The kids may be back in school, but it’s still blazing hot and feels like summer. And summer means vacation! If it’s too hard to swing a whole week away with everyone’s schedules, stay close to home instead. Check out these quick trips in Florida for a little weekend fun.
Lots of beach fun options around Tampa
In the mood for a secluded island vibe? We have you covered! Head to Palm Island Resort on Cape Haze for long walks on the private 2-mile beach and lazy afternoons in the Old Florida style residences. Visitors to Gasparilla Island State Park off Boca Grande can soak in the rays while hiking, hanging out on the beach or scuba diving. (Don’t forget to check out the cool lighthouse—one of the few remaining original real range light structures in the state!) Sanibel and Captiva Islands are a perennial family draw with 15 miles of beaches, snorkeling, fishing, live music, and theatre. Of course, we can’t talk about beaches without mentioning our very own Clearwater, a world-class destination not only for its sands and pristine nearby barrier islands but also for the joys of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the funky pier vibe and the nightlife by the sea.
Maybe you’re all “beached out” and looking for a more urban scene. Head over to St. Petersburg and pack in a fabulous weekend of art, theatre and culture. If you’ve never visited the Salvador Dali Museum, it’s a fantastic experience for any age. While kids tackle their scavenger hunt and listen to their audio tours check out the garden maze, adults can learn the fascinating details behind one of the world’s most incredible art collections. For history, check out Fort De Soto Park and catch a sunset over the Gulf, and top it all off with one of American Stage Theatre Company's critically acclaimed performances.
Lakeland offers family fun close to home
Lakeland is another destination with something for everyone: the whole family will enjoy Safari Wilderness, Explorations V Children's Museum, and The Polk Theatre. Even easier, plan a staycation right here in Tampa! Museum buffs can take their pick between the Tampa Bay History Center, Henry B Plant Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, and, for the little ones, Glazer Children's Museum. Crave more adrenaline? Head to Busch Gardens to ride the roller coasters or feed a giraffe at Lowry Park Zoo.
There’s no discussing vacations in Florida without mentioning Orlando! If you have Disney or Universal passes, your weekend is in the bag. But there’s so much more to do in Orlando—explore the thriving historic downtown, spend a cerebral afternoon at the Orlando Science Center, take in a sweeping view from the Orlando Eye or snap selfies with celebs at Madame Tussauds.
Kid-Free trips offer a chance to recharge
No kids this weekend? No problem! Book a child-free holiday at Little Palm Island Resort on Little Torch Key and recharge with your significant other. You’ll forget all about car pools and soccer practice when you’re enjoying gourmet meals, being pampered in the private spa or lounging in your private bungalow. For a wilder time, hop down to Miami and bask in the rhythms and cuisine of Little Havana. Later, practice your salsa moves at the Ball & Chain club, and after a leisurely brunch bask in the sheer gorgeousness of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens before hopping on I-75 to come back home.
En famille or just the two of you; urban rhythms or beachy blues—we’ve got it all right here in the Sunshine State! Visit our Travel page for more ideas and check out Quick Trips Out of Florida for Weekend Fun.