Gorgeous Places To Explore by Boat From Miami


To enhance your experience in Miami, Florida, consider taking a day cruise. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the beauty of this vibrant southern city and its nearby areas. Miami’s sunny beaches and fantastic weather offer a variety of destinations accessible by boat for day trips. 

As you journey to these locations, enjoy basking in the Florida sunshine and catch sight of the intriguing sea creatures inhabiting the waters along Miami’s Atlantic coastline.

The Magic of Miami’s Waters

Miami’s Atlantic coastline is a boater’s paradise, offering an enticing blend of crystal-clear waters and picturesque scenery. The allure of this coastal region lies in its accessibility for boating enthusiasts, who can explore a range of environments from serene beaches to lively marine habitats. Miami’s prime location, bordered by the vast Atlantic, provides a gateway to diverse marine adventures, making it a favorite among those seeking to discover the wonders of the sea.

The city’s unique geographic position enhances its appeal for marine exploration. Located at the crossroads of different oceanic currents, Miami’s waters are teeming with a variety of marine life, offering a vibrant underwater world for explorers. This unique setting not only provides spectacular views and enjoyable sailing conditions but also presents opportunities for encountering a diverse range of sea creatures, making every boating journey in Miami a truly magical experience.

Top Destinations

Virginia Key

One of the first stops on a day cruise trip should be Florida’s Virginia Key, offering some of the best waterfront restaurants in Miami. There’s a big park on the shore where you can walk, bike, swim, and kayak. If you’re interested in sea creatures, the Miami Seaquarium on the island is a great place to learn about them. Nature lovers will enjoy seeing manatees – a special kind of sea animal found in Florida. 

Every year, the island also hosts a big event called the Miami International Boat Show. It’s a place with lots of things to do, whether you love the ocean, animals, or just being outdoors.

Key Biscayne

Aerial view of Key Biscayne, 1999

Key Biscayne also makes for a great destination for passengers on party yacht rentals. It’s a small, charming island town just a short ride from the city, perfect for spending an enjoyable afternoon. The island is known for its stunning white sand beaches and peaceful parks filled with lovely tropical trees. When you’re there, you might see different kinds of wildlife, like loggerhead turtles, various birds, and butterflies. It’s also a popular spot for fishing. The natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere of Key Biscayne make it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Fisher Island

Fisher Island, located near Miami, is a highly exclusive and private area, renowned for its affluent lifestyle and luxurious amenities. It’s important to understand that Fisher Island is not accessible to the general public. The island’s privacy is strictly maintained, and only residents and their staff can freely access it. This exclusivity is a significant aspect of its allure.

When you take a day cruise in the Miami area, some tours offer a route that passes by Fisher Island. Although you cannot disembark on the island itself, cruising nearby offers a unique vantage point to observe its opulence from a distance.

As you pass by Fisher Island on a cruise, you can expect to see some of the most expensive residential properties in the United States. These include both lavish homes and high-end condominium buildings. The island’s real estate is highly sought-after due to its exclusivity, privacy, and the luxurious lifestyle it offers.

Star Island

Another island near the barrier islands close to Miami is Star Island. Star Island, like Fisher Island, is an upscale neighborhood with some of the most expensive homes in the country. Cruising by this island, boat passengers will see a man-made atoll that has become a mecca for some celebrities in the Miami area. Celebrities Gloria Estefan, Don Johnson, Rosie O’Donnell, Will Smith, and Lenny Kravitz have homes on the island. Visitors on a cruise to the island may get a glimpse of gorgeous, million-dollar homes on the water.

Biscayne National Park

One of the most remarkable features of Biscayne National Park is its extensive array of vibrant coral reefs. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities here, as they allow visitors to get an up-close view of these underwater ecosystems.

Biscayne National Park has a rich historical aspect, with several historic shipwrecks lying beneath its waters. These shipwrecks are not only significant from a historical perspective but also serve as artificial reefs, supporting marine life. Exploring these wrecks can be an intriguing activity, especially for those interested in history and underwater exploration.

Miami Sandbar

Haulover sand bar Miami Florida

The last fun day trip that can be experienced via a cruise from Miami is to a sandbar. There are multiple sandbar spots cruises can flock to and explore from the coast of South Florida. The shallow waters in this area and the fact that the sand often shifts due to the current have created several fun sandbar spots. Boaters can sail up and unload passengers on the sandy oasis in the middle of the water for a beach party and more.


North Bimini, Bahamas - December 2022: The marina in North Bimini in the Bahamas

The region of Bimini consists of two main islands: North Bimini and South Bimini. Each island offers its unique charm, but both are renowned for their serene and relatively uncrowded beaches. This makes Bimini an excellent choice for visitors seeking a more relaxed, less tourist-heavy beach experience compared to other more crowded destinations.

In addition to its beautiful beaches, Bimini is also known for its casinos. These establishments offer entertainment and a lively atmosphere, providing a contrast to the island’s otherwise tranquil setting. For visitors interested in a bit of excitement and gaming, the casinos in Bimini offer a fun diversion.

A day cruise to Bimini from Miami is a wonderful option for those seeking a mix of beach relaxation, aquatic adventures, and a bit of nightlife. Its proximity makes it an easily accessible destination, yet it offers a distinctly Bahamian experience with its serene beaches, engaging activities, and delicious cuisine.

Tips for Planning Your Boat Trip

  • Choose the Right Boat: The type of boat you choose should align with the nature of your trip. Consider the size (based on the number of people), the purpose (fishing, cruising, water sports), and the amenities you need (kitchen, bathroom, sleeping quarters).
  • Check the Weather Forecast: Before setting out, always check the weather forecast. Weather can change rapidly on the water, and being prepared for different conditions is crucial.
  • Safety First: Ensure that there are enough life jackets for everyone on board, and familiarize yourself with the boat’s safety equipment, including flares, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits. It’s also wise to have a basic knowledge of first aid and emergency procedures.
  • Navigation and Communication Tools: Equip your boat with necessary navigation tools like maps, GPS, and a compass. Also, ensure you have a means of communication, such as a VHF radio or a charged cell phone with coverage, in case of emergencies.
  • Plan Your Route and Itinerary: Decide on your destination and plan your route. Share your itinerary with someone onshore as a safety precaution.
  • Check Legal Requirements: Be aware of and comply with local boating laws and regulations. This may include licensing requirements, fishing regulations, and speed limits.
  • Provisioning: Stock enough food, water, and snacks for the duration of the trip, considering extra in case of delays. Don’t forget sun protection, such as sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Fuel and Maintenance Check: Ensure that the boat is in good working condition and has enough fuel. Check the engine, battery, and other critical components before departing.
  • Respect Marine Life and the Environment: Be mindful of marine life and the environment. Avoid littering and adhere to environmentally friendly practices.
  • Prepare for Seasickness: If you or your passengers are prone to seasickness, prepare by having medication on hand. Staying on deck and looking at the horizon can also help.
  • Entertainment and Activities: Plan for entertainment and activities, especially if you have a longer trip or are traveling with kids. This could include fishing gear, snorkeling equipment, games, or a camera for photography.
  • Know Your Limits: Be realistic about your boating skills and experience. Don’t venture into waters or weather conditions that are beyond your ability to handle.
  • Emergency Plans: Have a clear plan in case of emergencies. Know the nearest ports, understand how to send distress signals and have an evacuation plan if necessary.
  • Insurance: Ensure that your boat is adequately insured and that you understand the extent of the coverage.

Deck of the saling vessel


After spending time in the city of Miami and experiencing the tastes and culture of South Florida, check out these special places a short sail away. Going for a boat ride and visiting some of these island spots can make your trip to Miami extraordinary. Remember, preparation is key to a successful and enjoyable boat trip. Taking the time to plan thoroughly can make a significant difference in your overall experience. If you want to experience more worthwhile excursions, visiting the top national parks in California is also a great idea.

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