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By: Shayne Benowitz

Fort Lauderdale is Miami’s neighboring city to the north by approximately 30 miles. Whether you’re flying in and out of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) or you simply want to explore more of South Florida, there are a handful of transportation options to get to Miami and Miami Beach from Fort Lauderdale. From the new high-speed Brightline rail to a scenic drive down oceanfront A1A, read on for your complete guide to traveling to Miami and Miami Beach from Fort Lauderdale.

All Aboard
All Aboard

Brightline Trains

With its first train pulling out of Miami Central station in May 2018, Brightline has revolutionized the way we travel between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Currently, the high-speed rail service connects the three cities cutting down commute times with affordable fares, starting at about $10 for a one-way trip.

Six months after launching, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced a strategic partnership with Brightline and the company is currently undergoing rebranding and will go by the name Virgin Trains. The first change in Miami has been the renaming of its station to Virgin MiamiCentral.

For travelers to Miami from Fort Lauderdale, Brightline stations connect the two cities’ downtown urban cores in a 30-minute train ride. Fort Lauderdale’s Brightline station is located at 101 NW Second Avenue in close range to the area’s best museums and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. It’s also positioned a few miles west of the beaches.

Miami’s Virgin MiamiCentral is located at 600 NW First Avenue. It’s part of a six-block development that will include office and residential towers, as well as a Central Fare marketplace and food hall with vendors including Joe & the Juice, Rosetta Bakery, Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar and more. You can also access Miami’s Metrorail and Metromover from Virgin MiamiCentral.

Onsite parking is available at both Fort Lauderdale and Miami’s Virgin MiamiCentral stations and it’s easy to access the rest of each city by Lyft, Uber, cab or public transportation.

Traveler Tip: Downloading Brightline's app will allow you to track the trains as well as purchase your ticket and share it with friends so that they can anticipate your arrival.

Miami International Airport, photo by Steven Brooke
Miami International Airport, photo by Steven Brooke

Tri-Rail Transport from the Airports

Tri-Rail is a commuter train service that runs from West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport with multiple stops along the way, including the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. To access Tri-Rail from the Fort Lauderdale airport, catch a shuttle at the ground transportation level to the Tri-Rail station. You can expect to pay around $5 per person for a one-way ticket to Miami.

The train makes six stops before reaching its terminal at the Miami International Airport: Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Golden Glades, Opa-Locka, Metrorail Transfer and Hialeah Market. It generally takes just under an hour to reach the final stop at Miami International Airport where you can then transfer to the city via Uber, Lyft, rental car, cab or public transportation.

If you want to access Miami Beach from the Miami International Airport, the Airport Flyer Route 150 offers daily express bus service every half hour for about $2.25 per person one way. You’ll travel aboard a 40-foot bus equipped with luggage racks and comfortable seating. It makes stops in Miami Beach at 41st Street, Indian Creek Drive, Lincoln Road and South Pointe Drive with travel time ranging from about 15 to 40 minutes depending on your stop.

Traveler Tip: There are apps for iPhone and Android mobile devices that will help you navigate public transportation in Miami: the TriRail Train Tracker, Go Miami-Dade Transit, City of Miami Trolley (available for iPhone and Android) and City of Miami Beach E-Gov.

Take the scenic route
Take the scenic route

Driving

If you’re traveling by car, it’s simple to get to Miami and Miami Beach from Fort Lauderdale. While the two cities are only 30 miles apart, it’s smart to anticipate about an hour drive to accommodate for traffic that can sometimes be heavy, especially during rush hour and other peak traveling times.

The fastest and easiest route is typically a straight shot down I-95. Alternately, the Florida Turnpike runs parallel to the I-95 a few miles west before connecting back to the I-95 near Miami Gardens.

For a scenic, yet slightly longer drive, you could also connect to A1A as far north as Dania Beach. It runs along the beaches of Hollywood, Hallandale, Aventura, Golden Beach, Haulover, Sunny Isles Beach, Bal Harbour and Miami Beach for direct access to the resorts and attractions along the waterfront.

A good rule of thumb is to consult your favorite GPS-based app to route your trip to Miami and Miami Beach from Fort Lauderdale and then drive safely.

Read More:

All You Need To Know About Brightline
Useful Miami Mobile Apps
Driving Around Miami: What You Need to Know
How To Tackle Miami's Public Transportation

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