Boston to Miami road trip

  • Post last modified:May 28, 2023
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The gorgeous Atlantic coastline is there for the taking. As you drive from Boston to Miami, tick off jaw-dropping city after jaw-dropping city and pristine beach after pristine beach. No matter if you prefer cities full of liveliness and historic monuments or endless stretches of untouched coastline: this ultimate Boston to Miami road trip itinerary is for you.

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  • Total distance: 1,787 mi / 2,876km
  • Total driving time: 33 h

1. Boston

The Boston to Miami road trip is finally about to begin. But if you’re not a Boston local, make sure to take in the best Boston sights before you take off.

Walk back in time on the Freedom Trail

In the heart of Boston the 2.5 miles (4 km) long Freedom Trail takes you back in time. The trail, which starts at Boston Common and ends at Bunker Hill Monument, shows you one historic monument after another.

Highlights as you walk the Freedom Trail on the road trip from Boston to Miami include Massachusetts State House and Old State House. Another outstanding building to keep your eyes open for is the Old Corner Bookstore.

Hear Harvard tales

Boston’s Harvard University is one of the most reputable institutions of higher learning in the US. Its alumni includes former presidents and Nobel Prize winners.

So wouldn’t it be nice to enter the doors of Harvard on the Boston to Miami road trip, if so only for a few hours?

On a guided Harvard University tour that’s exactly what you get to do.

Not only are the grounds interesting to see, but there are also many amusing tales to be told. You don’t have to be into history to appreciate a Harvard tour on the Boston to Miami drive.

Where to stay

Boston’s heart offers direct access to the the Freedom Trail. Another option is Cambridge, where you find the legendary Harvard grounds.

Red brick buildings of Harvard University, Massachusetts
Enter Harvard’s world.

2. New York City

  • Driving distance: 215 mi / 346 km
  • Driving time: 4.5 h

Never sleeping, New York City is an action-packed hub where you always find new things to do. However, let’s start with some of those must-see New York spots.

Stroll through Central Park

You sweet little oasis in the heart of New York City. Manhattan’s Central Park has since its first opening in 1858 provided a peaceful domain in the otherwise busy city.

In summer it’s a great spot to soak up the sun. In winter the park offers a unique venue for ice skating. Around the year Central Park is the perfect spot for a quiet stroll.

Take a photo from Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge famously spans East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The symbolic bridge, one of 21 that connect Manhattan with the rest of the city, invites visitors to a celebrated perspective.

From Brooklyn Bridge you not only get a close-up view of a fascinating construction. The bridge also gives you an unmatched view of New York City’s skyline.

The Boston to Miami road trip is full of awe-inspiring photo opportunities. But when it comes to skylines, the New York City skyline is certainly a hard one to beat.

View of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan on the Boston to Miami road trip
View of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan.

3. Washington DC

  • Driving distance: 227 mi / 365 km
  • Driving time: 4.5 h

The Boston to Miami road trip now reaches a third major city in a row. First to check out in Washington DC, the US capital and political powerhouse, is its national treasures.

Discover the National Mall

The National Mall is an unparalleled park in the heart of Washington DC. It presents monuments, memorials and museums of huge national significance.

In its east the US Capitol Building, with 365 iconic steps, is a must see. At the park’s western end the Lincoln Memorial is another mandatory spot.

Between the two the Washington Monument, shooting up towards the sky like nothing else, calls for your attention.

Also with celebrated museums you can spend days exploring the National Mall before returning to the open roads on the Boston to Miami drive.

How about a lineup of the National Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Art and National Museum of American History? That’s still just a few of the many top National Mall museums.

Wave at the White House

The White House is positioned at the northern end of the National Mall. It’s the home and workplace of the president of the United States.

You can admire the president’s home from two sides: North Lawn and South Lawn.

At North Lawn, and Pennsylvania Avenue, you get the closest views of the White House. The South Lawn, facing the National Mall, is larger and doesn’t offer as intimate views.

But regardless of north or south, waving at the White House, and possibly the president, is a memorable activity on the Boston to Miami drive.

Where to stay

It’s truly something special about the National Mall. Luckily, there are lots of hotels offering walking distance to all the monuments, memorials and museums that you come for.

Capitol Building in Washington DC — a powerhouse stop between Boston and Miami
The Capitol Building in Washington DC.

Route info: This Boston to Miami route, which goes for maximum scenery, now leads to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. But if you’re short on time, head straight south to Wilmington instead. Although you then miss out on the unique Outer Banks setting, it saves you 139 miles (224 km) and 3 hours.

4. Outer Banks, NC

  • Driving distance: 286 mi / 460 km
  • Driving time: 5.5 h

The longest drive on the entire Boston to Miami itinerary takes you from the US’ political epicenter to endless sand dunes. Welcome to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, or as the locals say: the paradise on earth.

Many come for the beaches. The easy-going beaches are the Outer Banks’ main attractions. But this place far away from the hustle and bustle also is where American history has been made.

Unwind at Cape Hatteras

For coastal scenery the Outer Banks is an area hard to match. From the Virginia-North Carolina border down to the tip of Ocracoke Island there is an abundance of beaches, lighthouses and towns to check out.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, preserving a delicate portion of the Outer Banks, showcases it all. Its numbers speak for themselves:

  • 70+ miles (113 km) of soft coastline.
  • 7 sleepy towns.
  • 2 proud lighthouses.

The vast Cape Hatteras, where you always find your own space, is an appreciated break from reality. When driving from Boston to Miami, it’s one of those treasured places off the beaten path.

Picture the first flight ever

If you thought the Outer Banks is just about beaches, think again. This stop on the road trip from Boston to Miami has played a crucial role in the history of flight.

Wilbur and Orville Wright needed a sandy, windy and isolated area for their quest towards the first human flight. The Outer Banks ticked off all three criterias, and the rest is history.

December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers took the first powered, sustained and controller airplane flight ever.

Today the Wright Brothers National Memorial, at the Outer Banks spot where it once happened, celebrates the huge feat. Learn all there’s to know about the achievement, or just visualize the first flight ever.

Where to stay

The Outer Banks accommodations spread out along North Carolina’s long coastline. Kitty Hawk, Kill Devils Hill and Nags Head are best if you prefer liveliness, while anywhere north or south is great for quiet escapes.

Black and white Outer Banks lighthouse pointing towards blue sky
Cape Hatteras’ Bodie Island Lighthouse.

5. Wilmington, NC

  • Driving distance: 235 mi / 378 km
  • Driving time: 4.5 h

The Boston to Florida drive is a journey through the American South. In Wilmington, on the Atlantic Ocean but slightly off the radar, you can’t miss that. The city boasts both rich history and southern charm.

Tour the historic Bellamy Mansion

A lovely place to park your car on the road trip from Boston to Miami, Wilmington Historic District, with its southern characteristics, casts spells on visitors.

Wilmington’s historic downtown area encompasses hundreds of historic buildings and sites. Around every corner there’s something interesting to explore.

But one place that stands out, where you need to stop for a while, is the Bellamy Mansion. It was built as the Civil War was about to unfold, and every inch of it has a story to tell.

Touring the Bellamy Mansion adds unique perspectives to a Wilmington visit.

A few blocks west of the Bellamy Mansion the calming Cape Fear River flows. Wilmington Riverwalk, dotted with friendly restaurants and bars, is a great spot to recharge before the Boston to Miami road trip continues.

Let the beach bum loose at Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach offers a welcome contrast to the history-filled streets of Wilmington. Here, less than 10 miles (16 km) from Wilmington Historic District, you can live your best beach life.

Is there a sweeter combo than history and beaches?

The soft Wrightsville dunes are treasured by sunbathers, while its wild Atlantic waves attract surfers from far and wide.

At the island’s southern end you find its most iconic views. There the landmark Crystal Pier shoots out into the Atlantic Ocean, offering spectacular perspectives of the salty surroundings.

Where to stay

For history and southern charm the historic district is the best place to stay in Wilmington. But if you prefer a beach location, Wrightsville Beach is an easy drive from the historic district.

Crystal Pier on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Crystal Pier on Wrightsville Beach.

Additional stop: South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach is an addition to the Boston to Miami road trip itinerary that appeals to the beach bum. Roughly halfway between Wilmington and Charleston, the city is a hub for joy in the sand and sun.

6. Charleston, SC

  • Driving distance: 176 mi / 283 km
  • Driving time: 3.5 h

The coastal Lowcountry region presents a world of islands, rivers and antebellum homes. Its biggest component Charleston is for its appreciated characteristics often referred to as America’s favorite city.

Stroll the inviting Battery

Charleston Historic District is filled with history to such a degree that it appears like a huge open-air museum. One that also has a fun ambience.

Its foundation, providing safety for the city through centuries, is the Battery. The seawall, named for its Civil War artillery battery, carefully follows the southern shores of Charleston.

As the Battery also functions as a promenade, it’s a place where the past and present stunningly intersect.

The Battery is a meeting point for locals and visitors alike. On the historic promenade, surrounded by proud palm trees and colorful antebellum homes, it’s easy to see why Charleston is called America’s favorite city.

Enter eminent plantations

Several of the most renowned American plantations are located in the Charleston area. It’s truly a golden opportunity for the Boston to Miami drive.

By Ashley River three historic plantations line up: Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place.

These plantations offer glimpses of a world that no longer exists. Some parts are delightful, while the darker plantation chapters make you shudder.

Prepare for a multifaceted experience.

Where to stay

Charleston’s historic district gives you the quintessential experience on the Boston to Miami drive. The area, where you find the Battery, delivers a lovely mix of the past and present.

Colorful buildings in Charleston, South Carolina, on the Boston to Miami drive
Colorful Charleston buildings.

Additional stops: The Lowcountry is a road trip adventure on its own. Charleston and Savannah are the region’s two biggest cities, but there’s much more to explore in between. Impeccable additional stops as you road trip the Lowcountry include Hilton Head Island, Beaufort and Kiawah Island.

7. Savannah, GA

  • Driving distance: 107 mi / 172 km
  • Driving time: 2 h

Georgia’s Savannah welcomes you to the southern end of the Lowcountry. Its huge oaks, cozily covered in Spanish moss, and concentration of antebellum homes offer the perfect setting for a good old time.

Have a blast on River Street

Savannah, and the entire American South, is unique in the way it welcomes visitors. Its overwhelming warmth and kindness has a name: southern hospitality.

As you walk Savannah’s River Street, you can feel it on your skin. An inviting ambience radiates out from the many eateries and watering holes that line Savannah River.

Savannah’s waterfront is an excellent location for a night out on the Boston to Miami road trip.

But for quieter moments just stroll deeper into Savannah’s historic downtown. There the moss-covered oaks, antebellum homes and jaw-dropping monuments continue to show you a good time.

Learn at Fort Pulaski

Savannah is located upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. If you head east, towards the open ocean, you encounter several Lowcountry islands.

On one of them, Cockspur Island, Fort Pulaski impressively stands. The fort represents a turning point in American military history.

Fort Pulaski’s thick brick walls was thought to protect it from attacks. However, with revolutionary rifled artillery the Union managed to breach its wall an April’s day in 1862.

As you take the Boston to Miami road trip, learning about Fort Pulaski’s history is intriguing.

Still history isn’t this stop’s only draw. Fort Pulaski National Monument, covering most of Cockspur Island and the adjacent McQueens Island, also showcases prime Lowcountry nature.

Where to stay

The blend of friendliness and history makes Savannah Historic District a great place to be. It’s for history buffs and nighlife seekers alike the best option for where to stay in Savannah.

Sunset by the peaceful Savannah River, Georgia
Sunset by Savannah River.

8. Amelia Island, FL

  • Driving distance: 127 mi / 204 km
  • Driving time: 2 h

It’s time to exit the highway just 10 miles (16 km) after crossing the Florida-Georgia state line. Amelia Island is a hidden treasure up in the very northeastern corner of Florida.

Explore Fernandina Beach

Fernandina Beach is the town on Amelia Island. It’s a unique place to celebrate that you have arrived in Florida from Boston.

Overlooking Amelia River, Fernandina Historic District holds more than 50 blocks from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The striking collection of Victorian-era structures is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Homes, businesses and churches form a complete downtown area that appears to have frozen in time.

Centre Street is its main hub of activiy. There restaurants, bars and shops offer timeless experiences. As you explore the area, you might ask yourself if this really is the 21st century.

Look back on Georgia

Fort Clinch State Park covers the northernmost part of Amelia Island. Above all the park is home to the well preserved Fort Clinch, another historic highlight on the Boston to Miami itinerary.

The strategic position of Fort Clinch is apparent. Just across St. Mary’s River the neighboring Cumberland Island is Georgia territory.

Once upon a time the possession of Fort Clinch was crucial.

But if you paid attention during your Fort Pulaski stop, you might already know what eventually retired Fort Clinch. The two East Coast strongholds, one in Georgia and one in Florida, faced similar destinies.

Where to stay

The historic Fernandina Beach is located at the northern part of Amelia Island. But no matter where on Amelia Island you stay, you find a laid-back ambience and easy beach access.

Palm tree and blue sky welcoming roadtrippers to Florida on the Boston to Miami drive
Welcome to Florida.

Related: Bookmark our ultimate Florida guide too.

9. Orlando, FL

  • Driving distance: 175 mi / 282 km
  • Driving time: 3 h

Orlando is the undisputed theme park capital. So if you’re up for some theme park fun, make sure to include the Central Florida city on the Boston to Miami road trip.

Make dreams come true at Disney

Disney World has provided entertainment to Orlando visitors since 1971. It’s a complex that has become both an Orlando and Florida symbol.

Here meet and greets make dreams come true every day. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck are just a few of the many favorite characters who welcome you to the magical world of Disney.

Disney World is the ultimate stop on a Boston to Florida family road trip, at least if you ask the kiddos.

But it’s not only a happy place for younger roadtrippers. With four different theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, there’s something for everyone at Disney.

Where to stay

Lake Buena Vista is where you find the fun-filled Disney World. However, I-Drive and Kissimmee are other popular options for where to stay when visiting Orlando.

Colorful characters at Disney World in Orlando, Florida
Dreams come true at Disney World.

10. Miami, FL

  • Driving distance: 239 mi / 384 km
  • Driving time: 3.5 h

Well done, the final 239 miles (384 km) finishes the epic Boston to Miami road trip. Down in South Florida the fun continues with the best things to do in Miami and beyond.

Vivid Wynwood art in Miami, Florida
Wynwood mural.

Road trip from Boston to Miami FAQ

You find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the epic road trip from Boston to Miami below.

How long does it take to drive the road trip from Boston to Miami?

The ultimate Boston to Miami road trip is 1,787 miles (2,876 km) long. Driving it takes roughly 33 hours, not including any stops along the way.

If you just take the quickest route from Boston to Miami, the drive is 1,489 miles (2,396 km) and 22.5 hours. But then you miss out on a lot of the coastal scenery along the way.

A middle course is to save the Outer Banks for another time. That cut, which means that you go directly from DC to Wilmington, alone saves you 139 miles (224 km) and 3 hours.

Where should I stop between Boston and Florida?

The main stops included on the road trip from Boston to Florida are Boston, NYC, DC, Outer Banks, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Amelia Island, Orlando and Miami.

Additional Boston to Florida destinations along the route include Myrtle Beach, Kiawah Island, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island,

How many days do I need to take the Boston to Miami road trip?

With so much to see along the way, the Boston to Miami road trip is one that deserves a significant amount of time. Just cities such as Charleston and Savannah deserve at least a couple of days each.

So for the full itinerary it’s wise to allow at least two weeks, but preferably more. The road trip from Boston to Miami can entertain you for weeks or even months.

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