From Miami to the Keys: A Beginners Guide to Getting Around Florida.

American flags on houses at Finger Lakes New York

Florida is one of the United States’ most popular destinations, and one of its largest. With so many amazing attractions and such long distances between them, travellers are often confused on the best way to get around. Luckily there are many options for getting between and around Florida’ s main attractions. Here are the best ways to get around Florida, from public transport to hiring a car.

This is a paid article written in partnership with Economy Bookings, with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.

While the sheer size and sprawl of Florida makes renting a car the most obvious option, there are a wide variety of options for exploring the Sunshine State has to offer. From budget airlines, long distance bus, train or Key-hop via water taxi, here are the best ways to get around Florida.

Rent A Car.

With Florida’s sheer size and the distance between attractions, renting a car is the most popular way to get around Florida. This gives you the freedom to explore the state at your own pace and visit all the top tourist destinations. Major car rental companies have outlets at major airports and cities across the state, but if you are one of the vast majority flying into Orlando, there are many options to rent a car Orlando airport directly, which is generally the easiest and most convenient option.

Remember, car rental companies often have strict terms and conditions, so before you sign any documents, go through them at least twice and make sure you are aware of any hidden fees or charges.

Ride Share.

Uber and Lyft operate in major cities in Florida, and this can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially if you only need to travel short distances.

Take A Bus.

Greyhound and Megabus offer bus services to and from major cities in Florida, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville. This can be a more affordable option for travellers who don’t want to rent a car.


Chances are that like most travellers you will be flying into Florida, most likely at one of the major international hubs like Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers and Jacksonville, but the state actually has 131 public airports and several budget airlines operating between them, making flying often the quickest option to cover a large distance in a short period of time. This often isn’t the cheapest or most convenient option though when you take into account airport hassles, security and more, but is a good back up plan.

Take A Train.

Surprisingly for America, Florida boasts an extensive rail service both within Florida itself and interstate. Amtrak has 19 total stations in the state, serving three principal routes that generally run north to south, including the Silver Meteor and Silver Star, which runs from Miami to New York City.

Brightline is another train company that operates within the state, with a the modern high speed passenger rail system that connects West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami within one hour and stations conveniently located in the heart of each city’s downtown.

There are also two commuter rail systems which are extremely useful for travellers who want to explore the destinations they are in like a local. Tri-Rail has 18 stations in South Florida including at Miami International Airport, running from just north of West Palm Beach south to Miami International Airport. Several stations offer local bus routes that connect to their closest downtowns, and SunRail is Orlando’s commuter-rail system.


Given that Florida is criss crossed by a network of rivers, inlets and waterways, and is lined with white-sand beaches and turquoise waters with numerous islands that need connecting to the mainland, it is hardly surprising that boats are one of the most popular ways to get around. Its principal cruise ports are among the busiest in the world, including those in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Miami – all with easy transportation connections to visit nearby towns, and there are a number of ferry and water-taxi options within the state itself, either for simply getting from A to B or taking a more scenic and leisurely route. These water taxis have numerous stops across the waterways where they can be hailed.

Enjoy The Sunshine State!

Florida is an amazing destination to visit and with so many transportation options there is no excuse not to take your time and explore the state thoroughly! By taking the most convenient option of renting a car, you can visit the stunning white sand beaches in the morning, the theme parks in the afternoon and still be back to your hotel in time to enjoy cocktails at sunset! All for one easy, affordable package. No matter how you decide to get around, you’ll have an amazing time in the sunshine state!

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

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Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a former nurse turned published author and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent over twenty years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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