Gold Coast

Race track on the Gold Coast.
Overview

You'll love the soft sand and lapping waves of the long Atlantic beaches if it's your first time on Florida's Gold Coast. Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk bars and cafes come alive during the evening, while along the coast, glitzy Palm Beach is the place to spot celebrities.

Background

Florida's famed Gold Coast runs north from Miami, along 75 miles of soft sandy beaches and the ocean-side cities of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton to the glittering enclave of West Palm Beach. The Intracoastal Waterway, which runs along the coast, is dotted with billionaires' winter homes hidden away on the beachside. Inland from the coastal conurbation, you can escape into the tropical wilderness of Big Cypress Swamp to spot herons, alligators and maybe even a black bear.

First-time visit

The Blue Flag beach in Fort Lauderdale is the place to catch some rays before pottering around the Museum of Art, packed with pop art. Hire a motorboat and chug along the Intracoastal Waterway to Palm Beach, where you can take in the Beaux Arts interiors of the Flagler Museum. Cool off with an ice-cold beer around the hotel pool at Breakers Palm Beach. Amuse yourself at the Kennedy Space Center on Space Coast and clamber around a Space Shuttle flight deck there.

Return visit

Lounge on golden Dania Beach before exploring the galleries and shops in the town's colourful Art and Antique District. Later, head to Dania Jai Alai to catch a game of jai alai, a speedy and ferocious version of lacrosse. If you fancy getting back to nature, rent a canoe for the afternoon and paddle across the lagoon at Fort Lauderdale's Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Spend your dollars at the discount outlets of nearby Sawgrass Mills or splash out on designer labels in Palm Beach's chic Worth Avenue.

airports

Miami International Airport

Essentials

The US's third busiest airport, Miami International Airport flies more than 33 million passengers a year. Located seven miles north of downtown Miami, a taxi takes you there in around 30 minutes.

Airport Facts

Airport code
MIA
Airport website
Miami International Airport website
Airport tel
+1 305 876 7000
No. of terminals
One, divided into North, Central and South areas, and seven concourses.
Distance from city centre
7 miles (12km) north of Downtown Miami.
Transport between terminals
Allow 20 minutes to walk between concourses C and J.
Airport parking
There is short-stay and long-stay, business and valet parking. An economy park-and-ride service is situated near the Perimeter Road at NW 14th Street. A shuttle bus takes passengers to and from the terminus every ten minutes.
Time Zone
GMT -5 (-4 in summer).
Useful tips
Expect long immigration queues due to the volume of passengers passing through.

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