It’s summertime, the weather is hot, the kids are out of school, and now is the time for the perfect summer road trip in South Florida!
A road trip is a good time for some family bonding and it allows you to take your time and explore different places.
I would call it the slow explore, but that is only if you want to dawdle and see the sights or maybe you would rather have a specific destination in mind and just take a road trip there. Whichever way you choose you can still have a lot of fun.
If you are indeed planning a road trip this summer, what about taking one in Florida. Florida is the southernmost state in the U.S, bordering Alabama and Georgia.
It has a very diverse population and it is divided into several coasts; The Gold Coast, The Emerald Coast, The Treasure Coast, The Sun Coast, and The Pacific Coast are just a few. Most of all, imagine this, from Key West to Pensacola which is 8436 miles of coastline, which means white-sand beaches, palm trees, and sunshine that you can experience while road tripping in Florida.
Best South Florida Road Trip Ideas
Now, Florida is a big state and it would take pages to talk about the different places to visit in the entire state. So today I will be talking more specifically about South Florida and some of the amazing places you can visit while road tripping here.
There are so many possibilities when taking a road trip in South Florida. You can take a Road Trip from Miami to Key West, Key West to Miami, Miami to Naples, and vice versa, or West Palm Beach to Miami, Key West or Naples.
Or maybe you are planning to road trip your way from another State to Florida. Either way, the destination of your road trip will depend on your interest.
South Florida: Best Locations & Things To Do
Below I have listed some top places to go on your South Florida road trip.
Best Summer Beaches in South Florida
For someone that has worked really hard all year and just needs some time to relax and bask in the sun then the beach would be a good place for you. Here are a few popular beaches in the South Florida area that you can enjoy:
- Fort Lauderdale Beach – Located in the City of Ft. Lauderdale, is a stretch of white sand beach just on the Southeastern coast of Florida. It is literally feets away from shopping, dining, hotels and the famous Las Olas.
- South Beach – Every year thousands of people come to the well-known South Beach (SoBe) in Miami to hangout, and it’s not just for the beach. South beach is also famous for its numerous nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants that decorates the strip. If you are lucky you may run into a few high profile celebrities.
- Naples – located more on the Southwestern side of Florida on Florida’s Paradise Coast, is also a popular tourist destination. It is known for its beaches, the Naples pier, and its high-end shopping and dining on 5th Avenue South.
Some of the top beaches in Naples include; The Beach at Naples Pier, Lowdermillk Beach, Clam Pass Beach Park, Vanderbilt Beach Park, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Barefoot Beach Preserve, Keewaydin Island, Lover’s Key State Park and Marco Island Beaches. Other activities in Naples include, visiting the Naples Zoo, booking a tour to go dolphin spotting, diving, snorkeling, and fishing.
- The Florida Keys – Is made up of a chain of islands located at the southern end of the State. The Florida Keys are divided as follows, the Upper Keys, the Middle Keys, the Lower Keys and the Outlying Islands. Some of the most popular ones are Islamorada, Key Largo, Marathon and Key West.
Key West tends to be the most common amongst visitors from near or far. It lies at the very tip of Florida and its most Southern end is 90 miles away from Cuba. It’s the perfect place for fishing, going to the beach, snorkeling, diving and just having a good old time.
- Hollywood Beach – Located in Hollywood, Florida, is always buzzing. Sometimes I can barely find a place to walk when visiting Hollywood Beach and Broadwalk. Hollywood beach is a long stretch of beach and has a Broadwalk that is about 2 miles long. The Broadwalk is lined with shops, restaurants, major hotel chains, as well as small mom and pop resorts. You will enjoy seeing visitors riding, skating, dancing, and juggling along this area.
- Haulover Beach Park – You can make it an all-day event at any beach location, but it won’t be the same when you do it at Haulover beach located in Miami, just north of Bal-Harbour city. The park has picnic benches available and barbeque pits where you can do your own barbeque or bring your own grill. Oh and for you nudist, there is a section just for you at this Beach.
Best Parks in South Florida
Okay, so maybe you are a nature lover but the beach is not your thing. You can take a road trip exploring or picnicking at one of the many nature parks that adorn Southern Florida, such as:
- Topeekeegee Yugnee Park – Located in the City of Hollywood. Topeekeegee Yugnee is an Indian name meaning “meeting or gathering place”. The park is great for family outings. You can have a fun day out with the kids by having a picnic and or playing at its waterpark.
- Quiet Waters Park – Maybe you would like to make it an overnight trip at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale. Here you can reserve a tent and camp out for a night or two. Then wake up the next morning and fish in the nearby lake, or take the whole family to the water park. Be careful though, you may spot a few long mouthed reptiles
- Biscayne Bay National Park – Biscayne Bay is an outdoor park made up of 95% water and stretches over 270 square miles southeast of Miami to the Florida Keys. It’s comprised of several islands and is surrounded by a thriving mangrove forests. It is also home to dozens of endangered species including manatees, smalltooth sawfish and sea turtles.
It also includes the Florida Reef, the only living coral barrier reef in the United States and one of the largest in the world. The park is a wonderful place for those who love water activities, like kayaking, boating, camping, and snorkeling. The park also offers guided tours like snorkeling to ship wrecked areas and to the coral reef.
- Lake Okeechobee – Lake Okeechobee also called the inland sea, because of its size, is a huge body of freshwater located in Southcentral Florida. The word Okeechobee is a Seminole word meaning, “Big Water”. It is 730 square miles spanning to over five counties: Glades, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach, and Hendry. Should you take a road trip around the lake, or venture off the hidden path for a quick hike or do some birdwatching, would be a breath taking experience.
- Everglades National Park – The Everglades is a massive wetland that covers a large area of South Florida., 1.5 million acres to be exact. It is home to many types of species including the American crocodile, manatees and the Florida Panther. At the park you can book an airboat tour, or tour with your own boat, you are also able to go bicycling, birding, kayaking and canoeing.
Historical Landmarks in South Florida
For our history fanatics we have:
- Vizcaya Museum and Garden – Vizcaya Museum and Garden located in Miami, was built in the early 1900s by James Deering. Deering was an industrialist and businessman who built Vizcaya as a winter home to get away from the wintery weathers of Chicago. Spend an afternoon walking and exploring the grounds of this lovely European architecture.
- Coral Castle – Coral Castle is not your typical castle. Also located in Miami, It was built by Edward Leedskalnin a Latvian, in the early 1900s and showcases a structure made out of purely stone.
- Deering Estate – Deering Estate was owned by the brother of James Deering, Charles Deering. It is the perfect place for a day out with the family. There are lots of grounds there for picnicking, there are classes offered there as well, and for those that love the water sports, kayaking and canoeing.
Best Amusement Parks in South Florida
Okay, okay, so you may be looking for something more family-friendly so that the kids can play and the adults too. Well, here are my top favorites for families.
- Miami Seaquarium – At the Miami Seaquarium the entire family can enjoy the many sea creatures. I can already hear the oohs and aahs coming from seeing manatees, marine animal shows, sea lions, meeting with dolphins and so much more.
- Miami Zoo – The Miami Zoo also called Zoo Miami is where you can see all kinds of animals. Such as: giraffes, birds, monkeys, and rhinos and guess what you can also get to feed some of the animals.
- Boomers Boca Raton – Everyone can play at Boomers Boca Raton, there are rides for the younger children, as well as the teenagers, and even the adults. Play mini-golf, ride a go-cart, or play arcade games whichever you choose.
- Butterfly World – Butterfly world is just as the name suggests. A place to see butterflies big and small and different species, but butterflies are not the only thing you will spot here, there are birds, bugs, and beautiful vegetation to observe. Butterfly world is located in north Fort Lauderdale in the Trade Winds Park. The park itself offers horseback riding, a playground, fishing, shelters, a nature trail, athletic fields, and an Educational Farm.
- Lion Country Safari – West Palm Beach is home to the Lion Country Safari, it’s a drive through adventure seeing different types of animals. After that you can partake in other activities such as pedal boating, playing at the water park, or going on rides.
Take a Summer Road Trip Through South Florida This Year
So you see there is so much to see and do on a South Florida Road trip. I know you will be telling stories to your friends and families about one of the Best Road Trips in the USA. A road trip in South Florida.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when planning your road trip:
Pack your necessities that will include things like sunscreen, snacks, toiletries, cameras, a first aid kit, and so on.
While planning your road trip also remember to add to your road trip planner the different places to eat. As I mentioned before Florida has a very diverse population, probably more so here in South Florida, with that diversity comes different cultures to explore. So leave space on your schedule to stop and try some of the different types of food from the wide array of restaurants that we have.
When I go on my road trips I take my meori trunk organizer with me to store all my snacks and drinks. It also comes with a cooler that can be used individually or as part of the trunk organizer. I throw some ice in it and stock it up with my favorite beverages. Saying this to say that your vehicle does not have to be messy for your road trip, organizing and knowing where everything is, is important so when it’s time to reach for them it’s a straight go. I hope this article has inspired your next road trip destination.
Are you planning a road trip through Florida?