Florida — Transportation
Florida Taxis and Car Rental
Taxis are readily available in most towns of size, especially if there is a tourist sector. In many cases, taxis are a useful alternative to renting a car if you don’t plan on straying far from a single destination. This is particularly true in big cities like Miami’s South Beach, where the scarce parking and congested traffic make driving more of a hassle than enjoyable. Grab a taxi from Yellow Cab (+1-305-444-4444) or Central (+1-305-532-5555) for stress-free outings.
For most kinds of trips, even in Miami, having your own car is a major bonus. The driving along Florida’s coastline and through the Keys is absolutely beautiful, and is possible only by renting a car. All the big rental firms are on hand in Florida’s airports and in nearly every town. Many visitors to Florida opt for a rental, so they are rarely hard to find and often good value. During peak tourism periods like Christmas and spring break, it’s advised to make car rental bookings well in advance, especially if you want a convertible or something to see and be seen in.
Florida Trains and Buses
Public buses only run in Florida’s largest towns and cities. So if you are staying in a small beach town like Sanibel or Destin, you’ll need your own car to do any moving around. Greyhound buses, however, are great for traveling between towns because they cover nearly every little destination in the state. These buses are excellent value and comfortable enough for a few hours on the road.
Only Miami has an inner-city train network operated by the city government. There are two forms of train in the city, notably the Metromover, a light rail system that basically circles the downtown area, stopping at most of the major attractions and shopping districts. It’s useful for getting around and the views from its elevated track are lovely. Metrorail is a larger network of elevated light rail trains that runs for 21 miles between the downtown core and the southern suburbs. Metrorail is more for locals and typically doesn’t hit any major tourist attractions.
The Amtrak train runs the length of Florida, stopping at its terminals in downtown Miami. It is possible to travel by rail from Miami all the way to Los Angeles (68 hours) or New York (26 hours), but the travel time is extremely long, even without any of the delays that commonly plague Amtrak. However, the trains are comfortable and the ride typically scenic. If time is on your side, a cross-country train is a wonderful way to see all of America. But in reality, the train fares are about the same price as a low-cost flight.