Okay, so maybe the purpose of your trip to South Florida is to visit family. But who says you have to spend the entire time with the in-laws? Try these four fun activities that cater to little ones for a few doses while visiting the fam.
Drive to the Keys
Even if you’re perched at a hotel in Miami, a two-day offshoot to Key West is a must. First, make time for Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a coastal playground with incredible coral reefs where your family can snorkel, take a glass-bottom boat tour or rent a kayak.
Continue your drive down the breathtakingly gorgeous, 127.5-mile Overseas Highway (aka U.S. 1) until you reach Key West, where you’ll find oodles of seafood shacks, Jimmy Buffet-style bars (hit them during the day to avoid the college and local beer swillers) and cute-as-a-button shops. Don’t miss the daily sunset celebration at Mallory Square
Check out South Beach
Yes, South Beach is exactly what you think-a sexy, hip destination for Lindsay Lohan types. But that doesn’t mean you should miss it. Restored art deco hotels, supreme cuisine and a spicy atmosphere make it a must-see when traveling to South Florida.
Pop in during the day to avoid “the scene” but if you don’t mind your kids experiencing some very interesting people-watching, go at night when it comes alive with gourmet diners, cocktail sippers and fashionistas strutting their stuff.
Bike, blade and be merry
Broward County’s beachfront is packed with miles and miles of oceanfront pedestrian paths, aka “the Broadwalk,” an absolute dream for kids and adults who like to cruise and stroll alongside breaking waves. Whatever your family’s passion-roller blading, biking, walking or running-this is the perfect place to do it. Pick just about any town, park on one of its easy-access side streets, then hit the pavement for a one-two punch of exercise and fun. Just be sure to avoid it midday, when the sun’s rays are at their max.
Ride the canal
Fort Lauderdale is a hip, cultural city with a young vibe. Many of its residents, though, come from old money and wow, do their homes show it. Hop aboard a gondola or chartered boat for an afternoon tour along portions of the city’s 85-mile canal system (hence the city’s nickname, the Venice of America) and a bird’s-eye view of the fabulous homes that line the Intracoastal Waterway.
Then pop into one of the dozens of outdoor cafes sprinkled along bustling Las Olas Boulevard for a cool iced latte (for you) and a burger (for the kids). Ahhhh, Florida living.