Miami

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Rent some wheels and cruise over the causeway off the sandbar, to areas like Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Little Havana, and the Everglades. These and other parts of Miami-Dade county, where most of the locals live, get less attention than South Beach but have lots of cool cultural and historic attractions, not to mention the caffeinated, Spanish-accented flavor that has turned the tip of South Florida into the capital of Latin America.

Day Trips from Miami

Everglades National Park

The largest subtropical wilderness in the country is a refuge for alligators, American crocodiles and over 20 species of wading birds. It's a 45-minute drive to the park's Shark Valley entrance where biking is the most popular activity, or an hour to the more-developed Homestead section, which has canoe trails and camping.

35 miles west of Miami or 47 miles south, Everglades National Park, FL, 305-242-7700, www.nps.gov/ever
Tags: family | editor pick | outdoors | day trip | wildlife

Florida Keys

This chain of hundreds of coral islands, which stretches 150 miles into the Atlantic, represents a laid-back, outdoorsy slice of old Florida, right down to the ubiquitous motels and honky-tonk shell shops. Weekend traffic jams aren't uncommon on the three-hour drive to the southernmost tip, Key West, but the bridges linking the islands provide gorgeous vistas across turquoise waters.

161 miles southwest of Miami, FL, www.floridakeys.com
Tags: family | outdoors | day trip

Fort Lauderdale

Just 30 minutes north of downtown on Interstate 95, this once-sleepy town emerged from its spring-break, college-madness period as a vibrant, revitalized business and vacation center with some wonderful shopping.

28 miles north of Miami, FL, www.sunny.org
Tags: family | day trip

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