Just in case Miami doesn’t give you enough of a beach-fix—and you have time on your trip to travel around nearby—Fort Lauderdale is only a half-hour drive up the coast (on I-95). Often referred to as “the Venice of America,” this 23-mile (37-km) stretch of beach has more than enough vacation to go around. And fortunately for future visitors, the ‘spring break’ vibe is not nearly as extreme as it used to be.
Water sports like snorkeling, boating and fishing are common, and both designer and vintage clothing stores are easy to come by for those who feel like a shopping spree. Even the nightlife is legendary.
If you’re feeling a bit more cultural, you can visit museums like the Museum of Discovery and Science (very kid-friendly), the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, and the Museum of Art (with world-renowned artists and exhibitions). Butterfly World is exactly what it sounds like; with 10,000 of the little guys on display, it’s the largest butterfly park in the world.
Read more: The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
You can also just peruse the shops and restaurants in Riverwalk Park (along both banks of the New River), which has galleries, concerts and other events throughout the year—notably, Rocktoberfest, Mutts & Martinis, the Stone Crab & Seafood Festival, and Light Up Lauderdale (during the Holiday season).