When planning your trip, contact these visitors’ centers and transit systems:
Miami Beach and Dade County
Visitor Information: www.miamiandthebeaches.com/ (305) 539=3000 or (800) 933-8448 (toll-free)
Dade County Public Transit: www.miami-dade.fl.us/transit (305) 770-3131
Fort Lauderdale and Broward County
Visitor Information: www.sunny.org (954) 765-9466 or (toll-free) (800) 22-SUNNY
Broward County Transit: www.broward.orgBCT (954) 357-8400.
Broward B-Cycle (bike-sharing program for renting bikes) www.browardbicycle.com.
Palm Beach and Palm Beach County
Visitor Information: www.palmbeachfl.com or call toll-free (800) 554-7256
Palm Tran (public transit): www.palmtran.org or call (561) 841-4200
For information about Tri-Rail: South Florida’s commuter rail system,
www.tri-rail.com or call (800) tri-rail (874-7245) or (888) go SFRTA (367-3782)—both are toll-free
TDD: call toll-free (800) 273-8545
For information about South Florida attractions, visit: www.southfloridaonline.com.
Bikes are welcome on Tri-Rail, BCT, Palm Tran and Miami-Dade Transit
Bonnie Arnold from the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, who is also a parent, offers these tips to help you enjoy a non-driving weekend visit to South Florida:
From the West Palm Beach Station:
If you’re flying into West Palm Beach, Palm Tran Route 44 provides access to the station. The Downtown West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel (www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbimc-west-palm–beach–marriott/) is an easy walk from the station and makes a perfect place to use as a base of operations. The West Palm Beach Station is truly an intermodal hub, serving not only Tri-Rail, but also Palm Tran, Amtrak and Greyhound .
The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, which features world class artists and touring Broadway productions, is across the street and slightly south of the station.
City Place, Downtown West Palm Beach’s premiere shopping, dining and entertainment complex, is a pleasant 6-block walk straight east from the station. If you prefer not to walk, you can take Palm Tran Routes 1 or 41 southbound to Hibiscus
Palm Beach: Henry Morrison Flagler and Palm Beach Bike Path
Take Palm Tran Route 41 across the Intercoastal Waterway and depart the bus at Royal Poinciana Way and Cocoanut Row. Walk approximately ½ mile south. This brings you to the spectacular Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, once the home of the famous oil/railroad baron.
This is a must see for train buffs, as Flagler’s own parlor car has been lovingly restored and sits in a pavilion facing the Intracoastal.
From here, there is access to the Palm Beach Bike Path, which takes you past the incredible mansions that line the waterway.
From the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach:
Take the free Tri-Rail shuttle from the airport and take Tri-Rail one stop north to the Fort Lauderdale Station on Broward Blvd.
Before you get on the train, however, you might want to peruse the attractions at the station. Arguably the prettiest station on the system, it is home to the International Game Fishing Museum and Outdoor World, both an easy walk to the east of the station.
There is a wide range of moderate to luxurious hotels on the Fort Lauderdale Beach, but if you want to be near the heart of the city and its culture, the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas (www.riversidehotel.com) is the place to be. Take the free Tri-Rail Shuttle FL 1 to Las Olas Blvd. and NE 3rd Ave. Connect to the Sun Trolley and take it approximately 4 blocks. This trolley also goes to the beach.
From the Riverside Hotel, you can walk to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science, all world class cultural institutions.
From the Miami Airport Station:
Take the free Tri-Rail shuttle to the Hialeah Market/Miami Airport Station. From there, you can access the entire rail corridor.
If you’re staying in downtown Miami, take the train one stop and transfer to the Metrorail. Get off the Metrorail and transfer to the free Metromover, which serves virtually every major hotel in the downtown.
The Metro mover provides access to many of Miami major attractions, the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, American Airlines Arena, Bayside, and the Miami Art Museum. Get back on the Metrorail southbound, and there are stops at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Miami Museum of Science.
If you are staying on Miami Beach, there is direct access via Miami–Dade Transit’s Airport Flyer. Miami Beach is Miami’s party central, with all-night clubs and eateries. Miami Beach has just instituted an extensive bike share program, with more than 600 bikes positioned in various spots on the beach.
Steve Atlas spotlights where to visit or live without depending on a private automobile. Visit Steve’s website: http://carfreeamerica.org. View past Car Free Journey columns, and special reports about good places to live without a car at www.pubtrantravel.com. E-mail Steve with your comments or ideas for future columns at firstname.lastname@example.org.