Last Updated on November 12, 2022
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If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway, Miami is the perfect spot to start. From there, you can easily take day trips to some of the most beautiful and interesting places in Florida.
From south to Key West or north to locations such as Orlando and Sarasota, these weekend trips from Miami offer a wide variety of things to do such as theme parks, beaches, historic spots, and other activities.
Here are the best weekend trips from Miami!
Weekend Trips From Miami
1. Universal Theme Parks
One of the best weekend getaways from Miami is to visit one of the many theme parks in Orlando. The Universal Parks are perfect for adventurers and movie fans, especially of Harry Potter, Fast and the Furious, Transformers, and Spielberg films like Jurassic Park, E.T., and Jaws.
You can reach Orlando via a 4-hour drive from Miami by traveling north. While you can stay on property at the Universal Parks, a great alternative is the DoubleTree on Major Blvd, which is only a 20-minute walk from the entrance of the parks!
To spend 2-3 days at Universal, you can pick and choose from three parks: Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay (the water park).
Each park has its highlights. For example, at Islands of Adventure, you’ll find the big, thrill-seeking rides including VelociCoaster (a Jurassic World themed coaster), The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and Doctor Doom’s Fearfall.
At Universal Studios Florida, there are indoor 3D rides like the Fast and the Furious and Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York, and a Simpsons Ride and area complete with special Duff beer.
You can even spend a full 2 days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where it’s divided into two sections – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade and Hogwarts in Islands of Adventure.
There are a number of themed rides, shops, and restaurants waiting to be discovered!
Recommended by Alanna from Periodic Adventures
2. Naples, Florida
If you want to enjoy a fabulous weekend trip from Miami then you cannot beat Naples, Florida.
After all, this amazing city is a mere 2-hour drive from Miami and is known for its pristine beaches, exquisite culture, high-end shopping, and incredible golf courses.
So, start your weekend off with a day spent soaking up the rays at some of the best beaches in Naples.
Top picks include Bonita Beach, Barefoot Beach State Preserve, and the iconic Naples Municipal Beach and Pier.
In fact, this pier was initially constructed in 1888 and has become an immortal symbol of the city. It also stretches out over 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico and provides visitors with a great spot to go shelling.
However, do keep an eye out for inquisitive dolphins and hungry pelicans that regularly dive into the water looking for fish around the pier.
If you want, you can try your hand at fishing before heading to Cosmos Cafe & Pizzeria for some tasty pizza.
Just be sure to stick around for sunset since Naples has some of the best in the country.
Next, take a day trip to nearby Marco Island and explore some of the exquisite mangrove-lined estuaries there. But, the coolest hidden gem here is the Florida Domes or the remnants of a millionaire’s home in Cape Romano. It’s only accessible by boat though so plan accordingly.
Then when you need a break from all that sightseeing, head back to your luxurious room at the Naples Bay Resort & Marina. It’s centrally located and even features a full spa and pool on-site.
Recommended by Victoria from Florida Trippers
Sarasota is located on the Gulf of Mexico, on the western side of Florida. It can be reached from Miami in a 3½ hour drive. It is an interesting city to stay in, known for its cultural and environmental amenities.
First and foremost are the beaches, with the city boasting arguably some of Florida’s finest. Perhaps the pick of the bunch is Siesta Key, situated a few miles from the city center on one of the many islands that are a feature of Florida’s west coast.
Siesta Key beach is composed of pure white, silica sand, with a favorable year-round climate to match.
Beyond the beaches, Sarasota’s coastal waterways are lined with an interesting selection of grand villas, some of which are owned by celebrities and can be truly spectacular.
Short boat tours can be taken from the central harbor area to see these, as well as some of the marine life that shares the waterways. Dolphins are not uncommon and there is even the chance to see some of the iconic Indian manatees if you are really lucky.
Sarasota is known locally as the cultural center of western Florida. Being home to an opera house, ballet and several theatres ensure there are plenty of interesting options for those staying overnight.
To the north of the city is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, a beautiful waterfront former residence that now serves as Florida’s state art gallery.
For shopping and eating out, a good option is a visit to St. Armands Circle, an island located on the way out to Lido Key.
It is a small cluster of shops and restaurants that offer good variety in very pleasant surroundings.
When considering somewhere to stay, the city has a range of options to suit all tastes and budgets.
For beach lovers, you can’t beat a stay on Siesta Key, with the Ringling Beach House providing laid-back accommodation in a 1920s house that is just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Recommended by Rachel from Children of Wanderlust
4. Everglades National Park
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Miami, look no further than the Everglades National Park! Just a short drive away, the Everglades is a great place to spend a weekend exploring.
There are 2 entrances to Everglades National Park that are just under an hour from Miami. Shark Valley Entrance and Homestead near the Ernest Coe Visitor Center.
At Shark Valley, you will be able to either take the tram tour, rent bicycles or walk around the trails to see the landscape of the Everglades.
You will see many birds, alligators, and turtles. Don’t miss going to the top of the observation tower for a unique vantage point of the park.
At Homestead, you can experience one of the best ways to explore the Everglades, taking an airboat tour.
You’ll get up close and personal with alligators, birds, and other wildlife as you glide through the swamp.
Pro tip: book your tour in advance so you can snag a spot on one of the popular sunset tours.
If you’re feeling adventurous, consider going on an overnight camping trip! There are several campgrounds located within the park boundaries, so you can choose one that’s close to the activities you want to do.
Make sure to bring bug spray, as mosquitoes can be a problem in the Everglades (especially at dusk).
If hotels are more your style, you can find a good selection of hotels in Homestead. The Hilton Garden Inn in Homestead is clean, friendly, and convenient.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in the park, be sure to stop by one of the many visitor centers for information on things to see and do.
The ranger-led programs are also a great way to learn more about the Everglades and its unique ecosystem.
Recommended by Chantelle from Flannels or Flip Flops
If you’re looking for an epic weekend getaway, look no further than the Bahamas! This tropical paradise is closer than you might think and there are several ways you can get there for the weekend.
Bimini Bahamas is located just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, making it a perfect destination for a long weekend getaway.
There are several ways to get to the Bahamas from Miami, including flying, taking a cruise, or taking a ferry.
Flying is usually the quickest option, but it can also be the most expensive.
Taking a cruise is a good option too, and there are several 3-day weekend cruises that head to the Bahamas from Miami. Some have ports of call in Bimini, Nassau, or Freeport. By cruising to the Bahamas, you don’t have to worry about where to eat or where to stay!
Another option for getting to the Bahamas from Miami is to take the ferry. You’ll find the ferries run regularly and make it easy to escape for the weekend. Take a look at these boat trips from Miami to the Bahamas!
Once you’ve arrived in the Bahamas, there are endless possibilities for things to do. If you’re looking to relax, there are plenty of beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear water.
You can stay at one of the luxurious all-inclusive resorts that the Bahamas are famous for and not have to worry about a thing all weekend! In Bimini, you could stay at the Hilton Resorts World Bimini. In Nassau, you have more choices such as Sandals, or Breezes.
For those who want to explore, there are numerous historical sites and museums to visit.
Spend some time sampling local food and drinks. If you are in Bimini, head to Radio Beach to try some local food. In Nassau, I recommend the conch fritters from Twin Brothers.
And if you’re looking for some adventure, there are plenty of watersports available, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.
No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to do in the Bahamas!
Recommended by Chantelle from Romantic Rambles
6. Marco Island
Marco Island is a magnificent tourist retreat located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It’s the largest and most developed island among Florida’s 10,000 islands. A year-round tropical climate makes this enclave a perfect weekend getaway.
The distance between Marco Island and Miami is 105.3 miles which can be covered by a two-hour drive. The whole island is adorned by beautiful sunny beaches covered by white sand.
The ocean allows tourists to experience water sports, boating, and fishing. The island also has several luxurious hotels with the best amenities to make your stay exciting and fulfilling.
On one side, the island is also adjacent to the mangrove estuaries of the Ten Thousand islands. Experience the fantastic backwaters by boating, kayaking, or canoeing. This place is also great for witnessing some rare birds and wildlife.
Fishing is an integral part of the tourist experience on Marco Island. Indulge in a backcountry fishing experience with the help of experts and get your hands on varieties of fishes like trout, snook, redfish, etc. You can also try fishing in the Gulf of Mexico by chartering a fishing boat.
Archaeologists have found remains of some precious artifacts from that era which are now kept in the Marco Island Historical Museum.
Discover the best seafood in the restaurants, which can compete with Florida’s Michelin restaurants. From regional favorites to Italian seafood, you can find it all at the famous restaurants in town.
For special Sunday afternoon entertainment, visit Stan’s Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in the village of Goodland for their Sunday Party.
This water-facing, cozy eatery offers fresh local seafood items with live entertainment such as live music, a fashion show by the local boutique, etc.
Accommodation here ranges from small motels and inns to luxurious villas and resorts, such as JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Book your rooms beforehand if visiting during summer.
Recommended by Ruma from The Holiday Story
7. Vero Beach
Less than a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Miami, Vero Beach is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway with your family. And if you or your little one loves Disney, you can enjoy that Disney magic without stepping foot in the theme parks by staying at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is located right on Florida’s Treasure Coast, which means you’ll have access to the beach through a private entrance. The beach is also a popular sea turtle nesting habitat, so if you visit the area from late spring through fall, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a sea turtle hatchling making its way to the ocean.
There are plenty of activities at the resort from beach and water rentals to kids’ activities to sports, but since you’ll have your car, you can easily venture off property.
If you’re looking for some beautiful scenery, check out the McKee Botanical Gardens or take a stroll on one of the many nature trails. And if you want to learn more about the area’s wildlife, make sure to visit the Environmental Learning Center or Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
With so much to do at the resort and the surrounding area, you can easily fill up your weekend with fun activities. But if relaxation is what you’re after, you’ll be able to fit plenty of that in at Vero Beach, too.
Recommended by Jenn from Those Johnson Boys
8. Crystal River
Escape the bustling streets of Miami and head to the charming city of Crystal River. At just under 5 hours away, it’s the perfect weekend trip from Miami. Crystal River is an outdoor-lovers dream with over 70 natural springs, beautiful state parks, and of course manatees!
Start your weekend getaway with a morning snorkel session with the manatees! If hoping to swim with these gentle giants, be sure to plan your trip during the winter months (November-March). If you are visiting during the warmer months, you can dive for scallops instead!
For the rest of your weekend, you can choose between a stroll around Homosassa Springs State Park, a kayak ride through the beautiful Three Sisters Springs, a swim at Rainbow River State Park, or a bike ride along the Withalooche Trail.
If hoping to stay right in Crystal River, be sure to make your reservation early. The Plantation on Crystal River is a great option with beautiful rooms, a lagoon-style pool, and even swim with manatees packages!
You’ll definitely want to extend your Crystal River weekend getaway!
Recommended by Jordan from The Homebody Tourist
9. St. Augustine
St Augustine is the nation’s oldest city and still exists. Here you can see the Spanish colonial era with colonial architecture, the oldest house, the oldest cellar, the oldest jail, and many things with beautiful beaches, harbor, and ghost tours.
There are so many things to do in St Augustine that it is a perfect weekend trip from Miami, and also, it is only.
St Augustine is a perfect day trip from Miami Fl and one of the unique weekend getaways in Florida. Not only is this a historical place, but it is also blessed with beautiful beaches and alligator parks nearby.
You will find traditional cafes, Spanish vibes, and historic casa-style hotels downtown, one of the best day trips from Miami, Fl. St Augustine also holds several vibrant festivals and events throughout the year.
If you visit St Augustine during Christmas, take advantage of a month-long Night of lights festival as it looks like a fairy tale town.
The best place to book your hotel in St Augustine is the historic downtown, where you walk through walking streets and see the ancient style of the colonial USA.
Recommended by Yukti from Travel With Me 24-7 Blog
9 Amazing Weekend Trips From Miami
Whether you’re looking for a nature-filled getaway or a chance to check out some of the area’s history and culture, there’s something for everyone just a short drive away.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Miami, check out these fun Miami city tours!
We’ve put together a list of some of the best favorite weekend trips, so be sure to check them out and start planning your next adventure!
Book Your Next Trip! For Accommodations and short-term rentals, I recommend Booking.com as they are the best in the business when it comes to rates and places to stay.
To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!
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