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Miami is one of the state’s – and the world’s – most popular vacation spots. Though destinations often are said to offer something for everyone, the Miami area does indeed offer multiple enticements for everyone.

The trendy nightlife of South Beach, bejeweled by the eye candy of the Art Deco district.

 

 

The bustle of Calle Ocho and the highly caffeinated energy of Little Havana. The plush hotels of Miami Beach and the historic hideaways of Coral Gables.

Seemingly endless shopping opportunities in modern, sprawling malls and the quiet, personal attention offered by the family-owned shops of Coconut Grove and many other corners of the region. The lures of deep-sea fishing and golf and tennis. Miami’s major league football, basketball, hockey and baseball.

Boat shows and auto racing. An international airport and the world’s busiest cruise port. For more information,  check out Greater Miami and the Beaches.

 

 

 

 

The American alligator, sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States, with a small population in Mexico.

Alligators are an apex predator, one that has popularized popular culture and frequently appears on the news, typically attached to a crazy story coming out of Florida. Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States, but they’re most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and a large number of swamps.

But gators don’t stay confined to the swampy areas. They can be found roaming pretty much all over the state. You might see an alligator swimming in a puddle on a crowded intersection or even visiting your neighbor’s swimming pool.

Click HERE for some fun facts.

 

 

Except perhaps for alligators, few animals are associated more with Florida than the dolphin. At Vacanza Rentals, we don’t want to write about where you can see dolphins in captivity. In SWFL you can experience them up close in the canal outside your vacation villa OR when out on your rental boat on The Gulf of Mexico. Swimming with or feeding dolphins can be dangerous for both human and dolphin and should not be attempted.

Several dolphin species occur in Florida costal waters. Dolphins cooperate in many ways, some species more than others. As a group they may guard against predation by sharks or support a sick or injured community member in the water by keeping it afloat.

The most common dolphin in Florida waters is the bottle-nosed dolphin. Bottlenose dolphins have robust, powerful bodies that are blue-gray on top with lighter sides and bellies.

 

 

Manatees roam the waters of Florida from April through October, but when things get a bit chilly, they head to places like freshwater Florida springs, where the temperatures remain constant throughout the year.

It may not seem warm when you jump into a freshwater spring, but the water temperatures remain around 70 degrees, which is perfect for manatees in Florida who need that kind of warmth to survive.

Seeing a large number of Florida manatees in one place is an amazing experience, but just remember these gentle sea cows are there for survival. Whether you’re on a solo kayaking trip or a manatee swim tour, always mind your “Manatee Manners”— look, but don’t touch.

In the waters close to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, there are a lot of so called manatee zones when out boating. This means to go slow so that you don’t accidently run over the very large and very slow manatee. If you are lucky enough to get close to a manatee you will probably see a lot of scarring on their backs from propellers. So, take it slow.

 

Located closer to Cuba than to Miami, Key West is Florida’s irreverent southernmost subtropical paradise, a unique confluence of history, climate, natural beauty, cultural diversity, architecture, and unabashed romantic appeal. Key West, the southernmost point in the United States.

Since its earliest days, people have come to the end of the Florida Keys island chain to fish, write, carouse, and rejuvenate. From the famous, including Ernest Hemingway, John J Audubon, and Tennessee Williams – to infamous, Key West has always been a place where you can be yourself, find yourself, or re-invent yourself.

 

 

Duval Street, one of the most energetic strips of shops, bars and cafes anywhere, offers Sloppy Joe’s bar, a favorite Key West hangout.

Grab a cold drink, listen to a local band or pick up a souvenir for the folks back home. Experience a taste of Caribbean culture in Key West without leaving the States.

 

 

 

And, for the more sober-minded, there’s Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. (Look for the celebrated six-toed cats).

Walking tours of Key West are the best way to see the island’s intriguing homes, courtyards and gardens. Start in the center of town at the Key West City Cemetery, which offers a glimpse of Key West’s past and its offbeat sense of humor, as exhibited by gravestones that read, “I told you I was sick,” and “At least I know where he’s sleeping tonight.”

For more information, click HERE.