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Port St. Lucie (We Promise) Is the Best Vacation You Can Take Without Leaving Florida

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When was the last time you woke up to the sound of birds chirping? It’s probably been too long—so make haste to Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie, where an affluent, attractive and super-sporty population vacations in a natural paradise not rivaled since those early scenes in The Lorax. We’ve figured out the best way to take advantage of this quaint small town as the perfect detox from life in the Magic City.

WHERE TO STAY

This is easy. Club Med Sandpiper Bay is the place for any busy Miamian to instantly feel relaxed. Whether you’re lounging on a pool bed, enjoying an aromatherapy facial or sporting it up at the volleyball courts, the distant sound of wildlife will transport you back to the good old days. And just when you thought this place couldn’t get any better, it’s an all-inclusive resort—bottomless eats and drinks, here we come. If Club Med is booked, we suggest looking into a room at the Sheraton PGA.

WHERE TO EAT

Breakfast: Things are pinch-me country cute at Berry Fresh Cafe, where strawberry-stuffed French toast and a cappuccino in a garden setting is how we wish every morning could start.

Lunch: Sit pretty at Fernando’s Dockside Grille for a dose of New England charm. Nosh on codfish cakes and a glass of rosé after a game of golf (more on that later).

Dinner: A stay at Club Med Sandpiper Bay means dinner at the Riverside Grill, which offersmore charming views of the St. Lucie River. Plates here are beyond photo-worthy, so don’t feel guilty pulling out your phone to snap a picture before you dig in.

WHAT TO DO

Let’s be honest: Sometimes we need a push to get sporty. In the Sandpiper area, take advantage of the quiet, expansive green spaces that are perfect for golf, tennis and volleyball. Water sports are major here, too (think sailing, kayaking and snorkeling). You can play a host of different sports at Club Med (it’s an all-inclusive wellness resort, after all) as well as catch a serious game of golf at The Saints or the St. Lucie Trail. If sports aren’t your thing, visit the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens or take a ride on a jungle-inspired River Lilly Cruise.

WHERE TO EXPLORE

If you have the time, make the trek to the Kennedy Space Center (because when else will you, right?). Spend the day at NASA, see the Rocket Garden and, if you’re lucky, catch a live rocket launch. (Check out the schedule.)

WHERE TO SPLURGE

It’s hard to rival Miami’s luxe shopping centers, so we suggest splurging on something equally amazing instead. At Club Med, indulge in a 60-minute session at the only French-inspired L’Occitane spa on the East Coast. If that’s not your thing, book a private lesson at the PGA’s Learning Center or a DIY wine and beer experience at Vine and Barley.