Miami is not only one of the most vibrant cities in the United States it holds its own as an international destination. There are literally hundreds of activities to partake in throughout this thriving city. However, for those who want to get out of the city for a day or two opportunities about for quick day trips. Here are our picks for the best 9 days trips out of Miami:

9 – Take an Island Hopping Cruise from Miami Beach

Spend the day exploring several of Miami’s offshore islands aboard a cruise boat. You can get picked up by minibus from your hotel, then take an air-conditioned ride to Miami Beach Marina to catch your boat. The boats are fairly small – usually a maximum of 10 people – so it is an intimate experience for a couple, or a group of friends. Snacks and drinks are provided as you take a lazy cruise, usually hitting three of the islands. There is an opportunity to swim or snorkel for those who are more energetic or adventurous. You can even bring along a fishing rod and the crew will show you some of the best places where you might have some luck landing a catch. After about six hours of cruising you’ll be returned to the marina and whisked back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening.

8 – Visit One or More of Orlando’s Theme Parks

If you have kids with you – or if you are still a kid at heart – a trip to the family-friendly land of Disney will certainly be a nice break from the adult urban landscape of Miami. Rent a car and make your way to Orlando to check our Disney World, Universal Studios or Sea World. Be sure you start early as the drive takes roughly four hours each way. Yes, it will make for a long day, but you’ll get to see some of Florida’s spectacular countryside along the way. A great bonding trip for the family.

7 – Take a Bahamas Day Cruise

The Bahamas are an amazing destination by themselves and getting to Grand Bahama is only a short day cruise from Miami. Spend four hours in luxury cruising to the island, then spend the rest of your day shopping, exploring or just hanging out and soaking up the sun. Day use of a resort facility is often included in these excursions so you can take advantage of the luxury and amenities of a Bahamas hotel, giving you access to a private beach and an infinity pool. As the sun starts to sink into the ocean you are whisked back to Miami and shuttled back to your hotel.

6 – Drive to Key West

Another long day trip option by car – though not as long as an Orlando trip – is a visit to Key West. A beautiful destination for scuba, snorkeling and swimming enthusiasts this laid back paradise is definitely a mecca for those who enjoy the water. Great food and live entertainment are in ample supply throughout Key West, and for those who want to enrich themselves with a little culture a visit to famous author Ernest Hemmingways home/museum makes for an interesting side trip. You can also take a glass bottom boat ride, see the city via the Hop On/Hop Off trolley, or ride Key West’s famous Conch Train.

5 – Visit Naples, Florida

If you are planning a trip to the Everglades then a stop along the way in the charming town of Naples, Florida is a must. It is a golfer’s paradise, and luxury shoppers will have plenty of options to separate themselves from their hard-earned dollars. Or, if you would rather save your money than spend it, then just take a cruise through Naples and check out all the high-end homes throughout the city.

4 – Visit Fort Lauderdale

Often referred to as the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale boasts several canals that afford tourists the opportunity to pretend they are in that great Italian city for a short while at least. Though not as lively as Miami, Fort Lauderdale has a great party scene of its own, and if bars and nightclubs are your thing, an overnight trip might be in order. Those who prefer less hedonistic pursuits can enjoy the beach, take a stroll on Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful promenade, or do some parasailing, jet-skiing, or sports fishing.

3 – Visit Biscayne National Park

This day trip is a little closer to Miami – roughly just 35 miles away – so visitors can get there within the hour, making this one of the more convenient day trips on the list for those whose time is at a premium. This 70,000 hectare park is 95% water, preserving Biscayne Bay and its offshore reefs. The park includes Elliott Key, a large island formed entirely of fossilized coral reef. The reefs in the park have been the site of numerous shipwrecks and snorkeling and diving within that area is a popular tourist activity.

2 –┬áKennedy Space Center

If you grew up wanting to be an astronaut then you don’t need me to tell you that a trip to the Kennedy Space Center is a must-do day trip from Miami. The visitor complex at the center offers tours of both the Space Center as well as tours of Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Even if you aren’t a “space geek” it is still a fantastic area to visit. The land nearby is largely undeveloped and prime for wildlife viewing, including alligators, bald eagles and even a few feral pigs.

1 – Everglades National Park

Speaking of wildlife viewing, Florida’s best known park is the optimal place for those nature lovers looking to get a close up look at Florida’s native fauna and flora. Of course the crocs and gators are the park’s main wildlife attraction, but other denizens include panthers, bobcats, manatees, dolphins, and a list of birds long enough to satisfy even the most demanding birdwatcher. Visitors can get an authentic experience by booking an airboat tour. The airboats are the perfect vehicle for touring the everglades, barely skimming the surface, allowing access to the deepest regions of the marshy park.