Don’t get us wrong, there is nowhere we’d rather live than the Tampa Bay area. That’s why these day trips are all within ~2 hours from where we call home, so you don’t have to go too far.
Step, swim, or kayak through this paradise where crystal clear waters offer unique wildlife opportunities. We recommend a see-through kayak tour to get the best view of manatees. Pro tip: The best time to see sea cows is from mid-November to late March.
Enjoy ~600 lakes, as well as springs, sand pine scrub forest, trails, fishing spots, as well as a host of Florida flora and fauna walking around this tree-laden paradise. Camping is also available.
There’s no shortage of amazing beaches right here in TBAY, but if you want to try a new spot on the sand, the beaches on Siesta Key might be your best bet. Siesta Beach was named the No. 2 beach in the entire country by Trip Advisor for its open space, white sand, and tranquil Gulf of Mexico access.
Do you like horses? Then this is the place for you. Marion County has more horses + ponies than any other county in the US with 1,200+ horse farms. We recommend the World Equestrian Center in Ocala to catch a show.
Take yourself back to old school Florida at this tiny island of ~900 permanent residents. Seafood, arts festivals, fishing, and wildlife spotting are some of the best things to do here. Check out our full guide to make the most of your trip.
Travel down to Southwest Florida for great seafood, independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a weekly, year-round farmer’s market on Saturdays. Fishermen’s Village is our recommendation for bites, buys + views.
Explore 130+ stores, galleries, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants on this quaint island. Minutes from Sarasota to the east and white sand beaches to the west, St. Armand’s is an oasis of indulgent choices.
Exploration with education
Edison and Ford’s Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Explore the winter homes of two visionaries + their blooming gardens with 400+ plant species from six different continents. Situated right on the Caloosahatchee River (we can’t pronounce it either), the 21-acre botanical gardens are joined by an abundance of wildlife, and are a sight to behold at night when the twinkle lights turn on. See for yourself.
Learn about the The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus just a short way away from TBAY. Stroll through the gardens, enjoy waterfront views of Sarasota Bay from John Ringling’s grandiose old winter home, and check out the circus-themed exhibits + galleries.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Merritt Island
To the Space Coast, and beyond. Get lost in the stars, learning about NASA’s history, current missions, and the potential future of space exploration. There’s so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend a full day here. Grab tickets.