Florida Fun Links
Presented for your pleasure, education, and entertainment by
Bob Beeman
Updated 2012-04-07 SA

Visitors to Florida, as well as the rest of the United States, are subject to arbitrary s t r i p-searches, as per US Supreme Court Ruling 10-945 issued on 2012-04-02. Please note that in many parts of the US, including Florida, police are very aggressive in s t r i p-searching people for minor offences. This should be a particular concern for those whose appearance identifies them in some way as non US Citizens or members of a religious, cultural, racial, or ethnic minority.

It causes me pain to say this, as I love my country, but there are other nice places to visit in the world where they do not s t r i p-search people for riding a bicycle without a bell, or for not wearing seatbelts (two examples mentioned in the Supreme Court decision upholding this practice).

Don't let your desire to visit the US result in the mistreatment and humiliation of yourself, your wife, or your children.

If you are willing to risk this sort of incident however, we do have some nice places here in Florida:

SouthEast Florida (Miami & Ft. Lauderdale)
Bonnet House (The)
900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304.
Bonnet House is the legacy of Frederic Clay Bartlett's visions and talent which translated his years of exposure to the arts and architecture of Europe into a native Floridian house.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312

Butterfly World
3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, Florida 33073. In Tradewinds Park.
A place where you can walk among thousands of LIVE butterflies in all stages of life and enter their habitat.

Coral Castle
Coral Castle Museum, 28655 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33033
(305) 248-6345
Definitely a different kind of place, but interesting.
"To this day, no one knows how Ed created the Coral Castle. Built under the cover of night and in secret, at a time when there were no modern construction conveniences, Ed would only say that he knew "the secret of the pyramids." When he died, his secrets died with him, and to this day scientists and thinkers still debate Ed's methods."

Coral Springs Center for the Arts
2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065

Everglades Airboat Tours
Don't look for much help from their website. It is a morass of graphics that take forever to load and seem to give no meaningful information.
West of Fort Lauderdale: Two miles North of I-75 (Alligator Alley) on U.S. 27. Airboat rides, Alligator & Reptile Exhibit, Replica of an 18th Century Indian Village, Vanishing Species Exhibit, Boat Rentals and Fishing Guides.

Fairchild Tropical Gardens
10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables (Miami) Florida 33156 Tel: 306-667-1651
A really nice display of tropical plants. Fairchild is involved in efforts to conserve tropical plant species. They also have (twice so far) hosted exhibits by Dale Chihuly, the noted glass artist.

Flamingo Gardens
3750 S Flamingo Road, Davie, Florida 33330-1614(between Griffin Road and I-595)  954.473.2955
A beautiful and inviting Botannical Garden featuring tropical plants. There is a guided tour, a tram ride, and a Wildlife Encounter show.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum
12450 S.W. 152nd Street Miami, Florida, U.S.A., 33177-1402
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has over 40 pieces of railroad rolling stock and equipment, as well as informational exhibits and programs for children.

Jungle Queen
801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Dinner and Signtseeing cruises, variety show, sing-along on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Stupid, but one of my favorites.

Jungle Island.
Old timers will remember this as the "Parrot Jungle", but it is now at a new location.
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, off 395, between downtown Miami and South Beach.
A tropical garden featuring performing birds and animals.
One of my favorites.

Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter Lighthouse Direct Link
Jupiter, FL
A classic old lighthouse, built in 1860. GPS and Loran-C have made these obsolete, but they are beautiful buildings, and an important part of history.

Lion Country Safari
2003 Lion Country Safari Road, Loxahatchee, FL. 33470
A drive-through and traditional zoo featuring mostly African animals. As close as you will ever get to a lion, elephant, hippo or rhino and still stay alive.
One of my favorites.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL 33446
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida, with rotating exhibitions in its galleries, tea ceremonies performed monthly in its Seishin-an tea house, an educational outreach program with local schools and organizations, and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated for the public several times a year.
Possibly the best attraction in Florida. Coming to Florida and missing this is like going to Wyoming without visiting Yellowstone Park.

Museum of Discovery and Science
401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312     954-467-6637
Many permanent and temporary science exhibits, including many that are "hands-on" for kids. Also has an IMAX theater that shows science-related films.

New World Symphony
Lincoln Theatre 541 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The New World Symphony is dedicated to the artistic, personal and professional development of outstanding musicians. The NWS fellowship program provides top graduates of music programs here and abroad the opportunity to enhance their musical education with the finest professional training.

Norton Museum of Art
1451 S Olive Avenue - West Palm Beach, FL 33401
The Norton is a major cultural attraction in Florida, and is known for its permanent collection featuring 19th and 20th century European and American art, Chinese, Contemporary art and photography.

Palm Beach Zoo
Located in Dreher Park: 1301 Summit Blvd West Palm Beach, FL 33405-3035
A really nice local zoo.

Seminole Tribe Enterprises
There are a number of locations in Florida. The one near us is in Big Cypress, Florida.
Take Alligator Alley (I-75) from either Ft. Lauderdale or Naples. Exit 49 (Service Plaza) then go North 19 miles to Big Cypress.
Real Seminole indians and indian culture in a friendly and fun setting. Museum, Swamp adventures, Restaurant, many cultural and cross-cultural events.

South Florida Railway Museum
1300 W Hillsboro Beach Blvd, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
A historical museum and archive of South Florida's Railroads. Includes miniature railroad layouts in both "N" and "HOn3" scale.

South Florida Science Museum
4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
In Dreher Park next to the Dreher Park Zoo (above)
Planetarium and lots of interesting science exhibits.
Basically the same location as The Palm Beach Zoo.

3251 S. Miami Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL     305.250.9133
Vizcaya, which was the winter home of International Harvester vice president James Deering, offers a unique glimpse of a vanished lifestyle in America. Vizcaya provides a window to both the history of Miami, graced by the villa since it completion in 1916; and to the Italian Renaissance, represented in the Museum's architecture. Its art and furnishings portray 400 years of European history.
Walt Disney World
Yeah, its here.

Tampa & St. Petersburg
Busch Gardens
3000 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612     (813) 987-5082
An interesting combination of theme park, thrill rides, education, and a zoo. I never really appreciated King Tut and his history until I saw the "King Tut" exhibit here. Of course the exhibit and all of the "artifacts" were admittedly fake, but they did a much better job of presenting King Tut and his times than most museums with real artifacts, at least in my opinion.
Education aside, the thrill rides are truly world-class!

Salvador Dali Museum
1000 3rd S St Saint Petersburg, FL 33701
The world's most comprehensive collection of works by the late Spanish surrealist. They claim to have the only three star rating on Florida's west coast.
Savannah, Georgia
This isn't in Florida, but read on...
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Ave. Pooler, GA 31322     912.748.8888
This museum absolutely blew us away when Rosann and I visited here. We even changed our vacation plans so that we could make a return visit. I feel a little guilty listing it on a "Fun" page, but it is something every American needs to see.

This museum powerfully makes the point that "The Price of Freedom" is a hell of a lot more than eternal vigilance.

This is easily worth the 400 mile drive from SE Florida!
They have an interesting, but limited website. You have to see the museum to appreciate it.