Brightline to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami - Palm Beach Moms
(updated Sept 2019)
So, Floridians are not accustomed to public transit.  We go in our cars with all of the things and park as close as possible to the places.  Perhaps it is caused by all of the vitamin D.  BUT – Brightline can cure almost anyone.  The barrier is that first ride… trying something NEW….  So here are our tips to make the most of your first time.  We know it won’t be the last!
As of this article (June 2018) Brightline offers stops in Downtown West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale Arts Dictrict, and MiamiCentral.  All are great locations for walking right out into fun or picking up a Lyft ride.  Brightline even has a discount code for you to try Lyft out.
Download the Brightline app and book your seats ahead of time, super easy to use.   We preferred the SMART seats, which are actually the cheap seats instead of Select.  The Select Service seats are bigger, have complimentary snacks and beverages, and lounge access.  SMART seats were plenty big and comfy for us, and I brought Mommy approved snacks and had just refilled our water bottles at the station while the kids enjoyed the kid lounge area.  (We left the Select Lounge in peace for those riders without tots in tow – you’re welcome!)
Parking at their stations is currently about $8 and can be paid through an app.  Park your big SUV and go enjoy.  The trains run on ‘cleaner’ biodiesel, and their locomotives have diesel-electric engines for lower emissions and reduced noise.  Pretty cool.  (Side note, they are 100% compliant with the American Made regulations so you can feel all warm and patriotic about that.)
Kids are WELCOMED.  Seriously.  Every team member we encountered was well informed, accommodating  and happy to help.   Brightline higher ups must have youngsters because they really considered it all – from to the great kids play lounge while you wait,  family restrooms, changing tables, room for strollers to maneuver, water bottle refill stations, seats with tables or trays – it is all family friendly.
You will not want to leave the comfortable station but ALL ABOARD!  After we found our seats a friendly attendant brought the kids coloring books, lapel pens, and a juice box and gummy bears (please Brightline just the coloring books and pens were perfect, no candy or sugar water necessary – love you).
The Ft Lauderdale Station is an easy walk to the Museum of Discovery and Science with an IMAX theater, outdoor playground, cafe.  Easily could spend a day here.  The kids loved it and was totally shocked that we had the place to ourselves.  Ended up buying the annual pass because it was just so easy and fun we will be back again and again.  Lots of good IMAX movies coming soon, perfect for a rainy day.
 The Miami Station is extra awesome because you can hop right on the free metro mover train to skedaddle around town.  We suggest the Frost Science Museum for a close choice.  If you can do a stay over – there are SO many great choices.  The Miami Zoo is just a Lyft ride away and pretty amazing.  (We will talk more about Miami attractions in other posts)

The West Palm Beach Station had a free shuttle right out front (a service of West Palm Beach) that (after parking our big SUV) to explore the current West Palm Beach waterfront exhibit CONE-struction as they are currently doing updates to the area.  It was magical and unexpected!  We had a family friendly lunch at The Regional then a lively game of ping pong at CityPlace and headed to the train.

We only got to do all of this because we missed our train (mom fail) and I am so glad we did.  Sometimes you forget just how magical right where are really is.
Bon Voyage friends!  Let us know how your adventures go.