Pack a weekender and grab a cocktail on board for a stress-free journey through South Florida.
South Florida’s got a train, y’all. Thanks to the Brightline, it’s never been easier to get from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach and back than it is now. The new high-speed rail service is giving Floridians the opportunity to experience other coastal cities without having to drive.
But wait, there’s more. Book a select ticket and it’s free booze—minus champagne—and snacks the entire ride. Sounds pretty stress-free to me.
Eventually—sometime next year—the Brightline will expand its route to Orlando. Downtown Disney may not be ready for what’s about to hit it, but we’re pretty sure you’re ready to travel there without having to get behind the wheel.
Maybe you’re looking for a weekend getaway? Perhaps a single-day adventure is more your speed? No matter the plan, you can rest assured it will be seamless.
What you can expect to find on the train: free WiFi and charging outlets at every seat (seats also recline), modern restrooms with touch-free flushing features and a beverage/snack cart that makes its way through the train more than once in an hour-long period in case you’re hungry, thirsty or bored.
As for the train stations, MiamiCentral, which spans six city blocks, will be the largest. As of now, the station has a Joe and the Juice—a great place for sandwiches, coffee and healthy juices—and will eventually include nearly one million square feet of office and retail space as well as more than 1,300 apartments, condos and hotel rooms.
The station is walking distance from American Airlines Arena, where concerts and Miami Heat games take place, and just a quick shuttle ride to PortMiami, which is perfect for those who plan to take a cruise out of the city.
Hungry? Food options abound in the area. There are food halls like St. Roch Market and 1-800-Lucky. Brickell City Centre is also home to some fantastic Italian: both La Centrale and Casa Tua Cucina.
The next station, just north of downtown Ft. Lauderdale and blocks from the popular Las Olas Boulevard, is a short walk from the NSU Art Museum—a modernist museum featuring one of the most extensive holdings by post-World War II, avant-garde artists in any American museum.
Work up an appetite as you browse the exhibitions and then move on to Restaurant Row. There are quite a few eateries to choose from, including the popular Louie Bossi and newer establishments like El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar and Red Door Asian Bistro.
Rumor has it you can even travel with your pooch on the Brightline. If you decide to stick around town, book a room at the dog-friendly W Fort Lauderdale.
The West Palm Beach station, which I rode into just last week, is walking distance from hotels, wine bars and the stunning four-story Restoration Hardware “mansion,” which features a fancy-schmancy rooftop restaurant and bar. Spend the day here, or maybe a night or two—you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what this town has to offer. WPB’s art scene is huge and the pedestrian-friendly downtown area is easy to navigate.
Book a room at the Hilton WPB and take advantage of all the pool—and the pool bar—has to offer.
Trains run roughly on the hour between 5:30 am and midnight, depending on which direction you’re going, and every other hour on the weekends. Visit the Brightline website to check travel times, view specials and book your ride.
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