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On the road in Miami

Miami is a city that’s almost impossible not to love: the combination of sunny weather, beautiful beaches, party people, and tasty eats excels at winning visitors’ affection. But while it’s tempting to stay put once you’ve landed in, a trip to Miami also means the rest of beautiful South Florida is at your fingertips. Picture: secluded islands, Everglades wilderness, and some of the best beaches on Earth. Trust us – you’ll want to plan a day-trip or overnight getaway to these tantalising spots.

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Fort Lauderdale

Only a 30-minute drive north of Miami is Fort Lauderdale: one of the most popular holiday spots in the United States, and a paragon of beachy perfection. There are plenty of things to do in Fort Lauderdale, from browsing the shops of Las Olas Boulevard to taking in the sights from the vantage point of a water taxi. But it’s Fort Lauderdale’s beaches that are the real stars of the show.

Florida: A guide to Fort Lauderdale beaches

The Everglades

Many visitors to Miami don’t realise that they’re next door to one of the wildest and most incredible tracts of nature in the United States. That’d be Everglades National Park, a massive subtropical wetlands that’s home to crocodiles, rare birds, and even the elusive Florida panther. Go on a kayak or airboat tour of the waters and, before returning to Miami, be sure to swing by charming Everglades City, too.

River of Grass: A guide to the Everglades National Park

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The Florida Keys

Cast out in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys are the Platonic ideal of tropical paradise. The pace of life is beautifully slow, the scenery is stunningly beautiful, and the beaches are pure heaven. Pro-tip: if you’re after a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can set out on a wreck dive of nearby U.S.N.S. General Hoyt S. Vandenburg.

Florida wreck dives: U.S.N.S. General Hoyt S. Vandenburg

Florida’s best beaches

Miami may be home to some of the prettiest beaches around – but if lapping up the sun and surf is your raison d’être, you’ll want to leave city limits on a trip to more of the best beaches that South Florida has to offer. With a little bit of extra effort, you’ll uncover secluded seaside, scuba diving destinations, and wildlife sanctuaries – and plenty of opportunity to work on your tan.

The best beaches outside of Miami

Florida’s secluded islands

Florida is the ideal destination for island-hoppers, and we don’t only mean the Florida Keys. Fact is, the Sunshine State has over 4,510 islands to its name – more than any other state, barring Alaska. From the Gulf Islands National Seashore to the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of small, perfectly formed retreats within driving distance of Miami. These secluded spots are well worth venturing beyond city limits to discover.

Forgotten Florida: Islands to discover

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