Are you ready to take a weekend trip to the Sunshine State?
Whether you’re looking for ocean views, theme parks, fabulous beaches, water sports, national parks, romantic getaways, or family-friendly adventures – you’ll want to add these weekend getaways in Florida to your road trips list!
BEST BEACHES THAT ARE QUICK GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA
Spring break… summer escape…
Couples… families… multiple family adventure…
If you’re looking for fun in the sun, with all the pleasures of a beach resort (without the crowds) then Spectrum Resorts is the answer – either The Beach Club Resort & Spa or Turquoise Place.
Their properties feature top-notch amenities, such as beachfront access, pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, and more. The restaurant is the best in the area (IMHO)and we love the extra perks like free ice cream for the kids, bike rentals, the spa, beach bonfire opportunities and so much more.
I am so thrilled that this is where we spent our multi-family spring break. We made memories that will last a lifetime – for us and for our kids!
If your weekend dreams involve swaying palm trees and turquoise waters, The Florida Keys are calling your name.
Dip into Key Largo for an unparalleled snorkeling experience. For those who prefer a kayak to a snorkel, Islamorada awaits with mangrove tunnels that make you feel a world away. Craving a romantic backdrop? The sunset at Marathon is a love affair with nature. And for the true escapist, Bahia Honda at Big Pine Key is where time slows, and you can dance to nature’s own rhythm.
Two days in the Keys, and you’ll wonder why you ever spend weekends anywhere else.
If you’re looking for beautiful sandy beaches, luxury resorts, and golf courses, Amelia Island is for you!
Part of the Sea Islands along the Atlantic coast, Amelia Island is popular among both couples and families. You’ll find awesome restaurants, shops, a boardwalk, and sports and recreation facilities here.
Stay here: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
You’ll find award-winning beaches, awesome museums, and plenty of outdoor fun in St. Pete. A sparkling gem on Florida's west coast it has it all: beautiful beaches, vibrant arts, family fun, and a superb food and drink scene.
Stay here: Hollander Hotel - Downtown
Just off the coast of Fort Myers Beach you’ll find the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.
Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island is popular, not only for sailing and swimming, but also shell collecting! And if shells are what you’re after, you can also head to Blind Pass Beach. The current here is too strong for swimming, but it definitely brings in the shells. PS. Pets are welcome on the beach here.
Stay here: Seaside Inn
Located in northwest Florida, Destin is known for its beautiful beaches along the Gulf of Mexico! This beach town is also home to golf courses, amazing restaurants, and Henderson Beach State Park.
Stay here: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
This beautiful and pristine beach is located between Pensacola and Panama City Beach, and is home to Grayton Beach State Park. This state park is where you’ll find a coastal dune lake – perfect for a kayaking excursion!
This beautiful beach’s unofficial slogan is “Nice Dogs, Strange People” and I’m pretty sure that means you’ll love it.
Stay here: The Pearl Hotel
Located on 13 islands in the Florida Keys, Marathon is home to some of the most beautiful beaches!
Sombrero Beach is the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for white-sand beaches, palm trees, and beautiful turquoise waters, this is the one for you! If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, the amazing Coco Plum Beach is a perfect choice.
Stay here: Isla Bella Beach Resort (Our Review)
Read More: 21+ SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN MARATHON FL
A visit to South Beach, also known as Miami Beach, will introduce you to the white sandy beaches and clear blue water that made this beach famous.
South Beach is postcard perfect! (No, really. It’s what you see on Miami postcards.) You’ll find everything here – swimming, water sports, volleyball, galleries, boutiques, stores, and amazing restaurants.
Stay here: Eden Roc
Thinking about a multi-generational getaway? We love these ideas!
ROMANTIC GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA
A visit to Marco Island will have you believing you’re in the tropics! Located not far from Naples and Fort Myers, Marco Island is the only developed land in the Ten Thousand Islands.
Here you will find white sandy beaches, amazing resorts, and outdoor activities like canoeing and kayaking.
Stay here: Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa
WEST PALM BEACH
In Palm Beach you will find amazing resorts, shopping along the famous palm tree-lined Worth Avenue, beautiful architecture, and award-winning restaurants.
Stay here: Palm Beach Historic Inn
Halfway between Miami and Key West, you will find the beautiful Islamorada, also in the Florida Keys. Just knowing where it's located, I probably don’t need to tell you how amazing and crystal clear the water is here, but it is!
You’ll find resorts, art galleries, shopping, and restaurants here too.
Stay here: Islander Resort
Located on the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers, Naples is known for its high-end resorts, beaches, shopping, art galleries, and world-class dining. It also has amazing beaches and plenty of outdoor activities for nature lovers.
Stay here: Naples Grande Beach Resort
Looking for more Florida Family Vacations? Follow the link!
In between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, you’ll find Ponte Vedra Beach! This is the perfect romantic getaway for couples who enjoy golf – because Ponte Vedra is known for its amazing golf courses.
FL WEEKEND GETAWAYS WHERE WATER SPORTS ARE KING
There is parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, surfing, boating, fishing, and paddle boarding here. And if you’ve ever wanted to ride on a big banana through the ocean (who hasn’t?), Daytona has a banana boat for you!
Stay here: Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
PANAMA CITY BEACH
Here you can find diving, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing. You can swim with dolphins, or collect shells on Shell Island. You can take an airboat ride into the Gulf Coast, rent a jet ski, go parasailing, or paddle boarding. You can do it all!
You know the town of Key West is amazing, and now you’re ready to discover what’s out on (or in!) the water.
Out on the water, you’ll find snorkeling and diving adventures of every type. You can visit dolphins, and explore coral reefs, or you can rent an underwater scooter! All of that is in addition to catamaran tours, eco tours, sailing, jet skis, parasailing, kayak adventures, and paddle boarding tours.
In Sarasota you’ll find fishing charters and kayak tours reign supreme. There are so many different kayak tour options here, including a mangrove tunnel tour, and a happy hour kayak tour.
Dolphins and manatees are often spotted out on the water, too!
Stay here: Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota
Yacht rentals and surf lessons abound in Ft. Lauderdale, but there are also some crazy water experiences here too! Ever wanted to fly above the water on a Flyboard? They’ve got them! Banana boat? Check! How about renting a Seabob - an underwater jet ski? They have that too!
All of that in addition to parasailing, boat rentals, jet skis, and paddle boards means you won’t be bored here.
Stay here: The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA THAT ARE GREAT FOR FAMILIES
WESTGATE RIVER RANCH
You can unplug and reconnect with your family at the Westgate River Ranch located in central Florida.
On this 1,700-acre ranch, you can camp in your tent or RV. Other accommodations include their lodge, cottages, cabins, a rail car with bunk beds, luxury teepees, or glamping tents!
There’s a community campfire every night, perfect for bonding with your brood and making new friends. And you’ll find rodeos and dinner hayrides offered on weekends.
Stay here: Westgate River Ranch
Beaches, outdoor activities, indoor activities, and family-friendly restaurants make Jacksonville a great weekend getaway for families.
In Jacksonville, you’ll find water activities for the family, such as surfing lessons and camps for kids, airboat tours, fishing excursions, and kayak and paddle board rentals. Take a break from the heat at the Museum of Science and History, which has live animal shows and interactive exhibits.
For smaller children, the Hands On Children’s Museum is perfect for children under 8. Visit TopGolf, the Edge Rock Gym for rock climbing, or the Jacksonville Zoo!
Stay here: Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel
I went to St. Augustine as a kid and I still remember being amazed by the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum! You’ll also find plenty of mini-golf, an old-fashioned carousel at Davenport Park, trolley tours, escape rooms, and so many museums in this historic town.
Of course, a trip to St. Augustine is not complete without a visit to the Fountain of Youth! And if pirates are your thing, you’ll find plenty pirate-related activities here.
Stay here: Embassy Suites
The Museum of Science and Industry, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island water park, the Lowry Park Zoo, and the Florida Aquarium. Pretty sure you could fill up a weekend with family pretty quickly in Tampa!
And did I mention all the beautiful and amazing beaches? Because they’re there too! If you’re looking for an action-packed family weekend, Tampa is the perfect choice. (And you can make it to nearby Clearwater Beach, too!)
Stay here: Epicurean Hotel
FLORIDA TRIPS: PERFECT PARKS FOR A GETAWAY TO REMEMBER
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
There’s not another national park like Everglades National Park! Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million-acre park that is so huge it has three different entrances in three different cities. Open year-round, the park’s most popular season is the dry season, which is from November-March. The dry season sees an increase in a variety of birds and their predators.
The Everglades provide the perfect habitat for rare species such as manatees, the American crocodile, and the Florida panther. There are many tours offered, and a number of ways to explore this amazing park. You can explore the massive park by bike, boat, kayak, canoe, or hiking.
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK
Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-visit park in the Florida Keys.
Located 70 miles west of Key West, you can only get here by boat or seaplane. Once there, snorkeling in the crystal clear, blue waters, exploring the coral reefs is the activity you absolutely have to do!
This remote park is known for being home to Fort Jefferson. Day trips are offered, or if you’re lucky, you can reserve a camping spot and make a true weekend out of this one-of-a-kind adventure.
BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
Biscayne National Park is located near Miami, but you’d never know it! It is calm compared to Miami’s many offerings, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do.
Biscayne is home to beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Boating, snorkeling, camping, and observing wildlife are top priorities here, but the best thing to do here is to relax and enjoy the beauty.
Stay here: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
BLUE SPRING STATE PARK
Along the St. Johns River in DeLand, you’ll find Blue Spring State Park, one of the most unique state parks in Florida. This park has water that manatees love! After years of conservation and protection efforts, a record-breaking 485 manatees wintered here in 2018.
Visitors to this amazing state park can enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or a guided river boat cruise. Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, and tubing are also popular activities. And although you’re not allowed to swim with the manatees, observing them here is beyond special.
This state park also offers cabin rentals, and camping.
Stay here: Artisan Downtown
UNIQUE WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA
Are you ready to swim with the manatees? Crystal River is the only place in the United States where you can legally swim with these gentle giants, making it one of the coolest vacation spots in Florida.
Scuba diving, paddling, boating, bicycling, and hiking are also offered here.
Stay here: Plantation on Crystal River
After treasure hunting on the beach, there is still so much to do in Martin County. Cute downtown areas, water activities, and thousands of acres of parks and conservation land make this a wonderful weekend getaway.
Stay here: Old Colorado Inn (Click to read our review)
DeLand has it all. It’s home to Florida’s oldest college (Stetson University), Stetson Mansion is an architectural masterpiece that you have to see to believe, and DeLeon Springs State Park is ready to blow your adventurous mind.
The spring at DeLeon Springs produces 19 million gallons of water a day, and it’s always 72 degrees! Swimming here is a completely unique experience.
Stay here: Courtyard DeLand Historic Downtown
CAMPING ON THE GULF
Are you ready to park your RV on the beach?! You can’t get closer than the RV spots at Camping on the Gulf in Destin. A spot here means you are literally steps away from the emerald waters, making one of the best weekend getaways for campers.
And for those who don’t own an RV, Camping on the Gulf also offers cabin rentals and a beach house.
Stay here: RV Rental from Atlanta
About 70 miles west of Gainesville, you’ll find the small town of Steinhatchee, Florida. If you like scallops, it’s the place to be.
People visit this fishing village from July through September to snorkel for scallops in the shallows of the Gulf. And trout and redfish are popular catches in the Steinhatchee River.
Stay here: Steinhatchee River Inn
TOP WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA: AMUSEMENT PARK ADVENTURES
WALT DISNEY WORLD
So there’s this amusement park in Florida – Walt Disney World. Have you heard of it? I’m assuming you have because IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL.
Located in central Florida, this massive property includes four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios), two water parks, resort hotels, golf courses, amazing restaurants, a camping resort, an outdoor shopping center (Disney Springs), and a partridge and a pear tree.
It has an annual attendance of 52 MILLION PEOPLE, so it’s doing alright I guess. It’s the best theme park in the whole world, and a visit here makes it easy to see why. Hi, Mickey! See ya real soon!
Stay here: Swan and Dolphin Resort (read our review)
Read More: YOUR WALT DISNEY WORLD THEME PARK VACATION
I solemnly swear I am up to no good. (I’m about to tell you a bit about Universal Orlando and it’s going to make you want to go.)
Universal Orlando features two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure), a water park (Volcano Bay), an entertainment complex, and resorts. And most importantly (to me), it’s home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Come on Potterheads, let’s go!
Stay Here: Universal's Aventura Hotel
LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT
Legoland Florida Resort is a theme park and water park located 45 minutes from Orlando, and is perfect for the LEGO lovers in your house.
With LEGO-themed rides and activities at the park, and swimming and water slides at the water park, there is something for everyone in your group. Stay at the Legoland Hotel or Beach Retreat to fully immerse yourself in all things LEGO!
Stay here: Which Legoland Hotel is Right for Me?
Busch Gardens in Tampa features amazing rides, safaris, and animal encounters.
You’ll find roller coasters, and family-friendly rides, live entertainment and shows, and animal experiences, encounters, and tours.
Stay here: The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk
WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN FLORIDA (printable)
Download this 1-page checklist of Weekend Getaways in Florida to print at home or your local print shop. Perfect to keep in a binder, bring on your adventure or just put on the refrigerator!
(PS. You can find out more in our article, 33 Sensational Weekend Getaways in Florida.)
Format: PDF, US Letter Size, Portrait (8.5”x11”)
You will receive one PDF file. File will be emailed and available for download up to three times upon payment. No physical item will be shipped.
FLORIDA VACATIONS FAQ
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GO FOR THE WEEKEND?
One place? Palm Beach is America's First Resort Destination, so it ranks high on our list. Yes, it's known for billionaire mansions and luxury escapes...but there are also budget options for couples and families. 47 miles of beaches don't care what your wallet looks like.
WHERE IS THE CHEAPEST BEACH VACATION IN FLORIDA?
WHAT PART OF FLORIDA IS THE CHEAPEST TO VISIT?
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- CAPE SAN BLAS: Cape San Blas Florida: A Vacation Guide to Florida’s Forgotten Coast
- CRAB ISLAND: 20+ Crab Island Destin Florida Essentials: Boat Rentals, Cruises, Discount Tours & More
- SMALL TOWNS: Shhhh! 29 Best Small Towns In Florida That The Locals Want To Keep Secret
- GLAMPING: Glamping Florida: 13+ Spots for Those Who Prefer a Little Luxury
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