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12 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida

Florida is a year-round warm weather destination that attracts visitors from around the world. Ancient Spanish forts, moss-covered oak trees, beautiful white sand beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and flavorful cuisine await visitors and locals alike in the Sunshine State.

Looking to escape winter? Florida makes for a great hot weather destination in the US. No matter when you choose to visit you’ll find plenty of activities in Florida and miles of sandy beaches.

No matter whether you favor nature, amusement parks, or both, an amazing and exciting weekend getaway is in store for you in Florida.

Here’s our list of 12 best weekend getaways in Florida.


12 Best weekend getaways Florida.


Weekend Getaways in Florida


Orlando is one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations and the possibilities here are endless. Is a weekend even enough to enjoy this vast and bustling city?

Orlando is most notably home to Disney World, but you can also go on airboat adventures to see creatures and critters in the wild. Read our list of things to do in Orlando besides theme parks for more ideas.

International Drive is another super fun area in Orlando, bursting at the seams with restaurants, outlet stores, hotels, and theme parks.

You are in for a wild ride on a weekend in Orlando!


Orlando Florida skyline sunset.

Take a weekend in Orlando for Disney fun along with lots of other cool things to do


St Augustine

America’s oldest city is an ideal destination for a Florida weekend getaway. With interesting historical sites and gorgeous beaches along with outstanding dining choices you’ll have a blast in St A.

Spend a couple hours exploring the Castilla de San Marcos National Monument, built in the 1600s to protect the city. This Spanish fort built on the coast is an interesting, fun, and educational experience.

Do you love fishing? You won’t want to miss the opportunity to drop a line at the fishing pier, or maybe charter a boat for deep-sea fishing. You can also surf fish right from the beach!

St Augustine also is known for water sports such as surfing and kayaking. You can rent gear right on the beach and spend a day out on the water practicing your skills.

As the daylight fades take a stroll along the water and watch the sunset at Bridge of Lions before dining on fresh seafood at top notch restaurants in old town.

Read our list of 50 Things to Do in St Augustine


Bridge of Lions St Augustine FL.

A weekend in St Augustine is a great choice for solo travelers, family vacation, or girlfriend getaway – there’s something for everyone


Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a fascinating place brimming with history and natural beauty. Key West is the most popular area in the keys thanks to its walkability and unbeatable setting.

Visitors can spend hours in the Key West Historic District and must visit the Ernest Hemingway House, which served as the author’s home for eight years during the 1930s.

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is another favorite among nature lovers and the Southernmost point of the Continental USA is a fun place to have your picture taken.

Most notably the keys are known for its crystal blue water with excellent diving opportunities including those at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park or head to Long Key State Park for birding, fishing and kayaking.


Southernmost Point buoy Key West FL.

At the Southernmost Point marker in Key West you’re only 90 miles from Cuba



Miami is the ultimate weekend getaway destination and boasts numerous cool, hip and fun activities.

Calle Ocho is the traditional center of Miami’s Cuban community and has numerous restaurants and cafes serving cafe con leche (coffee with milk), exquisite slow-cooked beef called “ropa vieja” and Cuban sandwiches.

South Beach is the party epicenter of the South Florida region and there are many clubs and upscale restaurants to treat yourself in.

Miami Beach offers dazzling white sand and gorgeous aquamarine water, perfect for cooling off after basking in the Florida sunshine.

And did you know that Miami is one of the warmest places in December in the US? Makes for a pretty perfect winter escape!


Miami Beach Florida skyline and beach.

A weekend in Miami Beach is the perfect reset button when you need a break from it all


Ocala National Forest

Located in North Central Florida, Ocala National Forest is a place to escape civilization and truly commune with nature.

The forest boasts a whopping 600 plus natural ponds and lakes and a wide variety of wildlife.

Visitors can camp in the numerous campgrounds throughout the forest and hiking is immensely popular.

The star of the forest is found at Juniper Springs where swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and many other activities are possible 365 days a year.

Learn more about the beautiful springs in Ocala.


Juniper Springs Ocala FL.

Spend a weekend at Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest to escape to nature



Golf fans of all ages will love Naples, which has the most golf courses per capita in the state of Florida.

The city sits on the gulf coast and has idyllic weather and high-end shopping.

Make sure to take a walk on the Naples Pier to see if you can spot some dolphins or catch a fish.

Ten Thousand Islands, just to the south of Naples is a pristine chain of islands where visitors can enjoy camping on the beach and kayaking.

The area is also famous for being a dark-sky site where stargazers can get amazing views of the Milky Way.


Naples Florida fishing pier.

Even if you’re not into fishing take a walk down the fishing pier for the view and probably some dolphins


Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park is located in Central Florida, just north of Orlando.

The eponymous spring found at the park stays at 72 degrees year-round and is a destination for any kind of water activity including swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and scuba diving.

In fact, during the winter months you can go kayaking with manatees at Blue Spring!

That’s right, the manatees call Florida home during wintertime and the gentle giants can easily be spotted while paddling the springs.

On the grounds of the park stands a 2-storey house built in 1872 known as the Thursby House. It now serves as a museum and interpretive center.

Visitors can tour the house and get a glimpse of pioneer life in the Florida scrubland.


A group of manatees at Blue Spring State Park Florida.

Blue Spring State Park is a favorite winter getaway for manatees too!


St Petersburg

St. Petersburg, in Tampa Bay area, is a vibrant city devoted to the arts.

The city is home to numerous art museums, including one of the world’s best museums dedicated to Spanish artist Salvador Dali.

Sunken Gardens, on the north side of the city, is a four-acre botanical garden full of native Floridian plants and wildlife.

The gardens are almost a century old and one of the oldest roadside tourist attractions on Florida’s west coast.

And of course you’ve got the beautiful St Pete beach to enjoy!


St Pete Beach FL.

St Pete Beach is a perfect weekend getaway with gorgeous white sand beaches on the Gulf Coast


Crystal River

Crystal River is situated around the river of the same name in the heart of Florida’s Nature Coast.

The springs keep the river temperature constant all year and in the winter, manatees visit this pristine location to escape lower temperatures elsewhere.

You can even go kayaking to see manatees close up.

The city itself is rather small, but the nature on offer is stunning.

Restaurants boasting fresh seafood are particularly famous here and the down-home style cooking is delectable.

Fried fish, clams, shrimp and hushpuppies are staples of Southern cuisine. Yes, you should try them all!


Manatee Crystal River FL.

The waters of Florida’s springs brings the manatees during colder months of the year



Destin draws in millions of visitors each year based on beaches containing some of the whitest sand in the world.

It is located on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida mainland, on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

The sand crystals are so pure they are often compared to sugar. And this super white quartz sand reflects the sun so it stays cooler.

In the fall season Fishermen gather every October for the Destin Fishing Rodeo and compete for titles. Also in October, Foodies and artists come together for the Destin Seafood Festival and art show.


Destin Henderson Beach State Park Florida.

Enjoy a weekend in Destin with sugary white sand and the gorgeous aquamarine water


Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park, in South Florida, is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world.

And it’s the largest sub-tropical wilderness area in the US.

Visitors can tour the park on airboats which resemble enormous fans with seating attached.

Camping is available all year in the park thanks to South Florida’s mild winter climate.

Hiking trails are available in varying degrees of difficulty that cross many types of native landscapes. Hardwood hammocks, pinelands and freshwater sloughs can be viewed from hiking trails.

Wildlife is abundant in the Everglades with over 400 species of birds, as well as alligators, leatherback turtles, panthers, and manatees among the other animals you might see in the park.

You May Also Like: 11 Florida National Parks and Monuments


Alligators on grassy shoreline at Everglades National Park.

If you’ve ever wanted to see alligators in the wild then Everglades National Park is your happy place


Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island, in South-West Florida, is a natural barrier island surrounded by beaches on almost all sides. The Island is famous for its glittering shells and brilliant white sand, making the beaches some of the most famous in Florida.

The island is also home to numerous wildlife habitats including the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The complex is a stopover for migratory birds and a paradise for those who love bird watching.


Conch shell on Sanibel Island beach.

Sanibel Island is known for seashells, especially beautiful conch shells


Final Thoughts on Florida Weekend Getaways

As you can see there are lots of choices for Florida vacations and each one will provide you with memories of a lifetime. With an abundance of choices for your Florida weekend escape you can make plans for more than one getaway in the Sunshine State.

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12 Best weekend getaways in Florida, white sand beaches and manatees.