We need a break from the daily grind, it's time to pack the car and gear up for an adventure in the Sunshine State. Whether you're looking for a cute and quick bite & a boozy frosty treat, something active and outdoors, or stunning art installments - this list of 12 spontaneous day trips near Tampa has you covered; and the best part, they're all less than 3 hours away.
Get your Spotify playlist ready!
The Florida Aquarium
Time From Tampa: ~7 minutes from the heart of the city.
Price: Changes depending on the day - tends to stay around the $30 mark; keep an eye on their website for daily ticket rates. Ordering your ticket online gets you the lowest price.
Address: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Hours: 9:30am-5pm, 7 days a week.
Why you need to go: If you're looking to keep your day trip local, admire the marine life that makes our oceans great; one of the more popular exhibits being the Shark Tanks. You'll even have a chance to pet the jellyfish if you're wanting a hands-on experience - don't worry, they're cold water jellies so they don't sting!
Time From Tampa: ~40 minutes
Price: $3 per taco; they do $2 tacos on Tuesdays - heads up: they only accept credit or debit, no cash.
Address: 235 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698
Tuesday-Thursday 12pm Noon-10pm
Friday & Saturday 12pm-1am
Why you need to go: A Chase ATM turned adorable Taqueria serves up tasty tacos in downtown Dunedin; they even have a Jackfruit Taco for all you vegans out there! Grab a bite from the tiniest taco stand and explore downtown Dunedin - they often have weekend markets and have arty stuff going on in the area.
Beans & Barlour
Time From Tampa: ~30 minutes
Address: 538 1st Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-10pm
Saturday 2pm-12am Midnight
Why you need to go: This coffee and dessert lounge serves up the most delicious boozy milkshake concoctions imaginable - Samoa or Lucky Charms milkshake anyone!? If you're not looking to drink, all of their boozy creations also come virgin. Super chill atmosphere.
Coolside Gelato Bar
Time From Tampa: ~40 Minutes
Address: 1124 11th St., Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 2pm-10pm
Saturday 12pm Noon-10:30pm
Sunday 12pm Noon-9pm
Why you need to go: Get delicious crepes, Gelato, and Italian Ice at this handcrafted Gelato Bar. If you're looking to try something amazing, get a Beerlato: a mix of one of their delicious gelato flavors and a craft beer - basically a Root Beer float, with gelato and without the 'root'.
Fort Drum Crystal Mines
Time From Tampa: ~2hours, 10minutes
Price: $60/person - take home everything you find.
Address: 28320 NE 55th Ave
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
Hours: 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.
Why you need to go: Hunt for gorgeous rocks, minerals, and sparkling crystals to add to your collection; you may just have the perfect spot for them in your nature-inspired space at home. Take home anything you find and that fits in your bucket. Expect this to be an all-day spontaneous trip with just a little bit of planning, including packing a change of clothes and checking for what else Fort Drum suggests to bring on their website.
TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park
Time From Tampa: ~40 minutes
Price: $59.95/adult for a 3-hour climb-time.
Address: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City, FL 33525
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9am-6pm
Why you need to go: Climb among the trees and zipline across the landscape for a fun and active day out; If you want to make it a spontaneous night trip, they do evening climbs with lights and music on Fridays & Saturdays after the sun goes down.
Time From Tampa: ~1 hour, 40 minutes
Price: Free to explore - just check in at the office first; cactus & succulent prices range greatly from teeny tiny potters to big ol' cacti bois between $1.75-$150.
Address: 2542 Peterson Rd Apopka, FL 32703
Hours: 7am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday; closed on weekends.
Why you need to go: A cactus and succulent farm for you to pick up and fill all of your adorable new potted plant needs. A broad range of color, style, and shape - there's so much to choose from you'll be seriously shook. You can get some surprisingly beautiful photos here too.
The Chihuly Exhibit
Time From Tampa: ~30 Minutes
Price: $19.95/adult - if you have a group of 10+ they do offer discounted group rates. Spontaneous girl's day?
Address: 720 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL. 33701
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 12pm Noon-5pm
Why you need to go: Stunning, unique, and breathtaking halls of glass art; See the colors, the lights, and the abstract beauty of these amazing pieces made by famous Glass Artist, Dale Chihuly.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Time From Tampa: ~1 hour, 10 minutes
Price: $20/adult; $10 for guests of members, free for members.
Address: 900 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
Hours: 10am-5pm, 7 days a week. Closed on Christmas Day.
Why you need to go: A stunning floral and botanical oasis stretched across 8 different greenhouses, outdoor gardens, and indoor exhibits. They're known to do limited-time exhibits that use flowers, plants, and other decors to create unique installments.
Myakka River State Park
Time From Tampa: ~1 hour, 6 minutes
Address: 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL. 34241
Hours: 8am-Sunset 365 days a year
Why you need to go: An affordable and beautiful place to enjoy nature views. Walk their treetop boardwalks and enjoy the lush & diverse Florida landscape, ascend the tower for a bird's eye view, or stay low and frolic the wildflower field.
Blue Spring State Park
Time From Tampa: ~2hrs, 15 minutes
Address: 2100 W French Avenue, Orange City, FL. 32763
Hours: 8am-Sunset, 365 days a year.
Why you need to go: Swim, snorkel, and tube in this stunning blue spring; You'll be surrounded by Florida's lush tropical landscape for some of the most beautiful backdrops for your Insta-shots. Manatees are known to flock these springs between November & March.
Rainbow Springs State Park
Time From Tampa: ~1 hour, 45minutes
Price: $2/person to swim in the headsprings; Tubing fees will vary.
Address: 19158 SW 81st Place Rd. Dunnellon FL 34432
Hours: 8am-Sunset, 365 days a year.
Why you need to go: This gorgeous state park houses stunning crystal clear springs and breathtaking river views that you have to see in person to fully appreciate. The 5.7-mile-long Rainbow River is the perfect place to enjoy Florida's beauty on your tube or in your kayak.
So what are you waiting for? Get your Spotify playlists ready, pack up the car, get out there and enjoy a spontaneous day out in the gorgeous Sunshine State.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, always respect the environment.