The Other Miami: Key Biscayne

The joys of Miami are well known, but the Magic City isn’t all fake boobs and bottle service. Key Biscayne, a sleepy island connected to the city by a short causeway, is a world apart from South Beach, offering a taste of island life within a stone’s throw of downtown.

Soar: The shallow waters and robust winds on Crandon Beach make Key Biscayne a global hotspot for kiteboarding. Take a daylong lesson with the jovial Frenchman, Christophe Ribot, at Miami Kiteboarding, but bring your patience: It’ll take a few hours of instruction before you’re airborne.

Sleep: Once you set foot in the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, you may never leave. Sitting on 12 acres of lush oceanfront property, it’s home to two saltwater pools, 11 tennis courts and a 20,000 square foot spa – but its pristine beach is all you’ll really need.

Eat: Cioppino‘s chef, Ezio Gamba, balances his vices – he flies in ingredients like olive oil, cheese and seafood from Italy daily – with his virtues, relying heavily on local produce. The results – prosciutto-wrapped burrata mozzarella; house-made pappardelle; tender, flaky cod – are unimpeachable.

Drive: Crandon Golf Course is among Florida’s best public courses, but unlike its brethren, there are no cookie-cutter houses or infinity pools on this challenging, links-style course; only palm trees, saltwater lakes and, from the 18th hole, a killer view of downtown Miami.

Drink: You’re in good hands with Heriberto Oviedo, the tequilier at the Ritz’s Cantina Beach. He’ll help you navigate 80-plus varieties of tequila, which you’ll sip alongside outrageously fresh ceviche, and guacamole, made tableside.

Image courtesy of Miami Kiteboarding.

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