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Places to Visit in Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Southern Florida

Things to do / Travel Guide

Along the Atlantic (east) Coast of the South Florida region are the following areas, from north to south. The part of the South Florida region above the Miami area is known as the Gold Coast. There are a few principal areas of the Gold Coast, such as Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

Palm Beach, Florida

This long-enduring “playground for the rich” is an island fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Palm Beach is the home of “millionaire's row,” a series of oceanfront mansions off of Ocean Boulevard. The most famous landmark here is the opulent, oceanfront resort hotel, The Breakers. For very high-end shopping, take a stroll down Worth Ave.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This city is also known as the “Venice of America” for its many canals. In downtown Fort Lauderdale you can visit the enjoyable Museum of Discovery and Science or stroll along the beautiful and scenic Riverwalk. Across the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) off the Atlantic Ocean is the many-miles-long Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Hollywood, Florida

Florida that is, not the one in southern California. This Hollywood is home to the famous and beautiful Hollywood Beach, which features an expansive paved “broadwalk” along the beachfront.

Some of the most interesting things to see and do in the South Florida region are located in the greater Miami area, which is sometimes called the Miami-Dade or Metro-Dade area.

Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach has been fully revitalized and has even been called the “American Riviera.” A star attraction is the beach, which is many miles long facing the Atlantic Ocean. Other star attractions in the area include the Art Deco District in the South Beach (SoBe) neighborhood along famous Ocean Drive.

Downtown Miami, Florida

A large and thriving urban landscape with a prominent skyline, the downtown area is Miami's center of government and business, including a financial district along Brickell Ave. Just to the east of downtown is the Biscayne Bay area, where the impressive Port of Miami - the most active cruise ship port in the world - is located. Just to the west of downtown is the Little Havana section, a very vibrant Latin American commercial area.

Coconut Grove, Florida

Perhaps the next-trendiest area after SoBe, Coconut Grove has many interesting shops and restaurants. Some noteworthy attractions here are the Vizcaya estate, CocoWalk, and The Barnacle.

Coral Gables, Florida

Coral Gables is like the Beverly Hills of the East Coast. Here you can see many beautiful and luxurious buildings, such as the landmark Biltmore Hotel, and shop at upscale venues along the Miracle Mile.

The inland part of the south tip of Florida, between the Atlantic and Gulf (west) Coasts, is comprised of the Everglades.

Everglades, Florida

The large (over 1,000 square miles) swamp area that is the Everglades is home to many animal and plant species. You can visit Everglades National Park from the town of Flamingo.

Southwest Gulf Coast

On the Southwest Gulf Coast, Everglades City provides access to many areas in the Everglades. You can visit the quiet and colorful town of Naples, which features a nice pier as well as a beautiful 10-mile-long white sand beach. Fort Myers is full of classic homes and royal palm trees. A “must-see” attraction here is the Thomas Edison Winter Home. Just off of Fort Myers in the Gulf are Sanibel and Captiva Islands, famous for being among the best locations in the United States to collect seashells.

Off to the south of Dade County is a string of islands known as the Florida Keys. The Keys stretch out into the ocean for about 150 miles in a southwesterly direction, and feature the only living coral reef system in the continental U.S. The Florida Keys are among the few places in the continental U.S. where you can see the sun rise “out of the water” in the east and also see it sink “back into the water” in the west from the same place. The Keys are divided into three sections.

Upper Keys

The most northern and largest Key is Key Largo, where you can find John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. On the way south to the other Keys, you will find the Theater of the Sea.

Middle Keys

The Dolphin Research Center is located just north of the main Key here, Marathon. Connecting the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys is the famous Seven-Mile Bridge, the highway bridge that crosses seven miles of water.

Lower Keys

Key West is the main attraction in the Lower Keys. Also known as the “Conch Republic,” some of Key West's residents see themselves as separate from the rest of the United States. To the north sits Bahia Honda State Park, which contains one of the best beaches in the whole country. Among the famous attractions in Key West are Hemingway House, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and the Bahama Village neighborhood. About 70 miles beyond Key West, on an island out in the Gulf of Mexico, sits Dry Tortugas National Park.

Places to Visit in Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Boca Raton and Southern Florida

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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge - Sanibel Island, Florida
Seven-Mile Bridge - Florida Keys
Venetian Pool - Coral Gables, Florida
Sanibel and Captiva Islands