Are you craving a change of scenery from the bustling streets of Miami? Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there are a number of unforgettable weekend trips from Miami just a short drive or flight away.
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With diverse options ranging from sun-soaked beaches, and charming historic towns, to sprawling state parks and national parks, you’re sure to find the perfect escape that suits your interests.
Not sure where to go? In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the best weekend getaways from Miami for a refreshing break from the Magic City!
Best Weekend Trips From Miami
From the unspoiled beaches of Bimini, Bahamas to the adventure-packed activities in Everglades National Park, here are the best Miami weekend trips.
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Just a 30-mile drive north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale offers a fantastic weekend getaway from Miami for those seeking a lively yet laid-back atmosphere.
Known as the “Venice of America” due to its extensive network of canals, Fort Lauderdale presents a vibrant mix of water activities, pristine beaches, and a thriving arts scene.
You can stroll along the famous Riverwalk, a winding promenade that meanders through the heart of downtown, visit the eclectic shops and galleries of Las Olas Boulevard, kayak or paddle through the city’s canals or ride on a Las Olas Gondola, or unwind on the sun-kissed sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach.
For nature enthusiasts, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers peaceful trails, perfect for hiking or birdwatching.
But if you’re a history buff, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and Stranahan House (the oldest remaining structure in the city) offer fascinating insights into the city’s past.
Other spots that make Fort Lauderdale one of the best Miami weekend getaways include; the Museum of Discovery and Science, Butterfly World, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and many others.
With a rich cultural landscape, stunning waterways, and numerous outdoor pursuits, Fort Lauderdale is an easily accessible and enjoyable weekend getaway from Miami’s fast-paced energy.
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2. Naples, Florida
Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Naples is a sophisticated and picturesque weekend destination just under two hours’ drive from Miami.
Renowned for its upscale shopping, world-class dining, high-end golf courses, and pristine white-sand beaches, Naples offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment.
The city’s crown jewel, Naples Pier which extends into the Gulf of Mexico provides a fantastic spot for fishing, birdwatching, or taking in breathtaking sunsets.
Nearby, the serene beaches of Lowdermilk Park and Naples Beach are the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the warm turquoise waters, or venture further to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park to participate in watersports like paddling, snorkeling, fishing, and more.
Besides this, Naples is also the perfect place to go for retail therapy, so be sure to pass by Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South in downtown Naples to pick up a few luxury items or explore art galleries and dine at chic restaurants.
On the other hand, nature lovers will enjoy the nearby Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a 13,000-acre preserve boasting a 2.5-mile boardwalk through diverse habitats and a chance to spot wildlife, Naples Botanical Garden which showcases fascinating art collections and lush tropical landscapes, and the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center to learn about the area’s delicate ecosystem.
Regardless of the type of traveler you are, Naples is a perfect contender when looking for short trips from Miami.
3. Everglades National Park, Florida
Just an hour’s drive from Miami is a remarkable natural treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Everglades National Park.
Spanning over 1.5 million acres, this expansive park protects a unique ecosystem teeming with diverse flora and fauna that nature enthusiasts will appreciate.
As the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, the Everglades is home to an array of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther, the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee, and a variety of bird, reptile, and fish species that amount to over 700.
You can explore the park’s myriad landscapes, such as freshwater sloughs, mangrove forests, and sawgrass prairies by either going on this guided airboat tour for an exhilarating journey through the park’s watery habitats, or on this kayaking and walking small group guided tour along the mangrove-lined waterways in search for manatees, sea turtles, and other wildlife.
Are you more into hiking? The park has numerous trails, including Anhinga Trail, Mahogany Hammock Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, and more, offering excellent opportunities to spot alligators, wading birds, and other wildlife.
For a deeper understanding of the park’s ecosystem and how best to navigate it since it can overwhelming, we recommend first visiting the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, or better yet joining this guided tour.
So, if you want a weekend full of wildlife viewing, hiking, and connecting with nature, Everglades National Park is one of the quick getaways from Miami to consider.
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4. Nassau, The Bahamas
If you want your Miami weekend trip to be outside Florida, heck even outside the USA, then the first place that comes to our minds is Nassau in the Bahamas.
A short 1-hour flight from Miami to the capital of the Bahamas offers a delightful weekend getaway brimming with sun, sand, and vibrant Caribbean culture.
Located on the island of New Providence, Nassau will enthrall you with its picturesque pastel-colored colonial architecture, bustling markets, and powdery white sand beaches.
Start by strolling along the charming streets of downtown Nassau, where you’ll find the iconic Queen’s Staircase, a historic limestone structure boasting 66 steps, then explore the educational and interactive exhibits at the Pirates of Nassau Museum, or immerse yourself in Bahamian history at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.
However, the best part about a weekend trip from Miami to Nassau is the beaches. You can relax or participate in water activities like snorkeling and diving on the city’s pristine beaches such as Cable Beach and Cabbage Beach.
For an unforgettable experience, we recommend taking a day trip to Blue Lagoon Island or the Exuma Cays, where you can swim with friendly pigs and dolphins.
From its captivating history, stunning beaches, and lively atmosphere, Nassau is indeed one of the best weekend trips from Miami.
5. Vero Beach, Florida
Unspoiled beaches, lush parks, golf clubs, and a plethora of outdoor activities are some of the things that make this coastal city along Florida’s Treasure Coast one of the best places to visit from Miami on a weekend trip.
As you’d imagine, Vero Beach has long stretches of beaches but the ones you can’t miss include South Beach Park, Jaycee Park, and Humiston Beach Park where you can either chill on the white sand, go kayaking, fishing, or even just take a leisurely stroll in the paved walkways.
But for a unique experience, we recommend visiting during sea turtle nesting season (March through October) to get a chance to witness these fascinating creatures up close at the nearby Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
Other points of interest that nature lovers will appreciate include the scenic McKee Botanical Garden and the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge which offer picturesque trails and birdwatching opportunities. Riverside Park is another lovely spot to unwind, featuring a beautiful riverwalk, tennis courts, and a children’s playground.
While the city is known for its beaches, it also doesn’t lack in culture. You can take in its vibrant arts scene at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, or catch a live performance at the Riverside Theatre.
And as for shopping and dining, Ocean Drive boasts a variety of boutique shops, galleries, and charming eateries.
With all this, it’s not hard to see why Vero Beach is one of the most beautiful cities near Miami to visit.
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6. Sarasota, Florida
Home to some of the most famous and beautiful beaches in southwest Florida, Sarasota is another beach weekend escape from Miami, located just over a three hours’ drive.
The city is famous for its thriving arts scene, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, making it the perfect destination for travelers who want a mix of relaxation on its long beaches and culture.
While you’ll probably spend your time enjoying the beauty of Siesta Key Beach and Lido Key (which are the most beautiful beaches in the city), Sarasota has much more to offer than this.
Discover the area’s unique history by visiting the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Circus Museum, or Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and if you’re into culture, Sarasota’s culture scene will not disappoint either.
There are a number of theatres and performing arts venues where you can watch either a musical, a classical concert, or even a dance show.
Some of the theatres to check out include Sarasota Opera House to catch an opera show, Asolo Repertory Theatre (which holds various shows), or Florida Studio Theatre.
For nature lovers, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium showcase the region’s fascinating flora and marine life.
7. Bimini, Bahamas
Being the closest point from the mainland USA to the Bahamas, it’s not a brainer to think of Bimini when planning a weekend trip from Miami.
Located just 50 miles off the coast of Miami and easily accessible by a 2-hour ferry ride, this tropical paradise offers turquoise waters, unspoiled beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere.
Bimini is comprised of two main islands, North Bimini, and South Bimini, each boasting its own unique charm, though there is another island, East Bimini which in our opinion can be skipped, especially since you just have a few days.
North Bimini is known for its lively ambiance, vibrant nightlife, and the picturesque Alice Town, while South Bimini offers a more tranquil experience with its untouched nature reserves and secluded beaches.
If you’re a water sports enthusiast, you will be thrilled by Bimini’s world-class fishing, snorkeling, and diving opportunities due to its numerous shipwrecks, like the SS Sapona shipwreck and the legendary Bimini Road/Lost City of Atlantis, believed by some to be remnants of the Lost City of Atlantis.
So, if you were looking for the best weekend trips from Miami where you can escape the city bustles and laze on beautiful stretches of white beaches in the Caribbean, Bimini in the Bahamas should be your first choice.
8. Biscayne National Park, Florida
Biscayne National Park is the perfect weekend trip from Miami for nature enthusiasts and water lovers alike.
Located a little under 1 hour’s drive from downtown Miami, this 172,000-acre park, situated on the northernmost Florida Keys boasts a unique blend of vibrant coral reefs, lush mangrove forests, and crystal-clear waters.
Since 95% of the park is covered in water, it is best explored by boat! You can book guided tours, private charters, or rent a boat/kayak/canoe to experience the park’s stunning marine life up close and navigate the mangrove-lined shoreline.
For the more adventurous ones, you can go snorkeling to see the colorful coral reefs teeming with fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures or on a diving adventure at the Maritime Heritage Trail to see various shipwrecks.
But if you’re more into fishing, the park’s diverse habitats create an angler’s paradise, though you’ll need to have a Florida recreational saltwater fishing license.
If you have more time, we recommend booking a boat tour to Boca Chita Key to see the historic lighthouse or a guided tour to the historic Stiltsville, a collection of wooden houses built on stilts above the bay.
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9. Key West, Florida
Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States, is a vibrant and picturesque island getaway just a scenic 3.5-hour drive from Miami.
Known for being a diving and snorkeling destination, with colorful architecture, and rich cultural history, Key West offers an adventure-filled escape from the city.
Start your visit at Duval Street, the island’s main thoroughfare which boasts a lively mix of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bars, and then take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets lined with pastel-colored conch-style houses.
You can also explore the historic district featuring iconic landmarks like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Harry S. Truman Little White House which was the Winter White House for President Harry S. Truman.
For a relaxing day, you can visit one of Key West’s beaches like Smathers Beach, Clarence S.Higgs Memorial Beach, or Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, where you can soak up the sun, swim, or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.
Other things you can enjoy in Key West include visiting Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, home to hundreds of butterflies and tropical birds, going on a sunset cruise, taking a snorkeling trip to the nearby coral reefs, or kayaking through the mangrove forests of the backcountry.
From its stunning natural beauty and lively atmosphere to its rich history, Key West is no doubt one of the best weekend getaways from Miami.
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10. Havana, Cuba
Steeped in history, culture, and architectural beauty, Havana, the capital of Cuba will offer you a truly unique travel experience that will transport you back in time by just hopping on a short 1-5 hours flight from Miami.
If you thought Little Havana in Miami prepared you for the immense beauty you’re about to find in Havana, you may want to think twice.
From the cobbled streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll find stunning colonial buildings, lively plazas, and vibrant street art to historical landmarks like the Cathedral of Havana, Plaza de Armas (the oldest plaza in the city), and El Capitolio, the Cuban capitol building, Havana will have you snapping photos at every turn.
Don’t miss the chance to dance the night away at a local salsa club, or experience Havana’s thriving arts scene by visiting the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, or attending a live performance at the Gran Teatro de La Habana.
But what’s a trip to Havana without indulging in traditional Cuban cuisine? Visit a paladar, a small Cuban family restaurant for authentic Cuban meals, and pick up a few Cuban cigars at a Cigar shop if you’re into this kind of thing.
11. Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys
Another place in the Florida Keys to consider for a Miami weekend trip is Bahia Honda State Park located about three hours away.
If you want a piece of the Caribbean vibe without ever leaving Florida, this is the place to be.
From its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, palm trees that line the shores, and lush vegetation, every aspect of this park will give you the tranquil weekend escape you’re looking for.
The park has beautiful beaches; Sandspur Beach (the largest and most famous) and Calusa Beach & Loggerhead Beach, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, or even taking a leisurely walk along the shoreline. The beaches are also perfect for shelling.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s range of activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding through the serene waters.
On top of this, Bahia Honda also offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching, with many native and migratory species frequenting the area.
For a unique experience, hike the Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail which offers panoramic views of the park and surrounding islands.
And to take your visit to the next level, we recommend booking one of the camping and cabin options available to stay overnight for a unique opportunity to stargaze.
You should, however, note that since this is one of the popular weekend trips from Miami and a sought-out state park for both locals and tourists, we recommend arriving early because the park stops entry as soon as the daily capacity is reached.
12. Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach may not be as resounding as cities like Naples or Sarasota but this charming city on Florida’s Space Coast, about 3 hours’ drive from Miami has evolved into a tourist spot for all kinds of travelers.
Space geeks (due to its close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center) surf enthusiasts, and beach bums all make their way to this no-so little gem.
The city’s six-mile stretch of coastline provides plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, or catching a wave at popular surf spots like the Cocoa Beach Pier or Lori Wilson Park. You can even visit the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf shop to rent equipment or take a surfing lesson.
While in Cocoa Beach, be sure to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where you will learn about the history of space exploration, see real rockets, or even watch a live rocket launch if you visit at the right time.
The nearby Brevard Zoo also offers an enjoyable day out for families with interactive exhibits and animal encounters.
Nature lovers are not left out either. The Thousand Islands Conservation Area offers canoeing and kayaking through mangrove-lined waterways, providing a glimpse of local wildlife.
Whether you’re into beach activities, space-related attractions, or natural beauty, Cocoa Beach is one of the best weekend getaways from Miami to consider.
13. West Palm Beach
Looking for a quick getaway from Miami? Then look no further than West Palm Beach which is located a little over an hour’s drive from Miami.
This city has a diverse mix of culture, entertainment, and natural beauty to appeal to all kinds of visitors, whether you’re looking for a laid-back experience by chilling on popular beaches like Palm Beach and Lake Worth Beach, or if you’d rather explore the vibrant downtown area.
If the latter is your pick, you can check out upscale shops, art galleries, buzzing nightlife, and a wide range of dining options at Clematis Street or head to CityPlace, an open-air shopping center, for an upscale retail experience, or stroll through the bustling West Palm Beach GreenMarket to pick up some fresh produce and artisanal goods.
And for a little bit of art and culture, head to Norton Museum of Art, which showcases an impressive collection of American, European, and Chinese art, or the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts which offers diverse exhibits and performances.
Other noteworthy places that make West Palm Beach one of the best Miami weekend trips include Okeeheelee Park perfect for golfing, hiking, mountain biking, and more, Mounts Botanical Garden, and the Manatee Lagoon.
Final Thoughts on The Best Weekend Trips From Miami
These diverse and captivating weekend trips from Miami offer something for everyone, whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience.
From the pristine beaches and vibrant cities in Florida to the idyllic islands in the Caribbean, these destinations provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in Miami.
Which place will you be considering the next time you plan a weekend getaway from Miami?
But before you go, consider sharing these best Miami weekend getaways if you found the article helpful!