South Florida: The Sunshine State

They don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing. Temperatures in the south average in the mid 70’s Fahrenheit even during Winter. This makes the white sandy beaches, and coastline that embraces both the Atlantic and the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, a paradise for sun worshippers of all ages.

College students partying on their spring break and those enjoying their golden years flock to this region for its golden sands and balmy weather to enjoy the sunsets, the tropical climate and blue skies 24/7. No visit to South Florida would be complete without taking in the following:

Miami

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Ever since Don Johnson rolled up his jacket sleeves in the mid-80’s, Miami has been synonymous with glamour, nightlife and fast cars. Downtown Miami, Miami Beach and the neighbouring South Beach are home to a cosmopolitan and diverse population, as well as attracting thousands of visitors annually to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights.

The South Beach area of Miami is famous for its clubs and bars, and offers nightlife that ranges from Salsa clubs and drag acts, to Hip Hop for hipsters. For those more interested in daytime culture, Miami Beach has some of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in the US and hosts a multi-disciplinary art festival each December.

Palm Beach

Further up the coast from Miami is Palm Beach, famed for its quality of life. Originally built as a resort in the 19th century for the wealthy to “winter” in, it has become the most popular place for the affluent to retire in the US. Unsurprisingly, it is also home to a world class Golf Course.

With its tropical climate and situation on the Atlantic, sailing is a popular pastime although hurricanes and cyclones are a feature of the weather, particularly during the summer months. The Town Docks marina accommodates yachts of up to 260 feet in length and houses some spectacular vessels.

Fort Lauderdale

If you thought South Florida was simply all about sun, sea and sand then you’d be wrong. While it has these in abundance, it also has areas of historical and cultural significance. Fort Lauderdale in Broward County has a chequered settlement history that takes in native Americans, the Spanish, British and US Confederates.

Nestled between Miami and Palm Beach counties, it is a hugely popular port and tourist destination and a regular stop for many cruise ships. As a result, it has leisure facilities in abundance. For tourists, a limousine ride around the city at sunset is a great way to take in the sights.

Florida Keys

The final, and probably most glamorous, destination is the archipelago of coral reefs known as the Florida Keys. From Key Largo to Key West, these tiny islands have captured the imagination of visitors to South Florida for decades. With their Caribbean climate and protected flora, fauna and sea life, they are a major centre of ecotourism. What better way to end a visit to South Florida!

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