In 2020, just under 80 million people vacationed in Florida. And for a good reason! The Sunshine State has so much to offer that it’s the perfect getaway for just about every kind of person. While places such as St. Augustine and Orlando are fun, you should venture to South Florida the next time you visit the state. From balmy temperatures, beautiful beaches, and Latin and Caribbean flavors, to world-class shopping, this is a must-see destination. So, today we’ll discuss the top reasons to visit South Florida for a vacation.
If you enjoy sports, South Florida is the place to be, from professional to amateur, college, and more.
Let's start off with polo. Every year from January to April, the world's best polo players and polo enthusiasts visit Palm Beach for the Palm Beach International Polo Season. Wellington's International Polo Club hosts weekly, often daily events, including Sunday Brunch. Watching world-class polo, enjoying great cuisine, everyone making a style statement, and veranda seating at one of the finest venues in Florida – this experience is a must-do.
While you're in Palm Beach, you can catch the PGA's best at The Honda Classic. Founded in 1972 as Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic, The Honda Classic is a PGA TOUR golf tournament played each March at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
If you enjoy tennis, there's the Miami Open Tennis Championships at Hard Rock Stadium.
There are three major boat shows in Florida. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show starts off the South Florida tourist season at the end of October, and the beginning of November. Then in February comes the Miami International Boat Show, followed in March by the Palm Beach International Boat Show. Make sure you're able to see at least one!
Looking for speed? NASCAR and Formula One offer racing in Miami. At the beginning of May, the Miami Formula One Grand Prix is at the Miami International Autodrome and the Homestead-Miami Speedway has a full calendar of events.
Of course, South Florida has major league baseball (Miami Marlins) basketball (Miami Heat) hockey (Florida Panthers) football (Miami Dolphins), and soccer (InterMiamiFC)
Gulfstream Park has been one of the country's leading racetracks since 1939. Home of the Pegasus World Cup and The Florida Derby, some of the world's top thoroughbred candidates cross Gulfstream Park seeking triple crown and Breeders Cup fame. Located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami International Airport, and just one mile from the Atlantic Ocean, this huge entertainment destination offers a myriad of activities. In addition to world-class thoroughbred racing, Gulf Stream Park has some of the best poker rooms in South Florida, with over 800 Las Vegas-style slot machines and over 20 live-action tables.
Go On A Cruise
South Florida has two of the largest cruise ports in the world, PortMiami is known as the “Cruise Capital of The World” and 25 miles (ca. 40 kilometers) north in Fort Lauderdale is the third-largest cruise port in the world, Port Everglades.
Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, South Florida cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach are home to many diverse attractions. When visiting with your family, be sure to check out Jungle Island, Monkey Jungle, and Coral Castle. The local area is also home to many museums, state parks, and other attractions worth seeing.
And for those of you looking to stay near the ocean, Miami has state-of-the-art facilities for water sports and other related activities. You’ll find places to go jet skiing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing, and kayaking.
South Florida is essentially an all-night party 24/7. Not only does the endless warm weather keep people in the mood to party, but the region is also filled with nightclubs, racetracks, and casinos where you may even run into a celebrity or two. The best part is, it doesn’t matter how fancy or casual you want the venue; the Miami area has a party for you! So, if you want to visit a place with legendary nightlife, South Florida is your best option.
Arts & Culture
The Miami Metropolitan area is one of America’s vast melting pots of culture. This diversity is celebrated through entertainment, art, and food that come from destinations worldwide. Hence, you’ll notice a mix of languages and other travelers from every corner of the world. If you want to immerse yourself in culture then check out the local Cuban restaurants, Lincoln Road, the Art Deco District, and South Beach.
If you like to go to art galleries, stop by the Perez Art Museum of Miami, North Beach Art Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, and DTR Modern Galleries in Palm Beach.
From famous stores to well-known streets, South Florida has a lot to offer if you’re looking to do some shopping or browsing on your vacation. Fort Lauderdale’s Sawgrass Mills Mall is billed as the second most popular Florida destination after Disney World. They feature over 350 stores brimming with deals. If you’re further south and looking to shop like a star, head over to North Miami Beach and browse around the Bal Harbour Shops. Here you’ll find luxurious stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel, Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent, among many others. In Palm Beach, it’s worth seeing Worth Avenue, the Warehouse District, Clematis Street, and The Mall at Wellington Green.
The Aventura Mall is a landmark in the area, known as the second largest in the country. From luxury brands like Gucci and Cartier to everyday favorites like Gap and Adidas, this classy mall has it all. A movie theater, fitness club, and day spa invite you to take a break from wearing out your shoe leather, plus the variety of dining from fast-casual places like Chipotle to more formal settings like Serafina Miami are sure to satisfy any craving.
Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches
Finally, no trip to Florida is complete without swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities in South Florida. Miami alone is home to 16 beaches, and there are countless others in surrounding areas, such as Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Some of the best include the famed South Beach, Haulover Beach, Crandon Beach Park, John D. MacArthur State Park, Las Olas, and many more.
The Bottom Line
There are more reasons to visit South Florida for vacation than we can name. The area is unique and unlike most other metropolitan areas in the country. It offers lots of tropical trees, sunshine, and great vibes, so don’t wait any longer.
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