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South Florida Vacationland (Pam Lucken)   Tags: south_florida, vacations  

This guide will highlight areas to visit in South Florida.
Last Updated: Aug 30, 2009 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About South Florida

South Florida is teeming with unique attractions and outdoor activities due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean and its proximity to the Florida Keys.  Visit this tropical paradise to explore all it has to offer.  


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Located in beautiful Coral Gables, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world, and walking along the many paths, visitors will see extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and tropical fruit trees.   This 83-acre garden is open 9:30 - 4:30 every day except on Christmas Day. 

Miami Metro Zoo Located in South Miami and operated by the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, the Miami Metro Zoo covers 740 total acres and has over 80 exhibits.  In addition to more than 1,000 animals, including 48 endangered species, the Zoo has more than 900 species of trees, palms, and other plants.  Open every day from 9:30 - 5:30.

Miami Seaquarium On a 38-acre tropical paradise with spectacular skyline views, the Miami Seaquarium® is a place to see dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, and endangered sea turtles and manatees.  The park offers eight different marine animal shows and daily presentations. It is open daily 9:30 - 6:00.


Water Activities

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Located about an hour south of Miami in Key Largo, this state park offers fishing, camping, swimming, and picknicking.  See beautiful coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary by taking one of its many tours - snorkeling, scuba diving, or on its glass-bottom boat.  The park is open daily.

Deering Estate at Cutler Located along the edge of Biscayne Bay, the 444-acre Deering Estate at Cutler is part of the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department.  Guided kayak and canoe trips to Chicken Key, a 7-acre mangrove island and restored bird rookery one-mile offshore in Biscayne Bay, are available.  For those who prefer land, hiking trails and historic homes tours also are available.  The estate is open daily (except Thanksgiving an Christmas) from 10:00 - 5:00.

Upcoming Events

Moonlight Canoe TourTake a guided canoe tour across Biscayne Bay under the light of the full moon Friday, Sept. 4. While accompanying you to Chicken Key, the guide will share some of the ecological facts of the Bay. This night-time adventure includes a camp fire and light snacks on the island.  More info...

Endangered Species Lecture - Join the Miami Seaquarium’s Veterinarian Department at 7:30 on October 8 to learn more about Miami Seaquarium’s role in the rescue and rehabilitation on manatees and sea turtles.  More info...


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