6 Road Trips From Miami You Can Take on a Single Tank of Gas
North or south, these are trips you won't want to miss
Gas prices are down, so let’s hit the road before it gets too costly again. Consider those lower prices your sign to pack your weekend bag en route to somewhere new. From Key Largo to Sarasota, here are six roundtrips you can take from Miami on a single tank of gas.
Key Largo is the first key in the nearly 200-mile-long stretch of the Florida Keys, and while it’s often overlooked in favor of Key West, it’s a worthy stop on its own. For a weekend staycation, consider staying at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, a gorgeous resort on 14 acres of beachfront property — unwind on one of the resort’s oversized hammocks, or spend the day parasailing, snorkeling and kayaking. Just across the street from the main resort, the brand new Ocean Residences includes multi-bedroom villas that come with access to all the resort amenities. Off the resort, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, and fishing charters. Nearby, travelers can eat at laid-back diners like Harriett’s Restaurant and Hobo’s Cafe. And if you’re up for it, you could take a day trip to Key West and be back before the sun goes down in Key Largo.
If you’re looking for a super quiet getaway, head to Hillsboro Beach, a tiny beach town about an hour north of Miami. For a totally unplugged vacation, the brand-new Hillsboro Beach Resort offers contemporary guest rooms and one-bedroom suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that make it feel like you’re on a cruise ship; for meals, consider the beachfront patio serving seafood and steak dishes from the hotel’s restaurant, Roi. If you can pull yourself away from enjoying poolside drinks, the resort offers complimentary bicycles to explore the area. And while Hillsboro Beach is a great choice for a restful stay, Fort Lauderdale is only 30 minutes south.
Delray Beach has seen lots of changes in the last two years, but it still has a small-town feel. Visitors can check into the gorgeous Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas, a cozy property that includes two pools, thatched roof tiki huts, and tropical landscaping that gives it the feel of a secluded Caribbean hideaway. The accommodations are large, updated studios and one-bedroom suites and villas; enjoy meals in your suite, head to the newly opened food hall Delray Beach Market, or dine at great Delray Beach eateries like Elisabetta’s, Park Tavern, and Salt7, which turns into a trendy nightclub when the sun goes down. After partying, spend a day on the beach, which is only a block away from Crane’s Beach House.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach has seen a recent revival as well — especially in the downtown district, now known as The Square. Book a weekend at The Hilton West Palm Beach which grants you access to tons of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. Grab happy hour drinks on Restoration Hardware’s rooftop, dine on healthy (and delicious) meals at Planta and True Food Kitchen or linger over brunch at Pura Vida. There’s also no shortage of brand-new spots — from the ultra-popular gourmet donut outpost The Salty Donut to the swanky taco spot El Camino. The area is establishing itself as a haven for artists, and visitors can stop by the New Wave art gallery, which hosts classes with artists in residence, or peruse the contemporary art at Avant Gallery.
Just under a four-hour drive from Miami, Sarasota is one of those places that has just enough to do for a weekend road trip. Check into The Sarasota Modern, a trendy boutique hotel with spacious guest rooms and a chic pool deck with two pools and a hot tub. The hotel is near the downtown art district, filled with galleries and restaurants, and it’s also close to the Ringling Museum, which houses fine art along with a collection of circus artifacts and memorabilia. Nearby is Siesta Key Beach, voted one of the best beaches in Florida. The public beach gets crowded quickly, so head here early to dig your toes into the soft, quartz-crystal sand. Consider taking a day trip to Anna Maria Island to kayak with dolphins or lay out on the secluded seven-mile stretch of white sand beach. Another day trip option: Head to Tampa to check out the many great breweries in Ybor City. (Here’s our guide to it, should you feel like spending extra time there).
Though Orlando is the theme park capital of Florida, it also makes for a great weekend getaway, with lots of grown-up entertainment and great food — like new, Michelin-starred restaurants including Knife and Spoon, Soseki Modern Omakase and Kadence. For a more casual meal, try two hip food halls, The Hall on the Yard and East End Market. Orlando has no shortage of great hotels, but the newly opened Lake Nona Wave Hotel, just outside of Orlando, stands out: The tech-forward high-rise hotel has beds that can be customized to enhance sleep, a digital concierge via in-room tablets, and voice-enabled in-room controls. Outside, there’s a colorful pool deck with DJs on Saturdays and Sundays. For something more low-key, the quiet Lake Nona region offers peaceful, tree-lined lakes and over 40 miles of walking trails.
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