Taking a road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami involves much more than covering the short physical distance. There are many opportunities along the coast to see besides sandy beaches, though these same beaches are the central attraction for the area. Florida's beautiful inland features should not be missed as they add to every vacationer’s journey.
Every one of the three National Parks in Florida is accessible from Miami. Two of the parks are within a short distance and are well-known. The third park is hard to get to and is the least visited national park in the country. All of these parks are must-see stops on a Ft. Lauderdale to Miami RV road trip.
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is a mere 11 miles north of Miami, nearly halfway along your Ft. Lauderdale to Miami road trip. The park covers 170,000 acres of undeveloped land on the coast of southeastern Florida. It is a favorite destination for many as the park is considered a snorkeling and scuba diving paradise. Both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are close at hand, so there is no shortage of entertainment and excitement for any RV campers who choose to stay at the Biscayne National Park.
Everglades National Park
There are three entrances to the Everglades National Park. The quickest way to get to the Everglades from Miami is via the Shark Valley Visitor Center. The center is located just 25 miles from Miami along the Florida Turnpike. The Shark Valley entrance features a 15-mile bike loop, hiking trails, and ranger-led boating excursions into the deep recesses of the park. This portion of the Everglades is the home to alligators. If you are taking your RV to the Everglades National Park, there are two public and nine private campgrounds at which you can make reservations if you call ahead of time.
Dry Tortugas National Park
To reach Dry Tortugas National Park, drive to Key West and take a boat 70 miles due west to the seven islands that make up the park. The 329-mile drive to Key West from Miami includes the spectacular Overseas Highway that links Florida to the Florida Keys. Even if you only travel this highway once in your life, you will remember it forever. The islands that make up Dry Tortugas National park are home to Fort Jefferson—an impressive 19th-century fort—a lighthouse, numerous coral reefs, and exotic sea life. This park is the most remote in America. Only 63,000 people visit it per year. When compared to the millions that visit the Everglades or Biscayne National park, you can see how the remoteness of the park affects visitation. It is a once-in-a-lifetime visit. Don’t miss it while you have the chance to view it.
There are four state parks of significance within driving distance of your road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Starting 131 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale, find Sebastian Inlet State Park, one of the finest surfing parks on the East Coast. Sunbathers and swimmers also find incredible spots along the splendid beach. A lagoon protected by a jetty provides the perfect spot to kayak or paddle board. Mountain biking and hiking along the trails on the interior wall of the park are also popular with visitors. Two RV parks are available if you choose to stay the night.
Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Stop at Jonathon Dickinson State Park on your return trip from Sebastian Inlet. The park is located on the coast, about 70 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. Covering 18-square miles of area, this park is the largest on the Florida Southeast Coast. Guided horseback rides and boat excursions are available. The protected waterway is perfect for kayaking, boating, and stand-up paddleboards. Three RV campgrounds provide plenty of parking for those who wish to relax after a long day of surf and fun.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
On Key Largo, just 62 miles south of Miami, you find John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The park is 25 miles in length and dives 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the area is covered by water and features protected undersea reefs. The first water park created in the U.S., this park includes a museum with an aquarium, an undersea statue of Christ, and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the country. The four close by RV parks provide plenty of space for visitors to extend their stays.
Long Key State Park
Continuing down the Overseas Highway brings you to Long Key State Park. Located just 93 miles south of Miami, this park offers a luxurious setting for any family. Sun gleaming off a calm ocean greets the eyes in both the morning and the evening. Swimming in the warm ocean waters, fishing, strolling along the beach, and sunbathing are only a few of the activities available for families in this spectacular area. Four RV campgrounds with multiple sites are available for overnight or longer stays.
There are so many points of interest that you will see from your windows while making your road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami that no one can mention them all. This list consists of intriguing little-known places that significantly impact visitors, and any of them are worthy stops on a road trip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is located just 8 miles along your road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. When you tire of the beaches and want to see something more than the infinite horizon, visit this specialty museum. The center is easy to find in downtown Hollywood. It rotates vibrant projects with a regional taste presented as performing arts of contemporary significance. The projects are visually stunning for visitors who have not seen a museum quite like this one.
Located in Miami Beach, the O Cinema presents quality films that do not reach the regular movie theaters. The O Cinema concentrates on the art of film making, the relevance of films, and the consequences of film in modern society. There are very few theaters like the O Cinema in the country. Treat your family to a great experience within walking distance of the beaches, or watch the films virtually through the O Cinema network.
Amelia Earhart Park
Nestled among the skyscrapers and paved surfaces on Hialeah is the Amelia Earhart Park. Locals flock to this park for a bit of relaxation. The park is an intense green except for the 90-acre lake that sits in the middle, which is full of ducks and geese. The site is known for its vivid mural displays that decorate the park from one end to the other. This park is a great spot for rest and relaxation with the entire family.
The southeast coast of Florida is one of the busiest areas in the United States. Communities seem to merge one into the other as you complete the road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. Don’t let appearances fool you. There are plenty of cities to visit besides those along the beaches--cities that contribute those extra memories that make this road trip special.
Unlike the famous Hollywood on the California coast, this city has several different sides to it. Some of the diverse activities offered in Hollywood include live performances at the Arts and Culture Center of Hollywood or the ArtsPark. Visit the famous Cinema Paradiso Hollywood with the whole family. Of course, there is a wonderful beach too. There are several dump stations dispersed throughout Hollywood. Campgrounds for RV overnights or extended stays are numerous and of high quality.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, a city of over 155,000 people, is just 18 miles into the interior of Florida from Ft. Lauderdale. The city offers a brief respite from the beaches of the coast with a full panorama to the west and the east of hills and trees. Sometimes, getting away from the beaches of Southeast Florida accents their attraction. Dump stations are available throughout Pembroke Pines. Campgrounds are available for RV units of all sizes.
Hialeah is a suburb of Miami. It is located on the landward side of Miami and offers the advantages of being free of the excessive beach visitors and yet within the influence of the ocean breezes. The city is the sixth-largest in Florida and offers plenty of activities that are not found at the beach. Numerous dump stations are located in and around the Hialeah area. There are many RV camping sites available inside the city as well as others in the surrounding area.
A road trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami may be a short distance, but it is filled with possibilities. Making small side trips or visiting sites along the way helps to break up the exclusivity of a beach after a beach visit. When you are ready to explore all the area has to offer, visit RVshare's Ft. Lauderdale rental page to see what kind of rigs are available. When you want to make a road trip in the opposite direction, visit RVshare’s Miami rental page. Making this a family vacation along the famous Ft. Lauderdale to Miami coastline is a memory waiting to happen.