Driving Time: 2 hours
Florida is famous for the sun and the sand. If you are looking to catch some waves, stick to the East Coast beaches. The Gulf Coast is known for having calmer and flatter beaches which can be nice for families with children, or for those who do not enjoy large waves. Naples is known for its gorgeous beaches, golfing, restaurants, and shopping. When you visit stop by the Naples Zoo, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and Naples Botanical Garden.
From the airport, take Interstate 595 west to Interstate 75 north to Naples.
Driving time: 4 hours to Key West
Though Kokomo is a fictional place created by the Beach Boys, Key Largo and the rest of the Florida Keys are real, sunny, and spectacular. Driving down to the Keys from Ft. Lauderdale takes a couple of hours, and when you hit the islands you will start to fall in love. Here are some of the best spots to explore in the Florida Keys.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Located off the coast of the island of Key Largo you will find the only living coral reef that exists in the continental United States at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Perfect for snorkeling and for scuba divers, you can explore not only the coral reef, but also a number of shipwrecks as well. If you do not want to get in the water, you can take a tour in a glass bottom boat to experience the ocean world up close and personal.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Located 70 miles off the coast of Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States that you can drive to, is Dry Tortugas. Made up of seven islands, you can swim at the gorgeous beaches and visit Fort Jefferson. Tours are available from Key West.
Take the Florida Turnpike to the Ronald Reagan Turnpike all the way to US Highway 1 into the Keys
Everglades National Park
Driving time: 1.5-2 hours
The Everglades are a unique tropical wetland that covers over 700 square miles. The national park is also a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance. Though the Everglades are home to over 750 animal species, most people come to see the alligators. One of the best ways to see the alligators and to learn about their habits in their natural habitat is to take the Shark Valley Tram Tours. This two-hour open air tram tour comes complete with a local guide and up close encounters with the gators. You will also learn about the non-native Burmese Python population and how its presence is affecting the Everglades.