By Lara Herrington, on February 1, 2019

Travel Miami: 10 different ways to explore the Magic City

Travel Miami’s world-famous beaches and bars with one of these creative modes of transportation. Whether you want to experience Miami in romantic, silly, or thriller mode, you’ll definitely want to leave your rental car behind (at least for a little while) to take in more sea, sand, and fresh air. Bike along the Miami Beach boardwalk, tour Miami by helicopter, or kayak through the Everglades. With this many incredible options, there’s no wrong way to experience Miami.

Bike around Miami

Two people travel by bike along Miami boardwalk.

Miami boasts miles of bike-friendly boardwalks and trails. Why not rent a bike and cruise along the Miami Beach boardwalk or head to Virginia Key’s unpaved trails? For a more social cycling experience, check out a guided bike tour of South Beach and the Art Deco District. Pedal along miles of gorgeous, palm-lined beach. Appreciate Miami’s blend of Mediterranean and modern architecture as you drink in Ocean Drive’s characteristic red roofs and stucco buildings. Afterward, cool down with a drink at a local watering hole. Bonus: Craft brewery and art lovers will enjoy a bike tour through Miami’s colorful streets and graffiti art in Wynwood.

Travel Miami: Helicopter & Seaplane Tours

A seaplane glides over Miami.

Helicopter or seaplane? Whichever you prefer, you can embark on a riveting aerial adventure as your expert pilot sweeps you smoothly into the sky over Miami. You’ll enjoy spectacular views, from Miami Beach to the gleaming cityscape to Bal Harbor and the beginning of the Florida Keys. (Ten points if you can spot your hotel from the air!) Your pilot will narrate the breathtaking views, leaving you better acquainted with The Magic City.  Or head out to sea and tour the beautiful Biscayne National Park or the Upper Keys.

On a Banana Boat

A man and a little girl smile as they travel Miami by banana boat.

If you’ve never traveled by banana, you’re missing out. Possibly (definitely) the silliest way to travel through Miami (or anywhere), this adult- and family-friendly mode of travel makes a great activity for a date, a bachelorette party, or a family day. Hop on this bright yellow banana-shaped boat with your best buds. Hold on tight as your pilot twists and spins your banana through the water. You’re sure to go bananas. But if you’re too cool for banana boats, you should still do it for the view of Miami’s glittering skyscrapers.

Everglades by Airboat

A group of friends sit on an airboat in the Everglades.

One of the best ways to tour the Everglades as a group is by airboat.  Thanks to its innovative design and above-boat engine, this craft is flat enough to navigate the Everglades’ shallow glades and mangrove tunnels. Pile the whole family into this MacGyver-like boat and wind your way through Florida’s swampy wonderland. Keep an eye out for surfacing alligators and bright purple gallinules. Got a reptile lover aboard? Then consider an airboat tour that comes with a chance to hold a baby alligator.

Party bike Miami

Friends pedal a party bike through the artsy Wynwood district.

Hop on a party bike with 6 or 7 of your closest friends and visit some of the best bars in Miami. Your local guide and driver will play music and guide you to each bar stop as you pedal your party bike through the balmy streets of Wynwood. Whether you choose the late-night or the happy hour option, you get a souvenir cup that lets you take your drink on your party bike. 21+ only.

Paddleboard, Kayak, Parasail, Flyboard, and Jetski

Two parasailers sail through the sky.

Florida’s warm waters are the optimal setting to try a new water sport. Take an eco-friendly kayak tour through the Everglades’ pristine mangrove forests. Or rent a stand up paddleboard (SUP) and find your SUP legs as you take in the verdant sights of the Coconut Grove neighborhood. If you want to add more thrill and a dose of flight to your water adventure, consider parasailing or flyboarding over the Magic City’s clear blue waters. And if you just can’t decide, you don’t have to. You’re in Miami.  Of course it’s possible to try five options at once.

Speedboat Ride (Miami Vice-style)

People aboard a speedboat raise their arms.

For an adrenaline-fueled ride, book a seat on a thrilling speed boat piloted by expert navigators and commentators. It might be hard not to pretend you’re in a thrilling Miami Vice chase as you rocket out of the Port of Miami, reaching speeds of 50 miles (80 km) per hour as you head into the Atlantic. You’ll also cruise, in style, past Star Island and the homes of the rich and famous, enjoying fun commentary and music along the way.

Travel Miami by Segway

Segway riders pose on Miami's lush grass.

For a smooth and laid-back ride, travel Miami by Segway. Your expert guide will get you comfortable rolling on two wheels before you set out to explore the city. Book a Segway tour of Millionaire’s Row, where celebrities like Celine Dion and Tommy Hilfiger have owned houses. You’re sure to have a blast taking in the killer views of the ocean and ogling the luxurious homes and high-rises. For a classic Miami experience, check out a sunset Segway tour. Watch as the sun sinks low in the orange and pink sky and sets on this paradisiacal city.

Cycleboat Cruise

Friends raise their hands and cups in the air aboard a party boat, cheering.

Miami’s little sister, Ft Lauderdale, offers its own eclectic attractions, like a BYOB cycleboat cruise. Rally your crew, stock up on the adult beverage of your choice, and stretch your legs. Then head to La Olas Boulevard, a funky street filled with independent shops, where you’ll board your boat. As you pedal and party your way through Ft Lauderdale’s canals and waterways, you’ll come to appreciate the Floridian “Venice of America.” Your cycleboat will make several stops at local bars. If you’re still thirsty afterward, check out the Funky Buddha Brewery.

Sail a Pirate Ship in Miami

A red pirate-themed boat sets sail in Miami.

Book a ticket and set sail on this pirate-themed boat ride of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. With a crew in buccaneer costumes and pirate-themed games for kids, it’s easy to reimagine the swashbucklers of old that trawled the Florida coast. Want to set sail, but piracy isn’t your thing? Check out a pirate-free cruise aboard the Island Queen, an air-conditioned, luxury yacht. You’ll head to Star Island and pass by the luxurious homes of celebrities—the envy of any pirate worth his or her salt.

Tips for your Miami Vacation

    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Bring your sunblock and sunglasses.
    • Respect Miami’s wildlife. Alligators bite.