Destination Guide: Florida Southeast

Notable Cities: Miami, Fort Lauderdale


If you’re visiting Southwest Florida with Global Discovery Vacations, you’re looking at about an hour drive to one of the most popular cities in the world: Miami. Fort Lauderdale holds its own as a vacation destination with its beaches, art and culture, so you could easily spend a week exploring just this area. But we know Miami will be calling on at least one of those days. You might see this cliche a lot when looking at Florida destinations, but the Sunshine State truly has something for everyone. This region is no different.

Must-See Attractions


Driveway or waterway?

Intracoastal Waterway
People consider Fort Lauderdale the” Venice of America” for its 185 miles of waterways. As you’ll find, it’s one of the most scenic and preferred ways to travel in this area. The comforting canals can take you just about anywhere in town, so you’ll want to get a day pass for the Water Taxi to see all the restaurants, shops and palm trees in Fort Lauderdale and the nearby city of Hollywood, Florida.

Everglades National Park. Photo credit: Visit Florida.

Everglades National Park. Photo credit: Visit Florida.

Everglades National Park
With all the natural wonders you’ll find in Florida, the Everglades stand out as the largest subtropical habitat in the United States. Escape the busy lifestyle of Miami to join the likes of alligators, American crocodiles, manatees, otters, Florida panthers, tree frogs and other rare and endangered animals inhabiting these thriving wetlands. You can find mountains, forests and lakes all over the country, but you won’t find another area like the Everglades. The park covers about 1.5 million acres, and you can explore on bike, on foot and with organized tours. It can get awfully muggy in the summer, so be prepared. If you are planning to boat on the Florida Bay, which covers a large part of the Everglades, it’s recommended that you take the free boating course.

Zoological Wildlife Foundation
If you’ve noticed throughout our other Destination Guides, Florida really knows a thing or two about wildlife. The Zoological Wildlife Foundation is among the best places you’ll ever find for an interactive animal experience, which is why it tops TripAdvisor’s Attractions in Miami. Your kids will love it, as they will be able to play with unorthodox animals such as the lesser anteater, the too-cute-for-words lar gibbon, tigers and parrots. The facility hosts private tours that fill up fast, so they suggest booking 24 hours in advance.

Also Try…

Photo credit: Visit Florida.

Nightlife in South Beach. Photo credit: Visit Florida.

Festivals and Events


  • Miami was the first city to install an ATM dedicated to rollerbladers.
  • Greater Miami encompasses two national parks (Everglades and Biscayne National Park). No other metropolitan area in the United States can say that.

Suggested Resorts

Member Feedback

Member John L.'s entry in our Shoot for the Stars contest shows this parrot from Ft. Lauderdale taking a nap.

Member John L.’s entry in our Shoot for the Stars contest shows this parrot from Ft. Lauderdale taking a nap.

“We took chance, however, and were EXTREMELY pleased with the facility, with the service, and with our entire vacation! There were lovely young women who helped us with check-in; we requested a remodeled/renovated room, and were thrilled with the quality and cleanliness of the room. Because we were so pleased, I promised myself that I would write this review.”
– Michelle S. (Newport Beach Resort – Sunny Isles Beach, Florida)

“Location to the beach was only two blocks away. Water taxi was two blocks the other way. Everything was very close and easy to get to. Wish we were still there.”
– John R. (Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort  – Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Member Christian S. took their four-year-old to Newport Beach Resort and told us about it in this Member Monday!

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.