Nature Travel

Tree FrogVisitors will be astounded by Southeast Florida’s diverse ecosystem, from huge freshwater Lake Okeechobee and the mystery and majesty of the Everglades, to the underwater splendor of Biscayne National Park and the brilliant coral kingdom of the Florida Keys. A well-kept chain of public beaches and state parks makes Southeast Florida’s natural beauty easily accessible to all. Hundreds of parks dot the region, offering endless options for swimming, picnicking, beach combing, nature walking, fishing, snorkeling, and camping.

Marathon Key, heart of the Florida Keys, is home to 63-acre Crane Point Hammock — one of the most important ecological, historical, and archaeological sites in the Keys.

On Big Pine Key, a herd of tiny Key deer — each no larger than a medium-sized dog — can be spotted in the National Key Deer Refuge. The refuge provides ample hiking and bird watching among tropical forests and alongside Blue Hole, the largest body of fresh water in the Florida Keys. Here Key deer are joined by various birds, turtles, and alligators all looking for nourishment.

Climate

Florida is called the Sunshine State since there are only a handful of days during the year that the sun does not shine at all. The weather year-round gives the Southern half of the state a pleasant semitropical atmosphere.

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The People

South Florida’s Tequesta and Calusa tribes were the first to settle the Florida area and had it all to themselves for many years. Little by little, the Spanish, English, French, and Seminole Indian settlers moved into the north end of the state.

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Business Travelers

Conducting business is easy and communications with home is like calling the local grocery. Not to be passed by with the information revolution, Miami is now called Silicon Beach — sister to Silicon Valley in California, and Silicon Alley in New York — for being the gateway to South America via the Internet.

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Best Time To Visit

South Florida’s palm trees and tropical climate lure the visitor. Spring and fall are least populated times to visit as most people are drawn to South Florida in winter, when the rest of North America is wading through the snow and cold.

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Getting There

Getting to South Florida is like traveling to ancient Rome. All roads lead there. Well not really “all” roads, but South Florida is one of the easiest places to get to in the world. North American visitors can take I-10, I-75, I-95, or the Florida Turnpike (toll road).

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Foreign Visitors

Passports and Visas: Foreign visitors usually need a passport and tourist visa to enter the United States. Contact your nearest United States Embassy or Consulate to obtain a visa and to ask about requirements.

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