Truth be told, you can have too much of a good thing. Such is the case with Miami and its endless sensory overload. Don’t get us wrong, it’s an incredible city. But it can also be overwhelming. From the moment you wake up, you can expect to be waiting in lines and shoving for space everywhere from the breakfast buffet to the beaches to the clubs.
When you’re tapped out on the whole Miami scene, the secret is to recharge before diving back in. That means a peaceful retreat beyond the city proper to restore your faculties. If that’s your aim, you’re in luck. Because not far from the sleekly designed hotels and all night dancing, you’ll find the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States – about 1.5 million acres of it.
Everglades National Park is home to rare and endangered animal species and endless miles of adventure. As conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas said in her book, The Everglades: River of Grass: “There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known.”
So, take a break from popping bottles to spend some time getting to know this special place. Here’s the best way to spend 24 hours out of Miami and immersed in the tropics of “The ‘Glades.”
The Ride: A 4×4
First, you’re going to need to rent a car for the trip. Conventional car rental businesses are all over Miami, but if you’re looking for a less painful experience try Turo — which is a little like an AirBnb of cars — allowing private owners to rent out their vehicles when they aren’t being used. There are plenty of options, just remember you’ll likely be cruising down the strip, along the beach, and then through the Everglades. So you need versatility.
We went with a Jeep for the old-school adventure vibes.
First Stop: Milam’s Market
Before you jump onto US Highway 41 through the Everglades, you want to make sure you have the right kind of snacks for the trip. Drop by Milam’s Market, a family-owned grocer that has a great selection of tasty, local eats. Since you’ll be on the move quite a bit and your lodging for the night is charmingly simple, err towards healthy-yet-filling non-perishables, like trail mixes.