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Family friendly vacation recommendations- SE Florida

Family friendly vacation recommendations- SE Florida

Old Mar 9th, 2023, 04:10 PM
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Family friendly vacation recommendations- SE Florida

Because of the red tide situation on the gulf, I'm looking for recommendations for a family vacation on the east side.
I'm flying into RSW and out of Miami. What are your favorite spots?
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Old Mar 10th, 2023, 05:47 AM
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I really enjoyed the drive in Everglades NP. There are several stops where you can take in the natural beauty up close. Commune with the unique ecosystem sort of thing. It is not Yellowstone or Yosemite, not a wow park so maybe not for everyone. But if you have wondered what the Everglades is like then visit, wonder at it, and wonder no more. This takes some time if you go all the way to the end.

Am pretty sure it was Shark Valley where I saw the alligators up close. Lots of them. Some on the walkway close enough to pet. This is deifinitely worth a stop on the way from Naples to Miami (worth driving out from Miami for me). It is a small part of ENP with a separate entrance. I should probably use some exclamation points describing this.

see if this interests you:
Plan Your Visit Videos - Everglades National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

Gulfstream Park is in the best part of its horse racing season with the Florida Derby coming up soon.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Mar 10th, 2023 at 06:17 AM.
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Old Mar 10th, 2023, 06:10 AM
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I just watched some of the Shark Valley video. The place being part of the NP elevates it in my mind way above whatever commercial attractions there might be along that road.

The view from the tower (which I don't think was there when I visited) might give you a taste of the everglades and help in deciding whether you want to go to the main ENP farther south.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Mar 10th, 2023 at 06:12 AM.
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Old Mar 10th, 2023, 06:12 AM
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You might want to consider visiting the Florida Keys - depending on where you end up staying it's about a 3 hours drive from RSW to the northern most key and about a 5 drive to Key West.
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Old Mar 11th, 2023, 07:25 AM
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Delray Beach. “Delray today effortlessly juggles a causal seaside vibe and suave urban sophistication. Look for cute beach shops, high-end antiquaries, thoughtful cultural attractions, and wide-ranging restaurant options. Also, there is a dynamite farmers’ market on Saturdays.” This may be over-hyped. Sights include the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Atlantic Dunes Beach, and the historic Old School Square Cultural Arts Center. Atlantic Ave. is filled with boutique shops.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 07:39 PM
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Everglades NP. It is not Yellowstone or Yosemite, not a wow park
I think this is an understatement. The Everglades looks just like the marsh down the street you drive by thousands of times a year without a glance, its that dull.
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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 09:05 AM
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I love the natural areas of Florida (including the Everglades which are spectacular), but you don't say if you are open to that. Many great State Parks and the Loxahatchee National River which you paddle down on a canoe or kayak trip. In Miami, the Fairchild Botanic Gardens, Matheson Hammock Park, the beach at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is a must! Freshwater swimming. The largest drain and fill pool anywhere. Vizcaya is impressive too. There are some really fine nature centers (especially Gumbo Limbo) in the area, so look for those.

If you are willing, you can even try your hand at jai-alai at the North Miami amatuer jai-alai fronton. It is a lot more difficult than it looks, but it's fun to experience once. You'd have to call first to see what the present situation is.

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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
I think this is an understatement. The Everglades looks just like the marsh down the street you drive by thousands of times a year without a glance, its that dull.
Yeah, it is a YMMV site. I thought it was great, getting out of the car and being in the place. It is definitely important to understand what it is. How it is different than the marsh down the street. Tho, a lot of people don't have a marsh down the street and have never seen/experienced one. It is like a marsh that is almost twice as big as Rhode Island.
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