Dear Editor,

I am newly dating a 38y/o paraplegic man from Florida. I’ve been reading alot of articles preparing for a visit. We each have a son, his 6yo, mine 5. We will be connecting in Miami to introduce the boys and I was wondering if you had any advice on finding fun/interesting things that he can be included in. I was listing things and calling one by one to find out about handicapped accessibility and so forth are there particular questions I should be asking? Thank you. Any help you could provide would be wonderful.

Maria,

Your trip to Miami with your boyfriend and both of your kids sounds wonderful. There is actually plenty to do in that area that’s accessible and should be fun for the 4 of you:

Just walking along South Beach on Ocean Drive is easily accessible and fun to do (there are even areas where wheelchairs can go down to the beach, and smack in the center of South Beach they offer beach wheelchairs). There is also fun shopping, great restaurants, and people watching on Lincoln Road.

There are several deep-sea fishing charters that offer wheelchair accessible boats (Therapy4.com, Marktheshark.com, Bassonline.com) and, for my money, there’s nothing like several hours at sea on a beautiful day, catching fish, with the Miami skyline in the distance.

If you want to see some amazing wildlife on land, the Everglades are just a 45 minute ride away and are, hands down, my favorite thing to do/see when I’m in Miami. Shark Valley (open from 9 AM to 4 PM) is the visitor center that you want to go to—it has a 2 hour tram tour (wheelchair accessible) but you want to make reservations before hand (mention the wheelchair). There is a small per car entry fee to the Everglades National Park and the tram car cost something like $10; however, everything is free if you request a Golden Access Pass (for disabled visitors, good forever at all national parks) when you arrive.

Additionally, the Miami zoo and the Miami Seaquarium are both very enjoyable and completely accessible.

Let me know if you need any other resources or have any other questions. Have a wonderful time in the sunshine state!