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Overseas Highway Key West
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best scenic drives in Miami for incredible views

Take in tropical wildlife, glistening waters and architectural gems along these picturesque South Florida drives.

Written by
Falyn Wood
Jesse Scott
Virginia Gil

What Florida lacks in curvy, pine-flanked country roads, it more than makes up for with its waterfront bridges, coastal causeways, historic routes and roads lined with abundant tropical wildlife. Sure, there are the staples you’ve seen featured in countless flicks through the decades: slow rides down Ocean Drive in South Beach and heart-pounding races through our city streets, skinny condo towers looming in the background. 

There are plenty of worthwhile road trips from Miami, too. But there are so many lesser-traveled terrains to explore, from lush treks through the Everglades to breezy stretches over miles of ocean and coral reefs. So prep your playlist and check your tire pressure—we’ve braved these streets and clocked the miles to bring you the ultimate scenic drives in Miami and South Florida.

Best scenic drives in Miami

Ocean Drive
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Francisco Anzola

1. Ocean Drive

From Fifth to 16th Sts

Briefly and gloriously pedestrian-only for nearly two years during the pandemic, Ocean Drive is once again perpetually congested with cars and tourists. The famous stretch comprising the eastern border of the Art Deco Historic District is a slow crawl best enjoyed with the top down, windows rolled and eyes peeled for whatever strange South Beach creature creeps up next.

Venetian Causeway 
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/James Good

2. 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. This quieter, narrower bridge to Miami Beach is more popular among locals, especially due to the fact that it’s a toll road. Along the way, you’ll spot plenty of fishermen, joggers and couples on motorbikes. The Standard Spa is located along the Venetian, as well as Sunset Harbour, which boasts trendy restaurants and watersports. 

South Bayshore Drive
Image: Courtesy Regatta Grove

3. South Bayshore Drive

From U.S. 1 to McFarlane Rd

Wind around the Coconut Grove waterfront, weaving through the neighborhood’s coastal high rises, marinas and adorable green spaces, like Peacock and Regatta Parks. Other notable stops include the longrunning A.C’s Icees stand inside David T. Kennedy Park, the newly opened Bayshore Club that was once a Pan American seaplane terminal, and Regatta Grove, which opened in 2023 and offers a culinary lineup from some of the region’s best chefs.

Rickenbacker Causeway
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Rickenbacker Causeway

From U.S. 1 to Crandon Blvd

Rickenbacker’s tall bridges and waterfront stretches make it a favorite of cyclists, runners and motorists seeking unobstructed bay views. The scenic bridge connects mainland Miami to Key Biscayne, with Virginia Key, the Cape Florida Lighthouse and Crandon Park all lovely stopping points along the way. This drive also boasts some of the best views of Brickell Avenue and Downtown Miami, along with the decaying cluster of offshore shacks known as Stiltsville.

Old Cutler Road
Photograph: Shutterstock/Hernando Sorzano

5. 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 that winds through South Miami’s upscale neighborhoods, from Cocoplum in Coral Gables to the village of Cutler Bay. Hundred-year-old Banyan trees and historic, stone-clad homes line this charming drive that also gives access to attractions like Fairchild Tropical Gardens and the Deering Estate.

Florida Scenic Highway A1A
Photograph: Courtesy Lance Asper on Unsplash

6. Florida Scenic Highway A1A

From Southeast 17th Street (Fort Lauderdale) to East Palmetto Park Road (Boca Raton)

The north-south A1A hugs the Atlantic for nearly 340 miles in Florida. One of its prime stretches for taking in turquoise waters and some of the Sunshine State’s top beach towns is the 17-mile drive between Fort Lauderdale Beach and Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. Accessing A1A via Southeast 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll embark on an often 25-mile-per-hour crawl through the party-central of Fort Lauderdale Beach, through the quaint seaside village of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, around the eatery and bar draped bend of Deerfield Beach and to an inlet-meets-ocean culmination just south of East Palmetto Park Road.

Overseas Highway
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. 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. For an alternate scenic route along the way, divert to Card Sound Road to pass through wetland greenery and stop at Alabama Jack’s, a beloved Key Largo institution with some of the best conch fritters around.

MiMo Boulevard
Photograph: Courtesy Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

8. MiMo Boulevard

From NE 50th and NE 77th Streets along Biscayne Blvd

A drive down Biscayne Boulevard along the MiMo Historic District won’t take much time at all (unless it’s rush hour), but in the span of two dozen or so city blocks, you’ll be treated to a tour of the city’s namesake-style of architecture. MiMo or Miami Modern refers to architecture that flourished in South Florida from 1945 until the late 1960s. The distinctive neon signage, retro roadside hotels, curvilinear commercial buildings—and the famed giant Coppertone girl—serve as a visual history of Miami’s glamorous, subtropical design language.

Julia Tuttle Causeway
Photograph: Shutterstock/Felix Mizioznikov

9. Julia Tuttle Causeway

From Biscayne Blvd or Alton Rd

Mirroring its southern counterpart, the MacArthur Causeway, in both size and beauty, the Julia Tuttle drops you off on the northern tip of Alton Road—but not before taking you across four miles of breezy waterfront views and the iconic, Art Deco “Welcome to Miami Beach” sign, which is a historical landmark. Fun fact: This freeway was also the inspiration for the Bee Gees’ tune “Jive Talkin’.”

Loop Road
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Riccardo Maria Mantero

10. Loop Road

From Tamiami Trail to U.S. 41

Situated in the Everglades, this 24-mile rural trek crosses three counties: Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade. Unlike the well-trafficked Tamiami Trail, this often-graveled route exposes you to all the Everglades beauty minus the road congestion. Along the way, count on seeing a gator (or ten) moseying across the road, wood storks soaring above and perhaps a river otter splashing in a nearby marsh. When you’re inevitably thirsty, Lucky Cole’s is a biker bar-gone-speakeasy that has one of the coldest beers you can find.

Main Highway
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Main Highway

From Grand Ave to Douglas Rd

Another scenic Coconut Grove route set further back from the water, Main Highway is a narrow, one-mile-long street defined by its beautiful canopy of mature tropical foliage and stately historic residences. On the north end of Main Highway, find Coconut Grove’s bustling business district, with popular restaurants and attractions like Greenstreet CafeAriete and the CocoWalk mall.

MacArthur Causeway
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Robert Pittman

12. 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 private islands filled with megamansions to one side, towering cruise ships and their ultramodern terminals to the other and, of course, concludes in one of the most coveted waterfront neighborhoods in the world. In short, MacArthur is prime content for your next Instagram story. Luckily, that’s what passengers are for. 

Broad Causeway
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Broad Causeway

From U.S. 1 to S.R. A1A at 125th St

Broad Causeway is a mellow 5.5-mile stretch connecting North Miami to the Bay Harbor Islands and concluding in the glamorous beachside towns of Surfside and Bal Harbour. Named after the businessman and philanthropist who founded Bay Harbor Islands and served as its mayor for 26 consecutive one-year terms at an annual salary of $1, Broad Causeway is flanked on either side by swaying palm trees and the sparkling bay. As you travel east, the landscape transforms from low-lying midcentury apartments and bungalows to towering oceanfront condos. In between, you’ll pass a drawbridge as well as the upscale Bal Harbour Shops.

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