Serene Japanese gardens. Fruit picking and tastings. Unobstructed coastlines. Miami has no shortage of eye candy within driving distance. And hey, who doesn’t love a day spent outside the office? Here, our picks for the best day trips.
Everglades National Park (1.5 Hours from Miami)
One of the world’s most diverse ecosystems is hidden in plain sight inside Florida’s swamplands. Scope out alligators, manatees and panthers on an hour-long airboat ride, which begins and ends at Everglades National Park. You’ll journey deep inside the area’s tree-canopied landscapes, stopping every few minutes to spot wildlife and get some history from your local tour guide.
Homestead/Redlands (45 Minutes from Miami)
Just a bit south, this agricultural district is replete with activities. Think fruit picking and cinnamon rolls at Knaus Berry Farm and tasting tours at Schnebly Redland’s, drool-worthy fruit smoothies at Robert Is Here and an alligator show at the Everglades Alligator Farm.
Stiltsville (25 Minutes From Miami)
About a mile south of Cape Florida, you’ll find a cluster of seven pastel-colored wood-frame houses. Dating back to the 1930s, the now-vacant houses were known to host wild parties during Prohibition. Embark on a fascinating three-hour tour led by historians from HistoryMiami.
Biscayne National Park Boat Tour (1 Hour from Miami)
This isn’t your average park. More than 90 percent of it lies underwater, preserving South Florida’s coastal barrier reefs. See for yourself with atour on a glass-bottom boat, which begins at the park’s visitor center. You’ll marvel at manatees, sea turtles, limestone corals and thousands of other sea creatures.
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens (1 Hour from Miami)
This Delray Beach museum, dedicated to Japanese culture, is one of the most peaceful places in South Florida. Reminiscent of an expansive Asian-inspired villa, the property has six sprawling gardens, tea houses and museum buildings with permanent and rotating exhibitions.
Bahia Honda State Park (2 Hours and 35 Minutes from Miami)
Don’t have enough time to squeeze in a vacay to the Keys? Head to Bahia Honda instead. This beachside park—covering more than 500 acres and with a view of an abandoned, historic bridge—is perfect for a day of snorkeling, kayaking, tanning (with SPF) and boating. We suggest waking up early to give yourself four to five hours of sun and surf before driving home.