There’s a good reason 10% of the Miami workforce is in the tourism sector. The city is a massive attraction at any time of the year, and there’s so much to do.
However, as attractive as Miami is, it’s also an expensive place to visit, with food and hotel costs that will set you back thousands of dollars. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the Magic City and find out more about south Florida.
If you’re planning a vacation in south Florida and are looking for an easy getaway from Miami, read on! With so many possible day trips from Miami, there’s something for everyone.
Consider a daycation if you want to have fun and don’t want to burn a hole through your pocket. From family-friendly water activities to cultural experiences, walking trails, and nature hikes, these day trips are perfect for any visitor.
Read on as we show you the best day trips from Miami. Add them to your itinerary next time you visit the Sunshine State!
Show Table of Contents
- Best Single Day Trips from Miami, Florida
- 1. Everglades National Park
- 2. Kennedy Space Center
- 3. Universal Studios
- 4. Key Largo
- 5. Fort Lauderdale
- 6. West Palm Beach
- 7. Disney World
- 8. Naples
- 9. Coral Castle
- 10. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
- 11. Key Biscayne
- 12. Little Havana
- 13. Bimini
- 14. Key West of the Florida Keys
- 15. South Beach
- Can you make a day trip to Key West?
- What island can you visit from Miami?
- What are the best day trips from Miami for kids?
Best Single Day Trips from Miami, Florida
1. Everglades National Park
The Florida Everglades is one of the largest parks in the US, covering a staggering 2,400 square miles. You just can’t run out of activities in this park with a diverse habitat that provides lots of fun for all age types. Some of the activities include:
- Saltwater fishing
The National Park also has various ranger-led programs, including campfire and slough slogs. Additionally, you can enjoy a guided tour through the mangrove coast at the Flamingo and Gulf Coast, with the boat captain providing detailed information about flora and fauna.
The Everglades is rife with wildlife, from tiny annoying mosquitoes to pythons and alligators. A short trip through the Shark River Slough will bring you in close contact with these animals.
If you are planning to explore nature trails at the Everglades National Park as part of your day trips from Miami, drive to the west of the Tamiami Trail, and you’ll find it.
South Florida day trips to the Everglades are an activity you shouldn’t miss to enjoy a most memorable experience!
See Related: Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida
2. Kennedy Space Center
Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953, United States
Just a little over three hours away from Miami is the Kennedy Space Center. The center is suitable for day trips from Miami and is open from 10 am to 4 pm. Some of the places you can visit include:
- Journey to Mars: Explorer Wanted
- IMAX Theater
- Space Shuttle Atlantis
- Rocket Garden
The most incredible experience you can ever have is to talk to actual astronauts.
The Kennedy Space Center will provide you the chance to chat with a real-life astronaut who has been on space missions, and you’ll also have the opportunity to take a photograph with them.
The astronauts for this event have space experience and can answer all your questions about what it takes to be an astronaut and live on the ISS.
You may not have seen a space shuttle before, but Space Shuttle Atlantis is one chance to witness this behemoth in person.
It’s truly an incredible sight to see the shuttle with fully open payload doors to give you a feel for what it must have felt like for the astronauts who used it.
You can also stop by the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, a place set up to honor and remember American space heroes. A visit to this hall will teach you about these astronauts and their challenges in space.
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3. Universal Studios
Address: 1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL 32819
The Universal Orlando Resort is home to Universal Studios – best known for its recently added Harry Potter World. It’s one of the best day trips from Miami, featuring many shows, rides, and events to see and do. If you’re here for the ride, why don’t you try these fantastic rides, including:
- Jurassic World Velocicoaster
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
You can go alone or take your family to the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium to experience one of the best meals of your life! They serve some of the most delicious savory food and world-class dessert.
You can find this classically styled restaurant just outside the CityWalk park entrance. Even if you can’t enjoy a meal at the Emporium, you’d do well to enjoy the shakes, which are fantastic.
If you’re at the resort during summer, it’s a must to check out the Volcano Bay Water Park. It features a great wave pool, and you’re sure to fall in love with the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. It’s a canoe slide that journeys through dark mists, twisting through the belly of the volcano before emerging before an impressive waterfall.
You’ll also find two lazy rivers at Volcano Bay; however, ensure you hold very small kids tightly because one of these rivers has a strong current.
Before you take your day trip to the Universal Orlando Resort, try signing up for the VIP Experience. It will vastly improve your Miami day trip, allow you to skip queues, and come with a personal tour guide to elevate your experience. Read our full guide on the best things to do in Orlando to maximize your visit.
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4. Key Largo
Address: 106000 Overseas Highway Key Largo, FL 33037
Key Largo is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Miami and is an excellent Florida Keys destination for a day trip to Miami. Interestingly, the Everglades National Park is a few minutes away, allowing you to combine both visits in one day.
US Highway 1 connects Key Largo to the rest of the Keys in Monroe County, making it the farthest-northernmost Key in Florida.
The island is known as the world’s Dive Capital and is famous for the largest artificial reef in the world, the sunken USS Spiegel Grove.
And if you can’t make it back from your excursions from Miami, you can find excellent five-star hotels like the Autograph collection’s Playa Largo Resort & Spa. In addition to top-notch scuba diving and snorkeling activities, you can also embark on a glass-bottom boat cruise with your family.
The world-famous Seven Mile Bridge has some of the most breathtaking views along the Overseas Highway and is a bridge worth walking.
The shimmering emerald water is beautiful to behold and a must-see for Miami day trips.
The Harry Harris Park and Beach is at the southern tip of the island, suitable for getting your tan on or simply strolling along the white sands.
It’s an artificial beach with an artificial tidal pool ideal for adventurous children. You’ll also find designated playgrounds, picnic areas, basketball courts, and barbecue grills.
For lovers of unique accommodation, the Jules Undersea Lodge offers an indescribable experience. It is one of the few underwater hotels globally and the only such hotel in the US!
As part of your Miami day trips, you can arrive in Key Largo from downtown Miami via bus or train for around one hour.
The only way to get access to this hotel is by going on a scuba dive to the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon. It was formerly a research facility-cum-underwater-habitat before it became a hotel in 1986 – and has to be seen to be believed.
See Related: Best Resorts in Key West, Florida
5. Fort Lauderdale
Address: Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Fort Lauderdale is a melting pot of beautiful beaches, pristine blue water, and bustling city life. Most importantly, it’s barely an hour away from Miami.
Whether you’re a first-timer or an avid traveler, you have to stop by Las Olas Boulevard; a fashion district saturated with sidewalk cafes.
Las Olas Boulevard is on this list because it has some of the best food haunts, tiny hole-in-the-wall cafes, cocktail bars, and many museums. It’s a fantastic place to take a walk, especially in the evenings.
The Lobster Bar and Seagrill offer some of the best eats, while Ann’s Florist and Coffee Bar serve some of the most delicious coffee.
The Bonnet House is one of those places that’s so out of the way, and you’d be remiss to think it isn’t inside the city. You can take a few hours to explore the estate grounds, including an inside tour of the house.
Fort Lauderdale also has its own “Hollywood” – one of Florida’s best places to enjoy stunning art murals.
You can find different artworks from top international artists like The London Police, Tatiana Suarez, and Evoca1, to mention a few.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Tampa, Florida
6. West Palm Beach
Address: 401 Clematis St. West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Henry Flagler founded West Palm Beach as an oasis for America’s elite and wealthy. Today, it’s renowned for its tropical energy and has become an entertainment hub with diverse cultural attractions, recreation, and nightlife.
The city is just under two hours away from Miami and is a perfect option for a day trip from Miami. Not to be confused with Palm Beach, the city sits along the Intracoastal Waterways and is home to some of the wealthiest residents in the United States.
You can start at Clematis Street, located in the center of Downtown West Palm Beach, to feast your eyes on the colorful restaurants and boutiques.
You can witness live music at the renowned Clematis By Night at night, a club that provides an unbeatable nightlife experience.
Shopping is a must in this city, and the best place to do it is at The Square.
You can get the best designer brands surrounded by classic architecture, resplendent water fountains, and gorgeous cafes that make you feel like you’re in the heart of Paris.
You’ll also love the Norton Museum of Art, established by Ralph and Elizabeth Norton. This museum is globally known for its masterpieces dating back to the 19th and 20th Centuries.
These artworks include sculptures and paintings by American and European maestros, including rare bronze and jade artifacts critically acclaimed worldwide.
You can also spend a day at the Northwood Village, known for its bohemian vibe, to discover the best of fine dining and under-the-radar antique shops.
If you’re with your family, the Cox Science Center and Aquarium is home to over 40 educational exhibits, including the most extensive salt and freshwater aquarium in the South of Florida. It’s open 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends, making it ideal for a fun day trip.
See Related: Best Girls Trip Destinations Around the World
7. Disney World
Address: Orlando, FL, United States
Without a doubt, Disney World is one of the best day trips from Miami. It’s just over 3 hours from Miami and is arguably the best place for a day trip on the entire American continent. It’s possible to spend your entire spring break or holiday at this resort without trying everything.
The Disney Skyliner is an aerial gondola that gives you a birdseye view of the entire resort. Some of the places you’ll visit include:
- Epcot (within walking distance from Disney’s Yacht Club District and Boardwalk)
- Hollywood Studios
- Riviera Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Pop Century
- Art of Animation
You can’t visit Disney World without trying Magic Kingdom’s cheeseburger egg rolls, which feel like a little piece of heaven in your mouth. After eating in Disney World’s fun dining scene, you can enjoy the Kilimanjaro Safaris that immerses guests into the Savanna grasslands of Africa.
This safari is a fantastic experience in the daytime because the animals are more energetic at that time. Try the Twilight Zone of Terror, a ride suitable for thrill-seekers if you want to get the blood pumping!
Epcot’s Soarin’is the closest thing to flying you’ll ever feel, and it’s an incredible ride that gives you the feeling of flying all over California.
Living With The Land is an excellent activity that takes you on a journey inside a greenhouse to know the different ways to grow food and learn how people survive in the most brutal environments. It’s an educational activity that stimulates learning for kids.
If you’re alone or day-tripping with adults, stop at Epcot’s World Showcase, which gives you the chance to taste different foods and drinks from around the world, including beverages like beers, cocktails, and mocktails.
You can try green tea from China or a hot chocolate drink from Switzerland. There’s so much to do at Disney World; you’d need several day trips to fulfill them all.
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Address: Naples, Southwestern Florida
Barely two hours away from Miami is Naples, another secluded haven for the wealthy. The city has a rustic charm while oozing sophistication and class. You can find over 700 restaurants, many beaches, high-end shopping, and an unmatchable outdoor lifestyle for Miami, Florida vacations.
Come with beer and wine to the Naples Pier to enjoy the scene and have a dip in the ocean. After your dip, look out for the dozen world-class food trucks at the Celebration Food Truck Park, serving the most mouth-watering cuisines on wheels.
While you’re here, you’d be remiss if you didn’t go on a Keewaydin boat tour. It’s worth mentioning you can only get to this small pristine, and isolated island by boat.
You haven’t fully experienced Naples if you don’t stop by the Naples Pier, which is still standing after 130 years. The famous pier is one of the best places to catch the sunset and gives you a marvelous view of the Gulf of Mexico.
You can also join a guided tour to explore the Naples district alongside a Naples Historical Society member. The Naples Pier has a concession stand if you’re hungry and is an excellent spot for spotting dolphins or fishing.
You can visit the Birds Gardens of Naples for a change of pace. The conservation is dedicated to preserving over 300 birds from different parts of the world.
However, visitation is strictly by appointment, and you have to make one to get access to the guided tour around the facility.
See Related: Best Beach Resorts In Florida
9. Coral Castle
Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033, United States
Coral Castle is an attraction that will melt the heart of the most stubborn human. In the same way, Romeo and Juliet inspire lovers; this castle tells the story of the power of unrequited love!
Edward Leedskalnin was heartbroken when he left Latvia for the US, but he channeled his heartbreak into creating one of the most impressive artificial structures in the country.
The castle is 1,100 tons of oolite limestone and has been compared to other famous masterpieces like the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge.
The Coral Castle is on this list because it’s an incredible feat of artistic engineering by a single man – and no one really knows how he built it! It’s open from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 7 pm on the weekends. Get your admission ticket now.
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10. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Address: 16450 SE Federal Hwy, Hobe Sound, FL 33455, United States
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is less than 100 miles from Miami, making it ideal for a daycation and back home before the sun goes down. Rent a car for a balmy summer visit to enjoy the great outdoors!
The Park has four scenic hiking trails, including the Wilson Creek and Kitching Creek Trails, starting from the picnic area to the flatwood pines.
The Park is named in remembrance of Jonathan Dickinson, who found himself on the island after a shipwreck in 1696. Today, the Park stretches across 11,000 acres of pristine Florida wilderness that include:
- Mangrove and swamp rivers
- Pine Flatwoods
- Cypress sloughs
You’ll also find exotic animals like bobcats, manatees, deers, otters, and alligators. You can be lucky to spot a black bear making a rare appearance at the park.
This vast swathe of land hosts many ecosystems and habitats and is an ideal way to connect with nature while bonding with the family.
You can also take on water-based activities like an expedition along the Loxahatchee River.
Expect a close encounter with the alligators lazily basking under the sunshine. JD is also suitable for birdwatchers, with more than 50 species of birds to observe.
The state park has excellent bike terrain, and you can cycle alone or with friends along Eagle View. The Old Dixie Highway is slightly less than two miles and offers a fair challenge for beginner riders.
11. Key Biscayne
Address: south of Miami Beach and east of Miami, Florida
While it’s less than a 15-minute trip to Miami, don’t let its closeness to the city fool you. Key Biscayne is unique in its own right – dotted with chic condos, hiking trails, and state parks, making it a fantastic destination for a day trip.
Key Biscayne is an island rich with historical events, and it was the venue for the meeting between Kennedy and Nixon after the 1960 election.
Key Biscayne has two wonderful state parks: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in the South and Crandon Park in the North.
The former houses a magnificent edifice that will amaze you; the Cape Florida Lighthouse.
It’s been rebuilt several times and is currently Miami-Dade County’s oldest standing building. In addition to the 109-step Lighthouse, you can spend countless hours hiking, fishing, or exploring the many trails on your bike.
It was Ponce de Leon who christened the island Cape of Florida in 1513, and it was once a hiding place for escaped slaves on the run, waiting for undercover boats to ferry them to freedom in the British-held Bahamas.
You can rent a family minivan and join a guided tour to learn more about the Park’s fascinating history.
If you’ve never paid your respects at an underwater cemetery, Key Biscayne offers you the chance to do so. The Neptune Memorial Reef is 3.5 miles offshore and 40 feet deep. It is open for anyone to visit and a once in a lifetime experience at the Key Biscayne.
12. Little Havana
Address: Little Havana, Miami, Florida
It isn’t an exaggeration to say Little Havana is a stone’s throw from Miami and barely 15 minutes away. Little Havana is the Latin American heart and soul of the Miami area.
The neighborhood has many colorful murals with classic Cuban restaurants, art galleries, and fruit shops.
You can stop by the Calle Ocho to experience the Hollywood-inspired Walk of Fame. Unlike the gold Hollywood stars, these marble stars are pink and showcase Latin American legends like Celia Cruz.
The Calle Ocho Walk of Fame is a must-see in the neighborhood. Cuban cigars are some of the most expensive cigars worldwide, and you can see how the maestros work their craft live at El Titan de Bronze.
If you want to tour the city correctly, food is the best way to do it. You can quench your thirst with a smoothie at the Los Pinarenos Fruteria, followed by a culinary foodgasm at El Pub before topping it off with some dessert at the Azucar Ice Cream Company.
If you prefer coffee rather than something sweet, go to La Ventanita. It is a coffee paradise and an experience worth your while. Cuban coffee is known as Caffecito, Café con Leche or Café Cubano, depending on who you’re asking, and its liquid decadence at its finest.
See Related: Best Romantic Getaways in the US
Address: 1501 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 107 Miami, FL 33126 USA
The Bahamian Island is accessible by jet ferry, and you can be there in less than two hours.
Interestingly, this island was Ernest Hemingway’s favorite, with emerald waters that stretch beyond the horizon. The island provides endless opportunities for snorkeling, fishing, and diving.
You can also visit the Bimini Big Game Club to go on a Bimini Bull Run. This activity educates you about shark species and gives you the chance to face a bull shark one-on-one. You need not worry, because you’ll have a sturdy cage to protect you!
It’s also an excellent idea to go offshore and see the SS Sapona. It’s a ghostly, looming shipwreck, resting in 15 feet of water off the coast of South Bimini.
President Woodrow Wilson commissioned a line of concrete-hulled troop transports in the waning months of World War I, the SS Sapona among them. Steel was in short supply, so the hull was filled with concrete.
Launched in 1920, too late to transport American soldiers to war, the Sapona ran aground on a reef and was wrecked in a storm in 1926. She would later be used for target practice by the Army Air Corps and Navy.
You can also visit North Bimini to see the Bimini Wall. It’s an underwater wall that stretches for half a mile. Some people call it the Atlantis Road, and it remained a mystery despite its discovery half a century ago.
Visit Radio Beach for a change of scene to enjoy the quiet relaxing atmosphere. It’s not as crowded as most beaches and offers some quiet. However, you’d need to bring a lot of sunscreens as it can be pretty sunny and relaxing on the beach.
Suppose you’d like to explore all the hidden coves and caves on this island, charter a boat from the Bimini Brown Charters.
The company has over 30 years of experience providing private charter services for scuba diving, sport fishing, and snorkeling. If you want to connect intimately with Bimini, there’s no better way to do it than with a local expert.
14. Key West of the Florida Keys
Address: Key West, FL 33040
When you think of Florida, you probably picture a beautiful beach, warm weather, and a glistening sea. Key West, an island in the Florida Keys connected to the rest by a the aforementioned Seven Mile Bridge, has all of this and more.
Many land and water-based adventures, like boat cruises, scuba diving, kayaking, exploring nature parks and tropical gardens, and taking a glass bottom boat tour, are among the top things to do in Key West.
Visitors visiting Key West as part of their Miami day trips can see the Truman Little White House, which was originally built for use as a first officer’s quarters before being transformed into a family home in the early 20th Century.
For a small price, visitors can now tour the historic structures that have been converted into a museum.
Key West is easily accessible by bus (complete with air conditioning) from Miami if you’re unfamiliar with driving in the United States.
Through this ride, you will arrive at the destination approximately less than 3 hours from downtown Miami. You’ll also get to ride along the incredible Seven Mile Bridge, just above the water!
While being in the area, drop by the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is one of the most popular family-friendly attractions on the island. More than 60 different types of butterflies can be seen here, as well as 20 different kinds of unusual birds.
Key West Butterfly Conservatory is divided into a climate-controlled butterfly conservatory, a study center, an art gallery, and a gift shop.
The place is also home to the famous landmark called the Southernmost Point, the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, the Famous Duval Street, Mallory Square, Key West Aquarium, Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarter’s Museum, and more.
If you’ve got kids, the Turtle Hospital at the Dolphin Research Center in Middle Keys is a terrific place to visit, which is an hour away from the Florida Keys. Here you can bond with creatures such as sea lions, tropical fish, and more aquarium encounters.
15. South Beach
Address: Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
If you’re visiting Miami, you want to see South Beach. A trip to the beach here is not just a day trip from Miami but a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can stay close to South Beach or travel a bit further afield.
We’d recommend staying close to the beaches, as parking can be difficult in the city, but if you want a bit more breathing room, stay in the suburbs a bit.
South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. You can’t miss the lifestyle and the vibe if you visit Miami. You can get to the beach easily from the airport by taking a taxi or by public transportation.
If you’re staying near the beach, you can take a walk to get to the beach or simply jump onto one of the many boats that cruise along the coast.
Besides enjoying the water activities, take a relaxing stroll looking into collections and exhibitions in The Bass, explore nature at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and have fun at Ocean Drive.
If you are on a roll with your Miami day trips, South Beach can be found 1 hour north of the Florida Keys and 2 hours if coming from the Turtle Hospital.
Can you make a day trip to Key West?
The Florida Keys have 1,700 small islands called the cays or small islands, which means tiny islands in Spanish.
The southwest most area of the country is inhabited by Key West. You can go on one of our day trips to Key West from Miami. It’s a beautiful day in Key West if you pass by.
What island can you visit from Miami?
Bahamas Bimini is the closest Bahamas island to the city of Miami, although many day trips take place in Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands. Though geographically close to Miami, the Bahamas feel very far away.
What are the best day trips from Miami for kids?
Miami is a terrific destination for families with children because of the weather, the culture, and the kid-friendly eateries. Not to mention the abundance of museums, nature parks, fun water activities, and a visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Key West.
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.