It was 16 years ago when Eduardo de Queiroz first stepped into the pristine Florida sand, breathing the salty air and marveling at the azure sea. The Brazil native spent years exploring the amusement parks of Orlando, the sunny shorelines of Miami Beach, and the Cuban restaurants in Little Havana, falling in love with the peninsula in the process. Today, Eduardo puts his passion and knowledge of South Florida to good use with his own tour company—Amazonia Tours Miami. The seasoned guide leads tours all around the Miami area, from airboat cruises through the lush wildlife of the everglades to air-conditioned bus trips around the art deco architecture of South Beach. He brings sightseers to the Jungle Island zoo and Seaquarium, and ventures outside the city to introduce newcomers to Orlando theme parks and Key West beaches. The versatile guide conducts tours in English, Portuguese, or a Dracula voice. In addition to tours, he offers scooter rentals and transportation to the airport and local malls.
Groups of tourists walk past the current dwelling places of some of the area’s notable residents, such as Addison Cairns Mizner, Paul Ilyinsky, and Henry Morrison Flagler. Unlike the case with traditional celebrity-sighting tours, however, all of these men died decades ago. Their spooky hauntings frame the path of Ghosts of Palm Beach’s walking tours, during which knowledgeable guides share local folklore and paranormal encounters. Stops can include everything from Palm Beach Town Hall to high-fashion shops such as Gucci, Chanel, and Saks Fifth Avenue, where the ghosts still try to buy handbags for a dollar and two bits.
The mad scientists behind The Challenge Mud Run spend their days playing with mud and surfing the Web for the ideal throwing axe. All that hard work will pay off when they host an intense 5-mile race that challenges the mind and body. During the race, entrants crawl through a dark, semisubmerged and smoke-filled tunnel, swing on monkey bars over a quicksand pit, answer a series of brain teasers, and of course crawl through mud while pretending to be the primordial life form that preceded the crocodile.
At sunrise and sunset, the space over Florida’s white beaches and turquoise waters transforms into a brilliant skyscape of color. Luckily for their customers, Go Fly Tours has access to the ideal vantage point for viewing this prismatic wonder—the sky itself. Its airplane tours can soar through the enchanting scenes of dawns and dusks, or showcase local landmarks, such as bustling Port Everglades, Hollywood Beach, and Star Island, a favored getaway for celebrities. The staff can also add a romantic touch to the aerial views with a champagne toast, which has proved more appealing than a pilot who makes kissing sounds the whole flight.
Ranked by TripAdvisor as the 9th most popular activity in Miami, Wheels 2 Go Miami's guided tours lead riders through the area's most popular and bike-friendly spots such as the Venetian Causeway, Key Biscayne Island, and South Beach. Using their electric bikes, riders can self-propel at regular speeds or twist the throttle to ride up to 20 mph for up to 40 miles without pedaling or attaching a windsock to the handlebars. Electric bikes are also available for rental for those wanting to wheel about town without a tour guide.
Miami’s azure beaches and kaleidoscopic cityscapes beckon eyes downward as Miami Seaplane Tours’ Cessna 172 Seahawk skirts across the horizon. With more than 30 years of experience, pilot Tony Anderson flies jet-setting adventurers above Miami in the renovated interior of his ultralight Cessna, which accommodates up to three passengers. The aerodynamically enhanced craft now offers four distinct seaplane tours, ranging in length from 30 minutes to two hours. Passengers soak in panoramic views of downtown Miami’s hotels, beaches, and mansions, or sail over the soiree of Fort Lauderdale. Tours can also glide north of the city, all the while dodging clouds and errant beach frisbees thrown by Dan Marino.