Everglade and coral reefs
Southeast Florida and Miami's chic, celebrity-laden South Beach go hand-in-hand. Despite its star status, this region is home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming beaches in the state. South Beach, Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys offer many gay-friendly and spring break vacation options, not to mention miles of pristine, casual getaways more reminiscent of the Caribbean than the U.S. Add the lure of the untamed Everglades and the Island ecstasy of the Lower Florida Keys, and you've found paradise.
Southeast Florida is home to the following best beaches:
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: A paradise for weddings and eco-touring, this state park has plenty to do both on the water and ashore.
- Dania Beach: Waterways and canals delight boaters, while antiques treasures draw crowds of a different kind. Quiet and quirky, Dania Beach is as unique as her visitors.
- Fort Lauderdale Family Beach: Picture-perfect palms, museums, botanic gardens and butterfly conservatories are just a few of the attractions this family-friendly beach offers.
- Fort Lauderdale Gay Beach: Home of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida, this section of Fort Lauderdale supports many gay-owned or gay-friendly businesses and hotels - and the beach isn't bad either.
- Haulover Beach: While this nude beach attracts same-sex couples and students on spring break, there's more to do than party.
- Hobe Sound: Nudists and celebrities are drawn to Hobe Sound's seclusion. When you're ready to go out in public, arts festivals and golf await.
- Holiday Isle: Scuba divers, snorkelers and Jet Ski wave-riders will love the warm waters here.
- Hollywood Beach: More affordable than its trendy neighbors, this Bohemian beach offers all the sights, sounds and sun at budget-friendly prices.
- Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: While the freshwater lagoon will keep fishing fanatics busy, Everglade tours and an abundance of wildlife draw eco-tourists.
- Hutchinson Island: Perfect weather and shallow reefs make this a family-friendly place.
- Jensen Beach: Ample camping and plenty of old-fashioned, unadorned outdoor fun make Jensen Beach a bargain, without having to forgo all the beauty that sets Florida apart.
- John D. MacArthur State Park: Although no longer officially a nude beach, the park continues to draw clothing-optional sunbathers. Others will enjoy kayaking through mangroves.
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Eco-tourists, divers and snorkelers are drawn to the nation's first underwater park for its beauty and abundant sea life.
- Little Palm Island: This exclusive retreat has hosted Presidents and celebrities. An ideal location for a beach wedding, this is definitely honeymoon heaven.
- Looe Key: If the best diving in the country isn't enough to delight scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts, a unique underwater music festival surely will.
- Miami Beach: Setting trends hotter than the thermometer can read, this city is the place to be seen - day or night. Shopping, sunbathing and clubbing can keep you busy around the clock.
- Smathers Beach: While shallow waters with almost no undertow draw crowds of any age by day, the nightly, must-see Sunset Celebration makes them stay long after the sun goes down.
- South Beach: Art Deco architecture, designer shops and a diverse arts scene infuse this tiny section of Miami with European flair.
- St. Lucie Inlet: Celebrities, elite athletes and nudists appreciate the seclusion St. Lucie Inlet offers. Nature reserves and no nightlife make this a peaceful retreat.
- West Palm Beach: Music, theater, golf, zoos and a science center will keep most visitors too busy to hit the beach.
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