Day trips from Orlando are so easy to take for a quick getaway! While Orlando is packed with so many great family-friendly activities, sometimes you just need to get out of the city and explore new places!
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If you’re hoping to escape the hustle and bustle with your family for the day, you’re in luck. There are so many great ways to enjoy some quality time with your family just outside Orlando. Your family will love taking one of these fun day trips from Orlando.
A Day Trip To Crystal River
For an amazing winter day trip, head to crystal river where your family can swim with manatees. Manatees flock to Crystal River during the winter months to enjoy the warmer water in the springs, making it the only time to enjoy this amazing experience. However, if you don't visit in the wintertime, there is still plenty to do in this aquatic town.
Visit Kings Bay which is fed by more than 700 springs and home to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. If you and your family like to fish, consider traveling to Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes where you can choose from 15 lakes to make your home for the day.
After a long day on the water, have your catch cooked by a local seaside restaurant! Simply clean your fish and call ahead to let the restaurant know you'd like them to cook it for you. Some restaurants that do this include Charlie's Fish House and Katch Twenty Two. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing your hard work turn into a delicious meal.
A Beach Day Trip To Clearwater
For a quick beach day trip from Orlando, head to Clearwater. Your family will love the beautiful beaches at this Gulf Coast destination. Clearwater beach is known for its long stretch of powder white sand and turquoise waters. Its calm, warm waters make it perfect for splashing around and relaxing swims, as well as water sports!
After some time at the beach, head to Pier 60, a 1,080 foot fishing pier that offers great views, shops, snacks, and recreation. Kids will love “Sunsets at Pier 60”, where they can engage in crafts and entertainment with a beautiful sunset backdrop. This free event is hosted from 6-9 p.m. in the recreational park each night.
In addition to beach fun, your kids will also enjoy a visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is home to Winter the dolphin (star of A Dolphin Tale). The Aquarium is a must visit for dolphin lovers and marine conservation enthusiasts alike!
There are tons of great family-friendly activities to enjoy in Tampa, but I think the best attraction for kids is ZooTampa at Lowry Park. This awesome zoo was named the #1 zoo in the country by Parents Magazine and is home to hundreds of animals, along with some fun shows and rides. Sign up for encounters with endangered species like the African Penguin and Indian Rhino! Kids will love the opportunity to see and feed these animals up close.
Afterwards, you'll love taking a walking tour along Tampa's Riverwalk, where you'll find restaurants and beautiful landmarks. It's a great way to get in some steps and take in beautiful views of the water, boats and downtown Tampa. Feel free to bring your pup along, as its perfect place to take them for a long stroll. A day trip to Tampa is definitely fun for the whole family!
A St. Augustine Day Trip
For historical day trip from Orlando, there’s no better destination than St. Augustine. At just over two hours from Orlando, your family will have plenty of time to enjoy everything this historic city has to offer. There is a lot to enjoy in this city, including Castillo de San Marcus National Monument and the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the country.
Visit St. Augustine's Colonial Quarter to learn about the town's rich history and experience a taste of what life may have been like all those years ago. Climb to the top of the old Watch Tower, learn about blacksmithing, and watch a live musket demonstration! Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at The St. Augustine Seafood Company. I recommend the Anchor burger, topped with fried shrimp and pepper jack cheese! Don't forget to have some ocean fun one of the city's beautiful beaches during your trip.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
This next destination is a day trip from Orlando, especially for kids! While this beautiful park is perfect for outdoor-loving families with great hiking trails and water activities, the big draw to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the mermaids. In less than two hours from Orlando, your kids can enjoy a live mermaid show featuring synchronized swimmers!
Embark on a river adventure by renting a kayak and cruise down Weeki Wachee river. Although much of your adventure will be shaded by Cyprus and oak trees, it is important to wear a hat and sunglasses during your water ride. This fresh water experience is a great way to relax, connect with nature, and see some wildlife!
Kennedy Space Center
If you have a space-loving kid in the family, a trip to the Kennedy Space Center is a must. You can reach the center in only an hour from Orlando and there is so much to see and do, your family can keep busy at this attraction the entire day! From rocket exhibits to IMAX movies, there is something for everyone at this educational attraction.
A day trip from Orlando is the perfect way to take a short vacation and get out of the city. These spots are some of our favorites to visit with family members of all ages. Plus, these towns offer enough diversity in activities that you'll find something entertaining for everyone. With their ease of access, there should be nothing stopping you from exploring these fun cities just outside of Orlando!
If you love taking Florida day trips and are in need of some other ideas, check out Family Friendly Day Trips From Fort Lauderdale!
Do you like taking day trips? Let us know in the comments below!