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Certified Heritage Tourism Guide
Registered with Miami-Dade County
Member Florida Tour Guide Association.

Mr. and Mrs. Crossland at Vizcaya

Itinerary 1.

Miami and Miami Beach

Plymouth Congregational Church

Get to know Miami like an insider. We’ll take the day to drive leisurely around to get to know the city and surroundings, including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and of course, South Beach! Some of the places we will visit are the fishing piers at Haulover Park to get an up close experience with pelicans, drive the length of fabulous Miami Beach, stopping off at points of interest, such as the botanical garden, Holocaust Memorial, famous Ocean Drive (we stop for refreshment and people watching here), Bass Art Museum, Art Deco district and lots of other unique sights.

We could try lunch at the renowned Joe’s Stone Crab, but I know another place, half the cost and more fun. We’ll cross over to the mainland and drive through downtown Miami and on to Coconut Grove. Here we’ll have lunch at Monty’s Stone Crab on the waterfront overlooking Biscayne Bay. We’ll visit the lovely Plymouth Congregational Church and walk through the magnificent lobby of the historical Biltmore Hotel, swing by the remarkable Venetian Pool and then immerse ourselves in Little Havana, where we will enjoy a Cuban coffee and watch the old-timers playing dominos.

I have some great suggestions for dinner, highly rated restaurants where locals rather than tourists eat. Make the most of some of the finest Latin cuisine in the world.

Itinerary 2:

Everglades National Park and South Miami-Dade County

Everglades Fauna

Today we suggest a drive to the Everglades. I guarantee you will see alligators, and plenty of them, plus other interesting things, such as taking a thrilling airboat drive. Most tourists visit the Everglades just off the main Miami to Tampa Highway. We will take a little longer and visit the Everglades National Park headquarters and if you are into nature, drive right to the end of the road on the shore of Florida Bay.

On the way back, we will stop at an alligator farm and take an airboat ride over the “river of grass”. We can then visit the Deering Estate, an intriguing waterfront mansion built by one of the owners of International Harvester.

We’ll stop off at the tea house in romantic Cauley Square for afternoon tea. We can provide an excellent box lunch if required, as the park hotel and restaurant were severely damaged in the 2005 Wilma and Katrina hurricanes.

Itinerary 3

The Florida Keys

Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys

How about a drive down to Key West today on the Overseas Highway? This is the southernmost point in the USA and only 90 miles from Cuba. It’s a fascinating, but long drive, 159 miles (four hours), it makes for a brief, but comprehensive visit.

Nevertheless, I would suggest going just half-way to Bahia Honda State Park. You have never seen water as blue as this. Remember the film “True Lies”? This was where it was filmed. We will stop at the monument that relates the disastrous 1926 hurricane, the famous Tiki Bar for some tropical drinks, Pigeon Island historical site and finally Bahia Honda State Park with its amazing road/rail bridge and some of the best beaches in Florida. We have a huge option of lunch stops, from casual dining to gourmet. We can discuss the choices and the budget. Don’t forget to bring swimwear and towel.

Itinerary 4

Fort Lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale

There’s no fort there, and probably never was. The drive from Miami up the eclectic A1A highway is fascinating. See how US zoning works, as you pass from canyons of high-rise condominiums immediately to single family beachfront mansions. We can stop at Dania Beach, virtually empty on weekdays, and enjoy views of the ocean and intercoastal waterway.

Morning coffee at the pier restaurant. The town of Dania has the best antique shops in South Florida, so we can stop of to visit some of the finest. Continue past Port Everglades and onto the Fort Lauderdale beachfront. Here we will take to a water taxi (not the tourist cruise) and sail through “The Venice of America”! Stop off at Las Olas Boulevard for a wonderful lunch experience.

We then go inland to America’s largest flea market, the Swap Shop. This astonishing place even boasts an in-house circus show, children’s amusement park and 14-screen drive-in movie. Return to Miami on the infamous I-95 expressway, fortunately against the rush hour traffic.

Super Fasr Ferry to the Bahamas

Itinerary 5

Day cruise to the Bahamas

How about a day cruise to the Bahamas? It’s a fun cruise through the Florida Straits on America's fasted cruise ship to the island of Bimini. There is a choice of six restaurants and bars aboard and full casino action. If nothing else, you’ll be visiting another country (passport needed). Operates Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Itinerary 6

Biking in Paradise

Matheson Hammock Park

With our incredible weather, a lovely bike ride down shady Old Cutler Road could be the highlight of your stay. We start at the Cartagena Circle and cycle along in the shade under huge ficus trees. Arriving at lovely Matheson Hammock Park, we enter and ride through the mangroves to Biscayne Bay. There’s a circular lagoon here and yacht marina.

Returning to Old Cutler Road, our next stop is Fairchild Tropical Gardens. This world famous botanical garden is renowned for the largest variety of palm trees grown anywhere. We take the guided tram tour and enjoy a morning coffee.

We continue over Snapper Creek to the wonderful roadside produce market. See tropical fruits you never knew existed and enjoy ice cream such as you have never tasted. We now arrive at Pinecrest Gardens, a lovely tropical garden that once was Miami’s famed Parrot Jungle.

Afterwards we will cycle through quiet residential streets back to our starting point. It’s an easy and relaxing ride that anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle can achieve. This ride can be extended to Coral Gables to make a full-day excursion, with lots of stops and refreshments along the way. Highlights University of Miami, Granada Avenue millionaire mansions, Coral Gables Miracle Mile shopping, Merrick Park up-market shopping mall.

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