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Great Day Trips from Miami Before or After a Cruise

Miami is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, and it can be an excellent launching pad for a broader vacation. Miami has its own special kind of energy with great beaches, restaurants, nightlife, and influences from Cuban culture. (If you plan to spend time at the beach, be sure to check out this  beach packing guide for tips and tricks to help you enjoy your time at the beach and reduce vacation stress.)

You’ll find many accessible fun day trips from Miami that you can tack on either before or after your cruise. Keep reading for some popular spots to check out. (As you’re planning your trip, be sure to check out our favorite travel hacks for family trips.)

Day Trips from Miami: Naples

Day Trips From Miami | photo of Naples Pier on the beach at sunset in Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida, offers families many exciting and entertaining activities that will make for the perfect vacation destination. This city, located on the Gulf Coast of Southwestern Florida, boasts year-round sunny skies and stunning white sand beaches, making it easy to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, or sunbathing.

If you’re looking to explore what Naples has to offer beyond sand and surf, there’s plenty more fun awaiting you. Take a tour through historic downtown Naples with its quaint cafes and boutiques before heading over to Tin City Waterfront Shopping Complex where you can pick up souvenirs while strolling along the docks. You could also spend an afternoon at one of Naples’ many nature preserves, including Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary or Rookery Bay National Estuary Research Reserve, for a guided hiking adventure into uncharted territory where vibrant wildlife live amongst lush vegetation, including cypress trees and mangroves.

Naples also provides numerous educational opportunities, including Junior Ranger Program offered by Big Cypress National Preserve, allowing kids to explore interactive student programs while learning about ecology preservation efforts underway across southwest Florida’s wilderness preserves.

Another thing that you can do is visit the Naples Botanical Gardens. It’s a 170-acre land that has some beautiful floral displays. You can also visit Third Street South neighborhood to check out the Farmers’ Market and shop for memorable souvenirs. 

Day Trips from Miami, Florida - Big Cypress National Preserve
Airboat Tour in Big Cypress National Preserve

The best way to get from Miami to Naples, Florida, is by car. Driving from Miami to Naples is straightforward, taking from 2 to 2 ½ hours via US-41 S/Tamiami Trail S. This route offers no tolls and provides many scenic views of the Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and more on the journey. 

Day Trips From Miami: West Palm Beach

If you’re looking for a charming and unique getaway, take a train from Miami to West Palm Beach! There is plenty of breathtaking sightseeing on the way. Upon arrival, explore The Square and its 72-acre complex full of diverse activities like restaurants, public art displays, family-friendly programs, and retail stores – there’s something here that everyone can appreciate!

You’ll also find sustainable features such as Planta – an all-plant-based eatery or Pura Vida Cafe, offering organic treats perfect for health-conscious people who love exploring the outdoors. 

Not surprisingly, West Palm Beach has some amazing beaches. The ocean water is a bright turquoise color and absolutely beautiful! Whether you want just to lay back and relax on the beach or take part in outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling, wave-running, kite surfing, or paddle boarding, there are many opportunities here for fun in the sun.

The area is filled with beautiful parks, gardens, and nature preserves/conservation areas that offer breathtaking views as well as plenty of opportunities to explore. At John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, visitors have the chance to spot sea turtles while they enjoy four natural beach habitats, including two tidal shorelines, mangrove swamps, and sand dunes – perfect for an afternoon of fun.

 For those seeking thrill-seeking adventures, various water sports are available such as parasailing and jet skiing. The area also boasts several cultural attractions, such as the Norton Museum of Art and the Flagler Museum. You’ll find many things you can do while in West Palm Beach.

Day Trips From Miami: Islamorada

An easy way to check out the Florida Keys while in Miami is to visit Islamorada.

From the bustling city of Miami, a leisurely drive down Highway 1 – or better known as the Overseas Highway shows you why it’s so easy to explore the Florida Keys. In less than two hours, this 113-mile stretch takes you through breathtaking coastal terrain with plenty of opportunities for picturesque memories. Islamorada is an oasis that awaits all travelers who want to experience firsthand what has made Florida such an iconic destination. 

Day Trips from Miami -- Feeding the tarpon in Islamorada
Feeding Tarpon in Islamorada

A small village in the Upper Florida Keys, Islamorada is known as the sport fishing capital of the world and is host to a wide variety of activities perfect for a family getaway. 

There are many fishing opportunities in Islamorada. With its long coastline and calm waters, it serves as an ideal spot for all kinds of water-based recreational activities like scuba diving and snorkeling. Moreover, professionals offer guided tours where visitors can learn about local wildlife nearshore and offshore. Head to Robbie’s Marina & Village, and you can hand-feed hungry tarpons or take part in a picturesque eco-tour with your family! 

Apart from being focused on aquatic recreation – making it an obvious choice for families who love water sports – this small village also features historical attractions like Indian Key Historic State Park where visitors can explore some ruins that date back to the early 19th century.  

You can also find some great culinary options. The Green Turtle Inn is one of the best all-day dining spots that was opened in 1947. 

Closing Thoughts

Miami is a great city for cruisers because it offers so much more than just being a port city. There are many accessible and fun day trips available, whether you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation or a romantic getaway. So next time you have a cruise leaving from Miami, be sure to check out some of these amazing day trip options!

Mona Marks


Mona loves group travel of all kinds, and she finds cruises are the perfect setting for that.

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