South Florida is one of my favorite places to travel because it's the closest you can get to a tropical, warm vacation without the expense of traveling all the way to Hawaii. Since I was feeling especially cold this winter, I escaped on vacation with the kids and we found hundreds of fun things to do in South Florida!
If you follow us on Instagram, you got a little taste of some of our activities, and I'm finally getting you all the details of our trip. We hope you enjoy this Southern Florida travel guide we put together for you 🙂
Things to Do in South Florida
Take a boat tour, visit an aquarium, go on an airboat, see a show, or go on a site seeing tour
Every time I go on vacation, I almost always check LivingSocial for savings ahead of time. They have saved me a lot of money on some popular attractions. Look for the “Best of” and “trending” icons to find things that are currently really popular for the area. I was really excited on our most recent trip because two of the main things that had been recommended to us (an airboat tour in the Everglades and the Jungle Queen River Boat) were both deals that were current on LivingSocial!
I just clicked straight over to the “Fort Lauderdale activities” section, but don't overlook the “Food & Drink” section. You can save a lot of money there too (and often find some good local eats). You can also sometimes find local food tours under food and drink.
My Favorite Thing in South Florida: the Beaches
Good old-fashioned “chillin'” at the beach is at the top of the list of fun things to do in South Florida. Aside from Hawaii, these are the warmest beaches you are going to find in the U.S., and unlike the California coast, you can actually get in the water without freezing!
Everglades National Park
If you are staying in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Everglades National Park is only about an hour away, and worth your visit. It is so beautiful, and a great spot to see alligators in the wild. If you walk the Anhinga Trail, you get really close to alligators.
They are literally right off the path (and sometimes even on it). It's a short trail that you can do in less than an hour and it's paved which is great for strollers. The day you do Everglades is also a great day to do your airboat tour. They don't do any airboat tours in the actual park, but you can find them in surrounding areas. Check LivingSocial for deals and then look up reviews. I've seen them on there for as low as $16 which is great.
Unlimited Things to Do in South Florida: Go Passes
Florida has two different GoPasses, one for the Orlando area, and one for Miami/Fort Lauderdale. We didn't want to have our whole trip be centered around theme parks, but we did zip up to Orlando for a couple of days to do Lego Land and a day at Disney World. Orlando is about 3 hours North and the Keys are about 3 hours South, so staying in Southern Florida really gives you the freedom to spend a few days in either direction.
The Go Miami Pass has a lot of great options for site seeing in South Florida, including boat tours, museums, aquariums, and a whole lot of other popular attractions in the area (you can see all the attractions listed here). The Go Orlando Pass also has some fantastic options, especially if your kids are wanting to do Lego Land or any of the aquariums.
You can see the full list of Orlando attractions here, but the cool thing about these passes is that they are all-inclusive. Meaning, if you get the 2-day pass, you can do as many of the attractions as you want for those 2 days, or if you get the 5-day pass you could probably hit almost all of the things you are interested in.
The savings can really add up depending on what you are doing. If you think you might go up to Orlando, you could probably get just that pass and also use it in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area because it has activities for both listed. If you aren't going to jet up to Orlando, I would just get the Miami pass.
Things to Do in South Florida: Visit the Florida Keys
If you are planning a vacation to Southern Florida, I highly recommend including the Keys in your itinerary. For our family trip to Florida, we spent the first half in Fort Lauderdale, and then we headed up to the Florida Keys for a few days and there was so much to do! We even found some LivingSocial deals for Key West!
We spent 3 nights in the keys and ended up wishing we had spent one more night. See our articles: 99 Things to Do in Key West, Traveling the Florida Keys With Kids and What to Eat in Key West (and the surrounding Keys). You could easily spent your whole time relaxing there, or there is enough stuff to do that you could jam-pack your days with activities. Whatever is your style 🙂
Fun Things to Do in South Florida at Night: Shows
If you're looking for some things to do in the evening, you might look into seeing a Broadway show! the Broward Center for the Performing Arts has many musical and theater productions, including a calendar of touring Broadway shows. LivingSocial also has a “tickets and events” category, which is a great place to snag some deals on concerts or shows.
South Florida Airports
The main airports in South Florida are Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Because they are only like 40 minutes apart, I would just fly into whichever airport has better deals for your particular route. As far as hotels, we chose to stay in Fort Lauderdale because it's more family friendly than Miami, but we could have easily flown into either airport. There is also an airport in Key West. Cheap Air is good website for searching for flights because they have a flexible dates search option, but mostly because they have Price Drop Payback, which offers you a travel credit if your particular airfare drops in price after booking. They also have a fare tracker that you can set up. It emails you when your desired fare has good prices.
Have ideas to add to the list? What are your favorite fun things to do in South Florida?
*As a Travel Blogger, we received discounts and tickets to attractions and/or compensation for some of our out-of-pocket expenses. All opinions are authentic and our own.