Beat Boat Show Parking Hassles

Brightline train service offers a great alternative.
Brightline train
Brightline stations are well-lit, feature touchless turnstiles, clean restrooms, food, free WiFi and available garage parking. Courtesy Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Parking at boat shows is a hassle. And expensive. An alternative for many Florida boat show goers is to take the Brightline high-speed rail service. The Brightline runs from Orlando to Miami, with stops in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, and Miami. All but one of those cities hosts a major boat (or outdoors) show.

Headed to FLIBS last fall, we boarded Brightline in Orlando and walked off in Fort Lauderdale 2 hours and 50 minutes later. Trains run throughout the day, starting at about 7:00 AM and the ending about 9:45 (boarding time). Roundtrip fares start at $79 for basic “Guest” class. We rode “Smart” class for $99, which included nicer seats and snacks for sale. You can ride “Premium” class for $179, which includes all of the Smart amenities, plus even wider chairs, complimentary snacks and beverages, lounge access and lower rates for parking in Brightline lots. (As always, note that prices and fares are at time of publication and may change.)

Boat show parking
Price isn’t the only hassle associated with boat show parking. Kevin Falvey

It’s also notable that by taking Brightline and then a cab or Uber, you can get dropped off right at the show entrance.

From the Fort Lauderdale Brightline station you can take a cab or rideshare service to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. We used Uber which cost us $16.00 for the four-mile ride.

The Miami Brightline station is about 12 blocks to the marina part of the Miami Boat Show. Walkable for many, but of course cabs and rideshare are available.

The West Palm Beach Brightline station is but a four block walk to the Palm Beach Boat Show.

The Orlando Brightline station abuts Orlando International Airport and is about a five minute ride to the Orange County Convention Center ( ICAST, Surf Expo, more).

I’m not saying don’t drive to the boat shows. I’m saying you don’t have to.