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Winter Getaway: Key Biscayne

For families seeking a winter getaway focused on sandy beaches and nature, Key Biscayne, Florida offers plenty of options.

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For a nature-focused winter getaway, consider Key Biscayne, Florida. It's a laidback island town 20 minutes from Miami. Start at Bill Baggs Cape Florida Park on the southern end of the island. Visit the historic lighthouse built in the 1800s. You can take a free guided tour and climb to the top for spectacular views. Take a swim on the beach nearby. You never know what you'll find in the clear blue waters below. Bring a picnic or enjoy the Cuban cuisine at the charming Lighthouse Café. Key Biscayne has plenty of upscale resorts, but you may save by renting a condo on vrbo.com or homeaway.com. For affordable fun, choose a complex with a pool, a kids playground, and easy beach access. Cooking a few meals can save a bundle. Don't miss the Miami Seaquarium, a marine life park and animal rescue center. It's the original film location of the 1960s TV series Flipper. For an extra fee, you can get up close with the dolphins, play with them and even catch a ride across the pool. If that's not in the budget, you'll find plenty of other friends at the Seaqarium, feathered, leathery, hard-shelled, and, thankfully, friends that are made of stone. Rent bikes, canoes or kayaks to explore Crandon Park on the southern end of the island. Ride through Bear Cut Preserve at 264 acre habitat full of mangroves, majestic peacocks and other wildlife. The Nature Center offers guided eco tours for a nominal fee. You'll fall in love with Key Biscayne.