- Palm beach county
- Broward county
- Miami-Dade County
- Monroe County - The Florida Keys
The "Sunshine State" Florida is not such a small country. Its area corresponds to almost 40% of the area of Germany. No wonder Florida offers its guests many attractive places and opportunities to experience unforgettable vacations. South Florida in particular has attracted many holidaymakers and is one of the hippest regions. What defines South Florida is some of the country's finest beaches, all forms of water sports, a wide range of cultural offerings, world-class shopping and unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Beach life in Hollywood Beach
We recommend the regions below for those who want to spend a few extra days in the country before or after a cruise. These are counties that cruise passengers can easily reach from Miami or Fort Lauderdale on day trips. Our recommendations do not claim to be complete.
Palm beach county
Almost 1,5 million inhabitants live in an area of 6.180 square kilometers (2020 census). The most famous city and at the same time the county's namesake is West Palm Beach. The city has long been associated with the jet set and with luxury. The US moneyed nobility have been drawn to the "Gold Coast" of Florida for almost 100 years. The beauty of the landscape is breathtaking. Here you can take an airboat trip through the sawgrass prairie or visit the orange groves.
In West Palm Beach, Worth Avenue seduces tourists with Mediterranean architecture and elegant designer shops. In addition, some outlet malls in Palm Beach County attract visitors. And if that's not enough for you, you might find what you're looking for in a chocolate factory.
Compared to Palm Beach County, Broward County is densely populated. The 2020 census counted 622 inhabitants per square kilometer. Nonetheless, no one needs to feel restricted. What does Broward County offer its guests?
Fort Lauderdale-Jungle Queen IV
water and beaches
South of Palm Beach County, vacationers discover the next 23 miles of golden sand. Divided into six sections, beginning with Deerfield Beach in the north and ending with Hallandale Beach in the south, beach life is pure enjoyment.
Fort Lauderdale's boardwalk draws locals and visitors alike. Sun worshipers and water sports enthusiasts will get their money's worth here.
If you prefer something a little quieter, head to Hollywood in the south. If you don't just want to lie on the beach, you can show off your fitness on the 2½ mile long, brick-paved boardwalk with inline skates, bicycles or just running.
Broward County also has more than 300 miles of inland waterways to explore. Water taxis offer a variety of ways to get around.
Fort Lauderdale is the seat of Broward County. Fort Lauderdale is a city of world-class hotel resorts, trendy cafes and elegant, chic boutiques on Las Olas Boulevard.
The Museum of Discovery and Science
Located in the center of the city, the museum gives its visitors insights into flying in addition to lots of natural history information about Florida. In a flight simulator, for example, experience can be gained with the Airbus A380. Simulated trips to the moon or Mars are also part of the programme. In 2021, the museum was visited by 450.000 people.
Sawgrass Mills Mall
The reputation of the Sawgrass Mills Mall reaches as far as Germany. The resilience of the credit cards is tested on a sales area of over 220.000 square meters and in around 350 shops in the outlet. Those who shop in the Sawgrass Mills Mall can adorn themselves with well-known and popular labels.
A total of 40 historic structures and sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Broward County. We recommend visiting the Stranahan House. Located on Las Olas Boulevard, it was the first home built in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale - Historic Stranahan House Museum
Butterfly lovers will enjoy Butterfly World in Coconut Creek. In the largest butterfly park in the world, an annual average of 5000 butterflies can be seen.
Jungle Queen riverboat
We can recommend a sightseeing cruise with the Jungle Queen to every visitor. It goes along the New River to the Jungle Queen Indian Village. The tours vary in length and provide an insight into historic Fort Lauderdale, the homes of the rich and famous and their marinas. In the evening the dinner cruise starts.
Miami-Dade County includes Miami, Miami Beach and the Everglades. 2,7 million inhabitants live on 6.300 square kilometers (2020 census). Of these, 440.000 live in Miami and another 83.000 in trendy Miami Beach. If you look at the high-rise buildings in the city from afar, you assume that many more people would have to live there.
High-rise buildings in Miami Downtown
The glitzy and glamorous South Beach fascinates the visitor above all. The famous Art Deco District appeals to many travelers with its pastel colored buildings, trendy restaurants and nightlife.
In addition to its cruise port, which is the largest in the world in terms of passengers handled, Miami on the opposite side offers some of the best attractions in the region, especially for families.
Walking Tour of Miami Beach
A longer walking tour of Miami Beach is free and fun. You watch people, visit shops or sit in one of the countless restaurants. There is a lot to see between 5th Street and 17th Street.
It is also interesting to stroll along Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive or the pedestrianized Lincoln Road Mall. Of course you can also while away your time on the incredibly wide, well-kept and supervised beach. This is overwhelming not only on sunny days.
If you want, you can book an art deco walking tour. During this guided 90-minute tour, individual buildings are also viewed from the inside.
Miami Seaquarium and Jungle Island
Families love the Miami Seaquarium. On the way to Key Biscayne, on Virginia Key, is the sprawling aquarium, dolphin and shark tank complex. Visitors are also offered spectacular views of the Miami skyline. The shows with dolphins, orcas, sea lions and other sea creatures delight people of all ages. Injured turtles and sea cows (manatees) find shelter and treatment here.
Families also like Jungle Island. There are around 500 plant species and 3.000 animals to see. The property is located north of Dodge Island and is easily accessible from the 1A, the MacArthur Causeway, heading towards Miami Beach. The cruise piers are in sight.
Boat tours can be taken from Bayside Marketplace. The departure point is off Biscayne Boulevard (401 Biscayne Blvd). Dodge Island and the cruise piers can also be seen from there.
Historical buildings and sites
Marble and glass dominate Miami's skyscrapers. For those longing for something ancient after so much modernity, The Ancient Spanish Monastery would be a worthwhile destination. A former Spanish monastery dating back to 1133 was brought to Miami piece by piece in the 1920s and built there.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a National Historic Site recognized by the American Association of Museums. Built by industrialist James Deering in 1916, this spacious residence with lush tropical gardens is now owned by Miami-Dade County. The complex gives an idea of how leading industrialists lived in the early years. The facility can be found near the transition to Key Biscayne.
The Everglades are also part of the South Florida itinerary. The world famous ecosystem with its sawgrass prairies, diverse bird life, wildlife, plants and trees delights every visitor.
In the town of Homestead, south of Miami, various providers organize tours into the countryside.
Monroe County - The Florida Keys
The only coral reef in the USA, around 300 kilometers long, runs south of the Florida Peninsula. At the edge of the reef are the Florida Keys. Just 82.000 people (2020 census) populate Monroe County. Only 28 inhabitants live on the square kilometer. What makes the landscape so special? This is the entire composition of the narrow islands of coral and limestone. Add to that the shimmering turquoise waters of the Keys. And the beautiful bridges that take Interstate 1 in and out of the Keys.
What is there to see, what is there to do?
Many water sports activities are offered: fishing, diving, boating, swimming and snorkeling are a few. Relaxing in the subtropical sun isn't bad advice either. You can take a glass-bottom boat out to the reef or tour the Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key.
He enjoys his afternoon rest
In one of the many marinas you can watch the dozing pelicans on the Duckdalben. With a bit of luck, you might see a heron flying across the open fronts of the dockside restaurants. And if not, then maybe you're enjoying a blackened red snapper and a cool drink.
On the last island of the Keys lies fabulous, wacky Key West. Probably the most visited place in Key West is "Southernmost Point" (corner of South and Whitehead Streets). The southernmost point of the continental USA is fixed by an oversized buoy. Many visitors flock to this photo motif to take the ultimate holiday photo.
If you stay the night, you should take a historic sailing ship out to sea and then enjoy the famous sunset spectacle at Mallory Square.
Not to be missed is a visit to the Hemingway Home at 907 Whitehead Street. Home and museum in one. Hemingway was a big cat lover. The descendants of the cats of that time still live comfortably on the property today.
Key West-Hemingway Home
Update January 2023