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.
CitySightSeeing Miami encourages tourists not just to see the sights around them, but also to explore them. Professional multilingual guides educate tourists on historical facts and fun city locations, leaving visitors with a deeper knowledge about Miami. When the urge strikes to linger at a tour stop, guests can hop off their double-decker buses and roam alone. Throughout the day, more buses arrive at each stop in intervals to pick up wandering customers and continue their tours while pairing them once again with the bus’s free WiFi and interior AC.
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.
ATA Flight School’s trusty fleet of Cessna aircrafts provides students with a way to get hands-on experience to earn their private-pilot certification or instrument ratings. Based out of North Perry General Aviation Airport, the FAA-approved professional flight school employs a staff of certified flight instructors who coach aspiring aviators along the way and give pep talks to airplanes prior to liftoff. ATA Flight School also operates Miami Flightseeing, which whisks passengers aloft for tours including The Grand Miami Tour, which flies high over 80 miles of beaches and Downtown Miami, and The Miami Sunset Tour, which reveals beautiful views of the sun as it sets over the Everglades.
Making memories nearly every day of the year, the steady-handed tour guides and pilots of Miami Flight Seeing conduct aerial surveys over more than 80 miles of Key Biscayne, Biscayne Bay, and downtown Miami. While skimming over pristine beaches and emerald-colored waters, sky tourists spot manatees, dolphins, manta rays, and other volleyball enthusiasts below. The high-winged observation craft boasts panoramic windows with virtually no obstruction, affording a clear view of all of the highlights narrated by the pilot on educational ventures. And yet, captains also know when to show restraint in their narrations; namely during the company's romantic sunset tour, which has prompted many an enviable marriage proposal.
The Seminole Hard Rock Wine & Food Festival is a new tradition—it started in 2010—but its creators hope to make it a lasting part of South Florida foodie culture. Amidst cuisine from renowned local eateries such as Tatu and Council Oak, guests can relax in several different lounges, from a spa area for women to a men's lounge with a big screen TV. The Caribbean lounge surrounds festival goers with assorted rums and tropical rubs, all cooked up by Chef Creole. Sponsors include NBC 6, Lite-FM, and the Miami Herald, and a portion of the profits will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation.