I will discuss the Best Weekend Getaways in Florida in this post. If you’re looking for a beautiful and easily accessible weekend trip, go beyond the Sunshine State. Palm Beach, Tampa, and Amelia Island provide beach vacations, sophisticated shopping, and a laid-back Florida lifestyle. Get inspired for your next trip to the Sunshine State by reading about some of Florida’s top weekend destinations.
The first Best Weekend Getaways in Florida is Tampa. Stay in Tampa, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico’s best white-sand beaches for the weekend. A former street car warehouse turned trendy indoor/outdoor hangout on the banks of the Hillsborough River. In late 2022, The Tampa Edition debuted as the city’s first actual five-star hotel in the city’s renovated Water Street Tampa neighborhood. Take a break from exploring the urban parks, museums, and eateries along Tampa’s Riverwalk to go to Armature Works.
The following Best Weekend Getaways in Florida is St. Petersburg. Downtown St. Pete is a fun place to spend the weekend, thanks to its historic cotton candy-pink hotels like The Vinoy and The Don CeSar and its urban corridor, decorated with hundreds of murals by famous street artists. The Dali Museum has the most extensive collection of Salvador Dali’s artwork outside of Spain. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and breweries to use on nearby Central Avenue and Bayshore Drive.
The next Best Weekend Getaways in Florida is Miami. One of the top weekend getaways in the United States, Miami is a melting pot of cultures and home to some of the world’s best art, fashion, and gastronomy. Choose from posh hotels like Faena and The Setai on Miami Beach or hip places like EAST Miami and Kimpton EPIC Hotel. Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, two of Florida’s most impressive national parks, bring you into nature while surprisingly accessible to major cities.
Fort Lauderdale is a great weekend trip since there is much to do beyond the dunes, including sailing, eating, bicycling, walking, and rollerblading along the beach promenade. Get out of the automobile for the weekend and stroll around Las Olas Boulevard and the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale before ending up at the beach.
Vero Beach, located on the east coast of Florida, about halfway between Miami and Orlando, is a high-end resort town with a tight pedestrian core with a weekly farmers market, beachy shops, and beachfront restaurants only steps from the shore. From the luxurious Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa and the hip Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa to the offbeat Driftwood Resort, visitors may find the perfect hotel to suit their needs.
Amelia Island, Florida, is just south of the Georgia line, and it is known for its endless marshlands, golden beaches, and shrimp and grits. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is on a beautiful beach. Rent a bike and cruise through downtown Fernandina’s quaint eateries and boutiques to see Fort Clinch State Park’s historic attractions and unspoiled beaches.
Ocala, located north of Orlando, is Florida’s agricultural and ranching heart known as “horse country.” The Equestrian Hotel is the best option since it has a luxurious spa, horse arenas often used for competitions, and a beautiful indoor pool. Rainbow Springs State Park is close by, and its spring-fed waters are perfect for swimming, or you can take a canoe out on the river and look for wading birds, turtles, and maybe even alligators.
Naples is a great weekend getaway because it combines the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico with high-end shopping and delicious cuisine. For a relaxing vacation on the gulf, you can’t do better than a stay at the Edgewater Beach Hotel or LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. Everglades National Park is not far from Naples, and day visits there may be had by taking a boat tour from the city of Everglades.
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is about an hour south of Tampa. There are pastel-colored houses, beautiful, powdery beaches, and tourist attractions like corporate restaurants and resorts. Explore the island on a rented golf cart or Surrey bike, and don’t miss the locals’ nightly ritual of gathering at SandBar, a restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Sarasota, Florida, is a great vacation destination because it combines big-city amenities with small-town charm and world-class art. The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art sits on 66 acres in the city’s heart and houses an exceptional European collection. Visit the trendy bars and restaurants of St. Almond Circle before heading to Longboat Key’s surrounding beaches, home to accommodations like Zota Beach Resort and the resort-style Longboat Key Club.
Do you prefer to sneak into the theme parks of Disney World and Universal Orlando or wander the lush downtown and adjacent Winter Park? Orlando’s culinary industry thrives in and out of the parks, with restaurants such as Kappa and Omakase standout Zoseki earning Michelin stars. Kayak trips to places like Wekiwa Springs State Park offer a visit to the state’s first beer spa as an alternative approach to good health after cooling off in the freshwater springs.
The Space Coast
Less than an hour east of Orlando along Florida’s Space Coast, the closest beaches to Orlando are the frequent rocket launches from Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Visit Melbourne Beach, Florida, or Cocoa Beach, the childhood home of surfing great Kelly Slater, and sign up for a surfing class. Guided nighttime excursions during the summer around Canaveral National Seashore and within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge allow visitors to watch sea turtles lay their eggs.
In the Upper Florida Keys, Islamorada is a tropical haven about 90 minutes south of Miami, replete with coral reefs for snorkeling and offshore game fishing. Stay in individual vacation villas with all the comforts of home at Hawks Cay Resort in nearby Marathon, from where you may depart directly for excursions from the property’s docks.
Visit the historic town of Sebring, located approximately two hours south of Orlando in Central Florida. Explore Highlands Hammock State Park’s breathtaking old-growth nature paths, take an exciting airboat ride down Arbuckle Creek, or sip some Florida wine while watching alligators slither across a pond at Secret Gardens Winery.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach
Destin and Fort Walton Beach are popular destinations for weekend getaways due to their proximity to the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and soft, powdery beaches. Explore the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail for thrilling snorkeling amid sunken ships on the 8.1-mile Blackwater Heritage State Trail.
Panama City Beach
Although Panama City Beach is often associated with spring break, it is a pleasant vacation spot throughout the year. St. Andrews State Park boasts stunning beaches, perfect for birdwatching, biking, or boarding boats to Shell Island.
Plan a weekend escape to the charming Gulf Coast enclave of Cedar Key for a taste of Old Florida and some of the most excellent seafood in the state. Commercial fishing is still a way of life on this group of islands in the Gulf of Mexico, and resort clothing consists of little more than flip-flops. Cedar Key oysters, mullet dip, and clam soup are local seafood favorites. There are a few quaint bed & breakfasts, motels, and vacation apartments set on stilts right on the water’s edge.
The Palm Beaches
Explore lively West Palm Beach, unwind in Delray Beach’s surf community, or indulge in luxury at The Breakers or Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. The Norton Museum of Art, the Morikami Museum, and the Japanese Gardens are just a few attractions that draw cultural seekers to this part of Florida. In 2023, a new 5-star resort called Amrit Ocean Resort will come up along the shore.
Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach are just a few of Jacksonville’s magnificent beaches, while the city’s downtown districts of San Marco, Avondale, and Riverside are bustling with activity. Visit the Mayport seafood market in Florida for some shrimp straight off the boats.
St. Augustine, Florida, is a great place to surf on miles of golden sand and learn about Florida history simultaneously. The historic town is small enough to walk around, and the Castillo de San Marcos dates back to the 17th century. St. Augustine provides a splendid coastal retreat featuring the historic Casa Monica Resort.
When visiting Key West for the weekend, you may save the expense and hassle of renting a vehicle. Explore Key West attractions like Hemingway Home & Museum, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, La Te Da cabaret, Duval Street bar hops, and Sunset Key Cottages, all within walking distance of Mallory Square.
Mount Dora is a historic lakeside town 30 miles northwest of Orlando. Some of Florida’s most excellent birding is probably in Lake County, located in the central part of the state and is home to beautiful freshwater lakes. Take a seaplane tour of the area’s lakes and pick oranges and grapes from adjacent farms in season.
Fort Pierce is a pleasant place in Florida. There is a thriving harbor full of fishing boats. Manatee Observation and Education Center of the City of St. Petersburg, A.E. There’s the Backus Gallery and Museum and the Sailfish Brewing Company, all of which use locally sourced ingredients in their brews.
The last Best Weekend Getaways in Florida is Hutchinson Island. Kite surfers and sunbathers head to the pristine beaches of South Hutchinson Island in Martin County for the best the Sunshine State offers. Stewart, Jensen Beach, Blowing Rocks Preserve, and other Hobe Sound beaches where leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles nest are beautiful.