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Even though Miami is a city packed full of exciting attractions, restaurants and rooftop bars, there are still times when it’s nice to get away for a little change of pace. Whether it’s for some rest and relaxation as a couple or an adventure for the whole family, there are plenty of great places to take a quick getaway, all within a few hours’ drive of Miami. There’s no need to mess with airlines and reservations, just fill up the car, grab some snacks and hit the road to one of these exciting weekend getaways.
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Just a little over an hour from Miami is the upscale city of Palm Beach. It’s known for its luxury hotels and beautiful beaches and is considered the third richest zip code in America. But, you don’t have to be a millionaire to visit here. You can rent a room at one of the area’s many oceanfront resorts like The Breakers and enjoy amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as tons of amenities including nine restaurants, an on-site fitness center, an indoor/outdoor spa and lots of boutiques for shopping. Then hit the beach for some fun in the sun, or go out to explore exciting attractions like the Palm Beach Zoo, the Lion Country Safari or the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.
The beautiful city of Naples is just two hours from Miami and getting there includes a scenic drive through the Everglades. Although it is also a city well-known for luxurious accommodations, high-end shopping and fine dining, it is a great destination for a family vacation as well. From the sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters to attractions like the Children’s Museum of Naples and the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, you’ll find plenty of fun for visitors of all ages. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also take a buggy ride through the swamp or go looking for alligators. The whole family will enjoy having a delicious meal together at one of the city’s many restaurants, like the USS Nemo Restaurant, which was voted Best Seafood Restaurant in the City and features porthole-shaped windows.
For a more low-key, island-like getaway, the small town of Islamorada is the perfect Florida Keys destination. Especially if you want to have an outdoor adventure that’s still family-friendly. You can enjoy the unbelievably blue waters by going on a boat ride, taking out a stand-up paddleboard or going fishing. Learn all about the sport of deep sea diving at the History of Diving Museum. And watch a sea lion show or go swimming with dolphins at the Theater of the Sea. Islamorada is also home to a 40-acre park that features an Olympic-size swimming pool, a skate park, dog park, a shallow water beach and lots of watersports equipment for rent.
Located just shy of four hours from Miami is the coastal city of St. Petersburg. It’s the perfect getaway for an adults-only trip since there are dozens of craft breweries to visit along the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail. Along the trail, you’ll have the chance to tour breweries, see the behind-the-scenes operations and of course, taste the goods. But, that’s just the beginning. St. Petersburg is also home to the Salvador Dali Museum, the Florida Botanical Gardens, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. Plus, there are beautiful beaches for relaxing, championship-level courses for playing golf and hundreds of murals to snap an Instagram-worthy shot in front of in downtown St. Petersburg.
Just a little further down the coast is the picturesque city of St. Augustine. The city is known as the oldest city in the country, having been founded in 1565 by the Spanish. You’ll see evidence of its heritage everywhere you look, with Spanish-style architecture on most of the city’s buildings. There are also several historical attractions to visit like the Castillo de San Marcos, the Colonial Quarter and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine – the oldest Catholic Church in the city. For a more unique afternoon, visit the Medieval Torture Museum, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum or take an interactive pirate cruise with Black Raven Adventures. Whetstone Chocolates is a St. Augustine institution since 1967 and also offers behind-the-scenes tours that feature a 4-tier tasting of their fresh-made chocolates.
For a truly unique weekend getaway, the Florida Everglades are only two hours away from Miami. Everglades City – known as the capital of Florida’s swamp lands – is home to Everglades National Park, a massive habitat for rare wildlife like the American crocodile, manatees and the Florida Panther. The Park, which spans a massive 2,400 square miles, offers lots of ways to have fun like hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, biking, boating, geocaching and camping. You can also take a ranger-led hiking tour or a narrated boat tour through the park and learn all about the landscape and wildlife in the area.