Hot Hap­pen­ings on the Coast

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY KARA FRANKER

With idyl­lic coastal beaches and sprawl­ing na­ture pre­serves, plus loads of en­ter­tain­ment and shop­ping op­por­tu­ni­ties, South­east Florida is packed with tons of fun things to do for ev­ery style of trav­eler.

ARTS AND CUL­TURE

Cul­tural and art in­sti­tu­tions dot the coast of South­east Florida and brim with one-of-akind fea­tures, com­bin­ing eco beauty, rich his­tory and unique works of art.

Worth a visit ev­ery time you ex­plore Key West, the Ernest Hem­ing­way Home & Mu­seum, Harry S. Tru­man Lit­tle White House and Audubon House & Trop­i­cal Gar­dens are cul­tural main­stays. Tour the Key West Art & His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s new per­ma­nent ex­hibit at Fort East Martello Mu­seum to view more than 100 sculp­tures cre­ated by the late Key Largo folk artist, Stan­ley Pa­pio, whose works are ac­claimed for their in­ven­tive­ness and hu­mor. In Is­lam­orada, the Third Thurs­day Art­walk fea­tures artists, ven­dors and en­ter­tain­ment.

As the home of Art Basel Mi­ami Beach, the world’s most promi­nent an­nual art fair held in De­cem­ber, Mi­ami-Dade County boasts a va­ri­ety of op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional art. For highly ac­claimed per­form­ing arts and Broad­way-style shows, head to the Adri­enne Ar­sht Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts. Stroll down the street-art­clad av­enues in the Wyn­wood Arts Dis­trict, home to an abun­dant col­lec­tion of lo­cal gal­leries as well as Tony Gold­man’s pop­u­lar Wyn­wood Walls. In down­town Mi­ami, waterfront Mu­seum Park boasts the Pérez Art Mu­seum Mi­ami, a highly re­garded in­sti­tu­tion of­fer­ing a taste of mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture and in­tel­lec­tu­ally stim­u­lat­ing ex­hibits. There’s also the Bass Mu­seum of Art in Mi­ami Beach sched­uled to open in spring 2017. For a dif­fer­ent, but mem­o­rable, ex­pe­ri­ence, visit the Holo­caust Memo­rial in Mi­ami Beach or the Holo­caust Doc­u­men­ta­tion & Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter in Da­nia Beach.

Fort Laud­erdale has plenty of mu­se­ums, gal­leries and per­form­ing arts in­sti­tu­tions to visit. Lo­cated on bustling Las Olas Boule­vard, where shop­ping and din­ing abound, the NSU Art Mu­seum of Fort Laud­erdale is the per­fect place to view more than 7,000 works by artists like Pablo Pi­casso, Ge­orge Bel­lows and Diego Rivera. Chil­dren and adults alike love the Young At Art Mu­seum in Davie. The LEED-cer­ti­fied 55,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity in­spires, ed­u­cates and en­ter­tains all ages with in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits, as well as fun art classes and camps.

The Cul­tural Coun­cil of Palm Beach County pro­motes a wide range of theatre, dance, art, mu­sic and his­tory in what’s known as Florida’s Cul­tural Cap­i­tal. Lo­cated in the pop­u­lar Mizner Park, the Boca Ra­ton Mu­seum of Art houses an ar­ray of con­tem­po­rary and mod­ern art col­lec­tions. For a unique taste of Ja­panese arts with the pic­ture-per­fect Florida back­drop, visit the Morikami Mu­seum and Ja­panese Gar­dens in Del­ray Beach. An­other trop­i­cal gar­den you should add to your list is the breath­tak­ing Ann Nor­ton Sculp­ture Gar­den.

The Nor­ton Mu­seum of Art in West Palm Beach re­mains one of the most renowned art mu­se­ums in Florida, fea­tur­ing highly ac­claimed ex­hi­bi­tions, lec­tures and tours. And, dat­ing back to 1902, White­hall, Henry Fla­gler’s Gilded Age es­tate in Palm Beach, is a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark and open to the pub­lic as the Fla­gler Mu­seum, fea­tur­ing guided tours, chang­ing ex­hibits and spe­cial pro­grams. For en­ter­tain­ing shows from el­e­gant bal­lets to Broad­way mu­si­cals, visit the Kravis Cen­ter for Per­form­ing Arts in West Palm Beach.

For some­thing more in­ti­mate, but just as im­pres­sive, look up the play­bill for the Maltz Jupiter Theater in Jupiter.

AT­TRAC­TIONS

South­east Florida of­fers an abun­dance of fam­ily-friendly at­trac­tions, many show­cas­ing the Sun­shine State’s unique ecosys­tem and wildlife.

In the Florida Keys, the Mel Fisher Mar­itime Mu­seum in Key West dis­plays gold, sil­ver and trea­sures re­cov­ered from sunken wrecks, while the Dol­phin Re­search Cen­ter and Tur­tle Hospi­tal in Marathon in­vite the whole fam­ily to get up close and per­sonal with sea life. Florida Keys Aquar­ium En­coun­ters, a con­ser­va­tion cen­ter also lo­cated on Marathon, con­ducts guided park tours as well as tar­pon and shark feed­ings. At the Florida Keys His­tory & Dis­cov­ery Cen­ter on Is­lam­orada, en­joy an in­ter­ac­tive his­tor­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence through a new per­ma­nent model of In­dian Key, once the Florida Keys’ sec­ond largest com­mu­nity out­side of Key West only ac­ces­si­ble by pri­vate boat or kayak.

The Florida Ever­glades is where nat­u­ral­ists and ad­ven­tur­ers can spot al­li­ga­tors on air­boat tours and learn about the Mic­co­su­kee Tribe’s unique way of life at the Mic­co­su­kee In­dian Vil­lage.

For more ex­cit­ing an­i­mal en­coun­ters, visit Zoo Mi­ami just north of Home­stead, Mon­key Jungle south of the zoo, Jungle Is­land in down­town Mi­ami and the Mi­ami Seaquar­ium in Key Bis­cayne. At the Seaquar­ium, visi­tors en­joy the brand new Pen­guin Isle, a new habi­tat for African pen­guins, which can be viewed above and be­low water in a sprawl­ing 9,000-gal­lon pool. Boast­ing an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of rare plants and flow­ers, as well as a sprawl­ing trop­i­cal oa­sis, Fairchild Trop­i­cal Botanic Gar­den hosts spe­cial events like the In­ter­na­tional Mango Fes­ti­val and In­ter­na­tional Orchid Fes­ti­val.

Head to Art­sPark at Young Cir­cle in down­town Hol­ly­wood to en­joy a 10-acre in­ter­ac­tive park com­plete with a chil­dren’s play area. Flamingo Gar­dens & Wray Botan­i­cal Col­lec­tion of­fers 60 acres of di­verse na­tive plants and trees, a Bird of Prey Cen­ter with a free-flight aviary, and the chance to view al­li­ga­tors, flamin­gos, bob­cats and Florida pan­thers. For a mix of ecol­ogy, his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture, the Bon­net House Mu­seum & Gar­dens in Fort Laud­erdale is a 36-acre es­tate pre­serv­ing a piece of Old Florida charm. While in Fort Laud­erdale, hop on board the Jungle Queen for a sight­see­ing cruise. Then, check out more than 20,000 but­ter­flies from around the globe at But­ter­fly World in Co­conut Creek, the world’s largest but­ter­fly park.

Visit the Arthur R. Marshall Lox­a­hatchee Na­tional Wildlife Refuge in Boyn­ton Beach for guided marsh tours, bird walks, ca­noe trips and more. In Lox­a­hatchee be­come part of the herd at Lion Coun­try Sa­fari, a driv­ethrough ad­ven­ture where you can check out more than 900 an­i­mals in­clud­ing gi­raffes, lions, ze­bras and mon­keys. Nearby, the South Florida Sci­ence Cen­ter and Aquar­ium fea­tures more than 50 hands-on ed­u­ca­tional ex­hibits, a state-of-the-art plan­e­tar­ium, a new sci­ence lab­o­ra­tory for ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and an up­graded theater.

Pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to see en­dan­gered sea tur­tles and other ma­rine life up close, the Log­ger­head Marinelife Cen­ter in Juno Beach is a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter for in­jured sea tur­tles where visi­tors learn about Florida’s ma­rine life and the ecosys­tem. An on-site play­ground helps keep chil­dren en­ter­tained for hours, or fam­i­lies can hop across the street to pic­turesque Juno Beach.

BEACHES AND OUT­DOOR GEMS

A trip to Florida isn’t com­plete with­out some much-needed beach time. Spend the day surf­ing and snor­kel­ing in crys­tal-clear water at Bahia Honda State Park, lo­cated be­tween the his­toric Seven Mile Bridge and Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys. This stretch of sand has been listed many times among the best beaches in the USA.

Home to two sprawl­ing beach parks, Key Bis­cayne is per­fect for ocean­front fam­ily pic­nics. Visit ei­ther Cran­don Park Beach at the en­trance to the is­land, or Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park at the is­land’s end. At Bill Baggs, climb the steps of a his­toric light­house (c. 1825) or kayak along the water’s edge. Or fish on the sea­wall of Bis­cayne Bay where you can spot the rem­nants of Stiltsville, a col­lec­tion of his­toric struc­tures on stilts hov­er­ing over the water that dates back to the Pro­hi­bi­tion-era rum­run­ner days.

Of course, in Mi­ami, you’ll not want to miss the sparkling sands of South Beach. Fam­i­lies love the kid-friendly fa­cil­i­ties and mini splash and play area at South Pointe Park Beach, while those who want to be in the “scene” head to the beach along Ocean Drive. Far­ther north, the beach in Surfside is a fa­vorite among lo­cals be­cause of its laid­back vibe and ac­cess to a waterfront walk­ing path. Or check out Oleta River State Park Beach, ideal for kayak­ing and ca­noe­ing.

Fa­mous for its bustling beach­front dis­trict and an en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion in its own right, Hol­ly­wood Beach fea­tures a va­ri­ety of side­walk cafés, bou­tiques and ice­cream par­lors—so go for a dip and then cruise the Broad­walk. Spend the day boat­ing or ca­noe­ing at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park in Da­nia Beach, a pop­u­lar tur­tle nest­ing spot.

Draw­ing spring break crowds for years, Fort Laud­erdale Beach runs the length of North At­lantic Boule­vard and makes the per­fect beach day easy be­cause of its prox­im­ity to a va­ri­ety of restau­rants and amus­ing at­trac­tions. Seek­ing a quiet respite? En­joy seren­ity in the shaded pic­nic ar­eas at Hugh Tay­lor Birch State Park, which also fea­tures monthly man­grove habi­tat walks.

In Boca Ra­ton, the Dag­ger­wing Na­ture Cen­ter show­cases more than 8,000 acres of park­land to ex­plore.

Check out the panoramic views of the Jupiter In­let Light­house and Mu­seum from Jupiter Beach Park.

In Juno Beach, ven­ture out on a wildlife tur­tle walk then nav­i­gate through the rare coastal ham­mock and nat­u­ral dune sys­tems, part of Florida’s most pre­cious habi­tat.

EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

For hot days and sul­try nights, these neigh­bor­hoods and hot spots will keep you en­ter­tained around the clock, seven days a week.

Fans of fine beers, ales, rums and more can en­joy lo­cal li­ba­tions through­out the Keys. For the ul­ti­mate barhop­ping ad­ven­ture com­plete with plenty of lo­cal mu­sic, Du­val Street is party cen­tral in Key West. At the end of the stretch, Mal­lory Square is the per­fect place to sip on a trop­i­cal cock­tail and watch street per­form­ers dur­ing the nightly sun­set cel­e­bra­tion. Tour the Key West First Le­gal Rum Dis­tillery, lo­cated in a for­mer Co­caCola bot­tling plant and on the site of a for­mer pre-Pro­hi­bi­tion-era bar named Jack’s Saloon, and sam­ple free rum. Dis­cover Key West re­cently launched a new ad­ven­ture blending food, li­ba­tions, strolling and sail­ing. The “Tall & Crawl,” a pi­rate-themed land and sea tour, in­tro­duces visi­tors to the his­tory as well as the present-day beauty and charm of Key West. The tour fea­tures a va­ri­ety of food and rum tast­ings on land as well as re­fresh­ments served on board an 80-foot pi­rate ship replica, the square-rigged Jolly II Rover. Pas­sen­gers can help raise the ves­sel’s red sails, par­tic­i­pate in a “fir­ing” of the can­nons, and view Key West’s His­toric Sea­port, Sun­set Key, Christ­mas Tree Is­land and Fort Zachary Tay­lor His­toric State Park.

Mi­ami has so many pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment dis­tricts you could spend weeks here and still not hit ev­ery hot spot. Two of the most fa­mous ar­eas are Ocean Drive and Lin­coln Road on South Beach. Home of the Art Deco His­toric Dis­trict, renowned nightlife, lux­u­ri­ous ho­tels and tons of lo­cal eater­ies, both lo­ca­tions of­fer the ul­ti­mate South Beach ex­pe­ri­ence. Clubs like LIV at the Fon­tainebleau and Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach draw the hottest DJs and late-night rev­el­ers. Back on Mi­ami’s main­land, the Mary Brick­ell Vil­lage near down­town is a pop­u­lar spot for lo­cals to live, work and play, thanks to a bevy of sky­scraper res­i­dences, rooftop bars and posh eater­ies. Both the Wyn­wood Arts Dis­trict and Mi­ami De­sign Dis­trict have been draw­ing the cul­tural elite to hob­nob over so­phis­ti­cated cock­tails, lux­u­ri­ous shop­ping and celebrity-helmed restau­rants. Join­ing other trendy neigh­bor­hoods, there’s a resur­gence of the MiMo Bis­cayne Boule­vard His­toric Dis­trict, where you’ll find hip re­stored ho­tels and bars from the 1950s. MiMo, short for a Mi­ami Mod­ern, de­scribes a de­sign aes­thetic unique to Mi­ami that was in­flu­enced by Amer­i­can fas­ci­na­tion with fu­tur­ism, jets and space ex­plo­ration. Lush and trop­i­cal Co­conut Grove is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a resur­gence with new restau­rants

and bou­tiques open­ing up on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. And in Lit­tle Ha­vana, stroll down Calle Ocho to sa­vor a taste of nos­tal­gic Cuban cul­ture where eater­ies serve authen­tic pastelitos and Cuban cof­fee that packs an im­pres­sive punch. Not to be over­looked, Ci­tyPlace Do­ral near the Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port is a re­cent de­vel­op­ment with new din­ing op­tions, shop­ping venues and res­i­dences.

If casino-style fun is what you’re af­ter, head west to­ward the Ever­glades and the Mic­co­su­kee Re­sort & Gam­ing, which fea­tures non-stop thrills like high-stakes poker, jack­pot games and a 1,000-plus-seat bingo hall. Catch year-round horse racing at the Vil­lage at Gulf­stream Park in Hal­lan­dale Beach, home of the Florida Derby. Check out the 800 Ve­gas-style slot ma­chines, poker ta­bles, open-air mall, in­ter­na­tional restau­rants, bowl­ing al­ley and art gal­leries. There’s even a chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment cen­ter called Cool Cor­ner, which keeps kids hop­ping. Also, in Hal­lan­dale Beach, the Mardi Gras Casino fea­tures slots, vir­tual ta­ble games, poker, live en­ter­tain­ment and din­ing venues. For more round-the-clock casino ac­tion and nightlife, head to the Semi­nole Hard Rock Ho­tel & Casino in Hol­ly­wood, where a 5,500-seat theater draws pop­u­lar mu­si­cians and comedy acts. Check out the Da­nia Beach Casino and Jai Alai. This more than 60-year-old site of Da­nia Jai Alai has re­ceived a com­plete US$60mil­lion ren­o­va­tion, in­clud­ing a full casino, slots, 21-ta­ble poker room, restau­rants and a con­cert area. Or chal­lenge Lady Luck at the nearby Isle Casino Pom­pano Park, fea­tur­ing 1,500 slots, poker ta­bles, six restau­rants, har­ness racing and en­ter­tain­ment.

For a unique gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, let the San Gwann, a 400-pas­sen­ger cruise ship, trans­port you from the Port of Mi­ami to Re­sorts World Bi­mini to en­joy non-stop ac­tion in a 10,000-square-foot casino fea­tur­ing pop­u­lar ta­ble games, slot ma­chines, a high-limit gam­ing salon, a Sports Book and a full in­door-out­door restau­rant.

In South­east Florida, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment col­lide on a va­ri­ety of pop­u­lar main drags. Stretch­ing more than two miles along the ocean, Hol­ly­wood’s Broad­walk fea­tures panoramic beach views, a va­ri­ety of out­door restau­rants and the new and very pop­u­lar Mar­gar­i­taville Beach Re­sort. Las Olas Boule­vard of­fers plenty of din­ing op­tions, plus many live en­ter­tain­ment and lo­cal mu­sic per­for­mances ev­ery week­end. Mizner Park in Boca Ra­ton is the place to go for shop­ping, din­ing and fun.

The City of West Palm Beach’s re­cently launched Arts & En­ter­tain­ment Dis­trict (A&E Dis­trict) unites a fast-grow­ing num­ber of its top cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions, as well as the area’s bur­geon­ing art scene. This cul­tural cor­ri­dor cov­ers a two-mile city ra­dius and in­cludes in­sti­tu­tions of fine art, the­atres and live mu­sic venues such as Palm Beach Dra­ma­works on Clema­tis Street, as well as the So­ci­ety of the Four Arts. This area also con­tains Ci­tyPlace, a pop­u­lar West Palm Beach des­ti­na­tion for shop­ping, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment, plus the trendy nightlife strip along Clema­tis Street. You won’t want to miss Clema­tis By Night, a free weekly con­cert se­ries on the West Palm Beach waterfront.

LGBT SCENE

Much of South Florida and the Florida Keys of­fer a lively LGBT com­mu­nity and cul­ture, es­pe­cially Key West, South Beach and Fort Laud­erdale. Venues range from sprawl­ing bars packed to the brim with crowds to in­ti­mate lounges fea­tur­ing so­phis­ti­cated cock­tails.

Key West is the place to party and there is no short­age of en­ter­tain­ing LGBT bars and clubs on Du­val Street. Head to La Te Da to mix and min­gle around the pi­ano bar, or catch one of the Sun­day Tea Dance par­ties and cabaret shows. Aqua Night­club, 801 Bour­bon Street and Bour­bon St. Pub of­fer fab­u­lous drag shows and peo­ple-watch­ing will keep you en­ter­tained un­til the early morn­ing hours. Mod­eled af­ter the ball drop in Times Square, ev­ery New Year’s Eve, Bour­bon St. Pub hosts a lively drag queen “drop” in a su­per-sized red high heel. Soak up the sun and book a sail­ing ad­ven­ture on Blu Q, the largest gay-owned and op­er­ated char­ter in Key West. Ev­ery sum­mer, mark your cal­en­dar for Key West Pride week, com­plete with a col­or­ful street pa­rade, pool par­ties, pageants, spe­cial events and live mu­sic per­for­mances.

Mi­ami has been a fa­vorite des­ti­na­tion for LGBT trav­el­ers for decades thanks to the Mi­ami-Dade Gay & Les­bian Cham­ber of Com­merce, LGBT Vis­i­tor Cen­ter and lo­cal dig­ni­taries. Ready for some beach time? Two large gay pride flags mark South Beach’s 12th Street Beach. This gay-friendly sec­tion of the beach flanks famed Ocean Drive and is lo­cated within walk­ing dis­tance to hot spots like the Palace Bar & Restau­rant, where the week­end drag shows draw vi­brant, fun-loving crowds. Also lo­cated on Mi­ami Beach, clubs Twist and Score fea­ture nu­mer­ous bars and gath­er­ing spots, per­fect for DJ-fu­eled dance par­ties. Mi­ami’s only gay ho­tel, Ho­tel Gayther­ing is a great place to sip col­or­ful cock­tails or hang out in the so­phis­ti­cated li­brary bar. Events such as Win­ter Party Fes­ti­val, White Party, Mi­ami Beach Gay Pride Pa­rade, Aqua Girl and Siz­zle Mi­ami draw crowds year-round. Mark your cal­en­dars for the World OutGames in 2017, an in­ter­na­tional sport­ing event or­ga­nized to help cham­pion LGBT hu­man rights around the world.

Fort Laud­erdale has at­tracted LGBT trav­el­ers for quite some time and be­came one of the first des­ti­na­tions to host the South­ern Com­fort Con­fer­ence, one of the largest trans­gen­der con­fer­ences in the coun­try. The Stonewall Na­tional Mu­seum & Archives show­cases ex­hi­bi­tions and pro­grams shed­ding light on sex­u­al­ity, gen­der and civil rights. The City of Wil­ton Manors boasts a large per­cent­age of in­di­vid­u­als iden­ti­fy­ing as gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual or trans­gen­der, and is home to a Pride Cen­ter, World AIDS Mu­seum and Ed­u­ca­tional Cen­ter and a branch of the Stonewall Li­brary & Archives, whose main fa­cil­ity is in neigh­bor­ing Fort Laud­erdale. The Wil­ton Drive shop­ping dis­trict boasts many restau­rants, lounges, night­clubs and bou­tiques geared to the LGBT com­mu­nity. Pop­u­lar bars in­clude Ge­orgie’s Al­ibi, Boom!, Bill’s Fill­ing Sta­tion, Dudes On The Beach, Scan­dals Saloon and The Manor.

ROAD TRIPS

Prob­a­bly the most iconic, con­vert­ible, windin-your-hair drive in South­east Florida is that along Route 1, a.k.a. the Over­seas High­way, from Mi­ami to Key West. But who says a road trip means you have to drive a car? Why not let some­one else do the driv­ing and hop aboard Bright­line, Florida’s new city-to-city pas­sen­ger train that uses nearly 200 miles of Henry Fla­gler’s ex­ist­ing Florida East Coast Rail­road?

Bright­line will de­but with four sta­tions in 2017: Mi­ami, Fort Laud­erdale, West Palm Beach and Or­lando. And since trains hit speeds of 125 miles per hour, you can ex­pect to reach your des­ti­na­tion faster than if you drove. Sta­tions are de­signed to con­nect with cur­rent pub­lic trans­porta­tion op­tions in each city, mak­ing it sim­ple to ex­plore those lo­ca­tions. Ex­pect rail­cars with plush seat­ing, on-board ameni­ties such as Wi-Fi, and com­pet­i­tive pric­ing com­pared to other travel op­tions.

Dubbed “Mi­amiCen­tral,” the Mi­ami sta­tion is lo­cated at NW 1st Av­enue, be­tween NW 3rd Street and NW 8th Street. From here, you can walk to Amer­i­canAir­lines Arena, Adri­enne Ar­sht Cen­ter, PortMi­ami and Bayfront Park. Take the train up to the Fort Laud­erdale sta­tion lo­cated at NW 2nd Av­enue, be­tween Broward Blvd. and NW 4thStreet and walk to the His­toric Dis­trict, Mu­seum of Sci­ence, River­walk A&E Dis­trict and the Broward Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts. From the West Palm Beach sta­tion sit­u­ated at Ever­nia Street, be­tween S. Rose­mary Av­enue and S. Quadrille Blvd., take a stroll to the Clema­tis Dis­trict, Ci­tyPlace and Cen­ten­nial Park.

With prom­ises of sav­ing 25 per­cent on travel time com­pared to ex­ist­ing trans­porta­tion op­tions, it’s no won­der trav­el­ers are look­ing for­ward to rid­ing the pas­sen­ger train in 2017.

SHOP­PING

Mi­ami is a shop­ping mecca and fea­tures tons of op­por­tu­ni­ties to shop ’till you drop. Open­ing in 2017, the new highly an­tic­i­pated Brick­ell City Cen­tre will be an­chored by Saks Fifth Av­enue and will fea­ture a va­ri­ety of luxury, pre­mium and con­tem­po­rary re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing Sephora, Hugo Boss, Tommy Ba­hama, lu­l­ule­mon, Ar­mani and oth­ers, and nu­mer­ous din­ing es­tab­lish­ments. Nearby, the su­per-luxe Mi­ami De­sign Dis­trict show­cases the crème de la crème of high-end fash­ion, in­clud­ing Burberry, Cartier, Chris­tian Louboutin, Dior, Gucci, Her­mès, Louis Vuit­ton, Prada and Ver­sace.

To the south in Wyn­wood Arts Dis­trict you'll find more art gal­leries, re­tail stores, an­tique shops and hip bars as well as one of the largest open-air street-art in­stal­la­tions in the world.

For a more tra­di­tional mall ex­pe­ri­ence in Mi­ami that’s equally packed with im­pres­sive brands and bou­tiques, Aven­tura Mall has it all. An­chor depart­ment stores in­clude Nord­strom and Bloom­ing­dale’s, while more than 300 luxury re­tail­ers such as Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Stu­art Weitz­man, Fendi, Givenchy and Porsche De­sign in­spire you to up­grade your en­tire closet. Take ad­van­tage of the MasterCard Vis­i­tor Cen­ter and valet ser­vice for VIP recog­ni­tion and ac­cess to spe­cial pro­mo­tions. Other Mi­ami malls you might want to add to your list in­clude Dade­land, The Falls, Shops at Mer­rick Park and Bal Har­bour Shops.

Con­sid­ered among the most fash­ion­able venues in the Sun­shine State, Fort Laud­erdale’s Gal­le­ria Mall fea­tures brand-name re­tail­ers from Ap­ple to Neiman Mar­cus, din­ing and a cur­rency ex­change kiosk.

And don't over­look Las Olas Boule­vard with all its trendy bou­tiques, gal­leries and restau­rants.

To score some im­pres­sive deals, head to Saw­grass Mills in Sun­rise, where you’ll find 350-plus stores and the largest out­let shop­ping des­ti­na­tion in the USA. An­other great spot for out­let shop­ping, Palm Beach Out­lets fea­tures more than 100 stores in­clud­ing brand fa­vorites Saks Fifth Av­enue OFF 5TH, Ann Tay­lor Fac­tory Store, Ba­nana Re­pub­lic Fac­tory Store, Brooks Broth­ers Fac­tory Store, Ken­neth Cole, Tommy Hil­figer and Vera Bradley.

Be sure to add Mizner Park Boca Ra­ton, an­chored by Lord and Tay­lor, to your bucket list of shop­ping malls. The Town Cen­ter at Boca Ra­ton is an­other high-end shop­ping des­ti­na­tion an­chored by Nord­strom, Neiman Mar­cus, Saks Fifth Av­enue and Bloom­ing­dale’s, while the Gar­dens Mall in Palm Beach Gar­dens is a spa­cious, 1.4mil­lion-square-foot shop­ping cen­ter with more than 150 world-class brand names. Del­ray Beach’s At­lantic Av­enue is lined with trendy bou­tiques and pop­u­lar restau­rants— it’s not un­com­mon to see all ages walk­ing along this main-street style neigh­bor­hood hot spot. While you’re there, check out the Del­ray Mar­ket­place.

Don’t over­look South­east Florida’s pop­u­lar flea mar­kets. The gi­gan­tic flea mar­ket at the Swap Shop in Fort Laud­erdale fea­tures 2,000 ven­dors sell­ing brand-name items at bar­gain prices. Florida shop­pers inthe-know also head to the Fes­ti­val Flea Mar­ket Mall, a ver­i­ta­ble shop­per’s par­adise in Pom­pano Beach.

SPAS

Be sure to sched­ule some time on your va­ca­tion to pam­per your­self as there is no short­age of serene spa lo­cales in South Florida. Many full-ser­vice ho­tels fea­ture an ar­ray of fa­cials, mas­sages and nail treat­ments, how­ever there are plenty of in­de­pen­dent day spas to soothe the senses.

As soon as you ar­rive at the Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port, visit Ex­hale Spa’s lo­ca­tion in­side the Amer­i­can Ex­press Centurion Lounge and en­joy ex­press chair mas­sages and man­i­cures. Or visit Ex­hale’s full spa lo­ca­tions at EPIC Mi­ami, Loews Mi­ami Beach Ho­tel and the Ritz-Carl­ton, Bal Har­bour. While the lat­ter three lo­ca­tions are sit­u­ated in­side ho­tels, they are owned and man­aged by the cor­po­rate brand based in New York and fea­ture barre and yoga classes, a mani-pedi bar, steam rooms, hot tubs and blow-dry bars.

In Mi­ami, Equinox has five lo­ca­tions of­fer­ing a com­bi­na­tion of fit­ness and spa ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing at the Shops at Mer­rick Park in Coral Gables, a stand-alone lo­ca­tion on South Beach, one at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Mi­ami, in­side Aven­tura Mall and a new lo­ca­tion open­ing at Brick­ell Heights.

In Fort Laud­erdale, visit the Red Door Salon & Spa at the Gal­le­ria Mall to en­joy a wide range of mas­sages, body treat­ments fa­cials, make-up ap­pli­ca­tion and hair ser­vices. For a more wal­let-friendly op­tion, Massage Envy of­fers sig­na­ture fa­cials and mas­sages in dozens of lo­ca­tions up and down the South­east Florida coast.

The Sea­gate Ho­tel & Spa in Del­ray Beach pulls out all the stops. Year-round pack­ages in­clude Girls Just Want to Have Wine, fea­tur­ing a one-night stay in deluxe ac­com­mo­da­tion and a Chardon­nay pedi­cure, a Mer­lot an­ti­ag­ing fa­cial, a Caber­net body pol­ish and a grape-seed re­newal body massage, as well as com­pli­men­tary wines and cheeses.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: The Big Red Shoe Drop, Key West. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: Gay Pride Pa­rade on Ocean Drive, Mi­ami Beach. ABOVE: The Florida Keys Over­seas High­way—the quin­tes­sen­tial road trip. BE­LOW: A Bright­line train.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: Ocean Drive nightlife in Mi­ami. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: The Mar­gar­i­taville Beach Ho­tel, Hol­ly­wood Beach.

ABOVE: Cape Florida Light­house, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

TOP: Feed­ing gi­raffes at Zoo Mi­ami. ABOVE LEFT: Air­boat tour in the Ever­glades. ABOVE RIGHT: Trainer with dol­phin and tourists at Theater of the Sea, Is­lam­orada.

LEFT: NSU Art Mu­seum of Fort Laud­erdale.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: Aven­tura Mall. OP­PO­SITE CEN­TER: Shops in West Palm Beach. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: Ren­der­ing of re­tail shops at Mi­ami’s new Brick­ell City Cen­tre open­ing in 2017. ABOVE: Massage at the Sea­gate Ho­tel and Spa in Del­ray Beach. LEFT: Re­lax­ing at a...

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