Discover Florida Cities by Train – Transportation In Florida Just Got Better!

Did you know you can get to great local points of interest around Florida’s Downtown areas via existing public transportation – Trains, Trolleys & People Movers?


Florida rail

Transportation in Florida just got better with 3 major South Florida cities about to be connected by high-speed rail. This past Wednesday, “All Aboard Florida” a private-rail company broke ground on a new $29 million dollar, 60,000 square foot Downtown West Palm Beach station as a kick-off to the southerly segment of their project.

Their plan is to use existing Florida East Coast Railway tracks to deliver high-speed rail service between Miami and Orlando, and then north of West Palm Beach once the environmental impact is determined.

There are a lot of concerns being raised regarding construction impact, environmental safety, and schedules effecting major waterways used by boaters. The company and state agencies are trying to address the issues of all the impacted groups in upcoming meetings between the Federal Railroad Administration, community members, and local personnel.

While it remains to be seen, if the full rail plan connecting all of the coastal cities will come to fruition, it seems that the first stretch is a done deal.  The Miami-to-West Palm Beach service is expected to open in late 2016 with the Orlando leg beginning in 2017.

With that new service route in mind, we thought we would take a look at some points of interest along the first scheduled route – Miami-to-West Palm Beach:

Downtown Miami Station as envisioned for completion in 2017. Photo courtesy of “All Aboard Florida.”

Downtown Miami Station as envisioned for completion in 2017. Photo courtesy of “All Aboard Florida.”

First Stop – Downtown Miami

Point of Interest #1 –

Freedom Tower

cc Tom Schaefer

cc Tom Schaefer

Hop off the train and head down NE 6th Street to visit the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College. This U.S National Historic Landmark is now home to a contemporary art museum and houses offices for the art department at the college.

A true historical and arts mecca in Miami, it is considered the “Ellis Island of the South” because of its deep historical roots to the Cuban population of Miami. During the mid-20th century, it was a nationally sanctioned relief center to Cuban refugees, fleeing from Fidel Castro’s regime.

Point of Interest #2 –

Sea Isle Marina

LEP_sea-isle-marina

You will have to connect to the Metromover from the Government Center downtown or Brickell Stations but once you hop aboard this free, electrically-powered, fully-automated people mover you will be at the Sea Isle Marina in less then 10 minutes.

If you happen to be touring in February, you can catch the New Yacht & Power Boat Show there as part of the Miami International Boat Show. Browse a selection of custom motor yachts and other high performance boats as well as visit the demo dock where you can try out a variety of vessels and learn more about boating from certified instructors.

Second Stop – Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Point of Interest #1 –

Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District

Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard – Architecture & Shops. Photo courtesy iamlasolas.com

From the Downtown Fort Lauderdale stop you could easily stroll or rent a bike to see all of the destinations from East to West along Las Olas Boulevard. On the eastern end you will find numerous canals and luxury waterfront homes, along the way there are a myriad of shops and restaurants to visit.  The Museum of Discovery & Science, just outside the historic district at SW 2nd Street, will be a great place to stop if you have kids or grandkids in tow.

Point of Interest #2 –

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Photo courtesy browardcenter.org

Anchoring the district at the far west of Las Olas Boulevard is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  Built in 1991, this theater hosts year-round musicals, comedies, special speakers & more. It has become the cultural heart of the county and one of the most visited theaters in the U.S.

You won’t be amiss for things to do in Ft Lauderdale! According to their Wikipedia page, the greater Fort Lauderdale area has over 4,000 restaurants, 63 golf courses, 12 shopping malls, 16 museums, 132 nightclubs, 278 parkland campsites, and 100 marinas housing 45,000 resident yachts! Alas, not all of these venues are connected by rail (yet).

Last Stop – West Palm Beach

Point of Interest #1 –

Clematis District & CityPlace

Clematis & CityPlace

Evening shopping and dining at CityPlace. Photo courtesy palmbeachfl.com

Once you come to the end of your high-speed rail journey in West Palm Beach, you can access another, albeit slower, train known as the Downtown Trolley. This trolley service will connect you to all of the area’s points of interest for free.

The historic Clematis district is a new urban development offering an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, and live/work spaces. This area is also becoming well known for its wide array of art centers and schools. On a related note, we at Luxury Estates Plus currently have over 20 high-end condos for sale at 610 Clematis – An upscale building, with loads of amenities like a gym, steam room, and a 24-hour manned desk to name a few, located in the heart of trendy CityPlace.

Point of Interest #2 -

City Center & Palm Beach Photographic Centre

City Center – Public Library and Photographic Centre. Photo from owner via Google Maps

City Center – Public Library and Photographic Centre. Photo from owner via Google Maps

City Center is a relatively new point of interest in Downtown West Palm Beach and can be easily accessed by the free trolley service downtown. City Center serves as a prominent civic landmark housing City Hall and the West Palm Beach Public Library.

If you are in the area around the end of January 2015 and have an interest in photography, check out the annual FotoFusion festival, happening at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and draws thousands of new visitors to West Palm Beach yearly. The Centre has events year round, but during the festival, you can view the work of up and coming photographers, established artists, and attend seminars and parties nightly.

We hope you have found this adventure by train inspiring enough to hop on-board the new high-speed rail once it’s completed and consider accessing other forms of transportation<, like bikes and trolleys, for a change of pace and a new way of visiting popular downtown destinations. If you plan on staying awhile, please check out some of our new West Palm Beach Communities. We have some of the hottest locations and properties on the market and available today!

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