The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Travel is back, my friends! My wife and I recently traveled to the southeast coast of Florida, and it was exceptional. The sun, the sand and the many things to see were a welcome experience. We ate well, we explored and we had so much fun.

I highly recommend that you consider a trip to the southeast coast of Florida soon. Here are the top 7 areas and attractions you should plan to visit on your travels there.

1) Fort Pierce

Our journey began in Fort Pierce, Florida, which kicks off your must-see list for the southeast coast. It is also sometimes called the Sunrise City, and it was so incredibly easy to see why. The place is utterly peaceful and so beautiful, with such amazing, quiet beach life vibes.

Fort Pierce The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Fort Pierce The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Fort Pierce even took home the honor of being USA Today’s ‘Most Idyllic and Historic Main Streets in America.’ It really is the perfect blend of historical sights and modern marvels.

Golf Course Fort Pierce The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Golf Course Fort Pierce The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

2) The Florida Seafood

And, oh the amazing seafood you can eat in Florida! We dined at a place called 12A Buoy and ended up waiting over an hour for our food—it was that crazy popular.

I have to say that our most enjoyable evening meal in the Fort Pierce area was at Archie’s Seabreeze. While it was a bit more low-key than some of the other establishments, the service was professional and the food was simply fabulous.

3) Parks and Gardens

Once we had our fill of delicious seafood (is that even possible?), we explored a few gardens and parks in the Fort Pierce and Vero Beach areas.

Fort Pierce Inlet State Park had a fabulous beach, so it’s a must-see if you want to explore those famous beaches of Florida’s southeast coast. If you enjoy a bit of underwater exploration, you must try some local snorkeling here as well.

Vero Beach’s McKee Botanical Garden is another place you must check out with its rich array of plant life and its dazzling history. They even have a children’s garden, so bring the whole family here.

McKee Botanical Garden The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
McKee Botanical Garden The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Make an escape to Avalon State Park to experience complete seclusion and beauty. With more than a mile of coastline to enjoy, it is the perfect place to recharge after your day of exploring. This is well worth the two-dollar fee per vehicle, so don’t let that stop you from visiting.

4) Museum and Art in Palm Beach

As you probably know by now, no trip is ever complete for me without taking in some of the beauty and artifacts contained within the walls of a museum or two.

Flagler Museum The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Flagler Museum The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

This trip is no different with our stop at Flagler Museum. It was built in 1902 as a gorgeous mansion and is now a National Historic Landmark, open for visitors.

Music Room Flagler Museum The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Music Room Flagler Museum The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

One more unique Palm Beach gem is a splendid combination of books and plants, found in The Society of the Four Arts. They have everything from events and presentations along with books of all kinds and a stunning array of plants to stroll through and enjoy.

The Society of the Four Arts The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
The Society of the Four Arts The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

5) Famous Influencers and Fabulous Views

Traveling is wonderful, and not just for the sights to see and food to eat. One of the things many travelers love is the chance to stay in fabulous places and meet some new friends.

If you visit Palm Beach, be sure to stay at The Ben West Palm. It boasts waterfront views, of course, but you will want to take the elevator all the way to the roof. There you will find a fabulous view at the roof top bar. What better way to wind down a full day of exploring Palm Beach than with a fun cocktail in hand and an eye on the turquoise ocean?

As if this weren’t enough, we also happened to meet a travel and fashion influencer. She goes by @activitymonster on Instagram, but her name is Beril. While her own Instagram profile features some gorgeous photos, she is also the social media person behind Visit Palm Beach. We had a nice visit with her and her husband, and they gave us the scoop on the whole Palm Beach area.

Travel Influencer Fun 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Travel Influencer Fun with @ActivityMonster 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

My biggest tip for you (other than the must-see sights named already!) is this: Don’t try to access the Everglades from here. It is possible to get there from the Palm Beach area, but it’s not the best way to go about it. (Stay tuned to the blog for some tips on navigating the Everglades and southwest Florida!)

6) Key Largo

With so many awesome things happening in the Florida Keys, it is hard to list just a few places. But I am up to the challenge, and ready with some suggestions for what you absolutely must do if you’re in the Key Largo area.

Key Largo 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Key Largo 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Do yourself a favor and stop at the Florida Keys Visitor Center first so you have all the information you need about where to go and what to see.

We stayed at Kawama Yacht Club, which you will not want to miss if you are a history buff. This served as the CIA headquarters after the Cuban missile crisis. It was fascinating to be on the grounds of such a historical site, and it is worth reading more about whether or not you decide to visit.

After choosing your hotel, visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for some hiking, hanging out and kayaking in the mangroves. In fact, there is so much to do here that you will want to visit multiple times like we did. This place offers up so much peace and tranquility, not to mention snorkeling, amazing sunsets and fantastic Cuban food.

Sunset in Key Largo 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Sunset in Key Largo 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

7) Key West

Key West Marina

It is not terribly surprising that my first recommendation for your visit to Key West is to stop by the marina. It is incredibly beautiful, and you can look on in awe at the water as well as the stunning assortment of watercraft here.

Harbor Key West 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Key West Marina – 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Friends of Mallory Square

For those history buffs among us, Key West is your town with so many cool cafes and historical spots. While here, visit the Friends of Mallory Square sculpture garden and history museum for some fascinating facts about the area and the people who helped shape it.

Mallory Square sculpture garden and history museum
Mallory Square sculpture garden and history museum

Little White House

Key West has the only Presidential Museum, so you simply have to stop and visit it. It’s known as the Little White House and is the former residence of none other than President Harry Truman.

Little White House 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Little White House 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

William Curry Mansion

Once you finish touring the museum, head to the William Curry mansion. He was the first millionaire in Florida and his generous gifts to his children resulted in this fabulous historical site with multiple mansions to tour.

Ernest Hemingway Home

Ernest Hemingway even made his home here in Key West, and you can take a tour of it today. It is rumored that the cats around the island are descendants of his own beloved pet, which is a fascinating fact for cat lovers!

African Cemetery at Higgs Beach

On a more somber note, a visit to the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach is also in order for your trip to southeast Florida. It is a burial ground steeped in history from the days of slave trading.

African Cemetery at Higgs Beach
African Cemetery at Higgs Beach

Key West Lighthouse

If history is not your calling, grab your camera and go snap some photos of the fabulous lighthouse in Key West.

Fabulous Lighthouse in Key West 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Fabulous Lighthouse in Key West 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Key West Garden Club

Or, cool off from the hot Florida sun at Jimmy Buffett’s famous Margaritaville after strolling through the beautiful Key West Garden Club grounds.

Key West Garden Club
Key West Garden Club – The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Bonus: Islamorada Marker 88

You made it this far, so you must visit Marker 88 in Islamorada. Bring your favorite canine companion and enjoy brunch and cocktails at this lively restaurant with gorgeous views. It is a lovely way to close out your explorations of the southeast Florida coast.

Islamorada Marker 88 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida
Islamorada Marker 88 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

Bonus 2: Miami

Of course Miami should be on every list for traveling to South East Costal Florida. With the combination of the, beaches, the culture, the food and the night life it is a city to explore. But for this particular trip, our intention is to be much more relaxed and low key.  But if you want great action, you will of course want to visit Miami.

The 7 Best Things to do in South East Florida

It was hard to narrow this list down! With so many areas to explore in the southeast coast of Florida, there is no way that you will be bored. Cultural experiences abound, and you will have plenty of options for strolling outdoors as well as beating the heat at indoor museums and attractions. You just never know who you might meet along the way! Where is the first place you will visit on the southeast Florida coast?

Co Author: Brittany VanDerBill – www.bvanderbillconsulting.com

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Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website
moran.wayne@gmail.com