South Florida

If your idea of the perfect holiday includes upscale boutique shopping, streets lined with hot cars driven by fashionably fit and outfitted locals, beaches swarming with beautiful bodies, trendy dining spots and a sizzling night life, Miami Beach was created with you in mind. The Art Deco architecture and d├ęcor, buzzing cultural scene, designer fashions and sophisticated atmosphere make this area a must-see for trendy holiday-goers.

South Beach has been called the American Riviera and abounds with world-class shopping, gourmet dining inspired by most every culture on earth and a pulsating nightlife. The gorgeous white sand beaches and tropical setting of its coast add to its allure.

View of Miami from Key Biscayne
Miami skyline from Key Biscayne

The City of Miami, also known as the "Magic City", acts as the gateway to Latin America and is known for its cultural diversity. A busy and exciting urban setting, Miami is brimming with art exhibits, live theatre events, historical sites, chic shopping venues, mouth-watering dining spots and eye-popping architecture. The Olympia Theater, first opened in 1926 as a silent movie palace, boasts dazzling architecture and a simulated night sky. It is a year-round host to music, dance and theatrical performances.

The Historical Museum of South Florida, the Miami Art Museum and the Miami Children's Museum offer a variety of ways to explore Miami's fascinating past and present history. Parrot Jungle Island provides a break from typical urban activities. This captivating bird sanctuary is home to more than 1,000 birds and 2,000 varieties of thriving tropical plants. Enjoy a fascinating trained bird show and tour the one-acre Japanese garden during your visit.

If the lively bustle of Miami isn't your thing, consider the secluded island of Key Biscayne. Travelling the Rickenbacker Causeway over picturesque Biscayne Bay you'll feel your body start to relax at the sight of this quiet retreat. A beautiful barrier island known for its wealthy inhabitants, Key Biscayne offers miles of golden sand beaches that are often clear of crowds on weekdays. The natural sandbars, lunch cafes and gentle surf make Key Biscayne a particular favourite for families.

Coral Gables lies just south of Miami and is worth a trip, especially if shopping is the highlight of your holiday. The city's famed Miracle Mile, an upscale strip of privately owned clothing shops, art galleries and bistros, will keep you busy for at least a full day. Once you take in the tree-lined streets, winding roads and glorious green courtyards and parks, you'll see why Coral Gables is nicknamed "The City Beautiful."

Fort Lauderdale beach photo
Canoes on beach in Fort Lauderdale

Greater Fort Lauderdale lies due north of Miami and is the sunny site of more than 20 miles of palm tree-lined shoreline, running from Hollywood Beach in the south to Deerfield Beach up north. The paved beachfront of Fort Lauderdale and the lengthy boardwalk of Hollywood Beach are the perfect settings for walking, jogging or roller blading along the breathtaking beaches. Pompano Beach is an attractive family destination with playgrounds located right on the beach, lots of family-style dining choices and fun street festivals such as the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival and Fishing Rodeo held each April.

Deerfield Beach is a Clean Beaches Council "Blue Wave" beach, known for its excellent water quality and immaculate beach conditions. Adventure seekers flock to Deerfield Beach to try out cable water skiing at one of America's first resorts of its kind, where water skiers of all ability levels can hit the waves. Palm Beach County has long been known for its wide variety of water sports activities and visitors choose from kayaking, bicycle tours, jet ski tours, parasailing, sport fishing and catamaran charters.

The gardens of Palm Beach are legendary. Tourists have been gathering here since the late 1800s to tour its beautiful botanical masterpieces, set apart by fountains with cloistered walls, pools and geometrically shaped planting beds. Many of these original gardens have disappeared, but Palm Beach County strives to preserve its botanical heritage by maintaining magnificent public gardens where native plants are carefully nurtured.

If you're looking for historic tours by day and a hot nightlife, put West Palm Beach on your holiday agenda. Visit Henry M. Flagler's Gilded Age Estate, including the Norton Museum of Art or take a walk down memory lane at Ragtops Museum, an unusual convertible car museum. Fans of Japanese culture will want to take a short drive down to Delray Beach to tour the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, the only American museum exclusively dedicated to the living culture of Japan.

Once the sun goes down, West Palm Beach comes to life with chic martini bars, trendy nightclubs and fine dining by candlelight. For ten years, the city has celebrated "Clematis by Night," an award-winning fountain-side concert series, on Thursday evenings. Visitors join residents who come out to enjoy live music and delicious food under the gorgeous tropical night sky. From the tip of the peninsula to the top of the fountain in downtown West Palm Beach, South Florida is the destination of choice for thousands of enchanted visitors each year.