Miami Day Trips – Free (and almost free) Sensible

Estimated read time 9 min read

The Miami day trips list can be as endless as the options of things to do in Miami itself. Should you dare to venture out and experience a slower pace, adventures await you in every direction, offering a rich and diverse taste of Florida’s charm.

  • South: For a taste of the Keys, head South where you’ll find hiking, beaches, watering holes, key lime pies, and blazing sunsets, all accessible in under 90 minutes. Miami day trips to this region provide a perfect blend of tropical relaxation and outdoor exploration.
  • West: Journey West and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Everglades or visit the Big Cypress Reservation to learn more about the Seminole tribe at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. These Miami day trips present an opportunity to connect with the area’s unique ecology and cultural heritage.
  • North: Head North, and in under 60 minutes, you’ll discover quiet nature centers, unspoiled treasures, world-class shopping, and less crowded beaches. Miami day trips to the North offer a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Miami day trips extend the city’s vibrancy to nearby attractions, catering to various interests and tastes. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or someone in search of leisure, Miami day trips provide endless opportunities to explore and enjoy the broader surroundings.

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Key Largo Beaches: A Must-Visit Miami Day Trip

For those looking to escape the bustling energy of Miami and immerse themselves in a tropical paradise, a day trip to the stunning beaches of Key Largo is the perfect solution. Located just a 90-minute drive South from Miami, Key Largo offers an array of activities and breathtaking sights, making it an unforgettable Miami day trip destination.

1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Home to the only living coral reef in the continental United States, this park is renowned for its snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. You can explore the underwater marvels, sunbathe on the sandy beaches, or enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour.

All visitors are required to pay an entrance fee:

  • $8.00* per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
  • $2.00* Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
  • $4.00* Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.
  • *Plus $.50 per person Monroe County Surcharge. Tours are priced separately and require reservations.

2. Beachside Activities: Key Largo’s beaches are renowned for their soft sands and calm waters. Indulge in paddleboarding, kayaking, or simply relax under the sun with a good book.

3. Waterfront Dining: Enjoy a meal at one of Key Largo’s many waterfront restaurants. Savor delicious seafood, key lime pies, and tropical drinks as you watch the mesmerizing sunsets.

4. Wildlife Encounters: Don’t miss the chance to interact with dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life at various marine centers in Key Largo.

5. Shopping and Local Art: Explore local shops and galleries to find unique souvenirs and appreciate the island’s art and culture.

6. Fishing Adventures: Known as a prime fishing destination, Key Largo offers various charters and guided tours for anglers of all skill levels.

7. Accommodation Options: Though a day trip, Key Largo has plenty of hotels and resorts if you decide to extend your stay.

The diversity in activities and the sheer beauty of Key Largo’s beaches make it one of the most attractive Miami day trips. From families seeking fun to couples looking for a romantic escape, Key Largo caters to all, providing a refreshing break from the city’s fast pace. With clear turquoise waters, lush landscapes, and an array of water sports, Key Largo is not just a destination but an experience that captures the essence of Florida’s tropical allure.

More places to visit:

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park – free park featuring a nice nature walking loop.

Rowell’s Waterfront Park

– FREE park to launch a kayak, have a picnic, swim, or watch the sunset.

free (and almost free) sensible day trip ideas near miami when i wander

Florida Keys History & Discovery Center

The Keys History & Discovery Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and is located at 82100 Overseas Highway, MM 82, on the property of the Islander Resort.

  • General Admission: $15
  • Seniors: $12.50
  • Students: $6
  • Children under 6: free
  • Active Duty Military and Veterans: free
  • Museums for All rate*: $3

Rain Barrel Village

***Instagrammable Stop – photo opp with Betsy the Lobster.  Stroll the tropical gardens and Keys style cottages surrounded by indoor and outdoor art installations. Enjoy conch fritters or a toasted Cuban sandwich at the Lobster Shack.  Browse handmade crafts, artwork, beachwear, and Florida Keys inspired items to bring home.

Eating in Islamorada? Try local cuisine favorites like Mangrove Mike’s Café or Lazy Days.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

– $2.50 Admission

Pace yourself along 8-foot quarry walls that exhibit the ancient coral and Key Largo limestone that once built Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad in the early 1900’s. You will also find preserved quarry machinery amongst the educational exhibits.  The park is closed Monday through Wednesday so, if you find yourself there early on a Thursday morning, just know, that you’ll be clearing the spiderweb trails for everyone else.  Speaking from experience, so, pick up a stick and try to carefully displace the webby houses before you crash through them.  Unless you like being covered in webs, if so, enjoy!

*Accessibility* – They have an Action Track chair available at the education center that makes it possible for those with disabilities to enjoy the trails too!

North Miami Day Trips – Hollywood Florida

If you’d like to head in the other direction (North) from Miami, try Hollywood.  For picturesque swaying palm trees and beach breezes, there’s a 2.5 mile pedestrian promenade at the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.  Dive Hollywood’s Coral Reefs or just learn more about them and helping in the fight to protect them.  Hollywood has more than 3 miles of Atlantic coast that is home to over 20 artificial and natural reef sites for diving. 

Tips to help protect the reefs even from ashore:

Do not throw trash or food into the water. Dispose and recycle properly.

Do not touch, harass or disturb marine life.

Follow proper USCG and FWC boating and fishing regulations.

Use environmentally friendly sun protection and cleaning products on boating equipment.

Art and Culture Center

– tour exhibits, take a class, summer camp for the kids, free family days, and even distance learning.  Check out the Broward Art Calendar for more arts happenings in South Florida. 

ArtsPark at Young Circle

– offers visual and performing arts activities and events with an Amphitheater, Playground, Butterfly Sculpture and Visual Arts Pavilion.  This is also one of the few places in the United States where you can see 5 Baobab trees. These African native trees are enormous!  The second widest species of tree in the world.How to get a FREE ride around town: Flag down one of the Sun Shuttles that operate weekdays from 10am to 9pm (weekends 10am to 10pm).  If you download the free “Ride Circuit” app – you can request a ride for $1 per person/per ride.  Get 3 free rides with the promo in the app alert.

Downtown Hollywood Mural Project

The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project is a vibrant collection of 28 visually stunning murals scattered across various locations in Hollywood, Florida. Painted by incredibly talented local and international artists, these murals have transformed the urban landscape, adding color, life, and creativity to the area.

Visitors can embark on a self-guided walking tour to explore these art pieces, each telling a unique story and showcasing different artistic styles. From abstract concepts to realistic portrayals, the murals celebrate art and culture, making it a must-see for art enthusiasts and photographers alike. Guided tours are also available for those interested in delving into the stories behind each piece.

Yellow Green Farmer’s Market

Looking for a taste of green living, seasonal fresh foods, and handcrafted items by true artisans? The Yellow Green Farmer’s Market is your ideal stop. Hosting over 300 vendors, this bustling market offers an extensive selection of organic produce, baked goods, gourmet products, artisanal crafts, and much more.

Open on weekends, the market is a celebration of local culture and sustainability, presenting an excellent opportunity to engage with farmers, chefs, and craftsmen. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, taste culinary delights, and find unique gifts and souvenirs. With the first hour of parking free, it’s a convenient and enjoyable destination for families, foodies, and explorers.

Anne Kolb Nature Center

The Anne Kolb Nature Center is a 1500-acre oasis of natural beauty located in Hollywood, Florida. Offering free access, this nature center features diverse ecosystems such as mangroves, coastal dunes, and freshwater wetlands.

Walking Paths and Bike Trails: Meander through scenic walking paths or bring your bike to explore miles of trails, providing an immersive experience in nature.

Outdoor Classroom: An educational hub for children and adults alike, the outdoor classroom offers engaging lessons on local flora and fauna.

Picnic Areas: Enjoy a relaxing picnic amidst the tranquil surroundings, with designated picnic spots available.

Boat Tours: Explore the waterways with guided boat tours, giving you a close-up view of marine life and mangrove habitats.

Observation Tower: Don’t miss the accessible elevator ride to the top of the observation tower, offering panoramic views of the landscape. Ideal for bird-watching and photography, it’s a highlight of the center.

Whether you’re an avid nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, the Anne Kolb Nature Center provides a wide array of activities and experiences to reconnect with nature. Its unspoiled beauty, educational opportunities, and recreational facilities make it a beloved destination for families, tourists, and locals alike.

Happy Wandering!

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  1. 3
    Gervin Khan

    Wow! This place is so beautiful, and it feels so relaxing to be there. Aside from that, you are only spending a small amount of money to see and enjoy all of these beautiful spots and scenery. I wish to visit these, someday!

  2. 9

    they all sound like such fun trips.. will keep in mind for when we make one trip out there (and it is certainly one we will be doing)

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