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Acadia National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock/Jon BilousAcadia National Park

10 summer getaways from Miami to inspire your next amazing trip

Miami is the perfect jumping-off point to explore these dreamy summer destinations away from the Magic City.

Jesse Scott
Written by
Jesse Scott

It’s an aspect of South Florida we all know and love, but it’s seldom said: Miami is a prime jumping-off point for seeing so much of the world. Compare the 305 to—random pick here—Kansas. (Sorry, Kansas. We’re sure you’re lovely.) But, to get to the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Mexico, Europe and much of the U.S., it’d take a multi-leg, headache-inducing itinerary.

Here in Miami, we’re geographically #blessed and should seize any opportunity to take advantage of this fact—particularly as we head into an action-packed summer season. From a new, five-star wellness resort in the Dominican Republic and a firefly mating spectacle in a U.S. national park to Colombia’s biggest party of the year, these are the getaways worth booking from Miami this summer.

RECOMMENDED: Best weekend trips from Miami

Summer getaways from Miami

This coastal town tucked on a northeast peninsula of the Dominican Republic gets a lot of love come wintertime for its humpback whale mating season. But with the opening of Cayo Levantado Resort, a five-star, all-inclusive resort on a private island just off the shores of Semaná, summer is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Opening June 1, find a jungle spa, outdoor CrossFit area, beach club, botanical garden and the signature “Yubarta” meditation temple. Namaste, friends.

Travel time: Two hours non-stop from MIA to Santo Domingo, plus a three-hour drive and 10-minute boat ride to the private island

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photograph: Radim Schreiber

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This national park hugging the border between Tennessee and North Carolina comes alive during the summer on a couple of different fronts. First, late May to mid-July marks peak wildflower season, when you can admire vivid flame azaleas, rhododendron, mountain laurels and more along any hike. Between the third week of May and the third week in June, hundreds of thousands of fireflies light up the night sky in an annual mating phenomenon. Beyond all the nature, the good-vibes beer haven of Asheville and iconic Dollywood are within minutes of the park, too. 

Travel time: Two hours non-stop from MIA to Knoxville, plus a 50-minute drive to the park

Barcelona, Spain
Photograph: Courtesy Majestic Hotel & Spa

3. Barcelona, Spain

Step aside, Madrid—it’s Barcelona’s time to shine come summertime. Primavera Sound is the country’s biggest music festival, going down from May 31 through June 4 at Parc del Fórum. This year’s jaw-dropping lineup includes Blur, Halsey, Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode, Rosalía, Calvin Harris and more. After rockin’ all day, retreat to one of the nicest hotels in town, the Majestic Hotel & Spa, on the stately Passeig de Gracia. The Majestic is home to the city’s largest penthouse and, from its rooftop restaurant, La Dolce Vitae, stunning Sagrada Familia vistas that will leave you breathless.

Travel time: Nine hours non-stop from MIA

Orlando, Florida
Photograph: Courtesy Brightline

4. Orlando, Florida

Yes, Orlando is hot AF during the summer months. But there’s a new rollercoaster at SeaWorld that’s totally worth the sweat (and you can cool off at the water park once you’re finished). Pipeline: The Surf Coaster opens May 27, featuring a 110-feet-high launch, 60-mph speeds and more than 2,900 feet of track. Oh, and you’re standing up secured to a giant surfboard the entire time. Getting to Orlando is about to become easier than ever, too. Beginning in May, one-way Brightline tickets from Miami to Orlando will go on sale for future dates starting at $79. Imagine that day of “drinking around the world” at Epcot followed by a breezy high-speed train ride home. 

Travel time: 3.5-hour drive, or a three-hour train ride

Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Chile

While we’re melting under the sun this summer, let’s consider a country whose name sounds a little bit like “chilly.” There’s no wrong end to explore in Chile—the North is renowned for its spectacular weather, with 300 clear sky days a year. Nights in the North are stunningly clear, too, earning it the nickname of “the world’s star reserve.” To take in the magic, head to San Pedro de Atacama, book a yurt or glamping spot and gaze into the cosmos all night. In the South of Chile, Patagonia’s ski season kicks off in June and runs through October, with San Carlos de Bariloche boasting resorts aplenty.

Travel time: Eight hours non-stop from MIA to Santiago

Jasper, Canada
Photograph: Courtesy Pyramid Lake Resort/Chris Amat

6. Jasper, Canada

We South Floridians typically steer clear of cold Canada come wintertime, so summer is when to make it happen. And Jasper, tucked in Alberta west of Edmonton and Calgary, is the spot go. Musts in this region include exploring the blue-lake-meets-mountain known as Banff and Jasper National Park. Fun fact: The park opened its first new hotel in 40 years just last year, Forest Park Hotel. If you can’t snag a reservation there, Pyramid Lake Resort features summertime yoga on the water and a sleek new restaurant, Aalto, that opens on June 24.

Travel time: Eight hours from MIA to Calgary, plus a 4.5-hour drive to Jasper

Medellín, Colombia
Photograph: Jesse Scott

7. Medellín, Colombia

Throw out everything you think you know about Medellín—the revitalized “City of the Eternal Spring” is friendlier than ever and an essential visit to experience the genuine warmth of paisas (Colombian natives). There is no better time of year to explore it than during the annual Feria de Las Flores (Flower Festival). The 2023 fest happens July 28 through August 7, with unbelievable flower and orchid displays adorning every mom-and-pop storefront, massive installations sprawled across mall plazas and a parade spilling through town, in which flower vendors (silleteros) tote flower displays on their backs. There’s truly nothing else like it.

Travel time: 3.5 hours non-stop from MIA

Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons Anguilla

8. Anguilla

First off, it’s pronounced “ang-gwi-luh.” You’re welcome. Summer is peak salt picking season in the small Caribbean nation, when Anguilla locals and tourists can harvest their own salt from one of the nation’s 17 salt ponds and use it in homemade and chef-created meals. The cultural spectacle achieves another level at Four Seasons Anguilla with executive chef Chef Manu of SALT. On select mornings, he guides folks out to a salt pond to collect the flavor crystals and then to a local market to select fresh veggies. Later, he demonstrates how to filet the day’s local catch. With all of these sourced ingredients, he prepares a signature ceviche that will blow your mind.

Travel time: Three hours non-stop from MIA

Mérida, Mexico
Photograph: Courtesy Fiesta Americana Mérida

9. Mérida, Mexico

Swimming with whale sharks sounds scary, but come peak season (July), it’s the thing to do off the coast of Yucatán’s state capital. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, often weighing around 40,000 pounds and measuring up to 30 feet in length. You can snorkel with these gentle giants through tour companies like Natural Habitat Adventures. For digs, we’re fans of the Old World-opulent Fiesta Americana Mérida, influenced by French mansions from the 1800s La Bella Epoque era. Tucked on the main avenue of Mérida, Paseo de Montejo, make sure to set some time aside to gawk at its stained-glass ceilings.

Travel time: Two hours non-stop from MIA

Acadia National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

10. Acadia National Park

Reverse snowbirding, anyone? July and August are the best months weather-wise for visiting this popular Maine national park, with high temps often peaking in the mid-70s. There are more than 150 miles of trails and 45 miles of carriage roads for trekking, and a must-do hike up Cadillac Mountain. The ocean vistas at the summit are worth all 2.5 hours round-trip and, for families, there’s a paved loop trail option, too. If you’re looking at an early summer adventure, the Acadia Birding Festival is June 1 through 4, boasting offshore boating trips where you may spot a puffin or ten.

Travel time: 5.5 hours from MIA to Bangor, plus a one-hour drive to the park

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