A Bluegreen vacation to Miami doesn’t have to be all about the glitz and glamor of downtown, or the seductive nature of the coastline… It can be about adventure, wildlife and exploration. You can head a little west to the Everglades, kayak the shores of the keys and snorkel sunken ships and fossilized reefs. You can do a lot more than eat, drink and shop in Miami. You can get out there and see some seriously cool stuff. And you can do that easily with EcoAdventures. Based out of Miami’s nearly everlasting park system, EcoAdventures offers tons of opportunities for Miami sight seeing adventures to go on during your Bluegreen vacation to Solara Surfside.
EcoAdventures was established by the Miami-Dade Parks system and is currently based in Miami. Those affiliated with EcoAdventures are, needless to say, outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, educators and protectors of the beautiful subtropical ecosystem that thrives in South Florida. The organization offers Miami sight seeing activities tailored to all skill levels and abilities, from wildflower walks in the Everglades to overnight camping trips into backcountry sites. It is the intention of EcoAdventures to bring to light the diversity within the ecosystem, and to teach others to admire, respect and preserve the environment. The possibilities of trips to take during your Bluegreen vacation are nearly limitless, thanks to the many different ecosystems in South Florida.
Kayaking, Canoeing and Snorkeling
Water, water, everywhere and so much more to see.
Take a Sea Kayak and Snorkel Adventure to Key Biscayne and explore the Bear Cut Preserve. You will paddle up to tropical fish, sea stars, coastal birds and spotted eagle rays.
Or take a Sunset and Moonlight Kayak Adventure through the shallows of Key Biscayne. Paddle your way through the preserve and watch the sun calmly sink below the horizon. Beautiful.
Try out the Historic Oleta River Canoe and Kayak Trek, and paddle through the 2,000-year-old river that was once a major source of food, water and transportation for Spanish Explorers, Miccosukee and Seminole Indians.
Head south to Indian Key and for the Indian Key Canoe and Snorkel Excursion. Paddle around the island, just as its first settlers did in the 1800s. Snorkel the waters and see what’s residing in the reefs.
The Historic Coral Gables Waterway Canoe Adventure will take you through the beautiful Coral Gables. Nature and history combine to create spectacular sights.
The Key Biscayne Canoe Trek allows you to explore the mangroves that feed and shelter animals ranging from fish to iguanas to manatees. Then, head out of the bay and paddle against the shimmering Miami backdrop.
If you chose the Matheson Bay Shore Canoe and Kayak Trip, you will be immersed within the mangroves and their inhabitants. Paddle around Key Biscayne and look for Pelicans, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Nurse Sharks, Sting Rays and tropical fish.
The Chicken Key Canoe Trip takes you to a seven-acre mangrove island that is also a restored bird rookery. The island’s protective shores house manatees and sea turtles, as well as a variety of birds.
Bike and Hike
Look up, look down, look all around… Bike or hike
If you sign up for the Everglades Pineland Bike and Hike tour, you will spend a day trekking through the Everglades, exploring the pinelands at Long Pine Key. Keep an eye out for the native wildlife, wildflowers and other plants during the seven-mile route.
The Redland Historic Bike Tour heads west for a trip through the historic Redland Agriculture District. You will leave from Castellow Hammock Park and cruise through Will Anderson’s general store and Knaus Berry Farm. A finish at Redland Fuit and Spice Park will provide samplings of the tropical fruits grown in Floridians’ back yards.
The Key Biscayne Bike Adventure explores the former home of pirates, wreckers and Tequesta Indians. The 8-mile trip traverses through Crandon Park’s Bear Cut Preserve, Crandon Marina, The Village of Key Biscayne and Crandon Gardens.
Expedition South Florida
In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration. – Ansel Adams
Everglades Expeditions consist of airboat rides through the swamps of middle Florida. Tour guides will show you “rivers of grass,” alligator holes and native birds. The tour will end with a stop at Coopertown Restaurant. You should try the gator tail.
The Fakahatchee Strand Swamp Exploration puts you right in the heart of the state preserve. Get out and trek through the swamp to spot the Ghost Orchid, a rare find, and see where the Florida panther, black bear and Everglades mink call home.
Sign up for one of the EcoAdventures Camping Expeditions to see some of South Florida’s most serene areas. The trips vary, depending upon the weather and time of year, so call and see what is scheduled during your Miami vacation.
If you want to catch some dinner, sign up for a Backcountry Kayak Fishing trip. An expert guide will take you along the shoreline of Biscayne Bay as you fish for redfish, bonefish, snook and tarpon. You need a valid Florida saltwater recreational fishing license for this trip, which can be ordered at www.myfwc.com.
Partaking in one of the South Florida Birding Tours will take you into the northern Everglades to see over 400 species of birds that call this area home. Birds such as the endangered Everglades snail kite cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
As part of the organization’s efforts to preserve the natural world around South Florida, EcoAdventures also offers a Sea Turtles Awareness Program, a 45-minute presentation that explains the different species of sea turtles and their life cycles. The presentations end with group trips to the beach to release Loggerhead hatchlings. This program only runs from late July through the end of August and reservations are required to attend.
The Miami-Dade Park’s Eco Adventures offers opportunities for self-exploration as well. You can rent equipment, such as kiteboards and kites, kayaks, canoes and snorkeling gear. You can also customize large group tours, such as snorkeling adventures, boat cruises and photography tours.
Overall, there are six different nature centers throughout the Miami-Dade park system, giving you ample opportunity to get out there and see some of South Florida’s natural surroundings during your vacation to Bluegreen’s resort Solara Surfside. Each nature center offers special events as well, from seminars to group trips through the grounds.
Eco Adventures offers Miami residents and visitors a trip from the norm. The guides, naturalists who live among the mangroves, palm trees and swamps of Florida, are dedicated to preserving the area and teaching others about its value. Whether your Bluegreen vacation to Miami is family-oriented, or romantically inclined, a day on an Eco Adventure will not only be fun; it will be supporting the area that you have chosen to visit.