Everyone needs to hit the pause button at some point. Whether taking a breather from your daily routine or the obligations of your job, getting away from it all is a great way to reset and return feeling renewed. But you don’t necessarily have to go halfway around the world to clear the mental clutter. Instead, take a trip to one of the many beautiful beaches of South Florida.
Though it’s hard to have a bad vacation in The Sunshine State, we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your stay. That’s why we’re examining some of Florida’s top beach destinations so you can decide which one is right for you.
Miami – If you’re searching for year-round excitement, look no further. Florida’s port city is one of the state’s most popular vacation destinations, though the turquoise water of Biscayne Bay is not always the leading reason people visit.
Miami is famous – or infamous depending on who you ask – for its nightlife. Offering party-goers something to do at all hours, Magic City enchants travelers with its mega clubs featuring world-class DJs, delicious outdoor dining along Ocean Drive, and the glamour of its Art Deco buildings. While partying until the sun comes up has become a staple piece of Miami for the young and single demographic, the city also has more laid-back, though still very swanky, lounges that travelers can unwind in. Who knows? You may even spot one of the many celebrities that frequent the area.
Fort Lauderdale – Traveling with your family? Set course for just north of Miami. Fort Lauderdale, also known as the Venice of America thanks to its abundance of city canals, offers classic seaside entertainment such as parasailing and scuba diving, as well as easy access to the city’s best family-friendly attractions including the Museum of Discovery and Science or the indoor play center, Funderdome.
For a unique outdoor adventure, consider a day trip to the Everglades. The 1.5-million-acre national park is home to hundreds of species that your family’s animal lover can come face-to-face with. From night tours to alligator shows, each airboat excursion is unique, though all will give you an adrenaline-pumping sensation as you zip across the water through the mangrove labyrinth.
Palm Beach – Glitzy and glamourous, Palm Beach is the perfect destination for art lovers who like to see and be seen. While famous for its wealthy demographic and beautiful white-sand beaches, the city’s growing arts culture is rapidly making a name for itself. Those needing to unleash their inner critic should spend an afternoon touring the plethora of museums including the Galeria of Sculpture, Norton Museum of Art, Flagler Museum and the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. You can also check out some of the fairs and festivals held year-round such as the annual CityPlace Art Fair and Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary.
When you aren’t admiring beautiful works of art, you can be shopping for them. From outlet malls to luxury boutiques, Palm Beach offers an array of retail destinations to help you keep up with the latest trends. If you want to enjoy South Florida’s fantastic weather while hunting for your favorite brands, stop by Downtown at the Gardens. The open-air shopping center features savory restaurants and unique clothing venues, all in one pedestrian-only location. For the best deals, we recommend the Palm Beach Outlets. The former location of Palm Beach Mall offers some of your favorite brands for a price that won’t break the bank.
Marco Island – If you enjoy golf, forget everything that you’ve read up to this point because you’re going to Marco Island. With six courses just off the island, and several others just a short drive away, Marco island is truly a golfer’s paradise. Though these courses are easily accessible, wouldn’t you rather stay only a short, free shuttle ride away from two championship courses? If your answer is yes, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is for you.
Stretching across 3 miles of pristine white sand beach, the ultra-luxurious resort offers two sensational and resort-private courses, The Rookery and Hammock Bay. Nestled in shallow wetlands, The Rookery features fast greens that incorporate the picturesque lakes and ponds surrounding it, challenging even the most experienced of players while providing a backdrop everyone can enjoy. Just be sure not to hit your ball at any of the bald eagles, alligators, blue herons and other water birds that call the course home.
The other championship course, Hammock Bay, features multiple tee options allowing juniors, seniors and beginners to play without taking the challenge away from the low handicappers and professionals. Lined with oak trees boasting a rolling terrain, the course designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy is as beautiful as it is fun to play.
The Florida Keys – For those that would rather cast a line in the water than spend an afternoon on the fairways, consider the Florida Keys. Boasting a prime location at the merging point of Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the string of tropical islands is surrounded by a diverse collection of fish, and is commonly referred to as the Sports Fishing Capital of the World. While Islamorada tends to be the section of the archipelago that the pros (and everyone else for that matter) flock to, it’s hard to find a place that isn’t good for fishing in the Florida Keys.
If reeling in the big one doesn’t get you excited, maybe the aquatic activities offered in Key West will. Key West National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 600 species of fish, coral and other aquatic creatures, and is a wonderful spot spend your day snorkeling, kayaking or sailing.
Once you’ve soaked up your fair share of sunshine, visit some of Key West’s historical sites, such as Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, the winter getaway for the 33rd president. Take a guided tour to peek into the life of President Truman and the other presidents that have stayed there including Taft, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton. Key West also boasts the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, where the famous writer lived and wrote in for more than ten years. Don’t you think it’s time you find out why those big names fell in love with the Keys, and why you’ll do the same?
Whatever your personality or interests, or what stage you’re at in life, Florida has a beach that is perfect for you. Reserve a package with Vacations by Marriott and receive exclusive savings when you book your accommodations, airfare and transportation all in one place!