A wise man once described Miami as "palm trees, blue skies, ganstas and goons / where parties don't stop till the next afternoon." Truly, Pitbull nailed it.
In the Magic City, we typically spend our days making love to rappers, swapping luxury real estate, and blissfully ignoring climate change. But every so often, Mother Nature manages not to drop her signal, and the call of the wild comes through. When it does, we break away from the strip clubs, strip malls, and grandma's condominium -- and go explore. Florida's longleaf pine forests and stillwater cypress swamps are ecosystems unlike any other on the planet. Our beaches boast some of the warmest, bluest, and fishiest waters in the Western Hemisphere. Did you know we even have bears?
Should the vacation gods bestow you with enough time off for a multi-day side trip from Miami, steer clear of the Mouse House and instead swim with manatees in freshwater springs, take a cruise to Bimini for a weekend, or hunt for fossils on the Peace River, where ancient shark bones and mastodon teeth are waiting to be found. But if time is scarce -- or you just can't keep away from the city's sexy neon glow -- the easy day trips below are enough to nab a literal breath of fresh air. Plus, you can be back to hit the club before midnight. As Pit would say, "Dale!"
Airboat in Everglades national Park | FLICKR/ERIC BAKER
The Breakers Palm Beach | The Breakers Palm Beach
Ochopee, Florida | Celso Diniz/Shutterstock
Islamorada, Florida Keys | Miami2you/Shutterstock
Fort Lauderdale beach | byvalet/shutterstock
Shark Valley, Everglades National Park | Andy Lidstone/Shutterstock
Kayaking in mangrove tunnels in Everglades National park | mariakraynova/Shutterstock
Naples, Florida | ESB Professional/shutterstock
Schnebly Redland's Winery | Schnebly Redland's Winery