades. What makes this park special are the looping bike trails that are shared by dozens of alligators, which are known to spread themselves out on the asphalt trails and pretend they are speed bumps.
Not to worry, the gators are not interested in bikers, though park visitors are warned to stay about 15 feet away. It takes about two hours to complete this bike path, and a day’s admission costs $8. Bike rentals are available. For more information, call (305) 221-8455.
If you’re in the mood for exercise and need to cool off, kayaking would definitely be the way to go. One of the best places to go kayaking would probably be in Oleta River State Recreational Area in North Miami. There, you can rent a kayak for $8 an hour and paddle through mangrove creeks to surrounding uninhabited islands for bird watching, picnics or…you know…
It costs $4 per vehicle to get into the park, which is located at 3400 N.E. 163rd St. For more information call (305) 934-7516.
If it gets really hot this spring break, Venetian Pool would be the first place to go to cool down. Formed from a coral rock quarry in 1923, this 820,000-gallon pool is filled daily with cool spring water, which cascades in its two waterfalls. Characteristic of the pool is also its underwater coral caves and beautiful Venetian-style architecture.
Also very characteristic of the pool is its freezing cold water. But if you get too cold, you can always warm up on the poolside sandy beach area, perfect for tanning. Admission into the park costs $5.50, and it is located on 2701 DeSoto Blvd., near the Biltmore Hotel.
The Youth Fair
It’s that special time of the year again, when you find yourself singing along to that corny commercial jingle “The fair…be there.” Complete with a flea market, expo area, and petting zoos you can smell from a mile away, the Miami-Dade County Fair will be in town from March 14 through the 31st.
Trademark to the fair are its rides, namely the Double Looper, which you can’t leave without riding. Gates are open weekdays from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Friday, March 28 from noon to 11 p.m. General admission is $7, and the best bet if you want to ride as many rides as possible would be to buy the P*O*P (pay one price) ticket for $15 to ride all day. The P*O*P tickets are only good for Monday through Friday. The fair will set up at Coral Way and Southwest 107 Avenue.