Ecotourism Adventures in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Part 1

| 3/11/2014 6:28:00 PM

Tags: ecotourism, Florida, John D. Ivanko,

While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.

In this series of three posts, I’ll reveal some of the nature-based experiences possible in the “gold coast” stretching north from Miami to Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I’ll share our adventures on land, in the ocean and atop America’s slowest-flowing river in what is famously known as the Everglades.

The stretch of sands connecting the metro areas of Miami and Fort Lauderdale wouldn’t appear to be viable ecotourism destinations – at least not at first glance. But shimmering turquoise waters, powdery soft beaches, large swaths of mangroves preserved in various parks, and miles of bike paths makes it easy to escape the droves of sun-worshipers and traffic-clogged expressways.

Tropical Sailing sunset cruise by John D. Ivanko 

Sail Away, Sail Away

With their catamarans docked in both Miami’s Bayside Harbor and Bahia Mar Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Tropical Sailing offers both sunset sails and snorkeling trips that make the big city feel miles away while on their “Spirit of Lauderdale” 50-foot catamaran.

Once we hit the open Atlantic about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Captain Gary pulled the engines out of the water and we soared with the wind. Kicking back on their webbed “trampoline” that stretched between the twin hulls, sails stiff with the steady breeze, we enjoyed a champagne toast as the sun dropped behind the sand-trimmed coast. Not a sound from a motor or drop of fuel being burned.

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