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Miami tours and excursions

Miami tours

Kayak tours

The Blue Moon Outdoor Center offers a unique way to see Miami and its outlying natural areas by kayak and bike. Self-guided tours and expedition packages of varying length and difficulty are offered, most of which start in the Oleta River State Park at the northern end of Biscayne Bay.

Tel: +1 305 957 3040.
Website: http://www.bluemoonoutdoor.com

Walking tours

Miami isn't always the easiest place to explore on foot but the Miami Design Preservation League is hoping to change all that with daily, 90-minute walking tours of South Beach's art deco historic district departing from its Art Deco Welcome Center. Self-guided audio tours are also available.

Tel: +1 305 672 2014.
Website: http://www.mdpl.org

Miami excursions

Everglades

America's second largest national park, the Everglades is home to 6,070 sq km (2,344 sq miles) of marshes, mangrove forests, freshwater and saltwater areas and open grass prairies. Gator-spotting is one of the main attractions in this vast subtropical wilderness, which is also home to an abundance of rare plants, birds and animals - including wild orchids, Florida panthers, ospreys, manatees and giant loggerhead turtles. Visitor centres are run by the park authorities, which also lay on walking, boat and tram tours.

Tel: +1 305 242 7700.
Website: http://www.nps.gov/ever

The Keys and Key West

A cluster of small coral-and-limestone islands south of Miami, the Keys offer some of the best sport fishing, scuba diving, boating, swimming and snorkelling in the world. Key West is its quaint and festive jewel, offering myriad museums, Caribbean-influenced restaurants and art galleries. Back towards Miami, the main draw is Key Largo, which is home to a dolphin rehabilitation centre. It also has a protected marine park that shimmers with tropical fish.

Tel: +1 305 352 5397.
Website: http://www.fla-keys.com

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City Highlight: Miami

Sunny weather, sandy beaches, a wild party scene and awesome festivals draw millions of visitors to Miami every year, read on to discover the hidden gems

Featured Hotels

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The Tides

As the tallest and most elegant art deco hotel on Ocean Drive, The Tides offers genuine style for the incurably hip, with a minimalist interior that is sophisticated, spacious and sumptuous, decorated in soft tones of white, taupe and sand. The 45 suites all have incredible views of the beach.

The Shore Club

It comes as no surprise that Miami's ultimate urban design hotel is located at South Beach. Stark modernism and the white-on-white décor of the 325 rooms and suites is softened by lush Moroccan-inspired tropical gardens. The Nobu restaurant and the Sky Bar are hugely popular with the city's cool crowd.

Hotel Shelley

Occupying one of South Beach's charming art deco buildings, the pistachio and cream Hotel Shelley is within striking distance of the beach and close to most major amenities. Rooms are cosy and comfortable, and all are decked out in soothing neutral hues. Popular with younger travellers, it doesn't compromise on style.

Freehand Miami

A bright and cheerful hostel that's a short walk from the Bass Museum, the Freehand Miami is a good choice for those on a budget and who don't mind sharing their sleeping quarters. The brightly coloured rooms sleep up to eight people in bunks and are both mixed and gender-specific if you prefer. The beach is a short walk away.

Whitelaw Hotel

Housed in a quaint art deco building in South Beach, the Whitelaw Hotel has become a favourite of hipster travellers who don't want to spend the earth on accommodation. Conveniently close to all of Miami Beach's major attractions, it boasts clean, spacious rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

Dream South Beach

Once you've seen the Dream South Beach's beautifully decorated rooms, all of which come complete with iPod docks, you'll begin to realise what a bargain this is. Housed inside a beautiful art deco building, the boutique hotel is small but highly stylish. A swimming pool and lounge occupy the roof.