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Beat the Heat: South Florida Edition - Stay Cool with These Tips | Mullinax Ford Blog

Beat the Heat: South Florida Edition - Stay Cool with These Tips | Mullinax Ford Blog

Posted at Mon, Jul 31, 2023 10:30 AM

It’s not just your imagination. There’s record-setting heat right outside your door. 

South Florida ocean temps are reaching world-record highs. Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe have been under one heat advisory after another. It’s safe to say we’re looking for some relief.

Thankfully, the area is filled with attractions that’ll keep you and yours cool and happy no matter what the thermometer brings -- from tried-and-true options like a cool cone of ice cream to crowd-pleasers like the adventure-packed Xtreme Action Park.

Slap on some sunscreen. Break out the short sleeves. Let’s beat the heat together.

Flee To The Sea

Flee to the Sea

Beach. Summer. No two words match better.

If you like your beach with a side of exploration, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea should top your summer bucket list. Regarded as the diving capital of Florida, this little beach town is nestled between Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach and attracts experienced scuba divers and newbie snorkelers alike. 

Divers can park at any beach access point along El Mar Drive and swim 400 feet to Anglin’s Pier Reef. There, you’ll glimpse nurse sharks, turtles, tropical fish and the vibrant reef itself, 12 to 15 feet underwater. 

Rent snorkeling gear at Gold Coast Scuba or Deep Blue Divers -- popular dive shops within walking distance from the beach -- or bring your own gear. Or go with a tour group like Square Grouper SoFlo to see the best snorkel spots. When it comes to diving fun in LBS, choosing your own adventure is easy.

Other ocean oases include:

  • Hobe Sound. Calling all nature lovers! Hobe Sound’s 3.5-mile coast is the largest contiguous section of undeveloped beach in southeastern Florida. Rent a canoe at Jonathan Dickinson State Park or just relax on the area’s pristine beach -- where you might just spot some nesting sea turtles in season.
  • Anna Maria Island. This barrier island outside Fort Myers is home to six beaches, and the only thing better than their clear Gulf water and white sand is their free public parking. After swimming, explore Anna Maria itself -- a bustling town where you’ll see beachgoers zipping by on bikes or munching donuts from the famous Donut Experiment.

Grab A Sweet Treat

Grab a Sweet Treat

No hot day is complete without an icy treat. It’s a Florida law.

If a good ice cream spot is defined by closeness to the beach, Yo Mama’s Ice Cream is scoops ahead of the competition. Located in Sunrise Lane, Fort Lauderdale, the shop prides itself on being five minutes from anywhere on the beach.

If you can imagine it, and it’s a form of ice cream, you can buy it at Yo Mama’s. Curate your own ice cream sundae (with ice cream made on-site), munch a homemade waffle cone or sip a hand-spun milkshake.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better: Yo Mama’s is also open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. No late-night craving goes unfulfilled.

Other sweet treat destinations in South Florida include:

  • The Baked Bear. Although founded by two brothers in California, today the gourmet ice-cream sandwich company has two locations in South Florida -- in Miami and Sawgrass Mills. Here, you can sandwich homemade ice cream in between fresh-baked cookies and brownies (rolled through toppings like Oreos for extra crunch).
  • Yuzu Frozen Yogurt. A one-stop shop for your froyo, crêpe and smoothie cravings. At this Miami spot, top a cup of yogurt, sorbet or gelato with fresh hand-cut fruit -- or blend it into a refreshing shake. Plus, non-dairy folks don’t have to miss the fun. Yuzu offers vegan sorbets in refreshing flavors like mango, watermelon and pineapple.

Freshwater Fun

Freshwater Fun

If you’re craving some swim time outside the ocean, look no further than Tigertail Lake Recreational Center, operated by Broward College.

Cue your inner American Ninja Warrior and brave the lake’s most popular activity: the Tigertail Aqua Challenge water obstacle course. Book an hour-long session to test yourself by swinging, sliding and bouncing through the park’s eight challenging elements.

Looking for something less physically daunting? Head onto the lake in a kayak, stand-up paddleboard or canoe. Rent your vessel by the hour or buy an all-day paddle pass to switch watercraft throughout the day if you can’t choose just one.

If sailing or windsurfing are your speed, Tigertail Rec offers rental boats (for experienced sailors) and private lessons (for aspiring sailors). The lake’s five acres and 10- to 15-knot winds are sure to float your boat.

Or try one of our other favorite spots for watertime fun:

  • Paradise Cove Water Park. There’s something for all at this Pembroke Pines gem. While little ones splash at Paradise Pipeline, the water playground designed for children 5 and under, older folks can get their adrenaline rush from Paradise Pipeline. You’ll want to ride the four five-story-tall water slides again and again, and we won’t blame you.
  • Venetian Pool. It’s the only swimming pool in the country to earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, but you don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy the day swimming in this 820,000-gallon Venetian-style lagoon. Formerly a rock quarry, today the Coral Gables staple features cave-like grottos, stone bridges and two waterfalls.

Explore The Great Indoors

Explore the Great Indoors

Staying in the comfort of AC is a time-honored way to beat the heat, and indoor entertainment doesn’t get much better than the Dauer Classic Car Museum in Sunrise.

For car lovers, browsing Dauer’s 53 antique cars (ranging in age from the ‘30s to the ‘70s) is as close as it gets to heaven on Earth. From the 1956 Cadillac Eldorado rumored to have been owned by Marilyn Monroe to a 1934 authentic Texaco gasoline truck, the museum leaves no auto era unrepresented.

Our favorite gem? A 1934 Ford gasoline tanker truck. We promise we’re only a little bit partial to the brand.

Plus, a few more indoor gems:

  • Silverball Retro Arcade. Not quite a restaurant, not quite a museum, and not quite an arcade, but a fun-filled combination of the three, this Delray Beach entertainment venue has pinball machines and arcade games dating back to the 1930s. Take a trip down memory lane with classics like Pac Man and Donkey Kong -- nostalgic for the adults and entertaining for the kids. Swing by Happy Hour from noon to 7 pm for discounted eats.
  • Xtreme Action Park. What if we said the largest indoor entertainment venue in the state is right here in Fort Lauderdale? Xtreme has it all: go karts, bowling, ropes courses, a trampoline park, roller skating, escape rooms, VR, laser tag and local fare and drinks at Pit Stop Kitchen. Plus, for a limited time this summer, buy an unlimited skate pass for admission to the 12,000-square-foot roller arena from August to February. Let’s roll!
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