Take a day or two to explore the popular tourist spots in the area.

This guide to favorite local shops and restaurants comes courtesy of finance professors Andrea Heuson and George Korniotis.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

One of the world's preeminent botanic gardens, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees, tropical fruit trees, vines, and succulents. Opened in 1938, the 83-acre garden is among the region's most popular visitor attractions and offers tours along with a variety of programs in environmental education, conservation and horticulture. View information on hours and admission prices, directions and parking, food and shopping, group visits and accessibility.

Miracle Mile Coral Gables

A stretch of designer shops, art galleries, live theatre, great restaurants, bridal bliss, and houseware heaven. It’s all here. Relax, shop and dine with style, only at Miracle Mile.

Village of Merrick Park

An upscale lifestyle center in Coral Gables, Florida. Opened in 2002, the mall features over 100 tenant stores, including restaurants.

South Beach

The quintenssential Miami hot spot. From shopping to partying, this area of Miami Beach is well-known for being a trendy locale.

Everglades National Park

With 1.5 million acres of swamps, saw-grass prairies and sub-tropical jungles, Everglades National Park is one of the most unusual public parks in the United States. Located on the southern tip of Florida, the park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee. A large portion of the park is primitive, explored only by adventurists and researchers – but visitors have ample opportunity to walk, camp and canoe.

Key Largo

An island in the upper Florida Keys archipelago and, at 33 miles (53 km) long, the largest of the Keys.  Known as the world's diving capital, Key Largo is also home to two state parks, a national park and a national marine sanctuary.

Key West

An island in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Famous for its beaches, bars, shipwrecks, cottages and a leisurely pace found no other place in the country.


Take a day or a weekend Bahamas cruise getaway aboard major cruise lines. Cruise ships depart from the Port of Miami, the “Cruise Capital of the World” located near downtown Miami. Full list of options available from the Metro-Dade Seaport Department, 1015 N. America Way, Miami, FL 33132 (Tel. 305/371-7678).

Carnival Cruises (Friday-Monday)

Royal Caribbean Cruises (Friday-Monday)

Norwegian Cruise Line (Friday-Monday)

MSC Cruises (Friday-Monday)

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