Miami International Airport (MIA) anchors Miami Transportation with outstanding air connections to North American, Caribbean, South American and European destinations. The 7-concourse MIA includes a wide range of restaurants, lounges, gift shops, WiFi, business services and passenger amenities, but is confusing to navigate. So check out the MIA AIRPORT TERMINAL MAP before your next visit.
MIA Mover, an automated people mover, transports passengers from MIA Airport to Miami Central Station, which functions like a like Grand Central Terminal interconnecting Rental Car Center (RCC), Metrorail, Amtrak, Tri-Rail, Greyhound and hotel shuttles.
Car Rental brands include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National or Value are well stocked at the 6500-vehicle RCC. If you remember the old days, getting to/from the RCC was a hassle. To welcome applause, recent roadway enhancements now make it easy to reach freeways from the RCC. If headed to downtown Miami, follow signs to the Dolphin Expressway (Tollway) for the 7-mile trip. From Downtown, you can proceed across MacArthur Causeway to South Beach or exit onto I-95 Freeway to other points of the compass. TAXI: A taxi and shuttle dispatcher is always on duty. A ride to Downtown costs $20, while South Beach costs about $30 via Yellow Cab/Checker (954-565-5400). Shared-ride costs are available on the Tri-County Airport Express, so ask the taxi dispatcher for more info. Super Shuttle within Dade and Broward Counties range from $10 to $100, though it costs around $25 from MIA Airport to downtown Miami.
Amtrak utilizes ultra-modern Miami Central Station, an intermodal MIA Airport People Mover, rapid transit, commuter rail, intercity passenger rail, local bus, and intercity bus transportation hub next to a Rental Car Center. It is located at Northwest 21st Street at West 37th Avenue. The intermodal station serves a 2-times daily, Amtrak route:
Silver Meteor: DC-Richmond-Raleigh-Jacksonville-Orlando-Fort Lauderdale-Miami
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach-Orlando-Jacksonville is a U.S. High Speed Rail Corridor designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. For context about this important development, see this important article about Interstate High Speed Rail.
Metrorail is a 24-mile, 23-station elevated heavy rail system using downtown Miami as its hub. The system extends west to MIA Airport, northwest to Hialeah, and south to Kendall. Numerous attractions are within walking distance of several stations. Weekday service is 5am-12:40am with 5 minute frequency during commute hours, expanding to 15 minute frequency other hours. Weekend service offers 10-30 minute frequency. Fare costs $2 One-way or $5 Day Pass. There are two intersecting rail lines, see METRORAIL SYSTEM MAP
Orange Line: MIA Airport Station-Downtown-Dadeland South
Green Line: Palmetto-Downtown-Dadeland South
For Miami Heat basketball games, transfer at Government Center Station to Metromover, then exit at Bayfront Park Station. For Miami Marlins baseball games, transfer at Culmer Station to the Express Shuttle for a 10-minute journey to the ballpark 90 minutes before and after games.
Metromover, a Free automated people mover, augments the Metrorail system with 20 stations and 4.4-miles of elevated track concentrated near attractions in Government Center, Brickell Avenue, Omni Business District, and Museum Park. Use Metromover to connect to Metrorail at Government Center Station or Brickell Station.
Tri-Rail, a 67-mile, 15-station commuter rail line through Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Tri-Rail features WiFi, double-decker cars and stops at Miami Central Station, FLL airport and Palm Beach airport. Tri-Rail’s FLL Airport Station is shared with Amtrak, rapid buses, shuttles and taxis.
Miami Freeways are notoriously congested during commute hours, so many time-sensitive travelers choose the adjoining tollways. If you choose a tollway, make five or six dollar bills handy before leaving the airport. The good news is, several free causeways over Biscayne Bay have islands that you can stop at to see beautiful mansions, as well as the Miami and Miami Beach skylines.
The Port of Miami on Dodge island, is the gateway for more than 3 million cruise passengers a year, earning Miami the nickname, Cruise Capital of the World. See extravagant, multi-deck cruise ships boarding passengers here. For greatest spectacle check out Friday and Sunday night, when most ships leave for 3 day cruises to the Caribbean. There are also plenty of small day cruises. Fares to the Bahamas can be surprisingly low, since they are only 60 to 90 miles away.
Miami Cruiseport is reachable from downtown via Biscayne Blvd to Port Blvd, crossing a short causeway to the island. The port’s specialty is routes to the Western & Eastern Caribbean, though a handful of the 10-night cruises also sail to the Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal. These cruise lines serve the port:
Royal Caribbean Celebrity International
A first-class cruise line offering cruises to the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean. Enjoy 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11-night routes on the following ships: Freedom of The Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Vision of the Seas. Celebrity Cruises, a division of Royal Caribbean, is tailored to longer distance upscale cruises. Celebrity features Millennium, Infinity and Summit ships departing from Miami; headquarters are on Dodge Island, same as the cruises ships
ADDRESS: 1050 Caribbean Way
Carnival Cruise Lines
One of the world’s most popular cruise lines with its family of “Fun Ships” operating voyages from 3, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 14 days to the Bahamas, Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal. Ships include Fascination, Paradise, Pride, Triumph and Imagination
ADDRESS: 3655 NW 87th Avenue
Norwegian Cruise Line
Features 7 to 10-day cruises throughout the Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Ships include Leeward, Norway Majesty, Norwegian Wind. Regional headquarters near MIA airport at 7665 Corporate Center Drive; 305-436-4731.
You can also catch day cruises from Bayside in downtown Miami, that go to the Bahamas and back or out just far enough to let you legally gamble on the shipboard casinos. Such cruises are very popular on weekends.
Coopertown Airboat Rides
Exciting airboat rides and alligator exhibitions into the Everglades. Professional guides lead tours through Hardwood Hammock to see national wildlife in its native Everglades environment. It is located 11 miles west of Florida’s Turnpike and include a gift shop and restaurant.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 8a-7p
ADDRESS: 22700 SW 8th Street
Miccosukee Indian Village & Airboat Tours
Authentic Indian village by a culture that has survived for hundreds of years in the Everglades; guided tours give you a comprehensive summary of their past, present and future. See craft demonstrations, a museum, alligator wrestling and enjoy airboat rides. The gift shop and restaurant are interesting.
DAYS & HOURS: shows daily 9a-5p
PRICES: Adults $5, children (5-12) $3.50, children (under 4) free, Airboat rides $10
ADDRESS: Tamiami Station near the Everglades