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Mike Off the Map … Shark Valley … Miami

Shark Valley …  Hike, Bike, Kayak Wild Miami …   (part 3 of a 4 part series)

By guest contributor, Michael Restivo …     MiamiRealEstateCafe.com blogsite:  MIAMI & MIAMI REAL ESTATE

A mere thirty minute drive from the Florida International University campus is the lush paved trail known as Shark Valley. Shark Valley is a 15 mile loop along the tip of the Everglades where alligators roam free along the waterways and nature is as up close and personal as ever.

The loop is accessible in three ways. By bicycle, by tram, or by foot. Any bicycle is welcomed and bike rentals run at $8.00 an hour.  Halfway up the loop is a watchtower that when climbed provides an awe inspiring vista across the vast swamps. At the edge of the watchtower are several hiking trails that go to the border of the wild everglades.

Animals are in abundance here. The seven mile ride to the watchtower runs parallel to a natural canal where gators are ever-present. The alligators are generally docile and there have been no reported attacks in the valley, yet, they are continuously crossing the road, and the bikes are generally whisking by a mere three feet or less from a ten foot animal.

Other than the gator, great blue herons, egrets, falcons, and storks line and nest in the trees.

One of the pleasures of Shark Valley is riding out in the early morning before the large crowds arrive and having an empty road while watching the daily movement of life in a part of South Florida that is so close and yet so removed from anything else.

If you missed the previous post Hike, Bike, Kayak Wild Miami by Mike Off the Map for our real estate blog MiamiRealEstateCafe.com,  you can link to it here.

Happy Travels,

Michael

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My Dog Was Arrested!

Well, sort of…

Sofia, back home after riding in the back of a police car!

We arrived home early evening a couple weeks ago and found that one of our three dogs was missing (and had no collar on at the time). After a failed attempt at searching the neighborhood on our own, it was dark out and we were distraught, thinking our Sofia would not be found that night.

Our final attempt of the evening was making a call to the Pinecrest Police (non-emergency line) and asking if they happened upon a lost dog that fit her description. We were in luck…an officer picked up a dog and it might be her. At the station, the officer escorted us to an area in the garage that held a few cages, and our dog!

Turns out Sofia made it a block and a half from the house before she got tired and plopped herself down in a neighbors front yard. This neighbor called the Pinecrest Police who took her in. We are thankful to the neighbor- and the police -for taking care of her.

Losing your pet is devastating and getting them back sometimes feels next to impossible. Aside from the usual “Lost Dog” signs or scouring the neighborhood in search of the pet, the Pinecrest Police have this system in place to help reunite lost pets with their owners. If you find a lost animal or want to report yours lost, they will do all they can to connect owners and animals with each other. Pets are held for 4-5 hours before Animal Services comes to take them to the shelters.

Hopefully your pet stays safe and sound at home, but if they do happen to escape, call the Pinecrest Police at 305-234-2100. They certainly helped bring Sofia home and we couldn’t be more thankful.

 

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How To Find Short-Term Rentals or Vacation Property in Miami Florida

Many of the home buyers we work with who are moving to Miami ask whether there are any short term rental options out there…. and if so, how to find them.  Short term rentals can be a good way to settle in to a new city … get a feel for the neighborhood.  They can serve as a stop-gap if you’ve chosen a home to buy, but have a somewhat delayed closing date…

We handle single family home and condo purchases/ as well as  annual leases…   but we really don’t handle short term rentals ourselves. 

That said, we can and do provide our  buyers with  (and wanted to do the same for those of our blog readers who might be interested as well)  access to a handful of options for short term rentals and vacation property resources in South Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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Doggie Day Camp in Miami … The Yellow Doggie Bus

I was driving by Pinecrest Gardens the other evening … and noticed a yellow  ‘school’  bus next to me, with really excited barking coming from inside.   

At the windows were  a dozen (or so) faces of dogs … all different kinds… all  happy, panting pups …  with waggy tails .  

The dogs were on their way home from a day a doggie day camp…     

The  bus pulled over and stopped at  the side of the road by Pinecrest Gardens, which was ‘pick-up point’ …   The driver  handed out treats to each of  her  ‘passengers’  and waited for the owners to drive up …    She chatted  with the pets and then the owners …  It was fun to watch.

We’re often asked for recommendations as to pet sitters, kennels, dog parks, veterinarians … So, here’s one more Miami secret to share …  “Doggie Day Care” ! 

www.TotallyDog.com    Doggie Day Care …  A yellow doggie bus  for dogs only …    Miami pets get the royal treatment!

If you or someone you know are moving to Miami with pets,  we would love to help you relocate here.  We specialize in Miami …  and we specialize in real estate here.  The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors.  Our direct line is 305 793-1365   …  and  you can always contact us here  and/or via email at [email protected]

 

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Local Junior Tennis Players Practice With Venus Williams

 Chase Perez-Blanco and Baker Newman recently had such an opportunity to practice with tennis superstar Venus Williams. They were asked to practice in West Palm Beach, where Venus lives and trains.

Both are part of the Junior Tennis Program at Royal Palm Tennis Club in Pinecrest. The program is run by former University of Miami tennis star Eric Hechtman, who has also practiced with Venus and her sister Serena. He’s also served as hitting partner for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

If you’re looking for a tennis club, Royal Palm has junior tennis and ladies leagues, and just opened a new clubhouse in January.

 

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Coral Gables Named “Playful City USA” … Again!

This is the third year that the City of Coral Gables has been named “Playful City USA” by KaBOOM! Coral Gables earned this honor because of it’s many efforts to increase play opportunities for local children. Venues like Salvadore Park, Biltmore Tennis Center, the Venetian Pool and the Youth Center are all part of the 30 or so other parks in the neighborhood.

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Food Trucks Coming to Pinecrest

The Food Truck Craze has hit the Village of Pinecrest. Beginning on September 24, the trucks will be in the parking lot of Pinecrest Gardens, one Saturday a month,  from 11 am – 3 pm. Parking is free and you may eat at the picnic tables provided outside the Gardens. You may also eat in the Gardens, but there is an entrance fee of $3 for adults and $2 for kids.

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Supermarkets in Miami …

Many of our buyers relocating  to Miami  are looking for neighborhoods within a 10-15 minute drive of a supermarket.  I realize that in many parts of the country it may well be a 45 minute drive to the market.  But it’s actually hard to find single family house that would put you farther away  than 15 minutes  from either a Publix, Winn Dixie, or Whole Foods….  in much of Miami … especially when you’re looking to buy in Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, South Miami, Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, or Brickell.   

We’ve literally got supermarket chains & specialty food stores everywhere.  And if you’re looking for BJ’s or Costco … you’ll find those as well … within about a half hour of most Miami  neighborhoods.

Some of the up and coming neighborhoods (like the area north of downtown … and north of the American Airlines Arena) offer less in the way of infrastructure  … but most of the municipalities and neighborhoods of Miami have everything you could want within a stone’s throw  … everything from markets to shopping to

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Top Advices for International Investors … Buying Miami

Whether you want investment property (a condo or a single family home)  to buy (and rent out as income producing property), or  whether you’re looking for vacation property for your own enjoyment,  there are several things to keep in mind … 

1) Pick a neighborhood that has the right amount of infrastructure for your needs (supermarkets, drycleaners, gas stations) ….  Some areas have good potential for the long term investor (depending on expectations) … and others already have an infrastructure in place: Read the rest of this entry »

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University of Miami Ranks Best College in the State of Florida

US News and World Report has issued it’s newest report on the top Colleges and Universities, ranking the University of Miami at number 38 in the nation. UM jumped from number 47 last year, maintaining the highest ranking in the State of Florida.

The University is the only school in the Top 50 list to have jumped 29 spots in 10 years and 9 spots in one year. Last year UM was in the top 50 and this year it has made the move to top 40!

The high ranking are due to things such as the high graduation rates, the SAT scores of incoming freshman, as well as the percentage of freshman that were inthe top 10% of their high school class.

The University of Miami continues to be a huge draw for relocations in the area, and the Restivo Team works closely with the UM Family. Contact us today – we can help you with all your real estate needs.

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