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Awesome 21 Fun Florida Day Trips from Tampa Florida in 2024

Day Trips from Tampa

Taking fun Florida day trips from Tampa is easy. The expressway system is perfect for getting around the state quickly. In under two hours, you can visit some of Florida’s most coveted and fun places.

day trips in Florida from Tampa
Day trips from Tampa are easy with the road system we have.

I-75 takes you north or south to some great places around Florida, while I-4 takes you west where Disney and other theme parks are just 90 minutes away. Just off those interstates are some very interesting Florida day trips from Tampa.

Tampa is one of the most entertaining cities in the state. Nestled in the middle of Florida with lots of waterfront activities, Tampa has many activities available. But we know that wandering spirit in many people just want to roam a little.

Florida is a phenomenal state with many different landscapes, cultures and historical events that lead to great things to see and do. Florida Travel Blog has put together 21 of our best ideas for day trips from Tampa.

Pack a lunch, fill the car up with gas and let’s get started.

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. Attractions in Clearwater Beach.

day trip from tampa florida rainbow river picture
What a magnificent place for a day trip from Tampa Florida. Rainbow Springs offers tubing, kayaking, swimming and more.
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. Attractions in St. Pete 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 a must-visit Tampa 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. These attractions would make a great day trip IN Tampa!

Our Florida Day Trips from Tampa

Get ready for some adventure on the best Florida day trips from Tampa to these locations.

day trips from Tampa - cedar key
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. 

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Historically significant, Cedar Key was once a bustling seaport. Sample some aqua-cultured clams & oysters… Read the story. Attractions in Cedar Key.

 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. We love Punta Gorda and have made this day trip from Tampa several times. Read the story. Punta Gorda attractions.

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 Route I-75 north. Read the story. Attractions in Mount Dora.

Anna Maria Island

Just 45 minutes south of Tampa off I-75 take Route 64 straight to a quaint island. Colorful shops dot the streets along with an uncluttered beach. If you are a foodie, you can check out the many restaurants on the island. Read the story. Attractions in Anna Maria Island.

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 Bay. Read the story. Attractions in Crystal River.

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 I-75 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 Bay because of the great shops, friendly people, restaurants and entertainment. Read the story. Attractions in the Villages.

Rainbow Springs

Under two hours north of 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. Attractions in Arcadia.

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. Attractions in Homosassa Springs.

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!

Sarasota 

For such a small city on the west coast of Florida, they have a lot going for tourism. The Ringling Museum, St. Armand Circle, Siesta Key are just a few of the attractions. The cool part is that Sarasota is less than 90 minutes away south on I-75. You could combine Sarasota with Anna Maria Island or Myakka State Park to make a full day or weekend trip. One of the most popular tourist destinations makes a great day trip from Tampa. Best attractions in Sarasota.

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! Attractions in St. Petersburg.

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. Attractions in 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!
Gulfport 

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. Gulfport attractions.

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. Attractions in Dade City.

Beaches Packing Checklist
Caladesi Island
day trip from Tampa Florida to Caladesi Island
Taking the ferry over to Caladesi Island makes a fun day trip from Tampa Florida. Catch it at Honeymoon Island near Dunedin.

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.

John’s Pass – Madeira Beach

One of the most beloved attractions in Pinellas County Florida. Located between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach, this shopping and dining mecca is fun and a great place to shop for all those beach needs. Over 100 quaint shops and restaurants line the waterfront in one of the major passes from the Gulf of Mexico to the intra-coastal.

How To Plan a Day Trip in Florida

Planning a day trip to Florida can be a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you plan your perfect day trip:

  1. Choose a location. Florida is a big state with a lot to offer, so you’ll need to narrow down your options to a specific area. Consider what you want to do with your day and choose a location that has the activities and attractions that interest you.
  2. Do your research. Once you’ve chosen a location, take some time to research the area and find out what there is to do. There are a lot of great resources available online and in travel guides.
  3. Create a schedule. Once you know what you want to do, create a schedule for your day. This will help you make the most of your time and ensure that you don’t miss anything important.
  4. Pack accordingly. Be sure to pack everything you need for your day trip, including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, snacks, and drinks. If you’re planning on swimming, you’ll also need a swimsuit and towel.
  5. Leave early. Traffic can be heavy in Florida, so it’s best to leave early in the morning to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
  6. Be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so be flexible and willing to change your schedule if necessary.
  7. Have fun! Relax and enjoy your day trip to Florida.
Here are some additional tips for planning a day trip to Florida:
day trips from tampa beach warning signs
Almost all major beaches in Florida have warning signs about beach conditions. Learn these signs for an enjoyable beach day trip from Tampa Florida.
  • Consider the time of year. Florida is a great place to visit year-round, but the weather can vary depending on the season. If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to pack for hot and humid weather. If you’re visiting in the winter, you’ll still need sunscreen and sunglasses (preferably Polarized), but the temperatures will be milder.
  • Think about your budget. Florida can be an expensive place to visit, so be sure to factor in your budget when planning your trip. There are a lot of free or inexpensive activities available, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time.
  • Be prepared for crowds. Florida is a popular tourist destination, so be prepared for crowds, especially at popular attractions. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, consider visiting during the off-season or on weekdays.
  • Don’t try to do too much. It’s tempting to try to cram as much as possible into your day trip, but you’ll likely end up feeling rushed and stressed. Instead, pick a few activities that you really want to do and focus on those.
  • Leave time for breaks. Be sure to take some time for breaks throughout your day trip. This will give you a chance to relax and recharge so that you can enjoy the rest of your day.

We hope these tips help you plan your perfect day trip from Tampa in Florida!

Map of Florida Day Trips from Tampa Florida

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.

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