Get Outdoors in the South

There’s never been a better time to embrace a fresh start surrounded by Mother Nature. So let’s get out there! We rounded up some of our favorite outdoor adventures in the Western U.S., Southern U.S., and the Northeastern U.S., from lesser-known national parks to otherworldly destinations that are closer than you think — all within driving distance to Independent Collection’s unique hotels and resorts. 

Won’t you join us? Explore our destinations and book your stay today. 


America’s southern states march to the beat of their own drums. Rich with history and diverse local culture, each destination offers an entirely different experience with unique outdoor experiences to match.

Key West — Parrot Key Hotel & Villas

Looking for even more diverse wildlife? Head south — way, way south — to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental US and home to Parrot Key Hotel and Villas

This four-mile island is paradise for those who are happiest when on the water. In addition to kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing, Key West offers unparalleled fishing and snorkeling in a totally unique location. Enter the Dry Tortugas National Park (5 min. drive + ferry), a remote, 100-square-mile park with seven islands and a fascinating history that traces back to Ponce De León’s 1513 voyage. Tour the impressive Fort Jefferson, then jump into the turquoise water for an incredible sight. 

Below the surface lie storied shipwrecks and historic artifacts, not to mention an abundance of diverse marine life. Thanks to the park’s proximity to the Florida Keys reef system, divers and snorkelers may swim beside colorful parrot fish, reef squid, barracudas and crocodiles.

After an adventure-filled afternoon on the water, head back to the island and unwind at The Grove, Parrot Key’s poolside kitchen and bar. Refuel with island-inspired dishes like fresh ceviche, conch fritters, and blackened mahi tacos, and wash them down with your favorite tropical cocktail (topped with a tiny umbrella, of course!)

Miami Beach — Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club

It’s technically part of the south, but you could easily mistake it for its own country. Miami Beach is a dazzling stretch of land at the edge of the city of Miami, a cultural melting pot that’s all about fun in the sun. Here you’ll find the historic Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, an Art Deco icon built in 1940. 

After a relaxing day in your beachfront cabana, hop on a complimentary bike and head to the boardwalk. As the sun goes down, the neon lights of Ocean Drive click on. Tour the city’s world-famous Art Deco architecture, then bike to the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center to catch a live classical music concert projected onto the building’s exterior.

Or how about trading your sun for swamp with a day trip to the Everglades? Located an hour west of Cadillac Hotel, Everglades National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an international biosphere reserve, and America’s largest subtropical wilderness. There’s plenty to see and do in this unique destination: tour the swamplands on an airboat, go for a bike ride beside sunbathing alligators at Shark Valley, or join an eco-tour and keep an eye out for wildlife species like rare frogs, manatees, pythons, and of course, crocodiles. 

Wherever you dare to travel, Independent Collection offers a unique hotel or resort to call your home away from home. Explore our portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts here.

View more outdoor adventures in the Western U.S. and Northeastern U.S.