11 Epic Day Trips In Florida For A Holiday Weekend Getaway

Time to turn on your "Out Of Office" emails. 💻

Florida Associate Editor
A woman on a ledge near a pool. Right: Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, FL.

A woman on a ledge near a pool. Right: Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, FL.

It's soon to be the holidays, which means long vacations are afoot for the perfect weekend getaway in Florida. It's time to pack a small bag and toggle on "Do Not Disturb" because long weekends are a great time for exploring.

Florida has so much to offer for anybody's travel needs, whether you want to relax on "island time" or even visit the downtown nightlife. There is something for everyone's exciting adventure.

We curated the ultimate list that covers all the regions as if you were driving clockwise around FL starting at West Palm Beach, so it won't matter where you are in the state. There's still a place for you nearby.

Take the Brightline from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

When you look at Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on a map, an hour or two doesn't seem as bad. Factor in a bit of traffic and during rush hour, you're leisurely travel can quickly turn into one big annoyance.

A great way to spend your day or even a weekend is to visit all three places in a short amount of time by train. It takes about a half hour between each stop, so you can easily go to all three cities and back in 24 hours.

Also, the train is very affordable with rates starting at $10 and an additional offer to provide a shared ride for up to five miles away from the station.

This will save you so much time, so you can see all the postcard beaches and exciting bars and restaurants to hit the most popular cities in the state.

Visit the quaint town of Naples and feel as though you stepped into the Mediterranean.

You can spend the weekend in a city that was deemed one of the best places to live: Naples, FL.

There are cute quaint shops and decorated streets that will make you feel like you're in the Mediterranean.

If you run out of things to do, you also have the option to visit their clear water beaches with white sugar sand that is relaxing for your toes!

Catch a game at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa and enjoy the waterfront views.

There's no greater feeling than spending game day weekends with your besties. Checking out Tampa's up-and-coming food and drink scene is the best way to cheer on a win!

Sparkman Wharf is the ultimate weekend spot to check out the waterfront views, get some retail therapy and even try countless amounts of foods.

They host game-day tailgates for people to enjoy the dining garden, as well as workout classes in the mornings.

Sparkman Wharf is a great day trip, and you can hop around Tampa to St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach for the rest of the weekend.

Zipline through the Canyons in Ocala, FL.

Florida isn't just clearwater beaches and fine dining, there's also a whole other side to the state that's not widely publicized, such as the canyons in Ocala.

This city is northeast of Tampa in central Florida and it's the perfect day trip because you can go up 155 feet in the trees and zip down at 55 mph zipline watching the breathtaking scenery.

You can travel over turquoise lakes through the air and see a view in Florida that will make you feel like you stepped off a plane on the West coast.

Scuba or snorkel in cave called Devil's Den, then head to Ginnie Springs.

Just north of Ocala is Devil's Den in Williston, FL. This is a popular tourist attraction and for good reason. It has crystal blue waters just down the steps into a cave, unlike anything you've ever seen before. You can snorkel or scuba dive here.

After you get your underwater fix, you can hop back in the car and drive towards Gainesville where Ginnie Springs is. Here, you can kayak the crystal blues.

Spend the day at a dreamy endless sandbar called Crab Island.

Crab Island is a bucket list destination for anyone trying to get as much "vitamin sea" as possible. It has endless clear water along the Emerald Coast and you'll need to get there by a water vessel.

The sandbar is around knee deep and everyone links their boat up and hangs out along the island.

There are also floating restaurants that come by for snacks and refreshments that will keep you hydrated in the sun. It's so popular, even Jamie Foxx made an appearance.

Check out the unique architecture at 30A and feel like you traveled to Europe.

There's a strip along the Emerald Coast of Florida called 30A that includes different beaches attached to themed bungalows and are the most adorable beach towns you could ever visit.

From Rosemary Beach to Alys Beach, you'll feel like you stepped foot into a different country... and you'll never want to leave.

Each little beachside community has fine dining shops, breathtaking architecture for a luxurious stay and a view of the emerald waters to watch the sunset and paint the sky pink.

Learn history at the state's Capitol and visit Florida State University.

The capitol building is located in Tallahassee, FL where the state's legislation occurs. You can visit the building, learn some rich history and then travel to Florida State University.

During college football, the town comes alive.

FSU is not only a staple university, but it reminds many of Hogwarts and people absolutely love a good IG photo here.

The college town is filled with affordable bars to grab a beer and watch the game with your friends.

Splash around Fernandina Beach in Amelia Island then head south to St. Augustine.

Amelia Island is an adorable and cozy small town that is centered around its gorgeous beaches and unique hotel stays.

After soaking in the gorgeous orange-pink hues that paint the sky in the evening, you can make your way south to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the state.

There, you can see Spanish forts and Spanish-style architecture all around the cobblestone streets.

Enjoy a relaxing beach getawat at Daytona Beach.

Sometimes, you want to strip yourself of the glitz and glam and constant to-do list nagging at your time, and you just want to prop a beach chair in the sand and relax by the water.

Daytona beach is the postcard getaway that will give you everything you're looking for, may it be a day trip or a weekend stay.

Head to Orlando's Icon Park.

I know you probably thought we'd recommend the theme parks, but a more unique option would be to check out ICON Park, which is very close. You can see the city from the Ferris wheel, go to the Sugar Factory and even see a wax museum.

You can also head close by to the ICEBAR where you can sit in a block of ice for a unique bar experience.

If that doesn't take up the full day, you can even drive north a short way away (about 20 minutes) to Lake Eola Park and check out an iconic sunset view drape behind the skyline.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Jenna Kelley
Florida Associate Editor
Jenna Kelley is an Associate Editor for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on trends and celebrities in Florida and is based in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Recommended For You