Palm trees line every street, the shopping is world-class and it has a huge Spanish population, so you’ll also find lots of lively events and great food. When visiting Miami, you’re probably thinking, why would I want to leave? Florida has beautiful national parks, museums and historic cities that you can reach in a couple of hours from Miami.
If you’re visiting with kids, day-tripping to Orlando or out to the Keys is an excellent break from the heat and hustle of the city. So, if you have some time on your hands, you may want to consider venturing out to explore Florida’s cities, islands and the Bahamas on one of these day trips from Miami.
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20 Day Trips From Miami
Day Trips From Miami – Under 2 hours
The Everglades is America’s third-largest national park, so you can be sure there is a lot to see and do.
It’s only an hour and a half from Miami, meaning if you get up early you can cram a lot into a day.
There are two ways to explore the Everglades.
You can get out into nature yourself – hiking, birdwatching, canoeing and kayaking through the forest and rivers.
Alternatively, you can do an airboat tour, which usually goes from the entrance closer to Miami and takes you zooming into the park while seeing alligators on the riverbanks.
Trips usually are one to two hours, leaving plenty of time to hop off at the end and either hike, bike or take the tram around the park’s scenic 15-mile (24 km) loop.
Everglades National Park is 40 miles/65 km (less than an hour by car) from Miami.
2- Bimini, Bahamas
Did you know that the Bahamas is only 53 miles off Florida’s coast?
The islands of Bimini, also known as the gateway to the Bahamas, can be reached in a couple of hours on the water from Miami, or you can take a more expensive seaplane.
You can normally organise in advance to head to a hotel for the day when you arrive, so you’ll have access to restaurants, bars and pools, but the island has plenty of stunning beaches and sparkling water for you to enjoy all to yourself as well.
Hire golf buggies to get around the island and most of the activities here involve being on, in or under the sapphire waters.
Don’t forget your passport, as you’ll be ticking a new country off your list.
Bimini is 53 miles/80km off the Florida coast. You can get there by high-speed ferry in about two hours.
3- West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a short hop from Miami at only an hour and a half’s drive and sits next to the famous and tiny island of Palm Beach – home to the rich and famous and the wealthiest town in the USA.
Wander down historic Clematis Street, the centre of the buzz, to explore boutique shops and quirky restaurants and cafes.
Palm Beach is also well-known for its high-end shopping, so if you’re looking for more reasonably priced items, you can head to the Palm Beach Outlets, or hit up Antiques Row.
To finish up the day, you can’t leave Palm Beach without visiting one of the white sand beaches that makes it so famous.
West Palm Beach is 72 miles/115 km(about one hour by road) from Miami.
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4- Little Havana
Not technically a day trip since it is in Miami, Little Havana is nevertheless an area not to be missed when you visit.
It’s a Cuban namesake for a reason, and you’ll get to experience excellent Latin American cuisine, salsa dancing, Cuban music and nightlife, colourful buildings and historic sites.
To whet your appetite (so to speak), take a Little Havana food and cultural tour, where you’ll stop in some of the area’s best restaurants, bakeries and churrerias and see a working cigar factory.
Visit on the third Friday of the month for a fun time at Viernes Culturales, a huge Cuban street party with dancing, art and live music.
5- Biscayne National Park
The beautiful Biscayne National Park is only an hour from the centre of Miami, meaning you can get out of the city and into nature for an entire day without much effort.
95% of the national park is underwater, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, SUP, snorkelling and diving in the crystal-clear waters.
There is also a bird sanctuary and plenty of nature trails, plus boat tours where a knowledgeable guide will tell you all about the area’s history.
Don’t forget to bring snacks as there aren’t many food options in the area.
Biscayne National Park is 35 miles/56 km (about 50 minutes) from Miami.
6- Schnebly Redland’s Winery
If you’re over 21 and want a more relaxed, fun day trip from the city, heading to a winery might be just the thing.
Just an hour south of Miami, Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery is surrounded by farmland and palm trees and has a unique spin on wine.
Instead of using grapes, the winery makes its drinks from local fruits – lychees, mangos, passionfruit, guava and strawberries.
On weekends you can do a guided tour of the brewery and, most importantly, taste over 20 varieties of wine or craft beer, and afterwards, you can buy a case to take home with you.
Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery is 36 miles/59 km (about 50 minutes) from Miami.
Islamorada encompasses six Florida Keys and is a short 1.5-hour drive from Miami.
You’ll find a tropical climate, soft white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters that draw fishing enthusiasts and divers from miles around.
It’s one of the best places in Florida to eat your weight in seafood, and there’s a great choice of buffets to keep you eating.
There are also a variety of state parks where you can get out into nature, see some fossils or stroll through wetlands in the sunshine.
After a day relaxing on the beach and sipping on a cocktail, visit the Blonde Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory for some of the state’s best desserts as a sweet finish to your day.
Islamorada is 84 miles/135 km (1.5 hours) from Miami.
8- Big Cypress National Preserve
Hundreds of years’ worth of history sit just over an hour from central Miami, in the form of giant trees, mangroves, swamps and landscapes waiting to be explored.
The best way to explore is by kayaking through the Turner River, which will let you see alligators, birds, plant life and mangrove tunnels.
If you’re a little more adventurous, try Gator Hook Trail – although bear in mind it may involve wading knee-deep through the water, you will have to watch a safety video to ensure you don’t get eaten.
After this dramatic experience, there is a lovely green picnic space where you can enjoy some lunch and spot local wildlife like turtles, hawks, and (more) alligators.
Big Cypress National Preserve is 46 miles/75 km (about an hour) from Miami.
9- Fort Lauderdale
This well-known city is only around 50 minutes from Miami by bus, making it ideal for a quick trip.
Las Olas Boulevard is where everything happens, from cocktail bars to live music, museums and great restaurants, so head here during the day or night and you’ll find something to entertain you.
For something just as Instagrammable, the neighbourhood of Hollywood has some of Florida’s best street art.
Make time to catch a sunset on one of the city’s many beaches – the best are Dania, Hollywood and North Ocean Park.
Fort Lauderdale is 30 miles/47 km (35 minutes by car) from Miami.
10- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
An entirely underwater state park, John Pennekamp is a far quieter place to head for snorkelling and diving than the Florida Keys.
Take a glass-bottomed boat tour to see some of the incredible marine life in the 70 nautical mile park, or head out snorkelling or diving for a more hands-on approach; there’s also an offshore Spanish shipwreck to explore.
Not only will you see a variety of bird species and aquatic animals, but you can go kayaking, canoeing, fishing and camping in the park.
The visitor centre has a huge aquarium and information area for you to learn more about what you’ll see.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is 58 miles/94 km (about an hour) from Miami.
Day Trips Over Two Hours
11- Marathon Key
Marathon is just over two hours from Miami, but despite its beauty remains largely unvisited.
It’s located right in the centre of the Florida Keys but is actually spread over 13 different Keys in total, all of which have sapphire waters and white sandy beaches.
For something not beach related, the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge, featured in many Hollywood films, is a must-see if you’re in the area.
Also check out Sombrero Beach, commonly known as one of the best in the Keys, where you can go diving, snorkelling or even whale-watching.
The two best ways to see the area are by bicycle, on a leisurely cycle around the island, or even better, a catamaran cruise to take in one of Florida’s famous sunsets.
Marathon Key is 114 miles/175 km (two hours) from Miami.
12- Key West
Although Miami has its fair share of palm trees and sandy beaches, escaping the crowds partying on the sand is not a bad idea.
Key West makes a perfect day trip if you need some TL-sea, and the waters here won’t disappoint.
Aside from chilling out on the beach, there are many water sports on offer, from boat trips to windsurfing.
Visit the house of Ernest Hemingway for a bit of history and stand on the most southern point of mainland USA.
If you don’t have kids, get a hop-on-hop-off ticket around Key West that includes entry to a rum distillery.
If you want to kick back, go bar hopping on Duval Street, where you can drink cocktails to your heart’s content – you’re on holiday after all!
Head there after touring a rum distillery that offers plenty of tasting and cocktail-making classes if you have the constitution.
Sunsets here are legendary, and crowds gather each evening in Mallory Square to watch the show, so make sure not to miss it.
You’ll need to get up in the dark to take a day trip here or stay over and wake up to the sound of the waves.
Key West is 165 miles/265 km (around 3.5 hours by car) from Miami.
13- Disney World
From the Magic City to the Magic Kingdom, Disney World is an obvious choice for a day trip from Miami, whether or not you have kids in tow.
One of the city’s longer day trips, it takes about three and a half hours to drive here from Miami, so you can either get up early or make it an overnighter.
There are so many companies offering one-day tours to Disney World, which will save you the trouble and exhaustion of driving, plus you’ll only have to worry about having as much fun as possible.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the main park to see if you’re short on time.
Buy a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, and jump on space mountain before sampling all the delicious Disney themed food you possibly can in one day.
Disney World is 230 miles/369 km (about 3.5 hours by road) from Miami.
14- Kennedy Space Centre
Another slightly longer tour, where you may consider staying overnight, the Kennedy Space Centre is around a three-hour drive from Miami but there is so much to see and do that you won’t regret making the trip.
Located in the famous Cape Canaveral, you can explore all things space-related, from full-size rockets to the US astronaut Hall of Fame.
Meet a real-life astronaut, see the actual Lunar module from the moon landing and take the kids inside the astronaut training simulator.
Check out the new Mars rover and walk among rocket ships in the centre’s gardens.
This isn’t even half of what’s on offer at the Kennedy Space Centre, so whether or not you’re a space fanatic, it’s worth making this a day trip on your Miami itinerary.
Kennedy Space Center is 215 miles/346 km (less than 3.5 hours by road) from Miami.
15- Universal Studios
If you want to head to Universal Studios, you can do it as a day trip from Miami, but it might be better as an overnighter, so you wake up with a full day at the park.
You can take a tour, but they’ll usually pick you up around 4 am, so avoid this if you like a lie-in.
Universal is a movie buff’s dream, with everything from Harry Potter World to Pirates of the Caribbean having rides, shows and experiences here.
You can also ride rollercoasters such as The Hulk and Spiderman or take a trip back to the future on a real-life DeLorean.
Head to Jurassic Park to either fly over the park on a pterodactyl or get soaked in a jungle river ride.
You’re sure to be exhausted but exhilarated by the end of the day.
Universal Studios is 232 miles/373 km (around 3.5 hours by road) from Miami.
There are plenty more things to see in Orlando than just Disney, and you can discover them by driving here in just under four hours from Miami.
In particular, Orlando is well-known for having some great galleries, cafes and gardens.
Both the Mead Botanical Gardens and Harry P Leu Gardens are fantastic to stroll around and get out of the shade before heading to the popular Orlando Museum of Art.
Downtown Orlando is also filled with lakes and parks and plenty of restaurants and bars for when you get peckish.
Head to Central Boulevard to end your day of sightseeing with a slap-up meal.
Orlando is 235 miles/379 km (3.5 hours) from Miami.
Naples is only a 2.5-hour drive from Miami for an authentic Florida experience and is packed with excellent golf courses, restaurants, beaches and shopping.
This Sunshine State area is known as the Paradise Coast, so set your expectations high.
There are over 700 restaurants, botanical gardens, breweries and markets to explore.
The first place to head is the beach, where you’ll find plenty of cute shops, Naples Pier to walk along at sunset and a huge array of water sports on offer.
It might not be as big as Florida’s other cities, but you can easily fill up a day in Naples.
Naples is 112 miles/180 km (about 2.5 hours) from Miami.
18- Fort Myers
Fort Myers is quite the journey from Miami, around three hours by public transport, but if you want to fill your day with one of Florida’s most underrated cities, this is the place to go.
The Edison Ford and Winter Estates are the city’s most iconic attraction, where you can learn about the inventors and get a taste of Florida’s history.
If you’re short on time early in the year, you might be lucky enough to catch some Spring Training when some of the best NBL teams travel to Florida to practice before the season starts, including the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox.
Afterwards, head to the River District and have fun at the city’s hub for lively bars, restaurants, shops and clubs.
Fort Myers is 160 miles/257 km (2.5 hours by car) from Miami.
20- Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park takes around three hours to reach, but not because you’ll be stuck in traffic.
The state park is a tiny island off Florida’s southern coast, and it is purely for beach enthusiasts.
It often reaches full capacity, but even this is limited so as not to ruin the island’s natural beauty so if you go, you’re sure to find a secluded spot all to yourself on the sand.
Go swimming, snorkelling, diving or kayaking or lay back and relax under a beach umbrella.
You can also book a range of tours and rent equipment from the shops.
Take a stroll over the Old Bahia Honda Bridge for views back over the island and beach- it’s one of the best views in the Florida Keys.
Bahia Honda State Park is 130 miles/209 km (2.5 hours by car) from Miami.
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