Miamians claim they live where they vacation but a short road trip outside the city can become into an adventure to remember. The beach is not the only place to explore or do a mini vacation. There are plenty of cities three to four hours away from Miami that oozes charm.
Instead of heading south to Key West like the rest of Miamians, take a detour to the north or west of Miami. There are plenty of neighborhoods and attractions to visit that do not require a beach full of bars.
Pack a carry-on and get ready to explore the best cities around Florida. You'll probably get the travel bug and plan a short trip every weekend.
Where: 19 NE 3rd Ave, Delray Beach
This interactive museum will transport you back to the 1930s. The arcade has many pinball machines including Black Hole, Captain Fantastic, and Atlantis. You can pay an entrance fee of $25 and play all games for free for a full day. You will learn about history and how people played back in the days.
Norton Museum of Art
Where: 1451 S Olive Ave, West Palm Beach
The museum has been mentioned in fashion documentaries and features European, Chinese, American, and contemporary art. This is one of the most cultural museums in Florida with over 9,000 works. It's just about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Miami, and after the short trip, you can head to brunch at Restoration Hardware in West Palm Beach.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Where: Southwest Florida
Less than 3 hours away from Miami you can find crystalline waters and white sand. Sanibel Island is a paradisiac location with multiple things to do. You can snorkel, bike around, fish, or join the different watersports. Stay for the night and explore the different fine dining restaurants and outdoor experiences such as Key Lime Bistro or The Island Cow. You'll feel refreshed and like you took a five-star vacation.
Where: Winter Park, Florida
If you're ever around Orlando, you need to make a quick stop at Winter Park, FL. The area has a southern feel with charming apartments and sidewalks. Take a morning stroll around Baldwin Park and enjoy a coffee break around the tall palm trees. This place is the perfect escape for city goers. You might consider moving here after exploring for a while.
Where: Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city that has been up and coming for a while. One of the most visited places in Tampa are Bush Gardens and Tampa Riverwalk. The Riverwalk has a beautiful view of the river and on the other side, you can discover the museums, shops, and restaurants. You can walk or bike around the 2.4-mile Riverwalk and let adventure take its own course. You'll consider Tampa over Miami after a visit here.
Naples Botanical Garden
Where: 4820 Bayshore Dr, Naples
The 170-acre garden features plants from around the world. Take a short trip to this paradise and get in touch with mother nature. It's a relaxing experience to walk around the garden and discover the different species and plants. You will discover amazing orchids, an Asian garden, and many other beautiful spaces.
Rainbow Springs State Park
Where: 19158 SW 81st Pl Rd, Dunnellon
Kayak your way through Rainbow Springs and take a break by the waterfall. It's the perfect place to cool off from the Florida heat and get away from the tourists visiting the beach. You can also come with your RV and camp for the night. Engage with other native adventurers and do some stargazing.
Where: St. Augustine
If you have an interest in medieval times and old buildings, visit this historic neighborhood. Colonial Quarter has an amazing tour where you can learn about blacksmithing, climb the watchtower, and experience a live musket demonstration. The location has amazing shops, restaurants, and live music happening every weekend.
Cape Canaveral Lighthouse
Where: Cape Canaveral
This is a historic lighthouse on the east coast established in 1848. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and enjoy breathtaking views from the top.
Where: 1053 20th Place, Vero Beach
Vero Beach is one of the best beaches in Florida with many things to do around. After tanning for hours, stop for a visit at McKee Botanical Garden. The subtropical garden looks like borrowed from the movie Peter Pan. It's a trip you will not regret and a true paradise to enjoy with your S.O.
Where: 1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg
Many people forget about this place on the map. St. Petersburg is one of the most stunning places in Florida and wealthiest. During your trip visit the Sunken Gardens, The Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and the St. Petersburg Pier. It's a place for those wanting to escape the tourist trap.
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Where: 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach
Drive up north for a little bit of Asian culture and experience. Morikami Gardens has a museum that explains Japan's lifestyle and culture. After strolling around the gardens, stop by their cafeteria and try the variety of sushi rolls. Sometimes the garden hosts different festivals and a drum show. Come during sunset and reflect about life at one of their quiet gardens.
Where: 19200 SW 344th St, Homestead
When you think about the South of Florida, you think about Key West. Miami has a different type of south and that is The Redlands. Here you'll find amazing places to eat and drink like Schnebly Redlands Winery, Knaus Berry Farm, and Robert is Here. The Fruit & Spice Park is another place to visit while at The Redlands. It's the home of agriculture and the most amazing cinnamon rolls.
Where: Shark Valley Loop Road, Miami
Get your body workout at this amazing ecosystem. Biking around the Shark Valley tram is relaxing. Put on your headphones and ride with the wind. You'll feel like Lance Armstrong after two miles.
Bok Tower Gardens
Where: 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales
This is a bird sanctuary and contemplative garden with a 205-foot tall singing tower. Bring some snacks with you and enjoy a picnic overlooking the tower. You might feel like Romeo & Juliet while surrounded with so much nature.
Kennedy Space Center
Where: Florida 32899
Take a tour of the stars at NASA. The Kennedy Space Center will be having its next rocket launch soon and is a great way to be part of history. Join the journey to Mars and the Moon, and travel far away without leaving Florida.
Where: Jupiter, Florida
And, you've made it to Jupiter. But, not the planet. This city has beautiful beaches and shopping centers, that you will think Miami only had. If you know someone with a boat, we recommend you travel the waters and enjoy the majestic view this city holds. Before you leave, stop by the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and stay on island time.
Castillo de San Marcos
Where: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine
Castles are not only in fairy tales. A trip to St. Augustine requires a stop at the Castillo de San Marcos. This is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The old walls symbolize the struggle of earlier cultures. If you want to feel like a princess or prince for a day, take pictures at this monument. St. Augustine is the nation oldest city and one of the best places to get a crash history course.
Where: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista
The happiest place on earth is in Florida. Magic Kingdom is where dreams come true for real. This is one of the most visited places in Florida and is a short trip from your home vacation. Visit this place for an unforgettable day and stay for the fireworks. You'll find one of the yummiest food at this park and one of the most entertaining restaurants. Be our Guest Restaurant is a Disney themed location that will make you feel like royalty.
The Orlando Museum of Art
Where: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando
For a final tour of Florida, discover art and culture at The Orlando Museum. The museum was founded in 1924 and holds many contemporary exhibitions. You'll find many paintings and sculptures that are over 200 years old. Get a dose of culture before heading back home to the city.
Your hunger for art and culture will grow after visiting these majestic locations. Florida has many hidden places that were invaded by past cultures. If you thought the beach was everything there is, we recommend you explore more and cancel your weekend hangout with friends.
Instead, grab your GPS and start hitting the road. You'll find more across the highway and those are the moments you'll want to have your camera ready to shoot.