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Essential Day Trips from Miami: 15 Places to Visit in South Florida

by Roslie L.
Published: Updated:
Morada Bay Beach Cafe waterfront Islamorada Florida Keys

Miami has more famous beaches, acclaimed restaurants, and one-of-a-kind shopping than you could explore in a lifetime. But if you’re looking to discover beyond the Magic City, you’ll also find plenty of fun day trips from Miami for an ideal day out. From iconic spots to off-the-radar gems, boat trips from Miami, biking in the Everglades, snorkeling, and more.

Ready to start exploring the best treasures of South Florida? Here are the best day trips from Miami to include on your itinerary.

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Fun Day Trips from Miami

Miami acts as a gateway to the Sunshine State’s key attractions, and there’s always something more waiting around the corner. Read on for the best Miami day trips and excursions from Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys, and more!

1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Fort Lauderdale: 28 miles/ 35 minutes

Fort Lauderdale Florida waterfront skyline

For arts, culture, and gondola rides along picturesque canals, head to Fort Lauderdale, one of the top Miami day trips. Known as the Venice of America, it is home to gorgeous beaches, an endless line of restaurants, bars, adorable boutique shops, and sidewalk cafés.

Stroll along the famous Las Olas Boulevard, or you can visit the historic Stranahan House or the 1920s plantation home Bonnet House for a dose of culture and history.

If you are traveling with children, rest assured that there are many family-friendly activities. The downtown Fort Lauderdale area includes the River Arts and Entertainment District. The twisty brick boulevard consists of the Museum of Discovery and Science and IMAX Theater. Thirty minutes north of Miami, you could easily spend a weekend exploring Fort Lauderdale.

2. Homestead, Florida

Driving Distance from Downtown Miami to Homestead, Florida: 39 miles/ 45 minutes

Red farmhouse Homestead, Florida

Nestled between the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, you’ll find the quaint city of Homestead, FL. When you are ready to get away from the hustle and bustle of Miami, this is one of the top Miami day trips.

Explore the Redland, a rural area just outside the city named for rich copper-red soil, and take in some of the local wonders. Since this is a quiet area off the beaten path, here are a few extra tips on finding the best spots for a day out in Miami:

Sampling the Local Produce

Knaus Berry Farm Homestead Florida cinnamon rolls to go

To start your day, head to Knaus Berry Farm to pick your own strawberries—and come hungry! Pack those berries up, then stick them in the car for later. You will want to sample the amazing baked goods, honey, jams, ice creams, and other freshly made treasures when you are out at the farm. Be sure to try the cinnamon rolls! You can thank us later.

Another local fave is Robert is Here. Try a range of the freshest tropical fruit you’ve ever had, along with amazing treats like key lime pie and milkshakes. Before you get filled up, visit the United States’ only tropical botanical garden, Fruit and Spice Park. Tour the gardens, snap some beautiful pics and try more garden-to-table produce.

Getting Out into Nature

Everglades Safari Park Airboat Miami Everglades Florida

When you are ready to get up close and personal with the locals, head over to Everglades Alligator Farm. South Florida’s oldest alligator farm, this is the perfect place to have your first airboat ride.

And, of course, another great reason for day trips from Miami is to get away from the crowd. Away from the throngs of tourists, experience a local beach at Homestead Bayfront Park. Explore the natural atoll pool, take a boat out, or linger over a long picnic.

When you are ready to move again, wander around Coral Castle, a famous limestone structure home to some incredible mysteries.

3. Everglades National Park – Shark Valley Visitor Center

Driving Distance from Downtown Miami to Shark Valley Visitor Center: 39 miles/ 45 minutes

Everglades National Park Shark Valley Observation Tower aerial view

The Florida Everglades is home to the country’s largest subtropical wilderness, and visiting the Everglades is well within your reach with a day trip from Miami. So, add that bug spray to your Miami packing list and head to this treasured National Park.

One area of the park that is easily accessible from Miami is the Shark Valley Visitor Center, where you can walk the trails, take a guided tram tour, or rent some bikes. Be sure to make it to the top of the observation tower for a birds-eye view of the freshwater marsh below.

You can also take guided tours of the park, including an airboat tour and wildlife show.

4. Biscayne National Park

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Biscayne National Park: 37 miles/ 50 minutes

Biscayne National Park Homestead, Florida

Marine enthusiasts will love Biscayne National Park. From spectacular coral reefs and turquoise blue waters to diving and dolphin-spotting, the park is full of exciting things to do.

Explore the 10,000 years of human history as you fish the emerald seas, kayak through the mangrove forests, and snorkel through the magical underwater forest of coral reefs at Biscayne National Park.

5. Key Largo, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Key Largo, FL: 67 miles/ 1 hr, 8 minutes

Couple kayaking in the Florida Keys

At just over one hour’s drive from Miami, you’ll find Key Largo, renowned for its water sports. It is home to one of the world’s largest artificial reefs, the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the African Queen, paying homage to Humphrey Bogart.

Join a snorkeling tour or rent a kayak to see the rich marine life, or swim with dolphins. See where the day takes you, but wherever you go, plan time for John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: take an unforgettable glass-bottom boat, then go snorkeling or diving to see the reefs up close.

6. Islamorada, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Islamorada, FL: 83 miles/ 1 hr, 26 minutes

Boat dock Islamorada Florida Keys

While you can get from Miami to Islamorada in under two hours, you will want to take your time on this Florida Keys road trip. Known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Islamorada is amongst the best places to visit in South Florida for water lovers, which is saying a lot in a state known for its stunning coastlines.

One of the most beautiful drives in America and a romantic day trip from Miami, you could spend days just admiring the natural beauty of the Florida Keys. Explore the famous coral reefs, reel in the day’s catch, or soak in the sun.

👉 Planning a trip to the Florida Keys? Here are some other resources you might find helpful:

7. Marco Island, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Marco Island: 106 miles/ 1 hr, 59 minutes

Welcome to the heart of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Marco Island is one of the best places to visit in South Florida for beach lovers. You’ll want at least one full day to explore and can easily spend all day at the beach, so bring your flip-flops!

Our go-to spot is South Marco Island Beach, on the island’s southwest corner. Whether you are into boating, kayaking, parasailing, or just lying out with a good book, this spot on the Gulf of Mexico offers a haven for the stressed.

There are also golf courses galore in the area, so it’s perfect if you want to get active for part of the day or if your group isn’t in the mood for a day at the beach. The relaxing atmosphere, white sand beaches, and casual lifestyle will give you the break you need.

You’ve got to spend time on the water while on Marco Island. Book your activities in advance here! 👇

8. Naples, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Naples, FL Island: 125 miles/ 2 hours, 8 minutes

Naples Florida waterfront skyline

Two hours’ drive from Miami lies the cultural hub of Naples in southwest Florida. Naples is a luxury escape for fashionistas and nature lovers, famous for its sandy beaches, world-class dining experiences, high-end shopping, and chic boutiques. Take in the natural beauty, then get some retail therapy

Don’t miss the Naples Pier, jutting out 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, the best spot for catching a sunset. Nature enthusiasts will love the Naples Botanical Garden, and you’ll want to add Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park to your itinerary for snorkeling, swimming, and fishing.

In Tin City, you’ll find unique shopping spots perfect for souvenirs and a handful of hip little cafés and restaurants. Our personal favorite is Third Street South and the Avenues Shopping District. The architecture and chic atmosphere around Third Street make it a lovely day out, even if you buy nothing at all. But do come with an appetite!

The eateries here are award-winning, and every Saturday from 7:30 to 11:30 am, you can get farm-to-table fresh food from the Third Street South Farmers’ Market. If you’re lucky enough to be around on the third Thursday of the month, come to Third Street for live music and a fun vibe.

👉 More popular Naples activities to add to your bucket list:

9. Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Fort Myers Beach: 147 miles/ 2 hours, 28 minutes

Colorful beach houses Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Fort Myers Beach is known for its fine sugar-sand beaches, water sports, and one of the best weekend trips from Miami.

Want one of the best views in South Florida? Go parasailing in Fort Myers Beach for an unforgettable day out. If you like to keep your feet a bit closer to the ground, there are stunning areas for snorkeling, kayaking, or just taking long walks down the beach.

You can visit the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center or participate in one of the many annual festivals in the town. Visit in March for the yearly Shrimp Festival, or check out one of the nation’s favorite Pirate Festival in October.

👉 Book these experiences for a closer look at Fort Myers Beach:

10. Delray Beach, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Delray Beach, FL: 52 miles/ 50 minutes

Another one of the best places to visit in South Florida, Delray Beach, has its own claim to fame! Explore one of the official “Most Fun Small Towns in the USA” just an hour outside Miami.

Soak in the tranquil beauty of Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden, then wander around the thriving downtown area for unique shops and lovely cafés. 

11. West Palm Beach, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to West Palm Beach: 70 miles/ 1 hour, 7 minutes

Over an hour’s drive north of Miami is West Palm Beach, another beachfront metroplex famous for its upscale shopping, dining, and palm tree-lined avenues.

Visit Clematis Street, the historic heart of the area, for colorful bars playing live music. Take the free trolley to the shopping haven of Rosemary Square, which looks like a bucket-list European city.

The beautiful oasis Mounts Botanical Garden is not far from West Palm Beach, where you can wander around towering trees and tropical treasures. You can also enjoy Rapids Waterpark, the Palm Beach Zoo, Norton Museum of Art, and unique festivals such as the SunFest waterfront music extravaganza held in early May.

👉 MORE: Popular Things to do in West Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida

12. Jupiter, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Jupiter, FL: 85 miles/ 1 hr, 21 minutes

Pastel color adirondack chairs along boat dock Jupiter, Florida

Did you know that Jupiter was named one of the “Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns in the USA”? This laidback, luxe town is the perfect day trip from Miami.

Experience the raw natural beauty of Florida’s natural history at Blowing Rock Preserve, then snap some pics at Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.

13. Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Jonathan Dickinson State Park: 91 miles/ 1 hr, 27 minutes

Jonathan Dickinson State Park Kitching Creek Trail

If you want to get closer to nature, head to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. From cute little log cabins to horseback riding and scenic nature trails, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, like many Miami parks, will impress and astonish you with its breathtaking views and towering trees.

You can rent kayaks or canoes to explore the park, cycle, or hike the trails. One thing’s for sure – if it’s nature you’re looking for, you’ll find it here!

14. Lake Placid, Florida

Driving distance from Downtown Miami to Lake Placid, FL: 152 miles/ 2 hr, 31 minutes

Lake Placid Florida Town of Murals Town Center

For street art lovers, there is Wynwood in Miami, and then there’s the Town of Murals. Home to 27 lakes, and more than 50 murals dotting the downtown, Lake Placid is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny afternoon while soaking in the murals. Far beyond your typical street art, you’ll find a photo op around every corner, so plan ample time to explore.

More than just a collection of pretty buildings, Lake Placid is also the Caladium capital of the world (an incredible 95 percent of the caladiums on the planet are grown here!). If you’re in the area in the summer, be sure to head over to the Caladium Festival.

Last but not least, a visit to Toby’s American Clown Museum and School is a day out you won’t soon forget. Not only is this the only clown museum in the country, but you can also actually get dressed up and learn the art of clowning here. Whether you’re 9 or 90, you’ll have a good laugh here!

15. Bimini – Day trips from Miami to the Bahamas

If you want to explore the Bahamas, look no further than Bimini, the westernmost Bahamian island, just two hours by boat from Miami. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into paradise with powdery white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters.

Go snorkeling, parasailing, or diving to see spooky shipwrecks and sometimes even sharks. You can rent a glass-bottomed kayak and venture through the mangrove creeks on the water.

👉 Find your perfect Miami to Bahamas adventure – book your ticket in advance here!

Best Day Trips from Miami

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top day trips from Miami, Florida! Whether you go into nature at the Everglades or Biscayne National Park or hit up the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Key Largo, the choice is yours. With so many incredible Miami day trips, I’m sure you’ll find lots of adventures in South Florida!

Loving these day trips from Miami? Share the inspiration and start planning the trip of a lifetime.


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Rick's white building Duval Street Key West Florida with patrons

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