South Florida and the Everglades
Southern Florida encompasses the Treasure Coast, the Gold Coast and the Everglades.
The climate of the southern part of Florida is sub-tropical with no real winter and boasts a diverse set of habitats.
Fort Lauderdale is just north of Miami and is likened to Venice because of its 170 miles (274 km) of canals.
Condominiums lining the beach at Fort Lauderdale [Courtesy of SFWMD]
It was once the mecca for spring breakers letting their hair down during semester week in March but in recent years the authorities have clamped down on a number of their activities!! Nowadays many of them head for Daytona Beach or Panama City Beach instead.
Both Fort Lauderdale and Miami have a number of cruise lines offering anything from one day to many day cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.
Miami is an exotic vibrant multi-cultural city; over half its population is Hispanic, mostly from Cuba. Its amazing Art Deco buildings line Ocean Drive.
Some of the attractions in the Miami area include Jungle Island (formerly known as Parrot Jungle Island), Lowe Art Museum, Villa Vizcaya, The Wolfsonian, Flagler Museum and Miami Metrozoo.
Miami does have a darker side and had a reputation for drugs and violence as popularised by the classic TV series 'Miami Vice' back in the 70s.
Read more about Miami.
The Everglades are the largest swamp land in America and cover an area of over 19,300 square miles (50,000 sq km).
It is home to 600 species of fish, 300 species of bird and animals such as the alligator, manatee, cougar and the elusive Florida Panther. In the summer it is also home to mosquitoes so the best time to visit is really during the winter months.