The 5 Best Day Trips From Miami

Key Largo in the Florida Keys archipelago has a chilled-out, island time atmosphere
Key Largo in the Florida Keys archipelago has a chilled-out, island time atmosphere | © philipus / Alamy Stock Photo
Situated in a state that is home to the country’s most idyllic beaches and diverse ecosystems, Miami is a great place to live when it comes to day-trip opportunities. Hit the road and explore Caribbean-like archipelagos, wildlife-rich wetlands and relaxing beachside towns.

Key Largo

The sand on the beaches of Key Largo is so white it looks bleached. Combined with glassy waters and a serious island-time atmosphere, it’s a good introduction to the Florida Keys archipelago. It’s roughly a one-hour drive from Miami, so you can be sipping rum cocktails and planning snorkel trips to spectacular rainbow reefs in no time.

ToursTwo Hour Kayak or Paddleboard Eco Tour
From $56 per person
2 hours
5 (2)

Glide through the mangrove ecosystem of Tavernier Creek on either a kayak or a paddleboard on this guided tour. Ideal for first-time paddlers, you will pass over shallow, clear water with sponges and grass beds visible below, as well as marine life such as turtles, stingrays, dolphins and manatees. Sunset and night tours with lit-up boards are also available, allowing you to watch the water glow bright orange as the sun slips below the horizon.

Everglades National Park

Florida’s Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. Covering more than 2 million acres, it’s teeming with grasslands, mangrove swamps and freshwater prairies, and home to species such as manatees and the Florida panther (this is also the only area in the world where crocodiles and alligators live side by side). Everglades National Park makes up around 20 percent of these wetlands, and is best discovered with a guide who can help you make the most of a day trip to this awe-inspiring landscape.

ToursEverglades National Park Expedition
From $150 per person
3 hours 30 minutes
4.3846154 (10)

Discover the beauty and diversity of Everglades National Park on this exciting wildlife boat tour from Fort Myers. In a small group, you will travel deep into the heart of the Everglades’ Ten Thousand Islands to learn about rare local flora and spot native animals. Learn about the unique ecosystem from an expert guide and get the opportunity to snap photos of alligators, sea turtles, manatees, native birds and more in their natural habitat. You will also learn about the cultural development of the Everglades, including the ingenuity of the Native Americans and Anglo-American ‘Gladesmen’ who have populated this area for centuries.

Fort Lauderdale

Once known as an epicenter of Spring Break revelry, Fort Lauderdale has made a conscious effort to refine its image. While there is still plenty of fun to be had, it has a new-found popularity with travelers who are drawn to the city’s majestic swathes of coastline and less showy attitude than some of its Sunshine-State neighbors.

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ToursSUP PUP Paddleboard Tour
From $45 per person
1 hour 30 minutes

Led by your guide Natasha, and her loveable dog Mr Beaches, this hour-long stand up paddleboard tour will take you through the world-famous Las Olas Canals. Perfect for all experience levels, you will be taught how to manoeuvre your paddleboard, and you’ll be encouraged to find the position most comfortable for you, whether that’s kneeling, sitting or standing. As you paddle, you’ll be treated to fantastic views of marine life, yachts, sailing vessels and catamarans. Be sure to cross your fingers for a manatee sighting.

Marco Island

White-sand beaches, turquoise waters and a more chilled-out vibe than other seaside spots in the area, Marco Island is a tropical paradise. The fact that you can get here in under two hours by car is reason enough to envy Miami residents. The perfect day trip, you’ll leave salt-crusted, sun-kissed and sandy.

ToursTen Thousand Islands Adventure Boat Tour
From $70 per person
3 hours
4.8333335 (5)

Explore the Ten Thousand Islands by boat on this half-day tour to one of Florida’s most pristine natural attractions. Depart from Marco Island with a small group – numbers are limited to 12, allowing you a more personalized experience. You will head to an isolated barrier island that is only accessible by boat, where you can snorkel and swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Your captain will highlight interesting sites and talk about the area’s history and ecology, as well as pointing out distinctive local animals.

Naples

A stretch of beach that has managed to remain blissfully skyscraper-free, Naples is a romantic beachside town. Echoing the European elegance of it’s Italian namesake it is free from the neon-fronted attractions that can at times feel synonymous with Florida’s coastal cities. A true romantic getaway, it warrants a whole weekend, but it does just as well as a day trip destination if you’re limited on time.

ToursNaples Mangrove Estuary Preserve Kayak Adventure Tour
From $60 per person
2 hours
5 (1)

Perfect for all levels, this kayak tour will take you through the protected estuary and mangrove tunnels at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park and Barefoot Beach Preserve. Your experienced guide will educate you on the local flora and fauna as you go, as well as helping you spot animals you’d likely miss on your own – including wading birds and birds of prey, manatees and dolphins.