With more than 100 resorts and communities in Florida, there’s no denying that we love the Sunshine State. And one of the best parts of Florida is its diverse array of attractions and activities. It’s easy to enjoy a getaway, even while staying close to home.
Today we’re taking a look at some of our favorite Florida staycations. Whether you only have an afternoon or are simply looking to not travel too far, these Florida attractions are great for getting residents out and about in their state. Read on and get ready for a Florida staycation!
Take a Florida Staycation
1. Walk the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
One of the finest green spaces in Florida, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Sarasota gem. The main campus is downtown and houses thousands of tropical plants along Sarasota Bay. You’ll also find sculptures, art pieces, a conservatory, and a garden museum.
Selby Gardens also has a second campus on Historic Spanish Point. This location offers more gardens, 19th-century buildings, and can be toured by foot or on a family kayak tour. For those living in Sarasota, either of the Selby Gardens locations are great for a Florida staycation!
2. Road Trip Along the Overseas Highway
If you live in the Florida Keys, or even the southern reaches of Miami, you’re familiar with the Overseas Highway. Florida’s most magnificent stretch of road links the mainland across the ocean all the way to Key West. A road trip along it will take you past lush mangroves, over aquamarine waters, and through charming island towns. You don’t have to tackle the whole stretch, but it’s an excellent option for a day trip close to home.
3. Enjoy a Beach Day
The best part about living in Florida? Beaches. Beaches everywhere!
From Clearwater to the Treasure Coast, Florida has more coastline than any state except Alaska. And unlike Alaska, Florida’s coastline is great for a beach day. Grab a towel, some sunscreen, and a picnic basket and head to your favorite beach for a Florida staycation. Here are some ideas for beaches to visit:
4. Stroll Through Ybor City
A little slice of history awaits in Ybor City. This historic neighborhood is one of the oldest in Tampa, founded by Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants in the 1880s. Once a manufacturing neighborhood built around the cigar industry, Ybor City is now a lively hub of shopping, dining, and nightlife.
For local Tampa residents, visiting Ybor City is a chance to be a tourist in your town. Take a stroll through the historic streets, ride the trolley, and grab a bite to eat in a local restaurant. Most of all, soak up the wonderful Florida sunshine that gives your state its nickname.
5. Get Outdoors at Little Talbot Island State Park
Jacksonville may be spread out, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in attractions. In fact, one of the city’s finest attractions can be found 25 miles east of downtown by the ocean. And yes, we’re talking about Little Talbot Island State Park.
A sandy barrier island, Little Talbot Island has much to do. Guests can walk the beaches or explore waterways by kayak. If the conditions are right, surfers may even find a few waves to ride.
While you’re in the area, stop by neighboring Big Talbot Island State Park. This spot is a little more remote and features abundant natural areas.
6. Hit the Rapids at Hillsborough River State Park
For those near Thonotosassa, Zephyrhills, and Tampa, Hillsborough River State Park is a wonderful wilderness preserve. Fishing is a key reason for visiting, but so is the river itself. This state park is one of the only places in Florida with class II river rapids. That means adventurous individuals can hit a bit of whitewater while kayaking. And if aquatic activities aren’t your jam, Hillsborough River State park has more than seven miles of nature trails to hike.
7. Adventure in Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
For a Florida staycation near Fort Myers, visit Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Here you’ll discover more than 3,500 acres of wetlands waiting to be explored. A gorgeous boardwalk trail winds through the property, giving you a chance to glimpse otters, alligators, turtles, and more. Check it out and watch your step!
8. Boating on Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in all of Florida. What’s more, it’s known as one of the best places for fishing in the entire U.S. There’s probably no better place to put your boat in, cruise the waters, and catch a wide variety of fish. Expect to find:
- Largemouth bass
- Speckled perch
- Okeechobee catfish
- Blue gills
- Black crappies
We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas for Florida staycations. Whether you’re a year-round resident or a seasonal snowbird, it’s great to have some spots to “get away,” even while staying close to home.
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