Roll the windows down and blast your favorite tunes. It’s time for a road trip.
Probably the most desirable, wind-in-your-hair drive in Southeast Florida is the one along Route 1, a.k.a. the Overseas Highway, from Miami to Key West. But who says a road trip means you have to drive a car? Why not let someone else do the driving? If you agree then hop aboard Brightline, Florida’s new city-to-city passenger train that uses nearly 200 miles of Henry Flagler’s existing Florida East Coast Railroad?
Brightline debuted with four stations in 2017: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. And since trains hit speeds of 125 miles per hour, you can expect to reach your destination faster than if you drove. Stations are designed to connect with current public transportation options in each city, making it simple to explore those locations. Expect railcars with plush seating, on-board amenities such as Wi-Fi, and competitive pricing compared to other travel options.
The best and easiest way to commute in Miami is to get on “Miami Central” and enjoy hassle-free ride to your destination. The Miami station is located at NW 1st Avenue, between NW 3rd Street and NW 8th Street. From here, you can walk to American Airlines Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center, Port Miami and Bayfront Park.
Take the train up to the Fort Lauderdale station located at NW 2nd Avenue, between Broward Blvd. and NW 4th Street and walk to the Historic District, Museum of Science, Riverwalk A&E District and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. From the West Palm Beach station situated at Evernia Street, between S. Rosemary Avenue and S. Quadrille Blvd., take a stroll to the Clematis District, City Place and Centennial Park.
No doubt, trains and buses are the best options for a stress free ride. However, if you love to drive, plan a road trip to the wild side of the Sunshine State along the Tamiami Trail from Miami into the Everglades. Begin your journey on Brickell Avenue in the heart of downtown Miami and turn onto Calle Ocho—the beginning of the Tamiami Trail.
For a stunning short drive, head east from downtown Miami. If you choose the Rickenbacker Causeway, you’ll spot ships at the Port of Miami and the downtown skyline, and you’ll quickly be transported to the Old-Florida feel of Key Biscayne. Take the MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach to view the ships from a different angle, and you’ll be headed straight for the new Florida vibe in South Beach.
For wildlife sightings, head west on Tamiami Trail from Miami, where you’ll spot alligators and turtles. To see more ’gators, head to Shark Valley, a paved trail off Tamiami Trail that’s perfect for biking and walking.
The region’s most celebrated drive is the Overseas Highway, the southern leg of US Highway 1. It picks up in Key Largo and stretches south through the Florida Keys to Key West, the city at the southernmost point in the continental United States. Leapfrog over 42 bridges from key to key and enjoy panoramic views of the Florida Bay on one side of the road and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.
Along the way stop to snorkel near Key Largo at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park before heading down to Islamorada for Key lime pie and cold drinks at Lorelie Restaurant and Cabana Bar.
If a short jaunt isn’t enough, drive from Miami to Key West on the single-lane Overseas Highway, which crosses the Seven Mile Bridge. Surrounded as you are by water on both sides, you might imagine you’re floating through Islamorada, Key Largo, Marathon Key and Big Pine Key. Dawn and dusk are prime times for birdwatching. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot great blue herons, white cranes and bald eagles.
One enjoyable ride form Palm Beach is to Boca Raton. Enjoy cruising along A1A and head south until you reach Deerfield. You’ll pass some of the world’s priciest oceanfront mansions, and you’ll be treated to the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. On the way, you’ll come across many interesting sights. If you pay attention, you’ll get a little glimpse of the President Donald Trump’s shack, Mar-A-Lag. When you reach Lake Worth, do not miss Lake Worth Beach Complex. Stop to take a bite and enjoy the deep blue ocean. As you pass through the town of Gulf Stream, don’t forget to look up to enjoy the beautiful towering palms on the roadside. When you almost reach Boca Raton, head down to Boca Raton’s numerous beach parks and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (1801 N. Ocean Blvd.) to unwind before you finish your journey.
These are but few of the road trips that our beautiful state has to offer. You can use these, or come up with a road trip of your own. Summer is officially here, what are you waiting for?
Breathtaking views and the wind in your hair—who could want more?
Now it’s your turn! Which places have you been? Where do you want to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us all!