Camping.com

Southern Florida

March is an ideal time to visit Southern Florida, when the weather is perfect, the ocean is sparkling, and colorful birds are everywhere. At Camping.com, weíve outlined a trek that will take you from the city lights of Miami to the beauty of Key Largo, the lush swamps of the Everglades, and the golfing and shopping highlights of Naples. Whether youíre looking for scuba diving adventures, deep sea fishing voyages, kayaking trips, or just a little relaxation on a sandy beach, youíll find a fabulous get-away in South Florida. The route outlined below can be done in a long weekend or spread out over several weeks, so set your own pace and enjoy the trip!

Begin your adventure in Miami, that vibrant city on Biscayne Bay, located on the eastern side of Floridaís southern tip. Known as the ìmagic city,î Miami is home to outstanding museums, family attractions like the Parrot Jungle and Miami Seaquarium, and sporting events with Dolphins football, Marlins baseball, and Miami Heat basketball. As home to the University of Miami's Hurricanes, this is a great place to enjoy a collegiate sporting event, a picnic in Bayfront Park, a play at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, or boating from one of the city marinas. You'll find incredible shopping in the city's downtown, amazing restaurants with Cuban flare, and unforgettable swimming and snorkeling at nearby Biscayne National Park.

From Miami, head south on Highway 1 through Homestead to Key Largo, the northernmost of the Florida Keys. Since this watery wonderland is near North Americaís only living coral barrier reef, it's natural that scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming are all popular activities here. You can plan a diving tour of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, exploring the Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot sunken Navy ship that provides habitat for coral and schools of fish. You can spend a day sport fishing for sailfish, redfish, and tarpon in Florida Bay and further offshore or go bird watching, kayaking, or wildlife viewing. Don't forget to watch for the elusive and gentle manatees while youíre here! If you have a little extra time, a visit to Key West makes an excellent side trip.

Heading back to the north, Highway 41 will take you through Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. Home to animals like crocodiles, panthers, and West Indian manatees, this is a must-see destination for wildlife lovers. Take a ranger-led tour to watch for alligators, view flamingos, or enjoy hiking through this 1.5-million acre wilderness. Since a third of the park is covered in water, this is a fantastic place to fish for snapper, sea trout, redfish, bass, and bluegill. You can take a side-trip to explore the Ten Thousand Islands, take photographs of wild orchids, or explore the world of the mangroves. Birders will love the colorful spoonbills, ibises, herons, pelicans, and other amazing water birds.

After your visit to the Everglades, follow Highway 41 north to Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast. With its calm seas and white sandy beaches, Naples is a paradise for water-sports enthusiasts. The area is also a haven for golfers, with more than seventy challenging courses that are open year-round. Nature lovers will enjoy a canoe trip through the Ten Thousand Islands, a visit to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, and the Babcock Wilderness Adventures where you can see panthers, bison, ospreys, and wild alligators. Whether you stroll along the beaches looking for seashells or take a sailing trip through the turquoise waters, you'll have a thrilling time in Naples.

From a day of boating beside wild dolphins to shopping for treasures in boutiques and gift shops, Southern Florida has everything you need for a fun-filled camping vacation. Enjoy the nightlife of Miami, the sun and surf of the Keys, and the amazing natural beauty of the Everglades! With its sunny skies and tropical waters, a visit to Florida is a perfect way to welcome spring and start looking ahead to the joys of summer.
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