South Florida itinerary?

Edited: September 1, 2023, 10:29 AM

Looking for advice.

Obviously, I've been covering Central Florida for years and lived there for a while, too. But I have not been to South Florida since I was a kid. I am thinking about making a trip to South Florida early next year and wanted to ask our Florida friends here on Theme Park Insider for some tips.

They don't have to be theme park/themed entertainment-style places, but if anything like that is worth experiencing, let me know.

Otherwise, what are your favorite places to see and things to do in South Florida? (Anything south of Sebring counts as South Florida, in my book, BTW.) What are you favorite places and things to eat there?

And finally, if you have any recommendations on nice places to stay that are not rip-offs, those would be appreciated, as well.

Thanks in advance.

Replies (4)

Edited: September 1, 2023, 1:39 PM

South Florida resident since 1988... currently in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. Not much in terms of theme parks here, we always drive to Orlando. Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami now has one of those giant observation wheels, there are also several companies running boat tours to see famous homes and the city from the water some slow moving and at least one big powerboat. Bayside is tourist central and draws a lot of cruise ship passengers and it's full of mostly chain restaurants but its's a nice way to pass a few hours. Vizcaya Museum And Gardens is also nice, especially outside of summer when it can be brutally hot there. It's where they shot parts of Bad Boys 2 and Iron Man 3 among other films. Not a lot to do in Broward, Fort Lauderdale has the beach and also the Las Olas Boulevard area with restaurants and shops and next to the riverwalk area, though that area has been re-developed and there isn't as much fun stuff to do there. The Seminole tribe has built a very impressive casino/hotel west of Fort Lauderdale shaped like a guitar. The guitar has a light show at night and inside you will feel like you are in Vegas and not western Broward county. If you want a more "authentic" experience head west and check out an airboat tour. They have them in Broward and Miami-Dade and you are all but guaranteed to see at least one gator.

Edited: September 1, 2023, 1:26 PM

Thanks! The airboat tour and museum and gardens catch my eye on that list.

I also forgot to ask about the Brightline train. I know it's not running all the way to Orlando yet, but if it were by early next year, does anyone think that would be a worthwhile way to get to the Miami area? My alternatives would be flying to MCO and taking the train or driving down the east coast, or flying directly to Miami. Either way, I would be taking a nonstop from LAX.

September 1, 2023, 1:42 PM

Brightline is supposed to be running the Orlando route by the middle of this month, but it keeps getting pushed back. Last I saw it's supposed to be mid-September. It's a solid option, my only reservation would be with where it stops. Stations are in Boca, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and the big transportation hub in downtown Miami. Depends on where you are staying but all the stations have plenty of access to Uber/Lyft. Glad to offer some suggestions, I've certainly gotten more than my fair share of advice and entertainment from this site over the years.

September 5, 2023, 4:53 PM

I second the Vizcaya Museum idea. Definitely the most memorable place we went too in Miami!

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