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Florida is the ultimate beach destination in the States, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. All jokes aside, we have truly fallen in love with this beautiful state and all that it has to offer. From its beautiful tranquil Florida Gulf Coast beaches to its vibrant southern cities, this place has us wrapped around its finger.
We would love to share more of the amazing opportunities there are to explore these fantastic locations just off the Atlantic Coast.
From relaxing beaches, exciting water activities, outdoor recreation, shopping, and more. We promise that these will capture your attention and, what’s more, spark some excitement for your upcoming Floridian adventures.
Take it from a couple of fellow travelers who have turned our adventures into a whole business filled with passion and hopefully some great tips for you. Let’s dive in right into the heart of what these cities have to offer.
Best South Florida Cities To Visit in 2024: Overview
Some of the best things to do in Miami that we have found have been related to exploring the city and culture. As the name suggests, The Art Deco Historic District has a concentration of Art Deco buildings that hold a charm to it that is hard to describe. You can always explore this cool neighborhood and learn a little more with a walking tour.
Of course, one of the most iconic neighborhoods in this city is Little Havana. This lively place is known for its amazing food and its nightlife.
There are plenty of spots to enjoy live music and have a good evening. My recommendation is Salsa Mia.
The Wynwood Arts District is another fascinating place to check out street art and murals. It is also the place where we recommend you make a lunch stop. The Love Life Cafe is a plant-based eatery with some delicious vegan dishes. Their love life arepas paired with the hibiscus chia juice are definitely the choice we’d go for.
Miami is easy to get to. The Miami International Airport is a major airport, and from there, it’s pretty easy to rent a car or get a shuttle.
The Hilton Miami Downtown is a fantastic option for a stay right in the heart of Miami. Miami is a place full of life during the day, and it continues to deliver after dark. So, if you are into having some non-stop fun, it’s the place for you.
2. Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a great place to enjoy the quintessential Florida beach experience. We are talking about cruising along the beach on bikes, or, better yet, rollerblades. You can also enjoy a fantastic time in the water on jet skis or paddleboards.
Aside from the amazing beaches, our top recommendation is something special. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers an amazing collection of natural beauty and is free to visit. Here, you’ll find some beautiful sculptures and architecture hidden throughout the place.
The Full Bloom Vegan restaurant is an upscale gourmet vegan cuisine experience.
From their vegan dishes to their considerable wine list, this is a cruelty-free dining experience. Try their eggplant parmigiana to start you off and finish with the ravioli de la casa, the perfect combination for fine dining.
Due to its proximity to Miami, the Miami International Airport is also the best option for getting here. The Gale South Beach is a great modern beach stay right near the water and close to the center of the city. Their beautiful terrace and pool are just an extra added touch to this stay.
3. Fort Lauderdale
The “Venice of America” is a lively beach town known for its natural beauty. Its extensive canal system makes it a great place to enjoy a water taxi or riverboat cruise. The town has around seven miles of gorgeous beaches, so make sure you pack your best beach toys.
The Las Olas Boulevard is another place you’ll want to check out. This is a vibrant shopping and dining district. There are tons of upscale boutiques and art galleries.
A fantastic spot to go eat here is PLANTA Queen. You’ll want to try their vegan sushi and the bang bang broccoli dish.
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the main airport that serves this city. The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale is a fantastic hotel right by the beach with all the beauty and comforts that we love. If you’re into a cultural and art scene, Fort Lauderdale is the place to visit.
4. Dania Beach
Dania Beach is just a little way south of Fort Lauderdale. This place is just as charming as the latter. You can check out the Dania Beach Pier for evening walks or just to enjoy oceanfront dining. If you’re looking for a vegan recommendation, we suggest Zen Mystery. This place offers a great vegan menu, an extensive tea selection, and a very chill earthy feel.
Dania Beach’s Antique Row is another excellent place to go shopping. However, here, you’re more likely to score some unique vintage finds.
You can choose to stay at the comfortable Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port, which offers a free airport shuttle. The main airport that serves Dania Beach is also Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Dania Beach is just a more relaxed destination compared to some of the larger cities in the area.
The Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise is one of the largest outlet malls in the U.S., and it’s the second-biggest tourist attraction in Florida after Disneyworld! Cypress Preserve Park is a local favorite spot for playing disc golf. They also have a lot of cool hiking trails and even a splash pad for littles.
It’s always a good time for gelato in Florida. The Origamy Gelato Weston has some delicious frozen and baked treats but also serves a great vegan lunch menu.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Sunrise – Sawgrass Mills is right next to the popular shopping center.
You’ll also want to get to Sunrise through the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Sunrise is a great destination if you’re looking to shop and play outside.
6. Hollywood Beach
Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is a great place to explore day or night. The Anne Kolb Nature Center is a nature reserve with some great trails. You’ll even find an observation tower and an aquarium. You can always go to this fantastic family beach and have a relaxing day on the beach.
Let’s not forget about food, though. For the best vegan breakfast, head over to C4Eats. You can try out their vegan chicken and waffles or their pancake breakfast that you will not regret.
The DoubleTree Resort Hollywood Beach has some great waterfront views from its pool area and, of course, some fantastic rooms with amenities.
To get here the main airport is also Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Hollywood Beach has a wonderful scenic boardwalk & a beautiful beach with a ton of fun outdoor activities you will want to enjoy.
7. Hallandale Beach
When you visit Hallandale Beach, you will want to check out Gulfstream Park. This is a casino/horse racing venue that will have you playing for a win. Hallandale Beach also has some beautiful sandy shores.
A great spot to get your grub on is the Krazy Vegan. It has some amazing vegan Philly cheesesteaks and burgers.
The Hampton Inn Hallandale Beach-Aventura is just a 3-minute drive from Gulfstream Park and has very reasonable accommodations. To visit Hallandale Beach, the nearest major airport is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
If you’re into trying your luck, Hallandale Beach is worth visiting for its combination of gaming, dining, and beautiful beachfront views.
8. Lauderdale by the Sea
Here you will want to head over to Pier and Beach to try some snorkeling at the reef or just a relaxing day at the beach.
There is an amazing guided tour of a replicated shipwreck & reef snorkel trails that you have to check out. We promise this is an amazing opportunity to check out the world from under the waves. And for a bright and sunny breakfast, check out SoBol Lauderdale by the Sea. They have some delicious açai bowls and refreshing smoothies to start up your day.
Coral Key Inn is a super cozy and comfortable stay just across the street from the beaches of Lauderdale by the Sea.
The closest airport will be Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. This charming coastal town will not disappoint you. From its beautiful beaches to its underwater adventures, it will deliver an amazing vacation.
9. Pompano Beach
The Pompano Beach Pier is another great pier to enjoy those beautiful scenic ocean views. However, if you want a little more action, you will want to try out a jetski tour. And if you’re feeling lucky, Harrah’s Pompano Beach Casino is another horse racing/casino combo to check out in Florida.
And for the best elevated vegan comfort food, you will want to head over to The Rabbit Hole. We are talking about the trifecta: vegan wings, ribs, and mac & cheese.
The Hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach is a fresh and modern hotel just a couple minutes from the beach. The main airport for Pompano Beach is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Pompano Beach is worth visiting for its gorgeous beaches, water-based activities, and some horse races.
10. Boca Raton & Deerfield Beach
Boca Raton is known for its luxury feel, and Mizner Park is the place to shop and dine. However, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier has some beautiful views to enjoy.
You can also enjoy the best of both worlds with a Boca Raton-Deerfield Beach Private Jet Ski Tour. And for a tasty treat, you’ll want to try Parlour Vegan Bakery.
The Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel is a great hotel right near Boca Raton but also ten minutes away from Deerfield Beach. The nearest major airport to both cities is Palm Beach International Airport. Boca Raton is a luxurious destination with upscale shopping, while Deerfield Beach is more of a tranquil coastal town.
11. Delray Beach
One of our favorite activities to do is visit Floridian botanical gardens. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach has some beautiful serene gardens and wonderful Japanese architecture and sculptures throughout.
Atlantic Avenue is another great stop in Delray where you can peruse around shops and galleries and have some great dining. The Amar Mediterranean Bistro has some fantastic vegan options on its menu, including falafel and fried cauliflower.
At just a five-minute drive from the Delray Public Beach and with breakfast included, the Hampton Inn Delray Beach is a fantastic option for accommodations. The nearest major airport is Palm Beach International Airport. Who wouldn’t want to visit a place with a vibrant downtown scene and beautiful coastline like Delray?
12. Palm Beach
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in Palm Beach has some beautiful sculptures out on display to enjoy. Also, the Worth Avenue Clock Tower is a great landmark that happens to be located by high-end boutiques and galleries. If you’re wanting an exclusive and customizable experience of the area, try out the Palm Beach Sightseeing Tour.
Darbster restaurant has a charming bistro feel and a patio right by the waterway. Their innovative vegan dishes, including the Wellington and palm cakes, are something you cannot miss out on.
The Colony Hotel is a gorgeous hotel with all the charm of Palm Beach. It’s like you’re staying at a Wes Anderson movie hotel. The nearest major airport is Palm Beach International Airport. Palm Beach is a luxurious destination where stunning beaches, elegant resorts, and high-end shopping come together for the perfect upscale escape.
13. Boynton Beach
The Boynton Beach Inlet is a calm location to sightsee and watch boats entering the inlet. For a more in-depth natural experience, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is an amazing location that showcases the natural beauty of the Everglades.
Natuurlik is an amazing establishment with a Caribbean feel. They have the most mouthwatering dishes inspired by these cultures, like vegan crab cakes, plantains, cassava fries, jackfruit tacos, and more. You will seriously want to order everything off this menu.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Boynton Beach is a fantastic option for a fresh and comfortable stay in Boynton Beach. The nearest major airport here is Palm Beach International Airport. Boynton Beach is a great place to enjoy the scenic waterfront and natural attractions.
Best South Florida Cities: FAQ’s
What cities are considered South Florida?
South Florida includes cities such as Miami, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and many more.
What is South Florida called?
South Florida is often referred to as the “Gold Coast.”
What is considered Southeast Florida?
Southeast Florida generally encompasses the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
What cities make up southeast Florida?
Southeast Florida includes cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton.
What South Florida cities are in Palm Beach County?
Cities in Palm Beach County include Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Palm Beach, among others.
Candice, Exploring the Gulf www.exploringthegulf.com