10 BEST ROADTRIP STOPS: MIAMI, FL EDITION

10 best roadtrip stops Miami Edition

This series of posts is presented to you with the help of Cooper Tires. Four of our writers set off to find the best road trip stops in their cities. This post is a result of at least 100 minutes of road trip song singing, destination exploring, photo taking, video capturing and smooth riding on new tires, courtesy of Cooper Tires. If you and your family love road tripping and are looking for some fun spots 100 minutes from your hometown, check out all the posts in our series and Roadtrippers 100 Minutes from Home for other destinations. Read on to enjoy a recap of one of our road trips and our thoughts on Cooper tires.

Miami is known for its nightlife, fabulous restaurants, and shopping.  However, did you know that there is much to enjoy on the outskirts of Miami? If you ever have a weekend to take a read trip, set out and enjoy some of nature’s best around Miami.  Discover local wildlife at stunning national and local parks, such as the open prairies at Devil’s Garden Bird Park and the Atlantic waters at John D. MacArthur Beach State ParkPlan something out of the ordinary with your family on a road trip around Miami.

Ready to travel? Buckle up, here we go!


Delray Beach – Delray Beach, FL

Delray Beach is a family-friendly, 2-mile-long beach on the Atlantic Ocean between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. The vibrant community of Delray Beach is the perfect stop for sunbathing and swimming as it was selected by Travel Holiday Magazine as the top public beach in the southeastern United States for swimming and one of the top 35 beaches in the United States.


Verdi’s – Marco Island, FL

If you are looking to stop for food and libations, Verdi’s is a destination for fresh and innovative seafood and fine dining.  They offer a diverse menu, which includes New Zealand lamb and grilled chops.  You can find a dish for every taste here!


Koreshan Cult State Park – Estero, FL

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Historically this land was a colony known as the Koreshan Unity, which believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere.  After the colony faded, in 1961 the last four members deeded the land to the state.  You can fish, picnic, and boat, but you can also get a glimpse of how the Koreshans lived more than 100 years ago from the Founders House, Planetary Court, Damkohler, Vesta Newcomb and Members Cottages within the settlement.  Eleven buildings on the National Register of Historic Places are located throughout the landscaped grounds that also include Victorian Gardens.


 Skunk Ape Research Headquarters – Ochopee, FL

This roadside stop is a chance for you and your kids to get some fun photos.  The Skunk Ape Research Headquarters is one of the few places where you can buy bizarre merchandise dedicated specifically to the Skunk Ape, Florida’s very own version of Bigfoot.


Everglades National Park – Homestead, FL

Stop at the Everglades National Park for breathtaking views from Shark Valley Observation Tower.  An international treasure, the park protects an incomparable landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.


Devil’s Garden Bird Park – Clewiston, FL

See over 100 species of wild birds within the 7,000 acres of this Florida wild bird nature park.  Devil’s Garden Bird Park offers miles of trails through oak heads and prairies for you to leisurely enjoy.


John D. MacArthur Beach State Park – North Palm Beach, FL

This beach spans nearly 2 miles of the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and is a very special oasis at the end of a 1,600 foot boardwalk.  Go fishing or snorkeling where marine life is abundant on the reef and rock outcroppings that lie in shallow water near the beach.


Solomon’s Castle – Ona, FL

Solomon’s Castle is the home and galleries of internationally known artist and sculptor, Howard Solomon.  Stop by for a guided tour through the castle galleries and enjoy lunch on the ‘Boat in the Moat’ restaurant.  You can walk the gardens and enjoy the nature walk along the banks of picturesque Horse Creek.


Neptune Memorial Reef – Key Biscayne, FL

Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater mausoleum for cremated remains in what was conceived by the creator as the world’s largest man-made reef.  The man-made reef, located three miles off the coast of Florida’s Key Biscayne, stretches across 16 acres of ocean floor designed as both a home for sea life and a destination for divers.


Coral Castle – Homestead, FL

Coral Castle is a stone structure created by the Latvian American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin located north of the city of Homestead, Florida.  You can tour the Coral Castle and see a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.


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Note from the Writer: Roadtripping with a toddler isn’t exactly something most parents jump at. But armed with books, toys and devices, and a plan to stop at the coolest places along the way, road tripping with a 2 year old becomes possible, even, dare I say, enjoyable. As for most parents, road and car safety becomes the number one concern when traveling with your children. Living in Florida, we don’t have to deal with snow or ice, yet we still have our own dangers. Hydroplaning can be as dangerous as skidding on ice when conditions are right, and unfortunately in South Florida, conditions are often right. With flash flooding and tropical rains, driving can become dangerous in a second without the driver even realizing what is happening.

For this challenge we were outfitted with Cooper tires meant for wet traction. As with most “labels,” we were skeptical of the “wet traction” tires being a gimmick. On our first trip, it was pouring rain. The kind of rain that can send even an experienced driver hydroplaning. But something miraculous happened. As if by magic, the tires would grip the road every time the car would hit a body of water. You could even hear a distinct roar of the tires getting traction ON water. I don’t know the science behind wet traction tires, but we have experienced it over and over again since then, every time it would rain hard enough to create big puddles on the freeway. No skidding, no hydroplaning, no worries. We are officially impressed.

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Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby, Geoff Galice (CC), Reinhard Link (CC), Doug Kerr (CC), Sam Howzit (CC), Todd Murray (CC), Milan Boers (CC), Verdi’s Bistro, jr_sunseteverglades

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Elena

Elena is the managing editor for Daily Mom. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her daughter, running several businesses, working on Daily Mom, playing volleyball, going to the gym, photographing and reading. You can contact her via email.

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