10 Best Weekend Trips From Orlando, Florida - Updated 2021

weekend getaways from orlando

Working hard for weeks makes people tired and reduces productivity. A quick getaway on the weekends can help you regain your energy and refresh your mind, making sure your physical health, as well as emotional well-being, are maintained. There are various places around Orlando that you can cover in a short time. If you are traveling to Florida, Orlando itself is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the United States. Apart from the numerous attractions of the city, its central location makes it ideal as a base for exploring the allures of nearby destinations in Florida. A brief guide to some of the most visited places is listed here so keep reading to learn about the best weekend trips from Orlando, Florida.

1. St. Augustine (from USD 74.0)

Flagler College (St. Augustine, Florida) 001
Source: Photo by user Leonard J. DeFran... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Saint Augustine, a city in the southeastern United States was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers and it is the oldest city in the country. It is on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. The climate here is subtropical with mostly warm and sunny weather. It is about 110 miles (177.028 km) from Orlando and takes about 2 hours to reach. The city is a treasure trove for lovers of history, with its captivating tourist attractions of historical significance. The quaint architecture dating back to the 1700s, the museums bringing history alive, fine dining, luxury shopping, enjoying the scenic beauty of the Matanzas Bay are some of the activities that tourists can enjoy on a day trip to this city. The living history museum Colonial Quarters reenacts historical events and provides interactive experiences. Weapons demonstrations at Castello and the Fountain of Youth bring back memories of the colonial era with musket and cannon-fire sounds.

Saint Augustine Day Trip from Orlando

Duration: 10 hours

10 reviews

2. Titusville (from USD 60.99)

Max Brewer Bridge, Titusville, Florida
Source: Photo by user Joe Zack used under CC BY 2.0

Titusville is located along the Indian River in the west of Meritt island. It is about 40 miles (64.4 km) from Orlando. The highlight of Florida’s Space Coast, Titusville is a unique place where scientific advancements like rocket launches cohabit with natural splendors like nests of sea turtles. The city is an ideal base for a trip to the Kennedy Space Center, where you can view memorabilia related to the space shuttle and experience a simulated ride into space. The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum exhibits over 45 warbirds that provide insights into warbirds through the ages. Experience diversity of natural habitats at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary as you follow the hiking trails and marvel at the wildlife and temperate as well as subtropical flora.

Kennedy Space Center: Admission Skip the Ticket Line

Duration: 10 hour

1975 reviews

3. Miami (from USD 99.0)

Source: Pixabay

The dream destination for every traveler, the awesome weather, sparkling beaches, lush tropical gardens, blazing nightlife, arts and culture of this city are sure to enthrall you. A lively arts scene, fascinating museums, and mouthwatering cuisines add to the allure of this vibrant city. The Art Deco History District with the pastel-colored buildings from the 1930s and 1940s and the bright neon signs charm tourists. Miami Beach, a long stretch of soft white sand washed by cerulean waters, offers the perfect site to soak up the famous bright Miami sunshine. The nights at the city are an endless party, humming with life. At a distance of about 236 miles (380 km) from Orlando, approximately a three and a half hour’s drive, it is sure to captivate you, offering memories of a lifetime.

Miami Day Tour from Orlando with Optional Upgrades

Duration: 16 hours

10 reviews

4. Cocoa Beach (from USD 40.0)

Cocoa Beach Pier Blue Hour (38768501275)
Source: Photo by user Gregory Urbano used under CC BY 2.0

Get away from the noise of the traffic and the jostling crowds in the city and come to Cocoa Beach, a nature lover and surfer’s paradise. Water activities that families can enjoy are endless, like surfing, parasailing and more. The Kennedy Space Centre located nearby offers adventures into outer space. You can kayak through the exotic mangrove tunnels and observe the Bottlenose Dolphins and West Indian Manatees, and enjoy the sights of colorful birds. Experience a taste of local culture with live music and sizzling cuisines at the Historic Cocoa Village. It is about 60 miles (96.5 km) from Orlando and takes about 50 minutes to reach.

Thousand Island Mangrove Tunnel, Manatee & Dolphin Kayak Tour!

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

2 reviews

5. Cedar Key (from USD 56.0)

Sunset at Cedar Key
Source: Photo by user Kevin Shorter used under CC BY 2.0

Cedar Key is a small city with a population of 800 people in Levy County, Florida. It used to be an old fishing village but has been developed and reconstructed as a tourist center with regionally famous seafood restaurants and two festivals annually; The Spring Sidewalk Art Festival and the Fall Seafood Festival attract thousands of tourists to the area. It is about 135 miles (217 km) from Orlando and takes about 2 hours to travel.

Cedar Key Food Walks

Duration: 3 hours

6. Tampa (from USD 111.0)

Tampa night
Source: Photo by user Dennis Ludlow - S... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida, on the west coast of Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. It is located about 85 miles (137 km) from Orlando and it takes about 2 hours to reach. A seat of Cuban culture, mouthwatering food and vibrant nightlife, Tampa offers many attractions for travelers. You can have a fun-filled day of thrill at the African-themed amusement park Busch Gardens. Enjoy a unique perspective of the city with a ride on a speedboat on the bay. Party the night away at Ybor City, a hip urbane tourist spot. The Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa are other attractions that the kids will love.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket

Duration: 8 hours

10 reviews

7. Daytona Beach (from USD 43.0)

Daytona Beach, Florida
Source: Needpix

Located about 51 miles (82 km) northeast of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the city of Daytona Beach is famous for hosting the iconic NASCAR race in February. Travelers can ride over the hard-packed sand at the beach and enjoy the sights, sunbathing and swimming. Take a stroll along the pier and the boardwalk, enjoying thrilling rides and tasty dishes. You can enjoy water activities like go-karts, waterslides and laser tag at the Daytona Lagoon Water Park.

Electric Bike Rental in Daytona Beach

Duration: 4 hours

8. Sarasota (from USD 159.0)

Marina at night - Sarasota, Florida - DSC00842
Source: Photo by user Daderot used under CC0

At a distance of 140 miles (225 km) Sarasota is about 3 hours’ drive from Orlando and the perfect destination for some family fun. Several colorful festivals like the Sarasota Film Festival, the Annual International Arts Festival, the Harvey Milk Festival, and the Sarasota Chalk Festival are major cultural attractions that draw tourists from all over the world. The Ringling Museum of Art exhibits countless striking works of art. Fine sand beaches with shallow waters offer the perfect beach getaways for families. Marine Laboratories, Botanical gardens and big cat sanctuaries offer fascinating encounters with diverse flora and fauna.

Private Guided Sightseeing Tour of Sarasota

Duration: 6 to 7 hours

1 review

9. Tarpon Springs (from USD 162.0)

Tarpon Springs, FL (Sponge Docks)
Source: Photo by user dpursoo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located about 120 miles (193 km) from Orlando, Tarpon Springs is the home of the largest number of Greek Americans than any other city in the United States. The city is renowned as the “sponge capital of the world”. The Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum displays the history and culture of the Greek sponge divers’ community. Beaches and parks are popular for various water activities. Restaurants along the riverfront Dodecanese Boulevard serve delectable Greek cuisines. You can enjoy shell spotting and watching dolphins on the beaches.

Fantastic Helicopter Tour- Tarpon Springs, Clearwater beaches & Caladesi Island

Duration: 30 minutes

10. Homosassa (from USD 83.0)

Homosassa Springs State Park under obs01
Source: Photo by user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Homosassa is the city where Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located, which is home to endangered migratory manatees. Florida panthers, red wolves, black bears, alligators, flamingos, hippopotamuses, and diverse other wildlife are also found in this reserved area. The underwater viewing platform called the “fishbowl” is very popular among tourists for watching manatees and fish swarming in the spring at the source of the Homosassa River. Homosassa is about 90 miles (145 km) from Orlando and it takes about 2 hours to reach, offering the ideal family getaway from Orlando.

Homosassa Semi-Private Houseboat Swim with the Manatee Tour

Duration: 4 hours

Explore Florida

Stunning beaches, adrenaline-pumping watersports, lazying in the sun, appreciating the astonishing wildlife, partying and visiting amusement parks; weekend trips from Orlando offer diverse attractions for travelers. Whether you want to spend some quality time with your significant other or strengthen the bonds in your family, head out to any of the nearby places. Rejuvenated in mind, body and soul, you are sure to bring back memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Sebanti is an avid traveler, having toured all over India and Europe she loves to explore wild spaces and new urban places alike. She contributes regularly to travel-related online publications to...Read more

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