Tampa is a busy and thrilling vacation spot, however there are many superb sights simply exterior the town limits too. Energetic theme parks, gorgeous Gulf Coast seashores, and nature in abundance await. There are a lot of potential day journeys from Tampa, and it’s actually value placing in your exploring boots to verify them out.
Driving in and round Tampa isn’t troublesome and having your individual wheels offers you the liberty to go out and discover by yourself steam. Nevertheless, if that’s not for you, there are numerous Tampa day journeys you’ll be able to take with a tour operator too.
I like Tampa, however I’ve additionally fallen in love with most of the sights simply exterior of it. I’ll fortunately spend a day lounging on a tremendous seashore earlier than heading again to the 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
When you keep on with the 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 principle neighborhoods – the primary time I made a decision to leap in my automobile and discover, I used to be launched to a complete new world.
Tampa is house to a few of the greatest pure sights, and so they’re all straightforward to achieve inside an hour or so. Whether or not you’re visiting as a household, a bunch, 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 center 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 foremost 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.
When you’re on the lookout for enjoyable day journeys from Tampa, this ticks each field, and also you don’t must be touring with kids to get pleasure from it. The meals here’s a novelty however actually scrumptious, and for those who love rides, I like to recommend you contemplate buying a Quick Move in your favourite points of interest. In addition to the rollercoasters, there are additionally reveals that can go away you with goosebumps.
Reserving tickets forward of time is suggested as you’ll be able to waste hours within the ticket queue in any other case. You may 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 manner down Essential Road USA! Click on right here for extra particulars on ticket choices.
Distance from Tampa: 1.5 hours, 75 miles/120km
Location: 1375 E Buena Vista Dr Orlando Florida 32830. Click on right here for instructions.
Getting There: The simplest manner is to drive, following the I-4 E. Nevertheless, you can too take a prepare from Tampa to Kissimmee and a bus to Disney. Click on right here for prepare data.
Should-Do Actions: Try a parade, experience the Tower of Terror, and dare to discover Expedition Everest. For non-ride lovers, there are numerous eating places and retailers to take a look at, and you may eat your manner all over the world 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
Some of the common day journeys from Tampa is to Honeymoon Island State Park, and even the title itself makes you need to go. Situated in Dunedin, round 45 minutes from Tampa, this stunningly stunning park is the best place to calm down. And no, you don’t must be in your honeymoon to go to.
Accumulating shells is likely one of the hottest actions, however merely absorbing the solar and swimming are actions that match the invoice. The seashores right here function white sand and blinding blue sea, typical of the Gulf Coast, and so they’re additionally dog-friendly, so for those who do have a furry pal with you, they’re very welcome.
Distance from Tampa: 45 minutes, 29 miles/46.5km
Location: 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, Florida 34698. Click on right here for instructions.
Getting There: You may drive by way of the E State Highway 60 W, or take the bus. Traces 30 and 812 will take you to your vacation spot. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Taking a non-public boat tour across the park and Dunedin is a unbelievable technique to spend your time. Shell accumulating on the seashore and easily admiring the view are my favourite actions right here.
The place to Eat: I had the very best 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 all 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, but it surely’s a welcome change for those who’re eager to calm down. Sarasota can 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 likely one of the oldest, however that is the place the craze all began in 1905. And if you wish to laze on the seashore in spite of everything that consuming, one in all my high coastal spots is Siesta Key Seaside — the sunsets are breathtaking.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 10 minutes, 60 miles/96.5km
Location: Click on right here for instructions
Getting There: You may drive by way of the I-75 S street, or take the bus or prepare. The bus takes slightly below 2 hours, and extra data may be discovered right here. The prepare takes 2 hours — extra data may be discovered right here.
Should-Do Actions: Procuring is unbelievable in Sarasota and rather a lot calmer than in Tampa. I extremely advocate the Downtown Strolling Meals 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 some of the common total. You received’t be upset once you see this seashore, the truth is, you’ll in all probability be slack-jawed in shock. It’s merely stunning, and phrases simply don’t do it justice.
This seashore does get very busy, particularly at weekends, but it surely’s so massive that it by no means feels crowded. You may rent solar beds and parasols for a small price, and there are many bars and eating places alongside the seashore, 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 on right here for instructions
Getting There: Take the E State Rd 60 W, or you’ll be able to take a bus in round 2 hours. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: I actually loved the kayaking journey and it’s an effective way to see the pure great thing about the world. The sundown right here is to not be missed, however you also needs to try Little Toot Dolphin Journey, the place you’ll be able to spot these creatures within the wild. Adrenaline junkies can’t miss taking a spin on the ocean screamer experience.
The place to Eat: Vantage Rooftop Bar is a unbelievable place to sip cocktails, watch the sundown, and revel in a scrumptious meal.
5. Fort DeSoto County Park
Some of the 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 authentic fort constructed again in 1898. Nevertheless, my favourite factor to do is to relax and absorb the solar; the seashores listed here are so pristine, it’s arduous to consider.
Fort DeSoto has a dog-friendly seashore, and it’s a great place to take a picnic and easily get pleasure from being proper within the coronary heart of nature. There are some climbing trails round, but it surely’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 on right here for instructions.
Getting There: Take the I-275 S out of Tampa after which change to Freeway 679. Alternatively, you’ll be able to take the ferry to St. Petersburg after which a taxi to the park; the journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes. Click on right here for ferry data.
Should-Do Actions: I took the Guided E-Bike Nature Tour and beloved each second – it was a unbelievable technique to actually see the world. 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 actually scrumptious.
6. Common Studios, Orlando
Some of the common day journeys from Tampa is to go to Common Studios. Whether or not you’re eager to scream on big rollercoasters, study motion pictures, or snack your manner across the park, you are able to do all of it. Whereas I like Disney World, I actually have a comfortable 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 permits you limitless entry to each. You may as well go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and take a look at 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 may seize some souvenirs right here or simply absorb the environment. A go to to Planet Hollywood can be a should.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 50 minutes, 77 miles/124km
Location: 6000 Common Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32819. Click on right here for instructions.
Getting There: When you’re driving, take the I-4 E direct, or you’ll be able to take the prepare in simply over 2 hours. Click on right here for data.
Should-Do Actions: Seize a milkshake at Planet Hollywood and experience on the Unimaginable Hulk Coaster. Try the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and learn to do film make-up at Common’s Horror Make-up Present. Click on right here for park ticket particulars.
The place to Eat: There’s one thing to eat for everybody in Common Studios due to its big vary of eating places. Nevertheless, Three Broomsticks, a part of the Harry Potter part in Islands of Journey is a superb selection for one thing just a little totally different.
7. Crystal River Nationwide Wildlife Refuge
Some of the distinctive day journeys close to Tampa is to spend the day having fun with nature at Crystal River Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. When you’re looking for some quiet, that is the place for you. I at all times discover it an exquisite spot to relax, calm down, and respect the surprise of Mom Nature.
When 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 simply’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 gorgeous this space is.
There are plentiful boat excursions, or you’ll be able to stroll round and absorb 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 on right here for instructions.
Getting There: Observe 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 companies.
Should-Do Actions: The Manatee Snorkel Tour is a superb technique to stand up shut and private with these magical animals, and it virtually introduced me to tears. When you choose to remain above the waterline, try the Crystal River Kayak Tour as an alternative.
The place to Eat: For the freshest seafood round, it must be The Crab Plant. The contemporary snapper was excellent.
8. Boggy Creek, Kissimmee
I at all times wished to go on an airboat experience on the Everglades, however the principle park is extraordinarily far-off. So, think about my pleasure once I found Boggy Creek. Whereas it’s not the center of the Everglades, it’s the headwaters, so that you’re mainly on the outskirts and may get pleasure from the identical expertise.
It’s probably the greatest day journeys from Tampa by automobile, and also you’ll actually get to understand the pure habitat of birds and even alligators. Whilst you won’t see one, you’ll be able to relaxation assured they’re there! The airboat experience itself is actually enjoyable, however I’d advocate carrying a hat as it might get actually chilly, even on a heat day.
As soon as the experience is over, you’ll be able to study 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 on right here for instructions.
Getting There: You may drive by following the I-4 E, or you’ll be able to take the prepare, which is able to take 1 hour 20 minutes, with a fast taxi experience of quarter-hour to take you instantly there. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: An airboat experience is a ceremony of passage right here. When you actually need to have your thoughts blown, attempt the Sundown Airboat Tour and have your digital camera prepared. The park additionally has a Native American Expertise which is able to train you in regards to the heritage, tradition, and cooking of the Native People who used to reside within the space.
The place to Eat: 3 Sisters Speakeasy is a unbelievable restaurant near Boggy Creek. It has a singular menu combining sushi with common fare similar to big burgers and sandwiches.
9. Rainbow Springs State Park
The world round Tampa is teeming with wildlife, and Rainbow Springs State Park is one in all my favourite locations to go. This can be a protected space for manatees and different species, similar to turtles and lots of species of birds. Simply strolling round makes you are feeling completely blissed out, however tubing is the very best exercise right here.
You may lease a tube and head off at your individual tempo, however kids below 5 can’t participate on this exercise. There are additionally many strolling paths for those who choose to remain on dry land. I didn’t attempt tubing, however I took a glass backside boat tour as an alternative 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 on right here for instructions.
Getting There: Observe the FL-589 N by automobile or take the bus to Ocala (1 hour 50 minutes) after which a brief taxi experience lasting half-hour. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Tubing down the lazy river is a high exercise, however the Glass Backside Kayak Eco Tour can be an ideal selection. 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’ll be able to 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 change off. It’s a type of locations you could’t presumably be harassed in, and it’s a straightforward day journey from Tampa by automobile or bus.
Sanibel Island is near Fort Myers so you may additionally name in there on the way in which again you probably have time. Nevertheless, merely sitting on this gorgeous seashore and absorbing the solar is my favourite exercise. The ocean is calm and splendid for swimming, and whereas it’s common right here, it by no means feels overly crowded.
The city is small, however there are some unbelievable eating places and quaint memento retailers to discover. For me, it is a whole day of R&R and a world away from the busy streets of Downtown Tampa. You’ll want to keep for the sundown — you received’t be upset.
Distance from Tampa: 2 hours half-hour, 157 miles/252km
Location: Click on right here for instructions
Getting There: You may drive by following the I-75 S street, or you’ll be able to take the bus. The journey will take 3.5 hours and also you’ll have to take a taxi from Fort Myers. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Chilling out is the order of the day right here, however for those who do need some motion, the Sanibel Causeway Jet Ski Tour is a enjoyable expertise – hold your eyes peeled for dolphins. Alternatively, seashore time and exploring the city are my favourite issues to do.
The place to Eat: For me, the very best restaurant on Sanibel Island is Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. This can be a unbelievable spot for Caribbean meals and serves great 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’ll be able to benefit from the house of Mom Nature, however there are additionally periodic reveals that includes dancing “mermaids”.
This can be a distinctive place to go to from Tampa however one which’s extraordinarily common. You may spot manatees, dolphins, and turtles of their pure habitat, and kayaking down the river is nice enjoyable. The mermaid present itself is about underwater, so that you head down right into a viewing space to look at the charming efficiency.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 56 miles/90km
Location: Click on right here for instructions
Getting There: The simplest choice is to drive, following the FL-589 N, however you can too 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 on right here for data.
Should-Do Actions: A guided kayak tour is a superb selection, and because the kayaks are glass-bottomed, you’ll be able to see all method of marine life under. The mermaid present is a must-do right here, whether or not you’re touring with kids or not. You may as well take a sundown kayak tour with light-up kayaks.
The place to Eat: When you’re a fan of Asian meals like me, you need to positively attempt Masa Asian Bistro & Bar. There’s an enormous collection of sushi on the menu, in addition to different Asian dishes, similar to teriyaki and tempura.
12. Satan’s Den, Williston
One explicit day, I used to be feeling fairly courageous, and I heard about a spot referred to as Satan’s Den in Gettysburg. The title 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, providing you with shivers of pleasure. It’s like nothing I’ve skilled earlier than.
This is likely one of the greatest day journeys from Tampa for many who get pleasure from diving or snorkeling as you’ll be able to 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 one hundred and eightieth Ave, Williston, Florida 32696. Click on right here for instructions.
Getting There: Probably the most smart manner is to drive, following the I-75 N. There are evening buses obtainable, 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 can too take the Self-Guided Strolling Tour, which is able to take you round websites well-known from the Battle of Gettysburg. The character on this area is gorgeous, so remember to take your time and discover.
The place to Eat: The Ivy Home Restaurant in Williston is a superb place for outside eating, and I actually loved the desserts right here – save room for the chocolate cake.
13. Punta Gorda
When you’re on the lookout for romantic day journeys from Tampa, a go to to Punta Gorda is a superb thought. This small city is full of historic structure, small memento retailers, and exquisite waterfront eating places. The seashores listed here are sometimes gorgeous, lapped by delightfully heat waters.
You’ll additionally discover small artwork galleries and museums, which provide you with 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 refill your digital camera reel.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour half-hour, 104 miles/167km
Location: Click on right here for instructions
Getting There: You may drive by following the I-75 S. You may as well take the Amtrak Thruway from Tampa to Port Charlotte after which a brief taxi drive to Punta Gorda. Click on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll across the historic district and admire the structure earlier than doing just a little retail remedy. When you can keep via the night, the Stargazing Tour is one in all my favourite issues to do.
The place to Eat: When you’re touring as a part of a bunch, the Captain’s Desk Restaurant is a unbelievable selection, with big sharing plates to fill everybody up. The seafood right here is as contemporary as may 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 an exquisite spot the place you’ll be able to stroll, hike, kayak, wildlife spot, and easily relax within the countless inexperienced of the bushes. The river itself leads proper into Tampa, and you may spot totally different species of fish.
There’s a really small entrance price of $6 per automobile, 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 on right here for instructions.
Getting There: You may 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 on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Hillsborough River State Park is actually about carrying snug sneakers and exploring at leisure. Observe one of many strolling trails and see what number of species of wildlife you’ll be able to spot.
The place to Eat: Most individuals take picnics to this vacation spot, nonetheless, it’s fully potential to drive again to Channelside and eat a scrumptious meal. I like to recommend The C Home 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 kids who could also be overwhelmed by the massive 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 points of interest and reveals across the park too, in addition to exhibitions all year long. Youngsters (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 greatest to e-book your tickets earlier than you go, so that you don’t waste time within the admission queue. Click on right here for ticket data.
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 52 miles/86km
Location: 1 Legoland Means, Winter Haven, Florida 33884. Click on right here for instructions.
Getting There: Self-drive is the quickest and easiest method, however you can too 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 on right here for extra data.
Should-Do Actions: Go to Lego Film World to study extra about how motion pictures are created, try Miniland USA, and stroll across the Cypress Gardens to relax 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 hold you full for some time.
Tampa Day Journeys: Transportation Choices
There are a lot of day journeys round Tampa, and whereas public transport could be very dependable, it’s a lot simpler to merely rent a automobile and set off by yourself. You may rent a automobile from varied shops within the metropolis and from the airport once you arrive.
You’ll require a passport and a sound driving license, and your license will must be clear. You’ll additionally want to depart credit score or debit card particulars with the rent firm.
There are a number of bus companies and trains that run across the Tampa space, however they do have a tendency so as to add size to your journey. The perfect day journeys from Tampa require you to cram as a lot into your time as potential, so for those who can drive, it’s a a lot better choice. Click on right here to seek for the very best offers on rental vehicles in Tampa.
Day Journeys Round Tampa: FAQs
Listed here are some solutions to probably 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 adequate to scratch the floor, however to actually delve into the town, you want round one week.
When you’re driving, you’ve got the liberty to go anyplace, however Clearwater and Sarasota are nice decisions and provide a complete change of tempo to life in Tampa.
The prepare community round Tampa is actually prime quality, so most locations are accessible. Each Common Studios and Walt Disney World may be reached by prepare.
There are such a lot of superb locations simply exterior of Tampa, however Clearwater Seaside must be some of the stunning.
Sure, very simply. You may drive or take the prepare on to Orlando and revel in all of the sights.
Walt Disney World Florida is undoubtedly some of the well-known spots in the entire state, and it’s straightforward 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 gorgeous seashores, and Ben T. Davis Seaside is likely one of the closest. This can be a actually quiet and chilled-out house, splendid for kicking again and stress-free.
A small island referred to as Fantasy Bay could be very near Tampa, and it’s a calming spot for absorbing the solar and swimming.
Fort Myers is simply 2 hours away from Tampa by automobile and is a unbelievable seashore vacation spot.
Walt Disney World is likely one of the hottest day journeys from Tampa by automobile, 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 provide, but it surely actually opened my eyes to surprise of the world. I like to recommend heading out on at the least two excursions you probably have the time; whereas the 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 beloved 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.