The Best of Miami and the Keys

Explore Miami’s Historic District, taste the cuisine of Little Havana, view beautifully vibrant reefs and visit the estate of Hemingway as you discover the wonders of South Florida.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20900RJ
13 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Experience the sophisticated charm of Miami, marvel at the natural wonders of Key Largo and look behind the colorful facade of Key West to discover the source of its enduring allure. From Art Deco architecture to vibrant Little Havana, glass-bottom boats to the winter getaways of prominent Americans, enjoy a memorable experience in one of the most fascinating regions under the Florida sun.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District on a walk with a preservationist.
  • View the shallow reefs teeming with wildlife on a glass bottom boat at John Pennekamp State Park.
  • Pay a visit to the Key West homes of author Ernest Hemingway and President Harry Truman.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
To Have and Have Not
by Ernest Hemingway
This is the dramatic, brutal story of Harry Morgan and his efforts to support his family by running contraband between Key West and Cuba. Set in the 1930s, the book carries all the flavor of an era that was poor, tough and resourceful. Harshly realistic, yet with one of the most subtle and moving relationships in Hemingway's "oeuvre", it goes beyond high adventure. It was adapted for film and became a memorable classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Hemingway's Key West
by Stuart McIver
This vivid portrait reveals both Hemingway, the writer, and Hemingway, the hard-drinking, woman-chasing fighter and sportsman of legend. Hemingway's decade in Key West during the 1930s was his most productive. His only book set in the U.S., To Have and Have Not, takes place there. Meet his circle of friends (known as "the Mob"), his second wife, Pauline, and their two children. Hear from Hemingway contemporaries and scholars about the man and the town that he made famous.
South Beach Deco: Step By Step
by Iris Chase
An expansive and in-depth guide to the Art Deco architecture of South Beach, Florida. This book also explores the culture of daily and nightly life in South Beach.
South Beach at War: Sun, Sand and Soldiers in WWII
by Berson-Levinson, Judi (speaker)
This is the captivating story of the years America's Playground became "the most beautiful boot camp in America" told by the daughter of a WWII veteran. Between 1942 and 1945 Miami Beach played a significant role in WWII. Nearly half a million men, including matinee idol Clark Gable, took over hotels, restaurants, theaters, and golf courses for training by the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command. Army ground forces infantrymen returning from battle were evaluated in the Army Redistribution Station and a group of young women in the Army Air Forces Communication Detachment were credited with shortening the war by intercepting enemy messages and breaking their codes. The author has been collecting the living memories of these veterans for 19 years ever since organizing the first Miami Beach WWII Veterans Reunion in 1999. This book shares the stories of the veterans, the local residents and couples who met and married against the backdrop of war.
Saving South Beach (Florida History and Culture)
by M. Barron Stofik
A look into the battle to preserve historic South Beach and the diverse array of residents involved.
The Greatest Railroad Story Ever Told: Henry Flagler & the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension
by Seth H. Bramson (speaker)
Although several people had considered constructing a railroad to Key West beginning in the early 1800s, it took a bold industrialist with unparalleled vision to make it happen. In 1902, Henry Flagler made the decision to extend the Florida East Coast Railway to "the nearest deepwater American port." In this book, renowned Florida historian Seth H. Bramson reveals how the Key West Extension of the Flagler-owned FEC became the greatest railroad engineering and construction feat in U.S.--and possibly world--history, an accomplishment that would cement Flagler's fame and legend for all time. Join Bramson as he recounts the years of operation of this great railroad, what it did for the Florida Keys and what it meant to the resident conchs.

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