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imageRegional Cities & Towns:

Miami :: Palm Beach :: Fort Lauderdale :: Boca Raton
Port Everglades :: Jupiter Island :: Key Biscayne

Fort Lauderdale to Jupiter

The area between the pristine beaches of Jupiter in the north and Fort Lauderdale in the south embraces more than 60 miles of beautiful Atlantic shoreline known as the Gold Coast, being a reference to the gold salvaged from shipwrecks along the coastline. 

In recent years, open country and grasslands has given way to luxury resorts, high-rise condominiums and golf courses.  The hordes of tourists lured here for their beach vacation aren't the only ones arriving. More and more people are relocating from Miami and other large metropolitan centers with unfriendly winters.

The resulting boom in the building and tourism industries is causing a rapid expansion in developed areas.  Yet despite all the building activity, much of the original, natural Gold Coast (not to be confused with Australia's Gold Coast) still remains.

On much of the Gold Coast, boating is a lifestyle. Many homes have the family boat berthed on a residential canal linked to the 300 miles of Intracoastal Waterway. This unique channel provides boaters with an opportunity to appreciate the affluence of Palm Beach and Boca Raton and the non-stop Fort Lauderdale before continuing on to the marinas of Miami. It's easy to forget that the incredible Florida Everglades National Park is just a few miles inland and easily accessed from the south east region.

Fort Lauderdale is the most popular beachfront destination on the Gold Coast with its beautiful wide beaches and rejuvenated town center. Its reputation for spring break mayhem is a thing of the past and visitors are now more likely to be members of the yachting fraternity.

Port Everglades (which is nowhere near the Everglades) is Florida's deepest harbor and located near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Port Everglades is one of the top five cruise ship terminals in the world, and the center for many of the Caribbean and Bahamas cruise operators based in Florida. 

Boca Raton is one of South Florida's most expensive cities, noted for its luxury resort communities and much loved by those who can afford to stay there. The lifestyle calls for minimal nightlife and entertainment in Boca is resort facilities, leisure sports, fine dining and designer label shopping. 

Palm Beach is a small island town on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Intracoastal Waterway and the traditional winter home of America's social elite. It is noted for its enclaves of stunning mansions, exclusivity and numerous social events. The colorful residences on Ocean Boulevard and impossibly expensive chic of Worth Avenue give a small insight into a world that only a few will ever experience.

At the northern end of the Gold Coast lies Jupiter Island, home to bobcats, sea turtles and ospreys... and which also happens be the address for the wealthiest community in the USA. There are several spring training camps in the area for major league baseball clubs.

Miami And Surrounds

The perception that Miami is the playground of aging retirees is far from the reality. This city which attracts 11 million visitors per year is still attractive to folks wanting to retire with the sun on their backs but it is now also home to the ultra-chic, designer label devotees, the yachting fraternity and Cuban immigrants. The population of the Greater Miami area is 50% Hispanic.

Visitors are most likely to be headed for Miami Beach, an entirely separate municipality built on a sandbar 4 miles (6 km) across Biscayne Bay from the city of Miami. The combination of these two cities and their surrounding areas includes several ethnic neighborhoods such as Little Havana and Little Haiti. To visitors this cultural mix is evident in Latin American languages, cuisine, music and the interest in off-shore politics.

Visitors flock to Miami Beach for the sun, beaches, clubs and bars, and to witness the spectacular  rejuvenation of the 1920's buildings in the Art Deco Historic District. This is one of the largest areas on the US National Register of Historic Places.

The beach Promenade is a vacation highlight and has has probably appeared in more films, and served a a photo shoot backdrop, than any other beach front location in existence.  It's also the favored spot for skaters, cyclists, skateboarders, joggers and would-be celebrities.

Miami, and Miami Beach, provide an excellent base for getting to some of the other major Florida tourist attractions, and visitors will find Miami hotels to suit every taste and budget. The Everglades are just a short distance inland. Key Biscayne, the beginning of the Florida Keys is just off shore. Miami has the biggest Florida cruises base in the USA with hundreds of sailings to all parts of the world, but especially the Caribbean, Bahamas and Latin America.

Driving in Miami

Miami roads and highways are crowded and can be little confusing. As a visitor to the Miami area it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the routes you will be taking and understand the Miami traffic laws. For more information on Driving in Miami visit the Florida Drivers Association at

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