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The best scenic drives in Miami

When you’re flanked by water and tropics, what else do you do but cruise for Miami’s best scenic drives?

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ines Hegedus-Garcia

No matter how much we bemoan the traffic in this city, there are few things more pleasurable on a sunny day (or even as a rainy day activity in Miami) than hitting the road for a scenic drive in Miami. Highways lined with palm trees and waterfront bridges that stretch far beyond South Beach aren’t just for tourists rolling around in their rented convertibles. You, too, can have a blast the wheel. So fill up the tank, wait out rush hour and start planning to pilot your way through these eight scenic drives in Miami.

Best scenic drives in Miami


Ocean Drive

From Fifth to 16th Sts

Perpetually congested with cars and tourists, the famous stretch is a slow crawl you’ll want to drive with the top down, windows rolled and eyes peeled for whatever strange South Beach creature creeps up next. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Craig ONeal


Bayshore Drive

From U.S. 1 to McFarlane Rd

Wind around Coconut Grove, weaving through the neighborhood’s high rises, marinas and adorable parks, like Peacock and David T. Kennedy

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar


Julia Tuttle Causeway

From Biscayne Blvd or Alton Rd

Mirroring its southern counterpart, the MacArthur, in size and beauty, the Julia drops you off on the northern tip of Alton Road—but not before taking you across four miles of waterfront views. The freeway was also the inspiration for the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’.” 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ines Hegedus-Garcia


Rickenbacker Causeway

From U.S. 1 to Crandon Blvd

Rickenbacker’s tall bridges and waterfront stretches make it a favorite of motorists seeking unobstructed ocean views. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Chris Goldberg


MacArthur Causeway

From Biscayne Blvd to Alton Rd

Resist the urge to take your hands off the wheel: this sunny strip of highway, which connects Downtown to South Beach, has megamansions to one side, towering cruise ships to the other and was made for Instagram stories. Luckily, that’s what passengers are for.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Robert Pittman


Old Cutler Road

From Sunset Dr to 124th Ave

With a verdant canopy of shade and a bumpy asphalt that jolts, Old Cutler’s nearly 15-mile southward stretch from Coral Gables is like a leafy tunnel. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Kim Sung


Venetian Causeway 

From Purdy Ave to N Bayshore Dr

Float through a string of tiny islands, each with houses larger and more luxurious than the next, as you make your way on or off the mainland. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/James Good


Overseas Highway

From U.S. 1 to N Roosevelt Blvd

This is the road that takes you from Miami to Key West, and the one that makes all the guidebooks, magazines and Instagram posts because it’s just so damn gorgeous—even if the speed limit seems just above a slow crawl. Spanning 113 miles, traversing multiple counties and passing through islands and keys, the mostly waterfront Overseas Highway is also home to the famous seven-mile bridge.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Dan_H


Drive with purpose