While there are plenty of activities to enjoy onsite at Topsider Resort, we recommend spending at least one day of your Florida Keys vacation exploring mainland South Florida. Popular attractions include beaches, lighthouses, sports, theme parks, etc. and are within easy reach of our resort. Read on for some off the beaten path attractions you might want to see during your Topsider vacation.
Coral Castle is a sight to behold! This sculpture garden was created by hand from over 1,100 tons of coral rock. Edward Leedskalnin from Latvia, who was just over 5 feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds, created this as a testament to his lost love, Agnes Scuffs. Coral Castle is located in Miami so it will take over an hour to get there but it is definitely worth the drive.
If you want to see alligators then this is the place for you. Alligator shows, alligator feedings, and snake shows are all offered here at the Everglades Alligator Farm. While here you won’t want to miss a chance to see the Florida Everglades so book a guided tour by airboat. The Everglades Alligator Farm is located in Homestead, a little more than an hour’s drive from the greater Fort Lauderdale area.
Over 300 primates live in this 30-acre wildlife park and discovery center known as Monkey Jungle. Visitors get a unique look into the life of a variety of monkeys, orangutans, and gorillas through demonstrations and interactions with keepers. This unique place is located in Miami and is over an hour from the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.
The Preston B. Bird & Mary Heinlein Fruit & Spice Park
Another unique attraction located in Homestead is the Fruit & Spice Park. This 37-acre botanical garden hosts over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts and other plant specimens from around the world. Visit the tasting counter inside the park store or have lunch in the Mango Café.
When you’re staying in the Florida Keys there are plenty of places on that chain of islands to explore, and one of the most popular is Key West! The very last island in the Florida Keys, there is plenty of memorable things to do and see at this furthest point of the continental United States! Take the guided Conch Train Tour throughout the island learning about the history of Key West while hitting all the major spots; Mallory Square, Front Street, Ernest Hemmingway’s House, and everything in-between. Take some time out to visit the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and see beautifully colored butterflies, plants, and even flamingos. Take a visit as well to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and learn all about the nautical history of not only Florida but the Caribbean as well. After all that adventuring you might be feeling a little peckish, so stop by B.O.’s Fish Wagon to grab one of his famous grouper sandwiches as seen on Bobby Flay’s Food Nation!
If you’re looking for another island to hop too during the day, Marathon is another perfect choice to explore! Check out their famous Dolphin Research Center where you can visit under general admission, or even come to get up close and personal with the Dolphins and other sea critters living there. Maybe your more of a turtle person, and if so then the Turtle Hospital is probably the spot for you. Opened in 1986, their main mission is to rescue, rehab, and release sick or injured sea turtles back into the wild. Educational tours run for 90 minutes, every hour, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you’re looking to do some very hands-on, then look no further than The Art Studio! Offering up workshops and classes ranging from metalworking, pottery, painting, glassblowing, and more, there is plenty of activities for you to explore your creativity! After all of these activities you’ll most likely be wanting to refuel, so check out Keys Fisheries for a wonderful meal. With a beautiful view right on the water, Key Fisheries offers up fresh seafood right from the docks, and you can even buy it from their Seafood Market for a meal back at the resort!