Day 1 You'll See:
- John Pennekamp Coral State Park
- Blue Heaven
Day 2 You'll See:
- Dolphin Research Center
- Turtle Hospital Tour
- Bahama Breeze
- Laser Quest
Day 3 You'll See:
Day 4 You'll See:
- Everglades Holiday Park
- Lunch at Galleria Mall
Experience all the best that Southern Florida has to offer, from tropical marine wildlife centers to delicious local eateries with the absolute tastiest Key Lime Pie!
John Pennekamp Coral State Park - Welcome to John Pennekamp Coral State Park, the 70 square nautical miles of Atlantic ocean in the Keys that is full of some truly magnificent tropical fish, sea turtles, coral reef, and even underwater artwork! Surrounding the beach and ocean you will find several scenic mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks to add to the beauty of the place, though the real sightseeing comes in play underwater! Snorkeling, scuba, and diving are the most popular activities here, each activity giving amazing views of the protected marine life and vibrant coral reef, the reef being one of the only remaining intact ones in the world. Outside of the ocean's underwater playground, you can enjoy glass bottom boating, sea turtle watching, or just lounging on the beach. If you have time be sure to opt-in for a visit underwater to see the 8.5 foot Christ of the Abyss statue, or head to the visitor center to learn more and observe the impressive 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.
Blue Heaven - Head to one of the most popular Florida Keys eateries after your big day at the beach to fuel up, the iconic and affordable Blue Heaven restaurant. This eatery brings together Florida and Caribbean cuisine in the most delicious way possible, providing fresh ingredients, fine food, and gorgeous al fresco dining options. Enjoy dinner under tropical foliage with chickens and cats roaming around your feet, the absolute best setting within the historic Bahama Village to enjoy such tropical cuisine. Try the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Sauteed Yellowtail, or the Caribbean Glazed Shrimp, or maybe a more refined plate of eggplant salad or Carrot and Curry Soup. If you are here during the seasonal influx of stone crab claws, you have to try them, and the same goes with the truly famous house desert, the best darn key lime pie you’ll ever eat! If you are here on a weekend you’ll even get to enjoy live evening entertainment that will surely put you in the tropical mindset!
Dolphin Research Center - Start your morning off with a healthy dose of dolphin as you and your group head to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida. This entire establishment has over 30 years of history under its belt and famously features over 90,000 square feet of saltwater lagoons set into the shorelines, the entire dolphinarium being one of the top research and care centers of it’s kind. The mission of this center is to ‘educate, research, and recover . . . promote peaceful coexistence, cooperation, and communication between marine life, humans, and the environment.’. Here you can enjoy interacting with AJ and Cayo, a few of the several house dolphins, or Karen and Kilo, a couple of the onsite California Sea Lions, as well as animals such as cats, exotic birds, and iguanas. Try to be a trainer for the day, get the full researcher experience, paint with the dolphins, or spend your day exploring the various animal stations and gift/education shops.
Turtle Hospital Tour - Keep up the marine wildlife educational adventure with your group's next stop here at the Turtle Hospital! Built in 1986, this hospital strictly adheres to the 3 R’s of sea turtle rescue: Rescue, Rehab, Release. The educational center and gift shop portion of the hospital is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, with the 90-minute hospital tour/ educational programs running until 4 pm each day. This guided tour allows you 90 minutes jam-packed full of sea turtle information, including a behind the scenes look at the rehab areas, presentation on the creature's habitat, and a chance to feed the permanent residents. See all the up-to-date equipment for surgeries such as flipper amputations or shell damage, as well as various turtle ailments to fix internal issues, such as the viral tumors that around 50% of the species get, over 1500 treated here. This is Loggerhead, Kemp Ridley, and Green Sea Turtle heaven!
Bahama Breeze - Head up to Sunrise, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale, for a delicious Caribbean dinner tonight, the drive from the Turtle Hospital to here about 2.5 hours. Bahama Breeze is located on Sawgrass Mills Circle and is considered to be one of the most laid-back eateries in the area, filled with Caribbean cuisine, tropical cocktails, and beachy decor. There are over 15 Bahama Breeze eateries in Florida, plus 23 more across the nation. Enjoy dishes such as the key west fish tacos, fresh catch of the day, shrimp and Mahi bowl, baby back ribs, or jerk chicken pasta as you listen to the live reggae, Caribbean, or contemporary beats live, indoors or out. The vibrant island atmosphere is second only to the amazing dessert options here, with everything from classic key lime pie to rum cake and banana nut bread supreme!
Laser Quest - End your night with an exciting and entertaining round of games at Laser quest, located conveniently within the Square Shopping Center between Sunrise Blvd and Sunset Strip. This indoor laser tag chain is the ‘world’s leader in the laser tag industry’, the entire company first opened in 1993, with over 53 different locations in America today. Inside you will find swirling fog banks big enough to get lost in, as well as tons of fun and adventure around every corner. Laser Quest ‘combines hide and seek and tag with a high tech twist’, allowing teams of up to 32 players each game to enjoy team building while having a really great, and active, time. If you are looking for a little more mystery try the new Key Quest escape room experience, and keep in mind that this facility also provides a training hub, day camps, and educational sessions all about light and optics.
Deerfield Beach - Sweet sunshine, soft sand, and salty surf will delight your senses this morning, an entire half day full of all the beachside fun you can handle at the popular Deerfield Beach. This beach is Greater Fort Lauderdale’s ‘northernmost award-winning cove-like beach’, providing ample family fun for all ages. Here you can join a team in sand volleyball, build a sandcastle, surf or sail the waves, swim in search of seashells, or even enjoy any of the many inter-coastal waterway boating opportunities. You can fish off of the iconic Deerfield Pier, bike around the beach, or enjoy the Ski Rixen, one of the first American cable water ski parks. Here you can enjoy skimming effortlessly over the water with or without a boat! For lunch head to one of the many delicious smelling open-air eateries and enjoy the year-round perfect Florida climate, as well as the gorgeous tropical surrounding scenery.
Extreme Action Park - If you need an indoor break after all that sun today don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with your next stop, ‘South Florida’s premier indoor family entertainment venue’, Extreme Action Park. Here you can explore the ½ mile asphalt go-kart track, several bowling lanes, indoor ropes course, party zone, and delicious eateries within, the entire establishment one of the most fun spots in Fort Lauderdale. Racing is broken up by age and skill level, as is the newly opened ‘Bazooka Blast’, the award-winning combat game that combines paintball & laser tag by shooting 2” foam balls from a real paintball game. Enjoy team building events, school programs, and the onsite arcade chock-full of fun games, as well as the delicious food from the All American Cafe. Here you will find burgers, fries, wings, and pizza, plus there is a Hershey’s Shake Shoppe nearby with over 30 flavors to choose from for dessert.
Everglades Holiday Park - Welcome to Everglades Holiday Park, the amusement park located along Griffin Road that allows you to tour the Everglades like never before. You and your group will hop aboard any of the state-of-the-art vessels and participate in a 60-minute airboat experience and alligator presentation, the entire process both highly entertaining and highly educational. The live presentation is given by the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue within the world-famous holiday park pit, while the airboat ride will take you through the ‘River of Grass’ in any weather, an enclosed riding area making this ‘exciting, entertaining, and comfortable’. This is by far the best way to see the natural habitat of the area, not to mention all the additional fishing, education, and touring options offered here! Be aware that the tours depart every 20 minutes during operating hours, the very last excursion leaving shore at 5 pm.
Lunch at Galleria Mall - The Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale is the largest and most upscale in the county, an East Sunrise Blvd staple spot that will make the perfect pre-road trip lunchtime fuel up choice. Enjoy all the eateries within Palm Court Market, with a total of 9 different dine-in eateries, as well as 4 more specialty food stores. You can grab a decadent bite from Blue Martini, something exotic at PF Changs, or perhaps something new from Seasons 52 or Tossed. You can also eat light or grab a snack from Auntie Anne’s, Godiva Chocolate, Starbucks, or the Mermaid Bar. Since this is Southern Florida's premier shopping destination, with over 100 stores including Coach and Michael Kors, you may also want to spend some time looking around or partaking in some much needed retail therapy. Bonus at Galleria: this mall is just steps away from another top Florida beach if you can’t quite pull yourself away yet!