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Miami is the beachfront metropolis that’s found in southeastern Florida, looking out over to Caribbean islands and enjoying fantastic, warm weather all through the year!
This iconic American city has been featured in countless movies, with the nightlife, beaches and lifestyle of Miami becoming a symbol of free-living life in the USA. The city is much more than this though, and you’ll find it to be a destination that both captivates and excites, not just through its stunning skyline and epic coast, but through its fascinating culture and excellent food.
Miami, being one of the largest cities in the states, also makes for a great location to base yourself to explore the rest of Florida. The metro system and commuter rails connect Downtown Miami with the beautiful beaches found all along the coast, where you can spend the day relaxing on white sands and basking in the sun. You can venture out into the Everglades on airboat tours to search for alligators, or you can take your date to the beautiful climes of Key West, for the trip of a lifetime.
Of course, this is Florida, and Miami is within easy reach of all of the best theme parks in the state, which are just a short drive away in the Orlando area, and you can take your kids out to spend the day at Universal Studios or Walt Disney World.
Editor’s Tip: Check out all the top places in Miami before you lock in your itinerary.
To inspire your trip to the Sunshine State, here are our favourite day trips from Miami!
Table of Contents
Day Trips From Miami by Train – West Palm Beach
Romantic Day Trips From Miami for Couples – Key West
Best Day Trips from Miami with Kids – Walt Disney World
The new Brightline rail service only opened in 2018 but is already revolutionising the public transport scene in the Miami area. The trains connect Miami with Fort Lauderdale, before travelling further along the coast to West Palm Beach, and with a convenient schedule they make for a great way to get around, and the perfect way to day trip.
The first stop on the Brightline service is Fort Lauderdale, which is just half an hour to the north of downtown. Fort Lauderdale is said to be one of the sunniest cities in the USA because it’s lucky enough to have some of the best weather in the country.
The city has a very touristy feel to it, but that’s because it’s one of the most popular destinations in Florida, with upscale hotels and plenty of beachfront condos and resorts. It’s a great place to kick back and enjoy being on holiday. You can relax on the tropical beaches, sitting under swaying palms, while gazing out to sea, or admiring the urban skyline along the coast!
Take to the Strip, where you can walk along the boulevard, or along the sandy beaches, before jumping into restaurants, bars or cafes to enjoy some great food and drink, with wonderful views.
The Brightline trains run late into the night, so you can enjoy an evening out in Fort Lauderdale too, before you return back to Miami after a full day of exploring, eating and drinking!
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The second stop on the Brightline service from Miami is West Palm Beach. Found to the north of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, from downtown the train ride takes just over one hour to complete, and departures are regular and run late into the evening.
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West Palm Beach makes for a great day trip by train from Miami, and it’s another great place to simply enjoy those fantastic, sunny, holiday vibes!
The small city is home to some great coastline, and plenty of beaches, with white sands and tropical palm trees stretching for miles. More than this though, West Palm Beach is also packed with culture, and after enjoying the beaches, you need to explore the lively downtown area.
Downtown is packed with restaurants, bars and shopping outlets, and you can easily spend hours strolling around and enjoying the bustling atmosphere. Downtown is also home to art museums and cultural centres. Call into the Norton Museum of Art to learn about the local creative scene, before visiting the Flagler Museum – found in a huge, historic mansion! – to learn more about local history
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As well as the new Brightline rail service, Miami also has the excellent Metrorail system which connects downtown with many of the city’s sprawling suburbs. If you’re looking to get away from the city centre and to experience a different side of Miami, then jump on the Metrorail and head to South Miami.
It’s just a short journey away from central Miami, but you’ll find it’s a world away from the packed out city centre and the crowds that you always find in iconic locations such as South Beach!
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South Miami is full of lovely parks and recreation areas, including man-made lakes and wonderful public spaces, and it’s an excellent chance to get some fresh air and to enjoy a little peace and quiet.
There are few traditional sights here, but you can visit the brilliant Lowe Art Museum to learn more about Miami culture, at what was the first ever art museum in the south of Florida. The museum is home to many ancient works of art brought over from Europe, from Roman through to Renaissance sculptures and paintings, and it’s a truly unique find in sunny Miami!
Prepare for your trip! We think knowing the history of Miami is as important as packing the right dinner shirt!
Miami is a city that’s built on the waterfront, and it’s best known for its beaches, its beautiful ocean views and mega skyline. One of the best ways to really experience the city is by taking to the water, and one of the most romantic ways to do that is to join a Biscayne Bay Cruise.
Biscayne Bay is located along the coast of the city, extending from the south, all the way up to downtown. The bay encompasses many of Miami’s best coastline, including such iconic destinations as South Beach and the Biscayne Keys.
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You can join a cruise that takes you past the best of Miami’s sights and attractions, as you sit back on the deck of the boat as the sun shines down and the scenery and skyline slowly pass by.
You’ll cruise through Miami Port, where you can see the lavish and extravagant boats and yachts owned by the rich on Millionaires Row. Depending on the type of cruise you join, you can just enjoy your partner’s company as you watch the world go by, or you can enjoy the delights of onboard bars or full-on dining experiences to complement the views over Miami.
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One of the best day trips you can make as a couple when you are staying in Miami is to Key West. This beautiful part of Florida is found right at the southern tip of the state, as this island chain extends far out into the Caribbean Sea.
The Florida Keys are one of the most scenic destinations in the USA, and you can spend all day exploring this archipelago of coral atolls and islands. A road connects each of the individual keys, and driving over the spectacular bridges between each island is a memorable experience in itself. The views will blow you away as you make the journey from the mainland, all the way to Key West, which is the most westerly key in the chain.
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Key West is more Carribean than American, and you’ll find a busy but laid back island where you and your partner can spend the day enjoying the incredible weather, the crystal clear water and the wonderful food and drink.
Go snorkelling or kayaking, join a glass bottom boat tour to glide over the coral reefs and to see the marine world from above, before enjoying a romantic meal along the coast, and a few drinks in the sunshine, before making the exhilarating journey back to Miami again.
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Take your partner on a romantic, cultural tour of Miami, as you see a side of the city that’s usually lost amongst the crowds and beaches. The Wynwood Art District is one of the most interesting and under-visited parts of the city, and it’ll be a real cultural treat for both of you.
Found just north of downtown, Wynwood is home to a huge array of street art and outdoor art installations, and it’s one of the largest open-air galleries you can find in the entire country. It’s a unique place to visit, and to really make the most of a trip here, you might want to join a tour of the district, to learn about the history of Wynwood from local guides as you stroll through the streets, or even take a golf buggy ride to see even more.
You can admire the large and colourful murals created by famous street artists and visit the many museums and galleries that are found throughout Wynwood!
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Why not have an adventurous date, and take your partner on a Jet Ski Tour of Miami? If you’re a thrill-seeking couple, or just looking to try something new or to get a new perspective on the city, then this is the day trip for you!
You’ll take to the water on high-speed jet skis, as you zip along the coast and enjoy the most exhilarating tour of Miami imaginable. Get the adrenaline pumping as you speed around Miami Port, gazing in awe at the super-yachts that are moored in the harbour. You’ll swing past Star Island and Millionaire’s Row, where you can see from afar some of the most luxurious villas in the city, which are owned by celebrities and Hollywood stars before you pass along iconic beaches and see the city skyline from a unique angle.
With jet skis, you’ll be able to travel far into the Biscayne Bay, and you’ll see a lot more of the city and the coast than you could from the land. You’ll even have the chance to stop and break at Monument Island, where you can jump off the jet skis and walk around on foot, before heading back out onto the water again to continue your day trip!
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Miami faces across the Atlantic Ocean towards the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. They are incredibly close to Florida, and from Miami, fast boats make the journey to Grand Bahama in just two hours.
This is a real island getaway and it’s one of the most romantic day trips from Miami. The cruise will see you speeding along the Floridian coastline before heading out across the strait, where you’ll have excellent views of the Bahamas.
On Grand Bahama, you’ll dock at Freeport, where you can enjoy the laid back Caribbean style delights of the island. You can walk along sandy beaches, you can spend the day exploring the town and delving into the local history, or you can simply relax at a resort, dine out in the open air and drink cocktails until it’s time to catch the boat back to Miami.
There’s a lot to do, and a lot of great places to take your partner, but one of the best things to do has to be swimming with pigs!
This incredible activity takes place in the crystal clear water around Freeport, where friendly island pigs swim around in the ocean and more than happy to swim with people and take a few selfies too!
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Miami is a great place to take the kids on holiday because the city is just a short drive away from Orlando, where you can find some of the best theme parks in the world. Enjoy the best of both worlds, as you stay by the beaches of Miami, yet can day trip easily to Orlando!
Walt Disney World is a sprawling resort that’s home to four different theme parks. This is the best place to visit for Disney fans, as you can immerse yourself in the magical world at Disney’s Magical Kingdom, where you’ll find classic rides such as Space Mountain and Pirates of the Carribean.
You can visit Epcot, to see Walt Disney’s unique vision for the future, you can go on an African Safari at the Animal Kingdom, and you can immerse yourself in the movies at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In fact, to see all four theme parks, you’re going to need to make more than one day trip from Miami with the kids!
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Another great place to take the kids is, of course, Universal Studios, the theme park rival to Walt Disney World. If your children are big fans of blockbuster movies, rather than Disney magic, then this is the place to visit, as you can jump into the action-packed world of Universal!
There are roller coasters and rides galore here, each themed after different movies such as the Mummy or Men in Black. You can see live shows that are packed with pyrotechnics and stunts, and bring classics such as Indiana Jones to life, while you can also visit the nearby water park for wet and wild thrills.
For many though, the highlight of a day out at Universal Studios is a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an area of the theme park that’s entirely dedicated to all things Hogwarts and all things wizarding! You can ride a Hagrid themed roller coaster, drink and eat at the Leaky Cauldron, and enjoy a truly magical experience!
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One of the best day trips you can make from Miami with the whole family is to the Everglades. This is one of the most beautiful areas in Florida, and it’s an enormous wilderness that encompasses much of the south of the state.
The Everglades is one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world, and you’ll be amazed at the size and scale of the waterways, creeks and marshes that are found here. The best way to experience the Everglades is to join an Airboat tour. This is the classic, local method of transport along the creeks, and for tourists, it’s a thrill like no other.
You’ll speed along the water, zipping past mangroves and through the seemingly endless maze of wetlands as your guided by expert pilots. As well as being able to enjoy the superb scenery, keep an eye on the water and on the banks, as you’re more than likely to spot alligators all through the Everglades.
It’s a great opportunity to get the kids out of the city and into the heart of Florida’s unique and pristine nature, as the Everglades is an area of natural beauty that you just can’t find anywhere else in the world!
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Miami is one of the best cities that you can base yourself in when visiting Florida, whether you are travelling with a partner or taking the family on holiday!
The cosmopolitan and multicultural city is known for its beaches and resorts, but equally, there’s a lesser-known world of culture and art that’s waiting to be explored when you are staying here. You can take the train to some of the best art museums in Florida, or you can spend the day touring through the open air, street art gallery that is the Wynwood Art District.
You can cruise through the Biscayne Bay, or ride jet skis along the coast, to truly experience the famous Miami skyline, while the tropical islands of the Bahamas are just a short boat ride away from the city – and don’t forget, you can swim with pigs in Freeport!
The kids will love spending long days out at either Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, where they can ride roller coasters and see their favourite movies come to life. Harry Potter fans can really immerse themselves in the magic at the Wizarding World, where they can walk through Diagon Alley or explore Hogwarts!
Miami is incredibly close to pristine nature too, and you can take a day trip to explore the unique wetlands of the Everglades, where you can ride airboats through the creeks as you search for alligators in the water. You can also make the journey south to Key West, where you’ll find some of the most spectacular, tropical scenery in the USA!
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Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.