Sunday, June 23, 2024

Awesome 21 Fun Florida Day Trips from Tampa

The Obvious Day Trips From Tampa

Tampa has plenty of things to do. Of course, we must include some obvious day trips for those who may be new to Tampa Bay or are just visiting. Here are the most popular day trips from Tampa Florida.

Clearwater Beach 

Just a few minutes away, but a day trip from Tampa at Clearwater Beach is always fun for a day. You will visit one of the top beaches in the country, a big marina with watersports, and some of the best hotels in the state.

St. Pete Beach

Not to be confused with St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach is much like Clearwater Beach. Several great resorts and fun beach bars highlight this long white sandy beach.

The In-Town Tampa Day Trip

Florida Travel Blog is somewhat certain you know the astounding benefits of living in Tampa. However, you have an opportunity to take a day trip along Water Street in downtown Tampa. In the space of less than a mile, you have The Florida Aquarium, the History Museum, and Riverwalk with restaurants all around you. Of course, Ybor City is a few blocks away! You could make a weekend getaway in Tampa with just these attractions. But we will settle for a day trip IN Tampa.

Our Florida Day Trips from Tampa

Get ready for some adventure on a Florida day trip from Tampa to any of these locations.

Cedar Key is small, but makes a great day trip from Tampa.
Cedar Key 

with the new extension of Veteran’s Expressway (State Road 589) to Lecanto/Crystal River, Cedar Key is reachable in two hours. Historically significant, Cedar Key was once a bustling seaport. Sample some aqua-cultured clams & oysters… Read the story.

 Bok Tower day trip from Tampa
Bok Tower is one of the most popular attractions in Florida Perfect day trip from Tampa
Bok Tower

This 100-foot tower is built on one of the highest points in Florida. The surrounding botanical garden and Pinewood estate are beautifully manicured. Just 90 minutes away from Tampa off Rt. 60. Read the story.

Punta Gorda 

If you like watersports, shopping, and waterfront dining, you will love this quaint city about 90 minutes south of Tampa just off I-75. Read the story.

Mount Dora 

One of our favorite Florida day trips from Tampa. Plenty of quirky shops and restaurants. Exceptional food at Pisces Rising. Just under two hours east of Tampa off Rt.I75 north. Read the story.

Anna Maria Island

Just 45 minutes south of Tampa off I75 take rt. 64 to a quaint island. Colorful shops dot the streets along with an uncluttered beach. Read the story.

Crystal River

Not just the Manatee capital of the world, but scallops, springs and more. Plenty of things to see and do in and around Crystal River. About 90 minutes north off the new Rt. 589 extension. One of our favorite day trips from Tampa. Read the story.

Day trip from Tampa The Villages
The Villages is an amazing place that is welcoming to all visitors. Tons of things to do.
The Villages 

Just under 2 hours north on I75 is the fastest-growing and friendliest community in the state. See why thousands of golf carts and immaculate streets bring a couple hundred new residents each month. It is another one of our favorite day trips from Tampa because of the great shops, friendly people, restaurants and entertainment. Read the story.

Rainbow Springs is a nature lover's place for a Day trip from tampa
What a magnificent place for a day trip from Tampa Florida. Rainbow Springs offers tubing, kayaking, swimming and more.
Rainbow Springs

Under two hours north on Tampa is one of Florida’s most beautiful state parks. The clear cool water of Rainbow Springs forms the Rainbow River. Kayakers, tubers, swimmers, fishermen and bird watchers descend on the park grounds daily. Great place for a family picnic. Read the story.

cayo costa getaway as day trip from Tampa
Here is a remote island and beach called Cayo Costa. Makes a long day trip and getaway from Tampa Florida.
Cayo Costa

Yes, it is another Florida State Park. But this is unlike any other park you have been to. Half the fun is getting there. You have to catch a ferry from another island (accessible by car) to go to this remote island. Don’t expect the beaches there to be like Clearwater Beach – the white sand is there, but the crowds, shops, and commercial activity are missing on this remote barrier island. Read the story.

Arcadia, Florida

Do you like old things? I mean real old things like antiques. Arcadia is known as the antique capital of Florida. We believe it. This small town located 30 miles east of Bradenton has streets lined with antique dealers. Every kind of antique you can imagine from farming to World War II. You could easily spend a half day roaming the shops. Read the story.

Weeki Wachee 
Florida day trips from Tampa Myakka State Park
Myakka State Park is the place to find these kinds of photo opportunities.

Perhaps, one of the oldest and most famous of the attractions around central Florida, Weeki Wachee offers fun for the whole family. No matter how old or how young, the mermaids will give you a performance you will never forget. Travel time is under an hour for this great show.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Center

Just 90 minutes away from Tampa is one of the most interactive ways to learn about the diverse wildlife in Florida.  Take a brief ride on a pontoon to the actual habitat of birds, reptiles, and mammals that inhabit Florida. Just a mile or two from the famed Monkey Island in Florida.

Myakka River State Park

What if you could find a place that had a navigable river, unspoiled wetlands, prairies of grass, hundreds of acres of forests, a huge lake, and long boardwalks scattered throughout? Well, that kind of place exits just 90 minutes from Tampa just south of Sarasota. The park is amazing and here are pictures to prove it!

Closer to Home Day Trips From Tampa Florida

Florida Day trips from Tampa to St. Petersburg Fl
The new pier in St. Petersburg Florida is not only fun but a sight to see protruding out into the bay.
St. Petersburg 

This city just across the bay from Tampa, Florida sometimes gets overlooked when people are looking for day trips from Tampa. The waterfront district is a cool place for dinner with some fabulous restaurants. The new pier in St. Petersburg is an attraction all by itself. A stroll out to the Pier is an adventure. Don’t miss the short jaunt across the bay to this enchanting area. Maybe catch a ballgame too!

Tarpon Springs

This Gulf Coast town has more character than many big cities along Florida’s waterfront. Its Greek heritage is manifested in the shops, sponges docks and food. A walk down Decandonese Blvd. along the river showcases the best of Tarpon Springs culture. This is an easy 45-minute drive from Tampa. See Florida Travel Blog’s idea about traveling to Tarpon Springs.

florida day trips to Gulfport florida welcome bird
We think this picture of the Gulfport Florida Welcome Center says a lot about the character of the city!

Did you ever drive into a small town in Florida and immediately know you were someplace special? That describes the feeling about Gulfport. The homes and businesses are colorful and of all descriptions. At the end of the street is an old Florida dance hall and Casino that is now used for big meetings and events on the waterfront. Docks, fishing boats, sailing boats and a waterfront park make Gulfport a neat place to live and visit. Distance is about 45 minutes across Tampa Bay.

Dade City

You won’t see this little town on many lists. Don’t let that slight by others fool you. Dade City was incorporated in 1884 and remains one of the oldest towns in the area. Besides a tour of downtown, the must-see attraction in Dade City is the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village. If the history of Florida is one of your interests, Dade City is a great place to relive it. Just 40 minutes from Tampa off I-75.

Caladesi Island

Take a day trip from Tampa adventure! Head across the bay to Dunedin, Florida just a mile or two north of Clearwater Beach. Take the Dunedin Causeway (bridge) over to Honeymoon Island. At the entrance to the park at Honeymoon is a ferry to Caladesi Island. Great way to take a little 20-minute boat trip to one of the best beaches in Florida.

Map of Florida Day Trips from Tampa

If you look at the map below, you will see that getting around central Florida from Tampa is very easy. The expressways make it simple to get east and west and north or south.

Pick your Florida day trip from Tampa. Let us know your favorite. Maybe we can add it to our list of 21 day trips from Tampa.

Originally published at

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