Info: Cruises depart from the Marina Del Mar; park at Holiday Inn, 99701 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo; five cruises daily; $49. 305-451-8080, http://africanqueenflkeys.com/.
• Sip a mango, get a buzz
You’re at Schnebly’s Winery in Redland on a warm Sunday afternoon. There’s a crowd around the wine-tasting bar, people drinking beer under a tiki and a fellow singing and playing guitar out back. There’s a happy buzz to the conversation.
The bartender asks what kind of wine you want to taste. You see a woman sipping and smiling, so you point at her and say “I’ll have whatever she’s having.” He pours. You take a sip. It tastes like … mangoes?
What did you expect? We’re in South Florida. Plants that blossom in 48 or 49 other states don’t do well here, whether you’re talking about apples, tulips, or chardonnay grapes. Instead, fruits that grow in few other places flourish here. Peter and Denisse Schnebly turn fruit — mango, avocado, guava, coconut, passion fruit, carambola, lychee — that doesn’t look good enough to sell through their tropical fruit business into wine. There’s sparkling wine, too — and even beer brewed from tropical fruit — but no wine made from grapes.
Beer and wine tastings are held daily. There’s a coral-rock waterfall out back — you can hold a tropical wedding here! — along with tables, stools and tiki huts. There’s often live music.
All that said, tropical fruit wine still takes some getting used to. So here’s our advice: Just because wine has that nice pale straw color that looks like chardonnay, don’t assume it’s going to taste like chardonnay. In fact, it won’t taste anything like chardonnay. Think of a glass of something cool and slightly sweet for a warm afternoon on the back patio. Or maybe for dessert.
We recommend the wine-tasting ($9.95 for either table wines or sparkling and dessert wines, $5 if you bring your glass from a previous Schnebly’s outing), but save your money on the tour ($7).
Info: Schnebly’s, 30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead; 888-717-WINE or 305-242-1224; www.schneblywinery.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday (cover charge for evening events); noon-5 p.m Sunday.
• Tour South Beach by bicycle
What catches your attention about the DecoBike program in South Beach is not the retro style bicycles or the bike docks, which have claimed much of the scarce and coveted street parking. DecoBike is conspicuous because of the riders — often lovely model types with inappropriate footwear (platform wedges, high heels, bare feet). Since South Beach is deceptively spread out, renting a DecoBike can get you to your next destination in a manner of minutes, all the while maintaining your tropical chic look (including your own very inappropriate footwear).
First, download the DecoBike smart phone app (Spotcycle) for a map of every DecoBike dock from South Pointe Park north to 94th Street and Harding in Bay Harbor Island, as well as the number of bikes available at each dock. Plan your route around the bike stations so you can lock in your bike when you aren’t using it. If it gets stolen on your watch, you will be charged.