Don't be blinded by the glitz and glamour of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival — there's so much more to the Miami area. There are tropical islands, historic mansions and bohemian enclaves. Oh, and lots of food to be eaten.
The Key to the Keys
You won’t make it to Key West and home in a day, but you can experience the Florida Keys by visiting Key Largo and Islamorada. Hop on a snorkeling boat or glass bottom boat to enjoy John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where the attractions are underwater.
Kick back with lunch and a water view at The Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant. Or for someplace that’s funky and fun, visit Mrs. Macs Kitchen in Key Largo. On your way home, take a break at Robert Is Here in Homestead. It’s a farm stand that offers plenty of fresh local produce and food products. Be sure to try a fresh fruit milkshake. Get there: Approx. 1 1/2 hour drive from Miami (Photo courtesy of flickr/serge melki)
Palatial Palm Beach
Palm Beach is a sleepy island by design. It’s where the rich — think Kennedys, Vanderbilts, Colgates, Posts, Kelloggs and Rockefellers — have always gone to get away from it all. You can too.
Visit the Flagler Museum that includes Whitehall, the palatial home of the Flagler family during the 1902 Gilded Age. Flagler also built the Palm Beach Inn in 1896. It was renamed The Breakers in 1901 and remains the perfect spot to enjoy a drink or a meal. While in Palm Beach, stroll Worth Avenue which features the Moorish architecture of Addison Mizner. It’s home to designer shops and restaurants such as Bice, Taboo, Renato’s and Trevini Ristorante.
Just across the Intracoastal Waterway is West Palm Beach, developed as a place for Palm Beachers’ servants and workers to live. Today, its home to Clematis Street which is lined with restaurants and bars. Locals go for Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar. Get there: Approx. 1 hour and 20 minute drive (Photo courtesy of flickr/evelyn proimos)
Restaurant Row in Delray Beach
Once an artist’s retreat and a settlement of Japanese farmers, today Delray Beach has retained much of its charm as it’s grown. You’ll discover the dining choices as you stroll Atlantic Avenue, chock-full of restaurants like 32 East or the always fun Vic and Angelo’s. For a prime beef burger and craft brew, there’s The Office.
And for something a little more out of the fray, drop by the Seagate Hotel & Spa for lunch at Atlantic Grille. From there, it’s only a short stroll to the beach where you can have a drink at a local favorite, Boston’s on the Beach. Get there: Approx. 1 hour and 10 minute drive (Photo courtesy of flickr/i-love-delray-beach.com)