Locals and visitors alike, whether you’re staying in South Beach, downtown Miami, or on the outskirts of town, you might be looking for a change of pace from the big city lights. That’s why a day trip from Miami might be a good choice for you. But where should you go?
I’ve lived in nearby Fort Lauderdale for years and I’ve explored all of Miami and beyond. So I’ve carefully selected my favorite list of destinations you can travel to and from in one day. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Miami Day Trips
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15 Best Miami Day Trips
After a day in Homestead, you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re still in Miami-Dade County. It’s that different with many activities you won’t find in the immediate vicinity of the city center.
Tasty breweries, finger-lickin’ BBQ joints, rundown dive bars, and swanky wineries are commonplace. As are outdoor adventures with access points to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park nearby. Catch a race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway or discover the tragic tale behind the Coral Castle, a limestone monument single-handedly carved by one man.
👉 LOCAL TIP: Pay a visit to Robert is Here in Homestead, South Florida’s most famous tropical fruit stand. You’d be remiss if you didn’t taste their delectable milkshakes made from the strangest of fruits.
West Palm Beach
Over the years, West Palm Beach has quickly developed into an iconic cultural destination. The variety of food, impressive art galleries, world-renowned museums, and of course, stunning beaches have all contributed to the rise in prestige.
As a day trip from Miami, it’s one of the best with attractions like the Lion Country Safari, Norton Museum of Art, Clematis Street in downtown, and City Place. If you’d rather spend a day at the beach, head to Ocean Reef Park where you can find coral reefs right off the shore for snorkeling. West Palm Beach has a little bit of everything
Another worthwhile Palm Beach County destination is Delray Beach. The often overlooked, and widely underrated beach town is a wonderful day spent outside of Miami. Delray Beach’s ocean-front drive lacks the high rises typically found along the shores in Florida, giving this small beach town some old Florida charm.
Up the road and into town is Atlantic Avenue – a small downtown area ripe with bars, restaurants, concert venues, and public spaces. Grab brunch at Deck 84 along the Intracoastal Waterway before making your way to the beach for the day. End your afternoon with dinner and a drink at the Tin Roof before catching a live band as the evening festivities begin.
North from Miami is the theme park haven of the US: Orlando. Yes, it’s entirely possible to visit Orlando for the day and visit one of your favorite theme parks like Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, or Universal’s Adventure Island.
But theme parks aren’t the only fun attractions in Orlando. You’ll find some pretty spectacular nature surrounding the city, as well. Most notably, freshwater springs!
Florida’s unique geological history has produced an abundance of crystal blue waters naturally bubbling from the limestone bedrock. The best way to enjoy these flowing springs is by kayak! We highly recommend this kayaking tour to fully enjoy all the springs have to offer.
👉 Is Orlando doable as a day trip from Miami? Totally. But is it better done as a vacation – even a mini one? Of course. If you can, grab a place to stay in Orlando for a night or two!
For a change of pace from the big city, head over to Florida’s west coast. Specifically, Fort Myers. The small town feels like it was hand-plucked from the Midwest and onto the shores of the Gulf of Mexico giving it a quaint, and homely vibe.
However, that’s not to say the city’s coastal location is forgotten. You can still find plenty of seafood restaurants serving up the fresh catch of the day, tiki bars mixing refreshing margaritas, and various boat tours departing the surrounding marinas hoping to land some fish, catch a glimpse of dolphins, or just sail as the sun sets over the glimmering Gulf of Mexico.
👉 PRO TIP: Fort Myers is another great place to stay to gain access to other parts of the Florida Everglades. Consider staying here on future vacations!
A skip and a jump across the Everglades is the center of Florida’s Paradise Coast: Naples. And as a day trip from Miami, Naples is an excellent choice with many things to do right in the town.
The downtown walking space is beautiful with trendy boutiques, classic steakhouses, and smooth ice cream parlors. Just on the outskirts of town is the Naples Botanical Gardens, the largest and most vibrant in the state. Other activities include fishing from the historic Naples pier and soaking up the sun at one of the pristine beaches.
Scenic sunsets, seashells scattered along the sandy shores, palm trees swaying in the subtropical breeze: Sanibel Island is truly a paradise in America’s own yard.
The drive isn’t too far away from Miami either – so if you’re up for one of the greatest sunsets you’ll ever witness, I suggest heading on over. Other activities along the way include visiting Big Cypress National Preserve and the famous Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Once you’re there, consider spending your day at Bowman’s Beach while walking the shore collecting seashells.
Jupiter, Florida is the northernmost town in the Miami-metropolitan area and well worth your time as a day trip from South Beach, Miami’s center, or North Miami Beach.
Outdoor enthusiasts and history aficionados will appreciate all the activities to do in Jupiter. Try ascending a 19th century lighthouse, kayaking over giant manatees, hiking Jonathan Dickinson State Park, and visiting the gorgeous Blowing Rocks Preserve.
However, my favorite activity in Jupiter is the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. It’s essentially a sea turtle hospital where they rehabilitate injured and sick turtles before releasing them back into the wild. It’s a fascinating, family-friendly activity for all ages.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park spans nearly 1.5 million acres of marsh, mangrove forests, tropical hammocks, remote beaches, and plenty of waterways to explore for months. It’s the third largest national park in the lower 48 and the top South Florida destination. It’s the only environment of its kind in the entire world.
An airboat tour is a must as you skim across the shallow freshwater, over the sawgrass, and around millions of alligators. My two favorite visitor centers in the park are Flamingo and Shark Valley. Each is wildly different while offering some fun excursions like cycling and tram tours.
Just 30 miles north of downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale is so close, yet so different from its neighbor. For the longest time, the city was known for its spring break shenanigans but has recently rebranded itself as a luxurious, yet laid back alternative to Miami.
And I’ll concur – after all, I lived here for years. I loved Fort Lauderdale. We’d snorkel right off the beach, scuba dive amazing shipwrecks and coral reefs, hop aboard a boat for the day, explore the nightlife downtown along Las Olas Boulevard, and explore the variety of foods available from around the world.
🌴 Want more activity in Fort Lauderdale? After living here for years, I narrowed down my list of the top stuff to do in Fort Lauderdale so you can explore more while you’re visiting!
Sarasota and Siesta Key
The farthest feasible day trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast is Sarasota and Siesta Key. These beaches are simply gorgeous, which is why they consistently rank among the top rated beaches in Florida.
The sugar-white sand, turquoise waters, an abundance of seashells, and swaying palm trees emulate everything you dreamed a tropical paradise would be. You can easily spend the day sinking your toes in the sand with a drink in hand.
For those seeking a little more action, head to the MOTE Marine Lab and Aquarium to support the conservation efforts of Florida’s marine life. Or check out some of the excellent tours offered throughout the city like kayaking, sightseeing, and boat cruises.
Just south of Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne is the closest of the day trips from Miami. With so much to do, like the Miami Seaquarium, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, and hidden environments only accessible by paddleboard, kayak, or boat, you can easily spend an entire day here.
Most folks who live in Miami visit Key Biscayne for an escape to nature. A great itinerary for the day includes beaching at one of the many beautiful beaches, climbing the lighthouse in the state park, paddle boarding at Crandon Park, and watching the sunset during happy hour at the Rusty Pelican. Or better yet, set sail on a sunset cruise on one of the many sailing charters departing from the marinas on the island.
The Florida Keys: Key West
🗺️ Distance from MIA: 3 hours and 30 minutes | Google Maps | Visit Florida Keys | 🍹 Find a Things to Do in Key West to Fit Your Schedule
If you’re visiting South Florida, you need to visit Key West. There’s no other way around it; the tropical, laid-back island is a beacon for visitors seeking a unique experience. Whether you’re wanting to browse museums, view wildlife, learn history, or just enjoy the crystal clear waters, you’ll find it here. Oh, and the nightlife along Duval Street is pretty epic too.
It’s almost a 4-hour drive from Miami. So buckle up and enjoy the ride along one of the prettiest roadways in America: the Overseas Highway.
👉 PRO TIP: Although possible in one day, we recommend visiting Key West over a multi-day span. The best way to travel is by renting your own car to hop off and enjoy everything the Florida Keys has to offer along the way.
The Florida Keys: Key Largo
Although most of South Florida is pretty epic in terms of boating, Key Largo is one of the best day trips specifically for snorkeling, scuba diving, and wildlife viewing. The large island at the beginning of the Florida Keys is home to miles of the Florida Reef Tract (the only natural coral reef found in the continental United States).
Tours departing John Pennekamp State Park, America’s first undersea park, are widely available and suitable for everyone. You can find snorkeling trips, scuba diving charters, and even a glass-bottom boat tour for those who prefer to stay dry.
Bimini, The Bahamas
Departing daily from Port Everglades is the Balearia Caribbean, a high-speed ferry bringing you directly to another country in just a few short hours.
The Bimini Islands are a slice of paradise directly copied from a postcard: palm trees line the pristine beach, the waters are crystal clear, and the sand is a sugary white.
The trip over to the Bahamas includes admission to the Hilton Resort for access to a beach bar and pool. If you’re more adventurous, check out some of the local dive shops to descend upon some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world.
⛴️ Pro Tip for Ferry Travel to Bimini: The ride can get bumpy, so prepare accordingly if you tend to get seasick, but once you’re there it’ll all be worth it.
Can you do a day trip to the Bahamas from Miami?
Believe it or not, you can take a day trip to the Bahamas from Miami. You’ll specifically land on Bimini, the westernmost island of the archipelago nation. It’s a long day, but worth the trip if you’re up to explore beyond the US!
Whether you’re a visitor or a local, those are our recommendations for the most fun day trips from Miami! Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
🛑 Before you leave: Check out my article rounding up the best day trips around Fort Lauderdale for more!