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Beyond the Mai Kai
Pittsburgh pauly
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 388
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2010-05-07 6:02 pm   Permalink

I'm heading down to Fort Lauderdale for my first Hukilau and wondering what else is there?
I'll be in town a few days before and plan on hitting the Mai Kai a couple times, plus Hawaiian Gardens.
Then there's Coral Castle, been wanting to go there since In Search Of... (thanks Leonard Nemoy).
After that wondering what roadside/midcentury/odd/touristy things TCers suggest?
Vizcaya, Parrot Jungle, Miami Modern, Art Deco tour, Duck Tour, gator wrestling?


 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2135
From: So FL
Posted: 2010-05-10 11:23 am   Permalink

I just recently did the bike ride at SHARK VALLEY (there is a tram ride for a less intimate experience). Shark valley is part of the Everglades National Park - No sharks but plenty of Alligators. If you are heading down to the Coarl Castle this is kinda along the way.

Another favorite is GUMBO LIMBO PARK on Boca Raton's beach. It is a city park that is partnered with FAU's sea turtle research department. Its a free park that displays live turtles, baby sea turtles, and has a lot of nature info.

Snorkeling! Either off the beach or on trip - well worth it!


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2176
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-05-10 1:01 pm   Permalink

Holilday Isles in Isla Morada, Alabama Jacks on Card Sound Road, Alligator Farm and Everglades National Park, Monkey Jungle (is better than Parrot Jungle!), Coral Castle
Vizcaya, Coral Gables (highly recommend the Biltmore!), Calle Ocho, Parrot Jungle Island, South Beach, Lincoln Road, Bal Harbor (high end shopping, fun people watching), Haulover Beach (its clothing option on the north end), Hollywood Beach (wonderfully vintage south Florida), Los Olas Blvd, Butterfly World, Morakami Gardens, Worth Avenue in Palm Beach

And those are just the highlights..... what kind of adventure are you looking for? Things to see? Or things to do? Or places to eat and/or drink?


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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7248
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-05-10 1:22 pm   Permalink

I thought I posted here, I wonder where I did post

We in in Miami a few years ago. Coral Castle was interesting. The gator farm and swamp boat ride was kind of "touristy" but I'm glad we went. The swamp boat ride was a hoot and we got a fimily pic with a huge python. We stopped at an awesome fruit stand down the road from the gator farm and ate all kinds of strange fruits. Speaking of eating, be sure to check out the Cuban food.

On a negative note, we thought Miami was a little short on customer service at the hotels, restaurants, etc.


 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2135
From: So FL
Posted: 2010-05-11 09:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-05-10 13:22, MadDogMike wrote:
On a negative note, we thought Miami was a little short on customer service at the hotels, restaurants, etc.



"Short" - its Miami - there is no customer service!


 
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TikiHardBop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 408
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2010-05-11 10:16 am   Permalink

I can definitely recommend the Art Deco biking and walking tours. Really interesting stuff. Also check out the art deco hotel bars if you find yourself in South Beach. All the previously mentioned stuff are also good.
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7248
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-05-11 1:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

"Short" - its Miami - there is no customer service!



I was trying to be kind It was pretty much "customer ignore-ice" instead of "customer serve-ice"


 
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Pittsburgh pauly
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 388
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2010-05-11 3:34 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to look into the sea turtles and see about snorkeling. If the deco tours are worth it I guess I won't just wander around. I'll be in south beach at least one day (I hear News Cafe has a drink in a take home coconut monkey?). I'll have to decide on some other roadside attraction stuff, so much to choose from!
I really would like to hit Holiday Isles but I've heard it's anywhere from 1.5 hours to 4 hours from Fort Lauderdale. Anyone know? I'll be staying at or by the Ritz Carlton. (Its free perks I'm not made of money, so cheap stuff would be great too. Hukilau is gonna set me back!)


 
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TikiHardBop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 408
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2010-05-12 10:15 am   Permalink

I'm not sure I would recommend Holiday Isle as a destination per se, but if you are going to drive down the Keys (which I do highly recommend, especially if you are renting a convertible), it definitely should be a stop on the way.

I would give myself 2 hours to get to the Keys from Ft. Lauderdale. (Getting through Lauderdale traffic to the interstate is the biggest variable). Once in Key Largo, Islamorada is about 30 minutes; you can go all the way down to Key West in another 2 hours. Remember that Keys traffic, especially going into and out of the Keys is exponentially greater on weekends than on weekdays, even considering that June is "off-season" for the Keys.

Here are the people for the deco tours. They have segway tours now!

http://www.mdpl.org/

And while in South Beach, check out the Wolfsonian. The cocktail shakers alone are worth the price of admission.

And if you are looking for other driving tours, the drive across the Everglades on Alligator Alley is always fun. You can stop by Ochopee and see the world's smallest post office as well as Clyde Butcher's place. He's an amazing photographer who does amazing large print nature photography of Florida.

And don't be too surprised if you find yourself not wanting to leave the Ritz itself. Really swanky place! Also check out the Ft. Lauderdale water taxis. You can get to many cool destinations (like Las Olas/RiverWalk) via water taxi and as long as you aren't in a hurry, it's a great way to go. No parking or DUI issues. It's also a fun hangover-recovery activity during Hukilau. Not that *I* would know anything about that!
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2135
From: So FL
Posted: 2010-05-12 12:35 pm   Permalink

I would suggest skipping Miami if you are staying in FTL. Two totally different cities with different personalities. Islamarada is 1.5 hours, the Coral castle is 45 min. - both thru some nasty traffic (especially if you are not used to it). Gators can be seen at either Billy Swamp Safari or Holiday Park (both are due west of FTL and quick/easy to get to). If you take the water taxi be sure to stop at 15th St. Fisheries: have lunch on the back deck and feed the fish afterwards - great show. Another fun nature tour is Kayaking in Dania Beach (very close)! FTL has lots to do without going too far.

 
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TikiHardBop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 408
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2010-05-12 1:16 pm   Permalink

Yeah, the traffic from Lauderdale to Miami can be fun, especially during rush hour. But if you want to go to the Keys, heading out west to 821 keeps you out of most of the mess.

I don't know what kind of schedule he's dealing with, but if I were visiting from out of town and had the time, I definitely would rather see the architecture of South Beach or drive US 1 down through the Keys rather than bounce around Ft. Lauderdale, especially if you are going to be in Ft. Lauderdale throughout Hukilau.



 
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Pittsburgh pauly
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 388
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2010-05-18 12:51 pm   Permalink

Thanks again everybody!
I've been to South Beach and Fort Lauderdale each before, (and won't be leaving FtL during Hukilau) so I'm thinking of casting a wider net. But I can't skip a chance to be surrounded by all that SoBe Deco again!
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5808
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2010-05-18 11:42 pm   Permalink

Cap's





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Pittsburgh pauly
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 388
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2010-05-23 11:14 am   Permalink

Caps? Now that's a story! May have to check it out.
thanks!

[ This Message was edited by: Pittsburgh pauly 2010-05-23 11:15 ]


 
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phinz
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 30, 2007
Posts: 196
From: Southeast of Disorder
Posted: 2010-05-23 11:31 am   Permalink

Very intriguing... Too bad our only evening available when we're in Lauderdale the week after Hukilau is on a Monday. Guess we'll have to go the next time we're down there to visit family. I *know* I won't have time during Hukilau to make it up that way.
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