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Southeast Florida Road Trips

June 12, 2014

Here’s a list of awesome trips:


1. Crane Point Hammock • (305) 743-9100
Mile Marker 50.5 Bayside, 5550 Overseas Hwy. (U.S. 1), Marathon 33052

If you are visiting the Florida keys you must stop off at Crane Hammock to enjoy the beautiful nature trails. Native plants and animals, the Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum, the Town Historic Site and the Marathon Wild Bird Center occupy this 63-acre site which is a joy to visit.


2. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park • (305) 451-1202
Mile Marker 102.5, Overseas Hwy. (U.S. 1), Key Largo 33037

Noteworthy as the nation’s first undersea park, Pennekamp encompasses coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps which protect and preserve the only living coral reef in the continental United States.


3. Key West Shipwreck Historeum Museum • (305) 292-8900
1 Whitehead St., Key West 33040

Discover how the boisterous sea town of Key West became the richest city in the U.S. The history is told through live performance, film, actual artifacts and laser technology.


4. Key West Sunset Celebration • (305) 292-7700
Mallory Square, Key West 33040

Street performers, arts and craft vendors, psychics and Conchs gather nightly for this ceremonial celebration of sunsets. The crowds begin gathering about two hours before the descent so get there early!


5. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum • (305) 294-1136
907 Whitehead St., Key West 33040

Visit one of the famed homes of the noted writer who shared this residence with a number of six-toed cats. Made of native rock, the Spanish Colonial-style house boasts Key West’s first swimming pool.


6. Cayo Costa State Park • (941) 964-0375
South of Boca Grande 33921

Shell, chill, boat or float at this pristine stretch of beachfront. The only access to this island that attracts flocks of migrating birds is by private boat, or passenger ferry. Check at the park for more details.


7. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens • (561) 495-0233
4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach 33446

Japanese culture is celebrated through exhibits, tea ceremonies held in a Seishin tea house and traditional festivities. Among the 5,000 objects are artifacts, including a 500-piece collection of items used in a tea ceremony. Extensive gardens include a tropical bonai collection, lakes teeming with koi, trails, forests and picturesque picnic spots.


8. Worth Avenue/Worth Avenue Association • (561) 659-6909
Palm Beach 33480

This ritzy retail stretch is to Palm Beach what Rodeo Drive is to Beverly Hills. Named for a colonial in the Seminole Wars, the only battles waged here are by shoppers fighting to control too many shopping bags. Play the name game – Christian Dior, Cartier, Chanel – there are more than 200 stores to explore.


9. Flagler Museum • (561) 655-2833
One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach 33480

Whitehall, a 55-room Beaux-Arts style mansion overlooking Lake Worth, was a wedding present from Florida railroad tycoon Henry Flagler to his third wife. Built in 18 months, for a pricey $2.5 million, it is now a historic house museum.


10. Art Deco Welcome Center • (305) 531-3484
1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach 33119

Explore this fascinating Open Air Museum of 20th Century Architecture created by Miami’s own blend of Art Deco, Mediterranean, Revival and MiMi (Miami Modern) design. Various 90-minute tours available for individuals and groups.


11. Coral Castle • (305) 248-6345
28655 South Dixie Highway, Miami 33033

Carving this castle out of coral took 1,100 tons of coral rock and 28 years. This testimony to a lost love remarkably was built entirely by hand by a slightly built man, Mr.Edward Leedskalnin.


12. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens • (305) 250-9133
3151 South Miami Ave., Miami 33129

This ornate, Italian Renaissance-style villa and formal gardens built in 1916 by industrialist James Deering exemplifies the winter retreat lifestyle of the rich and famous. The 34-room estate and lush gardens took more than two years, $15 million and 1,000 laborers to complete.


13. Little Havana, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau • (800) 933-8448 or (305) 539-3000
Southwest 8th Street (Calle Ocho), Miami 33130

Cubans who fled their homeland in 1960 turned this area into a vibrant neighborhood with a distinct Latin beat. Now home to the largest ethnic group in Miami, this area is filled with colorful character and history. Restaurants serve up the flavors of Latin America. Sip a steamy café con leche or pick out a hand rolled cigar.


14. Fisherman’s Village • (800) 639-0020 or (941) 639-8721
1200 W. Retta Esplanade #57A, Punta Gorda 33950

Rent boats, bikes, jet skis, or learn to sail at this mixed-use development that combines a marina and waterfront mall with a resort club. The village is on a prime waterfront location. It is also home to the Military Heritage and Aviation Museum.


15. Palm Beach Water Taxi • (800) 446-4577 or (561) 683-8294
98 Lake Dr., Palm Beach Shores 33404

The view from these transports is simply spectacular. Sit back as you enjoy narrated sightseeing and sunsets. Enjoy pristine views of the mansions of the very rich and famous.


16. Everglades National Park • (305) 242-7700
40001 S.R. 9336, Homestead 33034

This is Florida at its wildest, the only subtropical preserve in North America. Birders watch overhead and in the water for all sorts of exotic species, especially waders like the roseate spoonbill and the great blue heron. No other place (that we know of) can claim to have alligators and crocodiles existing side-by-side.

Copyright Joyce LaFray. All Rights Reserved.