10 Best Weekend Getaways in Central Florida
Whether you are a resident, a student, or a visitor of Tampa or Orlando, sometimes it is essential to get away from the big city to get some fresh air, a new perspective, and reset with a change of scenery. We have compiled a list of 10 must-try weekend getaways for you to reference next time you are feeling stuck or are wishing that you could try something new.
Immerse yourself in nature without the roughness of Florida camping and enjoy the glamping opportunities of Ocala’s Enchanted Oaks. The air-conditioned tiny homes provide comfort, lakeside living, and bohemian vibes.
What better way to reconnect with nature than to surround oneself with animals? Take a guided horse tour around the area to see the best of Ocala’s farms and animals in the horse capital of the world.
As America’s oldest city, St. Augustine is perfect for the history nerds among us. With restaurants, shops, and historic sites like the fort and art museum, the town offers a variety of activities, without the stress and chaos of Florida’s larger cities. Plus, stick around for the evening to see the city light up at night.
Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to see the scientific and technological achievements of space travel. Visitors get to see real space shuttles and rockets. Plus, there are interactive simulators and live shows that give a sense of what it’s like going to space.
While visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex mentioned above, go enjoy the water, sun, and surf waves at Cocoa Beach. With outdoor dining and entertainment on the pier, this beach has the potential to fill a whole weekend. Plus, if you like to kayak, there are kayak tours nearby that take visitors through the maze of Mangrove Tunnels among manatees and dolphins.
This uncrowded destination offers a true escape from city life. With a gorgeous beach, fishing, and historic sites like the Fernandina Plaza, this peaceful island immerses visitors in nature and boasts a long list of fine dining options.
With over 15 miles of beaches, these islands offer snorkeling and scuba diving, bird watching, outdoor yoga, and watersports. Visit the nature and science centers, take a nature boat tour, see the shell museum, or eat at one of the islands’ acclaimed restaurants on a weekend away.
Weki Wachee Springs State Park
This Old Florida park is known for having the deepest freshwater cave system in the country. Alongside it is a roster of protected wildlife, the park hosts mermaid shows underwater with that wildlife, continuing a tradition that dates back to the 1940s.
“The world’s most famous beach” is home to miles of trails and parks, golf courses, waterfront restaurants, rides, beaches and piers, and of course, the Daytona 500. With so much to do in a town that is home to famous sports events like the NCA College Cheerleading Nationals, this beach allows visitors to get as active as they choose, or instead to take advantage of endless opportunities to just kick back and relax.
A quaint, quiet island on the Gulf Coast, Cedar Key is a top spot for seafood. Home to only 800 residents, the island is a relaxing, small, cozy spot for a tranquil weekend getaway. With no high-rises and a landscape of small cottages, the island truly achieves a feel that is unlike any city.