Last Saturday we left our car at home and hopped on the Brightline to travel from West Palm Beach to Miami and explore the city on foot and public transport.
Even though Miami is just 90 miles from West Palm Beach, the prospect of driving i95 and reserved only for absolutely necessary. In the last 10 years I’ve probably driving to Miami a dozen times (if even that). Brightline makes the trip easy, and drops you off right in downtown. Over the next few hours we were surprised at how easy it was to get around on foot or car-free public transit.
- Arrive at the Brightline Station (90 miles – 1 hour & 10 minutes)
- Walk to Bayside Park (15 minutes, .7 miles)
- Walk to Brickel (26 minutes, 1.2 miles)
- Metromover to Adrienne Arsht Center (free)
- Walk to Wynwood (35 minutes, 1.7 miles)
- FreeBee Miami to Concrete Beach Brewing (free + tip)
- Uber back to the Brightline Station (10 minutes, $8)
Brightline tickets to Miami go from $15 Smart Service to $35 Select Service. The prices vary depending on the day, so check out the website to make your reservations.
Follow our trip on Twitter here.
The train took about 35 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale then 35 minutes to Miami. We took advantage of the breakfast on the new Select Service, so we ate at the station before leaving. Then of course had snacks on the train. The train was pretty full for 9am on a Saturday.
From the Miami station we walked to Bayside, it was an easy 15 minute walk. Looked at all the tourist stuff there. Wandered through the park. Wondered why we couldn’t put boulders up against our seawall to give it the feel of a natural shoreline.
We went up SE 1st Street and strolled through downtown a bit before deciding to follow the shiny buildings over the bridge to Brickell.
We’d never been to Brickell City Center, so we headed that way and bumped into a tiny green market along the way. It was cute, nothing great. Maybe if it was on the other side of the bridge it would have been more active. Under all the skyscrapers it seemed sterile and not authentic.
I knew Brickell City Center was big, but had no idea how huge it was. Basically a massive high end indoor/outdoor shopping mall. Clearly designed more for wealthy tourists & visitors than locals. We weren’t fans and decided to take the Metromover to Wynwood.
The Metromover is a free elevated train that takes people around a 4 mile track in 3 loops through downtown Miami. The “train” comes every few minutes and is pretty effective. We took the Brickell line a couple stops and then switched to the omni loop to head towards Wynwood. It started raining.
We got off at the end of the line and by this time we were in the middle of a tropical storm force rain. We thought about getting an Uber, but we wouldn’t have even been able to get into the car, so we took the metromover back one stop in the hope we could hop on the Miami Trolley to Wynwood.
Concrete Beach Brewery was 1.6 miles away, and the rain cleared before the trolley arrived so we decided to walk. The walk between Adrienne Arsht Center and Wynwood is sketchy af (don’t attempt this on your own). The 10 minute rain had flooded all the streets. The non-existent sidewalks were barely usable. By the end of the 28 minute walk our feet were soaked, but we made it.
We took a rehydration break at J. Wakefield Brewing. Stella had the Stush a Berliner Weisse and I had the 24th St. Brown Ale.
It was raining again. Thankfully as we were deliberating our next move, a Freebee Miami (a free 5-passenger glorified golf cart) pulled up. The driver, Ivan, was happy to take us to our next location.
Concrete Beach Brewery was really cool. The tasting room was beautifully designed with huge windows into massive Brewery inside. Stella had a Rose Ale (more “winey than beery”) and I enjoyed the Stiltsville Pilsner. A solid beer. “Big O Steak and Grill” was grilling up some skewers so we had a steak and chicken skewers before calling an Uber to catch our 3pm train home.
It was a long day, but worth it. Miami by foot or public transit is a much better city than Miami by car. It is surprisingly walkable, even in the midsummer heat/rain. I would definitely recommended it.