Best Driving Route: A1A, a gorgeous oceanfront route that runs north up Miami Beach, through Sunny Isles and Hollywood into Fort Lauderdale (starting at Ocean Dr. and 1st St. in Miami, and merging onto Collins Ave. before running north), embodies the essence that is Florida. From time-warped hotels steeped in Art Deco kitsch to multimillion-dollar modern high-rises, A1A is one of the most scenic, albeit heavily trafficked, roads in all of Florida.
Best Place for People-Watching: Lunchtime at News Cafe on Ocean Drive is the quintessential South Beach experience -- lunching at News Cafe is more of a spectator sport than a dining experience. What the Big Mac is to McDonald's, people-watching is to News Cafe, whose Ocean Drive location is one of the best sidewalk spots from which to observe the wacky, colorful mix of pedestrians on parade.
Best Place to Hear a Moonlight Concert: The Barnacle State Historic Site hosts a once-monthly, on or near the full moon (except July-Aug) concert in the backyard of its charming 1908 Coconut Grove bungalow, built on 5 acres of waterfront property. Listeners are welcome to picnic and bask in this sublime setting for a mere $5.
Best Place to Learn the Salsa: If the only salsa you're familiar with is the kind you put on your tacos, get over to Bongo's Cuban Café, the hottest salsa club north of Havana, where Miami's most talented salsa dancers will teach you how to move your two left feet in the right direction.
Best Place to Discover Your Inner Flipper: The nonprofit Dolphin Research Center in Marathon Key (home to approximately 15 dolphins) will teach you how to communicate with, touch, swim, and play with the mammals.
Best Cemetery: The Key West Cemetery is funky, picturesque, and the epitome of the quirky Key West image, as irreverent as it is humorous. Headstones reflect residents' lighthearted attitudes toward life and death. I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK is one of the more famous epitaphs, as is the tongue-in-cheek widow's inscription AT LEAST I KNOW WHERE HE'S SLEEPING TONIGHT.
Best Way to See the Everglades Without Breaking a Sweat: Airboat rides through the outskirts of the Everglades are particularly wonderful, as the area is unfettered by jet skis, cruise ships, and neon bikinis. The Everglades is Florida's Outback, resplendent in its swampy nature. It is best explored either by slow-moving canoes that really get you acquainted with your surroundings or via an airboat that can quickly navigate its way through the most stubborn of saw grass, providing you with an up-close-and-personal (as well as fun) view of the land's inhabitants, from alligators and manatees to raccoons and Florida panthers.
Best Place to Drive on a World Record: The Sunshine Skyway Bridge crosses Tampa Bay and at 5 1/2 miles in length is the longest cable span bridge in the world.
Best Place for a Family Vacation: With eight theme parks, 80 smaller attractions, and virtually everything with a kid-friendly touch, it's hard to top Orlando and Lake Buena Vista.
Best Blending of Old South with the Modern Era: There's as much Old South ambience in the state's capital, Tallahassee, as anywhere else in Florida. Here you'll find 19th-century homes nestled among towering pine trees and sprawling live oaks, historic plantations, ancient Native American settlement sites and mounds, gorgeous gardens, quiet parks with picnic areas, beautiful lakes and streams, and myriad outdoor activities. The state legislature is here, along with two college football teams and all the modern conveniences you could want.
Best Place for Sunsets: Florida's Panhandle is the Land of the Two-Way Sun. It has spectacular sunrises to the east and equally gorgeous sunsets to the west. One of the best viewing places is Bud & Alley's rooftop restaurant in Seaside.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.