Step aside beaches and hotels, the best way to really stay-cation is now Brightline. The fastest train around offers a way of transportation that is practical, seamless, and luxurious all at the same time.
For now, it only stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach but when it opens in Orlando (2021), Tampa, and Jacksonville, catch me going to Islands of Adventure and Disney World every other weekend. While we wait for the future of Brightline to roll out, if you use Lyft, expect $5 off your ride.
Here’s why I absolutely loved it:
Parking: It’s actually easier to put Einstein Bros. Bagels (155 NW 6 St, Miami, FL 33128) in your GPS because the parking garage for Brightline is to the right of it. Or you can put the parking garage into your GPS (161 NW 6 St, Miami, FL 33136). You can pay for parking with the Pay By Phone App or website, which makes it easier if you’re used to paying for parking that way. If not, there’s the usual way of paying for parking.
Seamless: Getting to Brightline, there are kiosks on the first floor that make it easy to print your tickets or buy them as well. Doing this alone made me feel like I was in Europe catching the trains.
Beautiful: The aesthetic in the stations is truly above par to any form of transportation available in Miami; I’d know, I take the Metro frequently to go to work. Whether it’s the murals, the #305 sign, or the bright screens everywhere, Brightline really does feel like I’m in another place. It’s easy to forget about the hassle of commuting and Miami traffic when you’re here.
Plugged In: Quite literally, there are plugs and USB ports on every chair around here. So no excuses about having 5% battery anymore. Also, there’s free WiFi. Also also, if you ride SELECT, there are literal printers, scanners, staplers, pens, notepads, and iPads for you to use to do work. So you really have no excuses for anything.
Community Ties: Brightline offers events and specials for certain events happening in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. If you’re coming from up north for a Heat Game, they have extended travel times so you can use the train to come watch the game and not have to worry that there won’t be a ride back home. Same goes for events like Ultra Music Festival or if you’re getting to your cruise at Port Miami. Click here for updated offers available.
If you ride Select, you’re in for a treat!
Think of the Select option as first-class. While you can ride Smart (economy) and Smart PLUS (middle level), Select really was an experience to have. If you buy a Select ticket, parking is also free.
Like an airport lounge, the Select lounge has free snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for you to enjoy before your trip. Its seclusion makes it easy to get work done or just relax before boarding.
Unlike an airport, it’s easy to track when and where you’re supposed to go when your train is coming. The speakers will let you know when it’s time to board, how much time you have, and where to go. There are also screens everywhere that lets you know the same information.
(Also quick shout out to the staff there because the stations are so clean I could probably eat off the floor. They were also so kind and made sure to greet and say goodbye to us whenever we’d get on and off the train. Picture that scene in Titanic where the people are waving as the ship leaves - that’s what this experience really was!)
Once in the train, we got comfy with the large seats and tables available to sit, eat, and chat. As per usual, there were USBs and outlets available everywhere. The staff handed out wet towels so we could wash our hands and be clean. I’m telling you, I could probably eat off the floor around here.
The available snacks and drinks also did not disappoint! Everything from M&Ms (both original and peanut, yeessss!), to chips, gummy bears, Kind Bars, peanut butter bites, yogurt, ham & cheese, and more were available. There was also sparkling water, craft beer, wine, prosecco, and other sodas. Really, anyone can eat and drink on here and feel satisfied.
Getting to Fort Lauderdale, we hopped on a Freebee and got to walk around Las Olas. Once it was time to go back to Miami, we simply used the app to get another Freebee back.
Honestly, I was upset we were back in Miami.
Using Brightline, even if it’s just to go to Fort Lauderdale, really felt like a vacation here at home. A stay-cation meets European trains meets Wynwood murals meets good wine.
I’d happily go on it again and again and again.
161 NW 6 Street, Suite 900, Miami, FL 33136