Tampa is a busy and thrilling vacation spot, however there are many superb sights simply exterior town limits too. Energetic theme parks, beautiful Gulf Coast seashores, and nature in abundance await. There are lots of potential day journeys from Tampa, and it’s actually price placing in your exploring boots to verify them out.
Driving in and round Tampa isn’t troublesome and having your personal wheels offers you the liberty to go out and discover by yourself steam. Nonetheless, if that’s not for you, there are various Tampa day journeys you may take with a tour operator too.
I am keen on Tampa, however I’ve additionally fallen in love with lots of the sights simply exterior of it. I’ll fortunately spend a day lounging on an incredible seaside earlier than heading again to town for a meal within the night. In fact, the house of Mickey Mouse isn’t too far-off both.
Finest Day Journeys From Tampa
In case you persist with town limits alone, you’ll miss out. That’s precisely what I discovered after heading to Tampa a number of occasions, and by no means actually going anyplace apart from the primary neighborhoods – the primary time I made a decision to leap in my automotive and discover, I used to be launched to a complete new world.
Tampa is house to a few of the finest pure sights, and so they’re all simple to achieve inside an hour or so. Whether or not you’re visiting as a household, a gaggle, a pair, or touring solo, there are some superb day journey locations ready for you. Let’s discover them now.
1. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
Visiting the guts of Disney magic is a must-do, and it’s someplace that by no means will get previous for me. The resort is made up of 4 fundamental parks — Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Magic Kingdom is by far my favourite, however that is one one-day journey from Tampa that has one thing for everybody.
In case you’re in search of enjoyable day journeys from Tampa, this ticks each field, and also you don’t should be touring with youngsters to take pleasure in it. The meals here’s a novelty however actually scrumptious, and in case you love rides, I like to recommend you think about buying a Quick Go on your favourite sights. In addition to the rollercoasters, there are additionally exhibits that can depart you with goosebumps.
Reserving tickets forward of time is suggested as you may waste hours within the ticket queue in any other case. You possibly can select a set variety of days for one base worth, and also you merely scan your ticket and head straight inside. I dare you to not skip your approach down Principal Road USA! Click here for more details on ticket options.
Distance from Tampa: 1.5 hours, 75 miles/120km
Location: 1375 E Buena Vista Dr Orlando Florida 32830. Click here for directions.
Getting There: The best approach is to drive, following the I-4 E. Nonetheless, you may as well take a prepare from Tampa to Kissimmee and a bus to Disney. Click here for train information.
Should-Do Actions: Take a look at a parade, trip the Tower of Terror, and dare to discover Expedition Everest. For non-ride lovers, there are various eating places and retailers to take a look at, and you’ll eat your approach world wide at Epcot.
The place to Eat: There are eating places and avenue meals choices in abundance, however the Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom is a agency favourite of mine.
2. Honeymoon Island State Park
One of the vital well-liked day journeys from Tampa is to Honeymoon Island State Park, and even the identify itself makes you wish to go. Positioned in Dunedin, round 45 minutes from Tampa, this stunningly stunning park is the perfect place to chill out. And no, you don’t should be in your honeymoon to go to.
Accumulating shells is among the hottest actions, however merely absorbing the solar and swimming are actions that match the invoice. The seashores right here characteristic white sand and blinding blue sea, typical of the Gulf Coast, and so they’re additionally dog-friendly, so in case you do have a furry good friend with you, they’re very welcome.
Distance from Tampa: 45 minutes, 29 miles/46.5km
Location: 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, Florida 34698. Click here for directions.
Getting There: You possibly can drive through the E State Highway 60 W, or take the bus. Strains 30 and 812 will take you to your vacation spot. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Taking a private boat tour across the park and Dunedin is a improbable strategy to spend your time. Shell gathering on the seaside and easily admiring the view are my favourite actions right here.
The place to Eat: I had the perfect meal at Bon Appetit in Dunedin. It sits on a jetty on the waterfront, and the seafood right here is scrumptious.
Sarasota is one in every of my favourite locations to go to exterior Tampa, and it’s so chilled out, you’ll really feel such as you’re floating. The tempo of life right here could be very totally different from bustling Downtown Tampa, however it’s a welcome change in case you’re eager to chill out. Sarasota can also be a really charming city; house to small espresso retailers and craft shops.
You will discover the unique Columbia Restaurant right here, well-known for the Cuban sandwich. The department in Ybor Metropolis is among the oldest, however that is the place the craze all began in 1905. And if you wish to laze on the seaside in any case that consuming, one in every of my prime coastal spots is Siesta Key Seaside — the sunsets are breathtaking.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 10 minutes, 60 miles/96.5km
Location: Click here for directions
Getting There: You possibly can drive through the I-75 S street, or take the bus or prepare. The bus takes slightly below 2 hours, and extra data will be discovered here. The prepare takes 2 hours — extra data will be discovered here.
Should-Do Actions: Procuring is improbable in Sarasota and rather a lot calmer than in Tampa. I extremely advocate the Downtown Walking Food Tour and some hours on Siesta Key Seaside.
The place to Eat: There are some superb seafood eating places in Sarasota, however I really like Selva Downtown Sarasota for its freshly caught fish and completely cooked steak.
Clearwater is a straightforward day journey from Tampa and doubtless one of the crucial well-liked general. You received’t be upset once you see this seaside, actually, you’ll most likely be slack-jawed in shock. It’s merely stunning, and phrases simply don’t do it justice.
This seaside does get very busy, particularly at weekends, however it’s so giant that it by no means feels crowded. You possibly can rent solar beds and parasols for a small payment, and there are many bars and eating places alongside the seaside, together with a favourite of mine — Clear Sky Cafe.
A stroll down the promenade with an ice cream is at all times a good suggestion, and the city itself has loads of boutique shops to browse.
Distance from Tampa: 40 minutes, 22 miles/35km
Location: Click here for directions
Getting There: Take the E State Rd 60 W, or you may take a bus in round 2 hours. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: I actually loved the kayaking trip and it’s a good way to see the pure fantastic thing about the realm. The sundown right here is to not be missed, however you must also take a look at Little Toot Dolphin Adventure, the place you may spot these creatures within the wild. Adrenaline junkies can’t miss taking a spin on the ocean screamer trip.
The place to Eat: Vantage Rooftop Bar is a improbable place to sip cocktails, watch the sundown, and luxuriate in a scrumptious meal.
5. Fort DeSoto County Park
One of the vital stunning and pure locations to go to close to Tampa is Fort DeSoto County Park. It’s additionally a spot for historical past lovers, with an unique fort constructed again in 1898. Nonetheless, my favourite factor to do is to chill and take in the solar; the seashores listed here are so pristine, it’s exhausting to imagine.
Fort DeSoto has a dog-friendly seaside, and it’s a great spot to take a picnic and easily take pleasure in being proper within the coronary heart of nature. There are some mountaineering trails round, however it’s principally about unwinding and stress-free in pure pleasure.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 38 miles/61km
Location: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. Tierra Verde, Florida, 33715. Click here for directions.
Getting There: Take the I-275 S out of Tampa after which swap to Freeway 679. Alternatively, you may take the ferry to St. Petersburg after which a taxi to the park; the journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes. Click here for ferry information.
Should-Do Actions: I took the Guided E-Bike Nature Tour and liked each second – it was a improbable strategy to actually see the realm. If you wish to take your journey additional, e-book the Egmont Key Ferry which is able to take you to a distant island to identify manatees, dolphins, and turtles within the wild.
The place to Eat: There are just a few nice eating places in and across the park, however my go-to is The Island Grille. Their calypso pork chops are really scrumptious.
6. Common Studios, Orlando
One of the vital well-liked day journeys from Tampa is to go to Common Studios. Whether or not you’re eager to scream on enormous rollercoasters, find out about motion pictures, or snack your approach across the park, you are able to do all of it. Whereas I am keen on Disney World, I actually have a mushy spot for Common Studios too.
Common has two parks in a single: Common Studios and Islands of Journey. I like to recommend buying a ticket that enables you limitless entry to each. You can too go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and check out some genuine butter beer — I used to be pleasantly stunned.
CityWalk is a vibrant a part of the park which is full of bars, eating places, and retailers. You possibly can seize some souvenirs right here or simply take in the ambiance. A go to to Planet Hollywood can also be a should.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 50 minutes, 77 miles/124km
Location: 6000 Common Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32819. Click here for directions.
Getting There: In case you’re driving, take the I-4 E direct, or you may take the prepare in simply over 2 hours. Click here for information.
Should-Do Actions: Seize a milkshake at Planet Hollywood and trip on the Unimaginable Hulk Coaster. Take a look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and discover ways to do film make-up at Common’s Horror Make-up Present. Click here for park ticket details.
The place to Eat: There’s one thing to eat for everybody in Common Studios because of its enormous vary of eating places. Nonetheless, Three Broomsticks, a part of the Harry Potter part in Islands of Journey is a good alternative for one thing a bit totally different.
7. Crystal River Nationwide Wildlife Refuge
One of the vital distinctive day journeys close to Tampa is to spend the day having fun with nature at Crystal River Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. In case you’re looking for some quiet, that is the place for you. I at all times discover it an exquisite spot to chill, chill out, and respect the surprise of Mom Nature.
In case you’re a manatee fan, you’re in luck right here too because it’s potential to swim alongside these beauties of their pure habitat. There are such a lot of manatees right here that you just’re virtually assured to see one, and easily having fun with the view from dry land is sufficient to open your eyes as to how beautiful this space is.
There are plentiful boat excursions, or you may stroll round and take in the solar. I actually loved how chilled out the entire space felt and being so near wildlife was immediately stress-free.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 20 minutes, 80 miles/129km
Location: 1502 SE Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, Florida 34429. Click here for directions.
Getting There: Comply with the FL-589 N instantly. Taking public transport is extraordinarily troublesome as you’ll have to cease a number of occasions and reconnect to different bus providers.
Should-Do Actions: The Manatee Snorkel Tour is a superb strategy to rise up shut and private with these magical animals, and it virtually introduced me to tears. In case you want to remain above the waterline, take a look at the Crystal River Kayak Tour as a substitute.
The place to Eat: For the freshest seafood round, it needs to be The Crab Plant. The contemporary snapper was good.
8. Boggy Creek, Kissimmee
I at all times wished to go on an airboat trip on the Everglades, however the primary park is extraordinarily far-off. So, think about my pleasure once I found Boggy Creek. Whereas it’s not the guts of the Everglades, it’s the headwaters, so that you’re mainly on the outskirts and may take pleasure in the identical expertise.
It’s probably the greatest day journeys from Tampa by automotive, and also you’ll actually get to understand the pure habitat of birds and even alligators. Whilst you won’t see one, you may relaxation assured they’re there! The airboat trip itself is admittedly enjoyable, however I’d advocate carrying a hat as it could actually get actually chilly, even on a heat day.
As soon as the trip is over, you may find out about conservation efforts within the space and even seize some refreshments within the cafe.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour quarter-hour, 82 miles/132 km
Location: 2001 E Southport Highway, Kissimmee, Florida 34746. Click here for directions.
Getting There: You possibly can drive by following the I-4 E, or you may take the prepare, which is able to take 1 hour 20 minutes, with a fast taxi trip of quarter-hour to take you instantly there. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: An airboat trip is a ceremony of passage right here. In case you actually wish to have your thoughts blown, attempt the Sunset Airboat Tour and have your digital camera prepared. The park additionally has a Native American Expertise which is able to educate you in regards to the heritage, tradition, and cooking of the Native People who used to stay within the space.
The place to Eat: 3 Sisters Speakeasy is a improbable restaurant near Boggy Creek. It has a singular menu combining sushi with common fare corresponding to enormous burgers and sandwiches.
9. Rainbow Springs State Park
The realm round Tampa is teeming with wildlife, and Rainbow Springs State Park is one in every of my favourite locations to go. This can be a protected space for manatees and different species, corresponding to turtles and lots of species of birds. Simply strolling round makes you’re feeling completely blissed out, however tubing is the perfect exercise right here.
You possibly can hire a tube and head off at your personal tempo, however youngsters underneath 5 can’t participate on this exercise. There are additionally many strolling paths in case you want to remain on dry land. I didn’t attempt tubing, however I took a glass backside boat tour as a substitute and noticed so many manatees and species of fish.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 45 minutes, 95 miles/152km
Location: 19158 SW 81st Pl Highway, Dunnellon, Florida 34432. Click here for directions.
Getting There: Comply with the FL-589 N by automotive or take the bus to Ocala (1 hour 50 minutes) after which a brief taxi trip lasting half-hour. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Tubing down the lazy river is a prime exercise, however the Glass Bottom Kayak Eco Tour can also be an ideal alternative. This tour is guided so that you’ll get to study extra about what you’re seeing. There are additionally strolling alternatives.
The place to Eat: There aren’t many eating places throughout the park, however you may dine very simply on the outskirts. I loved a meal at Black Prong Bar & Grill, which additionally has a enjoyable tiki bar.
10. Sanibel Island
I at all times make a journey to Sanibel Island just because it reconnects me with nature and helps me swap off. It’s a type of locations which you could’t probably be confused in, and it’s a straightforward day journey from Tampa by automotive or bus.
Sanibel Island is near Fort Myers so you could possibly additionally name in there on the best way again when you’ve got time. Nonetheless, merely sitting on this beautiful seaside and absorbing the solar is my favourite exercise. The ocean is calm and ultimate for swimming, and whereas it’s well-liked right here, it by no means feels overly crowded.
The city is small, however there are some improbable eating places and quaint memento retailers to discover. For me, it is a complete day of R&R and a world away from the busy streets of Downtown Tampa. Be sure you keep for the sundown — you received’t be upset.
Distance from Tampa: 2 hours half-hour, 157 miles/252km
Location: Click here for directions
Getting There: You possibly can drive by following the I-75 S street, or you may take the bus. The journey will take 3.5 hours and also you’ll have to take a taxi from Fort Myers. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Chilling out is the order of the day right here, however in case you do need some motion, the Sanibel Causeway Jet Ski Tour is a enjoyable expertise – maintain your eyes peeled for dolphins. Alternatively, seaside time and exploring the city are my favourite issues to do.
The place to Eat: For me, the perfect restaurant on Sanibel Island is Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. This can be a improbable spot for Caribbean meals and serves fantastic cocktails.
11. Weeki Wachee Spring State Park
Households ought to positively head over to Weeki Wachee Spring State Park, particularly if there are any Little Mermaid followers amongst you. Right here, you may benefit from the house of Mom Nature, however there are additionally periodic exhibits that includes dancing “mermaids”.
This can be a distinctive place to go to from Tampa however one which’s extraordinarily well-liked. You possibly can spot manatees, dolphins, and turtles of their pure habitat, and kayaking down the river is nice enjoyable. The mermaid present itself is ready underwater, so that you head down right into a viewing space to observe the charming efficiency.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 56 miles/90km
Location: Click here for directions
Getting There: The best choice is to drive, following the FL-589 N, however you may as well take a bus and taxi mixture. The journey will take 2 hours and quarter-hour, and also you’ll have to take a taxi from Wiregrass. Click here for information.
Should-Do Actions: A guided kayak tour is a good alternative, and because the kayaks are glass-bottomed, you may see all method of marine life under. The mermaid present is a must-do right here, whether or not you’re touring with youngsters or not. You can too take a sunset kayak tour with light-up kayaks.
The place to Eat: In case you’re a fan of Asian meals like me, it is best to positively attempt Masa Asian Bistro & Bar. There’s an enormous collection of sushi on the menu, in addition to different Asian dishes, corresponding to teriyaki and tempura.
12. Satan’s Den, Williston
One specific day, I used to be feeling fairly courageous, and I heard about a spot known as Satan’s Den in Gettysburg. The identify alone piqued my curiosity, so I made a decision to drive over there and test it out for myself – I’m so glad I did.
This place is like stepping again into prehistoric occasions, and fossils courting again to the Pleistocene Age have been discovered right here. As you descend down into the cave, an odd blue gentle encompasses you, supplying you with shivers of pleasure. It’s like nothing I’ve skilled earlier than.
This is among the finest day journeys from Tampa for individuals who take pleasure in diving or snorkeling as you may dive down and discover the underwater world. Alternatively, there are strolling paths to comply with, which present you the fantastic thing about the native space.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 50 minutes, 120 miles/193km
Location: 5390 NE a hundred and eightieth Ave, Williston, Florida 32696. Click here for directions.
Getting There: Probably the most wise approach is to drive, following the I-75 N. There are night time buses out there, however the journey is in extra of 5 hours.
Should-Do Actions: Snorkeling or diving within the cave is the highest exercise right here, however you may as well take the Self-Guided Walking Tour, which is able to take you round websites well-known from the Battle of Gettysburg. The character on this area is gorgeous, so be sure you take your time and discover.
The place to Eat: The Ivy House Restaurant in Williston is a good place for out of doors eating, and I actually loved the desserts right here – save room for the chocolate cake.
13. Punta Gorda
In case you’re in search of romantic day journeys from Tampa, a go to to Punta Gorda is a good thought. This small city is full of historic structure, small memento retailers, and delightful waterfront eating places. The seashores listed here are usually beautiful, lapped by delightfully heat waters.
You’ll additionally discover small artwork galleries and museums, which offer you a welcome break from the solar. The vibe in Punta Gorda is sluggish and leisurely, making it the proper place to stroll hand in hand. On the finish of the day, admire the sundown and replenish your digital camera reel.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour half-hour, 104 miles/167km
Location: Click here for directions
Getting There: You possibly can drive by following the I-75 S. You can too take the Amtrak Thruway from Tampa to Port Charlotte after which a brief taxi drive to Punta Gorda. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll across the historic district and admire the structure earlier than doing a bit retail remedy. In case you can keep via the night, the Stargazing Tour is one in every of my favourite issues to do.
The place to Eat: In case you’re touring as a part of a gaggle, the Captain’s Table Restaurant is a improbable alternative, with enormous sharing plates to fill everybody up. The seafood right here is as contemporary as will be.
14. Hillsborough River State Park
One of many best day journeys from Tampa is to Hillsborough River State Park, simply half an hour away from Downtown Tampa. It’s a fantastic spot the place you may stroll, hike, kayak, wildlife spot, and easily sit back within the infinite inexperienced of the timber. The river itself leads proper into Tampa, and you’ll spot totally different species of fish.
There’s a really small entrance payment of $6 per automotive, however from there, you’re free to discover. It’s an ideal thought to have a picnic as there aren’t any cafes or eating places contained in the park. Right here, it’s about chilling out in Mom Nature’s arms and never about tourism.
Distance from Tampa: half-hour, 21 miles/34km
Location: 15402US-301, Thonotosassa, Florida 33592. Click here for directions.
Getting There: You possibly can drive by following the I-4 E and US-301 N, or take the bus to Pebble Creek after which a brief taxi onward. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Hillsborough River State Park is admittedly about carrying snug sneakers and exploring at leisure. Comply with one of many strolling trails and see what number of species of wildlife you may spot.
The place to Eat: Most individuals take picnics to this vacation spot, nevertheless, it’s completely potential to drive again to Channelside and eat a scrumptious meal. I like to recommend The C House for its superb cheese boards and sharing platters.
15. Legoland Florida
Households can’t miss out on heading to Legoland Florida for the day. This can be a nice park for smaller youngsters who could also be overwhelmed by the large rollercoasters and noise of Disney or Common. Regardless of that, it’s a fun-filled day.
Little ones will love Misplaced Kingdom Journey and Coastersaurus. There are different sights and exhibits across the park too, in addition to exhibitions all year long. Kids (and adults) will definitely be exhausted by the top of the day!
A day tour from Tampa will take you slightly below two hours and setting off early is suggested. It’s additionally finest to e-book your tickets earlier than you go, so that you don’t waste time within the admission queue. Click here for ticket information.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 52 miles/86km
Location: 1 Legoland Approach, Winter Haven, Florida 33884. Click here for directions.
Getting There: Self-drive is the quickest and easiest method, however you may as well take the prepare to Winter Haven, which is able to take slightly below an hour. From there you’re taking a fast taxi to Legoland. Click here for more information.
Should-Do Actions: Go to Lego Film World to study extra about how motion pictures are created, take a look at Miniland USA, and stroll across the Cypress Gardens to settle down on the finish of the day.
The place to Eat: Dragon’s Den is a enjoyable eatery within the coronary heart of Legoland. Their smoked turkey leg will certainly maintain you full for some time.
Tampa Day Journeys: Transportation Choices
There are lots of day journeys round Tampa, and whereas public transport could be very dependable, it’s a lot simpler to simply hire a car and set off by yourself. You possibly can rent a automotive from varied shops within the metropolis and from the airport once you arrive.
You’ll require a passport and a legitimate driving license, and your license will should be clear. You’ll additionally want to depart credit score or debit card particulars with the rent firm.
There are a number of bus providers and trains that run across the Tampa space, however they do have a tendency so as to add size to your journey. The very best day journeys from Tampa require you to cram as a lot into your time as potential, so in case you can drive, it’s a significantly better choice. Click here to seek for the perfect offers on rental vehicles in Tampa.
Day Journeys Round Tampa: FAQs
Listed here are some solutions to essentially the most generally requested questions on day journeys round Tampa:
A go to to Orlando’s fun-packed Walt Disney World might be the most well-liked day journey from Tampa.
Three days can be enough to scratch the floor, however to actually delve into town, you want round one week.
In case you’re driving, you could have the liberty to go anyplace, however Clearwater and Sarasota are nice selections and supply a complete change of tempo to life in Tampa.
The prepare community round Tampa is admittedly top quality, so most locations are accessible. Each Common Studios and Walt Disney World will be reached by prepare.
There are such a lot of superb locations simply exterior of Tampa, however Clearwater Seaside needs to be one of the crucial stunning.
Sure, very simply. You possibly can drive or take the prepare on to Orlando and luxuriate in all of the sights.
Walt Disney World Florida is undoubtedly one of the crucial well-known spots in the entire state, and it’s simple to achieve from Tampa.
St Petersburg is simply half an hour’s drive away and probably the greatest day journeys from Tampa
Tampa Bay is house to some beautiful seashores, and Ben T. Davis Beach is among the closest. This can be a actually quiet and chilled-out house, ultimate for kicking again and stress-free.
A small island known as Fantasy Bay could be very near Tampa, and it’s a soothing spot for absorbing the solar and swimming.
Fort Myers is simply 2 hours away from Tampa by automotive and is a improbable seaside vacation spot.
Walt Disney World is among the hottest day journeys from Tampa by automotive, and it solely takes simply over an hour to get there.
I used to be stunned on the sheer variety of day journeys from Tampa on supply, however it actually opened my eyes to surprise of the realm. I like to recommend heading out on a minimum of two excursions when you’ve got the time; whereas town is superb, there’s a lot nature to take a look at, and enjoyable to have simply an hour or two away.
Whereas Common Studios and Walt Disney World will at all times be two of my absolute favorites, I actually liked my time at Clearwater and Sarasota. There’s one thing so refreshing about heading out for a day, experiencing one thing new, after which heading again to Tampa on the finish of the day.