Sun, sand and flowery shirts. Miami really is a city to fall in love with. Whether you are from the Miami area, or looking for some fun things to do near Miami for your next vacation. This list should fill you with plenty of inspiration to plan your adventures around.
Each area is within driving distance if you book a car rental in Miami, making a short visit an ideal supplement to your time in the city.
Cities Close to Miami: Fort Lauderdale
A breezy 30 minutes away, Fort Lauderdale is known for its beaches and boating canals. The once go-to party place has grown into an oceanfront, wide beached and yacht filled ‘Venice of America’.
Take a stroll down the publicly accessible 4-mile long stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Filled with swanky shops, cafes and various other tidbits of entertainment along the route. The city used to be a hub for college students looking to cut loose into the night. Now, after multiple billions of dollars of investment, the family friendly promenade is lined with some of the finest oceanfront condominiums and mansions you’d ever lay eyes on.
Continue to immerse yourself in the lifestyles of the rich and famous by taking a cruise down the canals in which Fort Lauderdale gets its Venice likeness. You’ll see mega yachts, the most high tech of water sports toys and houses big enough to comfortably fit a small nation into. After taking a look down millionaires row, The Jungle Queen will take you to their own tropical island. Here you’ll feast on all-you-can-eat chicken, ribs and all the fixings. There’s entertainment throughout as well as a variety show after dinner.
If you’re looking for something a little more jazzy, check out the Sun Trust Sunday Jazz Brunch. This truly unique Fort Lauderdale experience takes place right on the ocean front. This is a free music event bringing you the best in local musical talent. There are 4 different stages to choose from, as well as a number of stalls from merchants and food suppliers. This event takes place on the first Sunday of every month and is still in the Miami area, so totally worth checking out even just for a day trip!
West Palm Beach
Take a walk down the heart and soul of West Palm Beach by visiting Clematis Street. This is the historical and cultural epicentre, with colorful boutiques, restaurants, live music and nightclubs.
Thursday night is when things get a little crazy over there, so that’s the day to visit. An event named ‘Clematis by Night’ takes place each week as it has done for the last 20 years. It brings music, food specials, drink deals and the best happy hour beach vibes going. You can check in on the City of West Palm Beach‘s facebook to find the latest on this event, including what bands will be playing.
The Norton Museum of Art is one of the top rated things to do near Miami, and for good reason. Established in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton and Elizabeth Norton, the museum is international known for its collection of masterpieces from across the globe. The museum includes paintings, sculptures and a collection of Chinese jade and bronze artefacts. The museum offers tours throughout the day, as well as a rolling schedule of collections on show – so be sure to check what’s happening during the dates you are planning on visiting.
A charming slice of West Palm Beach is what’s known as Antique Row. With roughly 50 individual shops offering a selection of antiques, vintage tat, retro memorabilia and 17th to 20th century swag. You’ll be sure to find all those things you never knew you were looking for but now must own at whatever cost. This is not just a flea market with heftier price tags, this is a high quality antiques district and well worth checking out. Numerous publishings have touted this area as the ‘antique design center’ of Florida and it has even been voted #4 ‘best shopping in the United States‘.
National Parks Near Miami: Everglades
The Everglades is a tropical wetland region making up the southern tip of Florida. It is one of the must see places near Miami. The ecosystem created from this natural drainage basin is not found anywhere else on earth and comes with its share of equally unique and exciting wildlife.
Pick up a rental car in Miami and make your way over to Shark Valley, within Everglades National Park. You can aim for the visitors centre. You’ll find plenty of information on the surrounding area and you’ll be able to book onto a tram tour. If you’d rather go it alone, there is a 7 mile paved walkway to either hike or bike. Be sure to bring your camera! There are alligators, wild birds and interesting fish and plants. Unfortunately despite the name Shark Valley, there aren’t any sharks there.
Looking to get fully immersed in the Everglades? Take Highway 9336 down to Flamingo, quite literally the end of the road. Flamingo is one of the few places where you can see both alligators and crocodiles together in the wild. This is due to the meeting of salt and fresh water.
There are Everglades boat tours available from the marina. If you are lucky, you may also be able to see some manatees from there too!
Closest City to Miami: Hollywood
If you were looking for cities close to Miami without driving too far, Hollywood may be the best bet. The palm tree lined Hollywood Beach is a great place to bring a picnic and relax. Running parallel is a long boardwalk, with beach shops and cafes, ideal for a lazy afternoon.
The Art and Culture Centre is just a short walk away. The centre rotates through a number of different exhibitions all with a reflective touch on modern society and its concerns. Being close to the arts school, they put on a number of student exhibitions as well as performing arts shows.
After spending so long admiring the cool and refreshing waters, you’re probably just about ready to jump on in. A ‘margarita and mangrove’ tour with Waterway Adventures could do the trick. They also offer guided fishing tours, as well as jet powered SUP and kayak rentals. Every adventure they offer comes with a comprehensive lesson on how to use the equipment, and also includes waterproof phone cases and coolers. They are based out of the 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar – a great place to grab food and drinks after your trip.
Beaches Close to Miami: Daytona Beach
Take a drive north up Highway 1 for some Atlantic ocean views all the way to Daytona Beach, one of the cities near to Miami. Destination: Bahama House. This oceanfront hotel has an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the beach and ocean, so you can be in water whilst looking at more water!
Daytona Beach is, of course, famous for its beach, all 23 miles of it. There are even some spots you can drive your car on due to the hard packed sand, or go for a bike ride. It’s easy to spend a few days playing there and the fun continues on water with various boating and parasailing options.
Daytona touts itself as the ‘festival capital of the world’. This is a big claim, but they do well to back it with festivals running year round. There’s BikeWeek, Biketoberfest, Turkey Run, Halifax Art Festival and of course the festivities of the Daytona Speedway, with 60 smaller festivals happening around that. Check online for what’s happening during your stay before making the drive over from Miami.
This article is a sponsored post collaboration with Viajemos. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend a company that we didn’t fully support or use ourselves.