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Miami FL

Miami, FL

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Beginning with Henry Flagler's railroad in the late 19th century and expanding with a 1920s property boom, Miami is a south Florida town that has shaken off its roots as a swamp-filled outpost. In the 1950s, a solid identity formed: Miami was the place for up-and-comers to see and be seen.

The same is true today, although Miami is more than celebrities and celebrity seekers. Modern Miami tips its hat to its Art Deco past, while ushering in a new age of eco-consciousness. Visitors—entranced by South Beach’s hip clubs, picture-perfect beaches and out-of-sight bars—find a wealth of attractions, and many are out-of-the-way and environmentally oriented.

Being outdoors is a must in Miami. South Beach beaches are some of the world’s most popular, and for good reason: SoBe, which comprises the barrier islands south of Indian Creek, includes flawless beaches and bright lifeguard stands. From clothing-optional sands to family-friendly swatches of beach, travelers can find whatever shore suits their fancy. But SoBe is far more than oceanfront real estate; the area teems with lively neighborhoods, eclectic dining and chic boutique. The area is known for its inclusiveness, and welcomes the LGBT community. To find the 12th Street Beach, just follow the rainbow flags.

When sightseeing in Miami, go wild at the Everglades Airboat Ride and Wildlife Show. Inside Gator Park, located deep in the heart of Everglades National Park, visitors can get an intimate view of indigenous wildlife. On any given day you may observe alligators, turtles and tropical birds and fish, all from the comfort of a chauffeured, air-powered water skimmer.

Looking for more outdoor adventure? Try your hand with the Reward Fishing Fleet at Miami Beach Marina. The captains here have hosted party fishing cruises for more than 40 years. Four-hour cruises set sail three times daily. The fleet’s largest boat, a 70-footer dubbed “Another Reward,” comes with air conditioning and the latest in fish-finding technology. Island Queen Cruises provides all the equipment you need, including fishing licenses.

For family-friendly sightseeing tours, Miami offers the Jungle Island zoological park. Guests will want to slow their stride to observe the troop of languorous lemurs. These primates are otherwise found only in Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. During a 45-minute interactive extravaganza, the curious critters may try to steal a toupee or two. Anyone looking to tangle with an animal from Down Under should head over to the park's Kangaroo Konnection.

But when the daylight fades on this southern Florida paradise, guests find that Miami nightlife shines every bit as brightly as the noonday sun. Skybar Miami Beach is known for its irresistible energy and frequent celebrity sightings. Nikki Beach Miami wraps a blend of dance and lounge music in a tiki bar atmosphere, and sinking your toes into the South Beach sand is almost mandatory.

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