Located in the sunshine state of Florida, Tampa is a beautiful city to explore. With amazing waterways, happening city life, lovely restaurants, there are many places to enjoy on your day trips from Tampa.
To get the flavor of the city, a Tampa day trip is a must especially if you have come here for a short period of time. So, if you want to know about some great day trips from Tampa, then keep on reading our list of day trips from Tampa. When you have a clear idea about the city, planning out a Tampa day trip will be super easy.
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So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and check out the best day trips from Tampa.
12 Best Day Trips from Tampa
There are many tours from Tampa that you can enjoy within a day. With so many awesome places to visit, you will never run out of options for the best day trips near Tampa.
1. Fort De Soto Park:
Fort De Soto Park has everything to offer you. From wildlife to a variety of plants, from beautiful birdlife to marine life, this park makes one of the best day trips from Tampa and hence we recommend it highly. There are 5 interconnected islands inside this huge place where you can spend a relaxing day.
If you are looking for family day trips from Tampa, then make sure to visit Fort De Soto Park. It has camping areas, picnic facilities, so your kids will have an amazing day here.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 40 minutes or 34 miles
Tip: Fort De Soto Park allows your pet dogs as well. So, if you’re a pet parent and want a one-day trip from Tampa with your dog, this is one trip you can definitely enjoy. The beach area has a specified place for your dogs to play.
2. Caladesi Island:
If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and rest in some quiet place, then Caldesi Island makes a great day trip near Tampa. It’s also best for those who don’t want to travel a lot as it is a cool Tampa day trip under 2 hours.
It’s perfect for beach lovers. Go for a fun day trip from Tampa to Caladesi Island where you can swim, kayak, or enjoy your own little picnic. Access the island via a ferry and unwind in the white, sandy beaches of Caladesi Island. You can bring a rolling beach cooler and enjoy chilled drinks on the beach during summer. The boat fee is $6.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 40 minutes by car or 26 miles
Fun fact: Caladesi Island is full of sands. Get a shell bag for yourself when you visit Caladesi Island to pick up some great shells. Low tide is the best time to find shells. So, if you are wondering what to do on a day trip from Tampa, then visit Caladesi and get a bag full of shells.
3. Honeymoon Island State Park:
Want to know which are romantic day trips from Tampa for couples? Come to Honeymoon Island State Park. The four-mile beach is perfect for a weekend getaway from Tampa. Spend some quality time with your partner while soaking under the summer sun.
If your partner wants to go on an adventure, then go for shelling, hiking, swimming, fishing, surfing as this island has all to offer. When you have little time in hand, yet looking for weekend trips from Tampa to enjoy the beach vibes, Honeymoon Island makes for a great option. You can also go to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to know more about the park.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 40 minutes by car or 25 miles
Fun Fact: Your day trip from Tampa to Honeymoon Island will be accompanied by beautiful wildlife like raccoons, tortoises, armadillos. You will also spot eagles, owls, and osprey in the sky. Keep your camera ready for great captures.
4. The Dali Museum:
Looking for quick day trips from Tampa? Think no more and enjoy the wonderful works of artworks at the Salvador Dali Museum. The museum with its intricate architecture will surely catch your attention. Enjoy the amazing range of surrealist works by the celebrated artist.
The museum also has gardens, a library, and a cafe where you can grab a cup of coffee on your Tampa day trip.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 25 minutes by car or 24 miles
Fun Fact: The cafe which is situated in the museum, is named after Salvador Dali’s wife, Gala. Cafe Gala is famous for its Spanish food and visitors get a chance to experience Spanish history as well.
5. Weeki Wachee Springs:
Another great option for a weekend getaway from Tampa is Weeki Wachee Springs. This natural spring is located near Tampa, enjoys a lot of footfall, and visitors love the mermaid shows and the underwater theatre.
There is also a waterpark for your friends and family to enjoy. Go for a swim in the clear waters of Buccaneer Bay. Don’t forget to hop onto the water slides in the spring for a fun Tampa day trip. You can go for a kayak or a boat ride in the Weeki Wachee River as well.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 1 hour by car or 56 miles
Fun Fact: Weeki Wachee is famous for its live mermaid shows as the enigmatic performance of the mermaids are taken place in the freshwater. Also, this is the deepest freshwater spring in the United States and one of the most beautiful springs in Florida.
6. Hillsborough River State Park:
Don’t want to go for a beach day trip from Tampa? Well, Hillsborough River State Park is your best bet if you want to explore the greenery of Florida. With a calming river, seven miles of trails, this makes for a beautiful romantic place in Florida.
Spend your day watching birds or if you are in the mood for some fun little adventures go hiking, camping, or kayaking. With so many options for outdoor activities, Hillsborough River State Park makes one of the best day trips from Tampa which must be on your list. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the oasis and make the most of your day trip from Tampa.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 30 minutes by car or 28 miles
Fun Fact: If you are lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse of the famous Florida alligators in Hillsborough River State Park as they are frequent visitors of this park. So, watch out.
7. Bok Tower Gardens:
Bok Tower Gardens is a hidden gem in Florida especially for those who are looking for something unique and refreshing on their day trip from Tampa. You will find this 200 acre garden in Lake Wales. You will be rewarded with a different species of seasonal plants and vibrant flowers.
The garden also has a Singing Tower which is a favorite spot among tourists. Situated right in the middle of the garden, the tower looks super pretty and a soothing melody is heard from there. It should be a must-have on your Tampa day trip list if you want to experience a historic place with complete lush-covered landscapes.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 20 minutes by car or 62 miles
Fun Fact: You can enjoy a self-guided tour at the Pinewood estate to relish the Mediterranean-style house. They also have a Blue Palmetto Café where you can sit and grab some bite.
8. Rainbow Springs State Park:
Don’t know where to go for your weekend trip from Tampa? Then head on to the most beautiful park of Rainbow Springs State Park to have a delightful day watching crystal waters, cascading waterfalls. It’s a perfect day trip from Tampa to cherish the natural beauty.
An ideal getaway for Tampa scenic drive, Rainbow Springs State Park offers other activities as well. You can go swimming in the calm waters of the river, or go for a kayak ride. If you want to get some adrenaline rush, you can also opt for hiking but you should have a proper hiking boot. If you don’t have any, check out our sorted list of the most affordable hiking shoes.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 30 minutes by car or 101 miles.
Tip: You can bring along your pet but they should be kept on leash. You will get waste bags for your pet in the park. Also, if you are planning for a picnic, the facilities of the picnic such as tables and grills are only provided on a first cum first serve basis.
Read Other Hiking Gears Buying Guide:
9. Anna Maria Island:
Anna Maria Island makes for a great choice for a day trip from Tampa Bay. If you are in the mood to unwind yourself and get that pleasant lazy Florida vibes, then Anna Maria Island should be on your bucket list for your next day trips from Tampa.
This is an ideal place for all beach lovers. You won’t find fast-food restaurants or high-rise buildings here and this is what makes this island so unique and makes you nostalgic. This is a perfect place to experience the good old charm of Florida. Make sure to capture the moments of sunrise on Tampa Bay and a picturesque sunset too. Manatees and dolphins will accompany you all along in your Tampa day trip.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 1 hour 6 minutes by car or 56 miles
Fun Fact: Anna Maria Island is popularly known as A Piece of Paradise. You will find people of all ages and kinds. Even Hollywood celebrities love to spend some time on this pristine beach. Also, check out Historic Bridge Street Pier to shop and dine.
10. Saint Petersburg Sunken Gardens:
St. Petersburg is known for its pleasant weather and visiting the Sunken Gardens is one of the many things to do outside Tampa on your day trip from Tampa. This botanical garden is 100 years old and you get to see more than 500 varieties of plants, fruit trees, and flowers.
Roam around the garden while you spot a flock of flamingos and enjoy the green canopy. Make sure to capture the stunning views of the cascading waterfalls. You can go for guided tours to explore more about the gardens. You can also arrange educational tours.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 28 minutes by car or 22 miles
Tip: Sunken Garden is one of the hidden gems of Florida and hence visitors are requested to maintain certain decorum to preserve this beauty. Keep in mind to maintain the designated paths for visitors, do not touch anything, and watch the animals from a safe distance without disturbing them.
Naples is one of the cities to visit near Tampa and it also makes for a fantastic Tampa road trip. You will enjoy superb views of the Gulf of Mexico when you land in this beautiful place. Whether you want to explore high-class culture or superior quality of shopping, Naples is the place for you. Even beach lovers will enjoy a day trip from Tampa to Naples.
If you are fond of art, go for a quick visit to the Bakers Museum. Also on your road trip, you can stop at Lakeland, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, and many more. You can also plan for Tampa overnight tours to Naples as it’s a lovely place for both families and friends. If you are a shopaholic do check out Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South and buy some great home decors to gift or to glam up your own house.
Driving Distance from Tampa: 2 hours 30 minutes by car or 166 miles
Fun Fact: Naples is the go-to destination for high-end shopping. Also, it has tons of golf courses for the golf lovers out there.
12. Key West:
When you have little time to indulge for your day trip from Tampa, you must head on to Key West. Although it’s going to be a slightly longer day trip, you can’t miss out on a day trip from Tampa to Key West.
There are many stops where you can enjoy a bit like Venice, Fort Meyers Beach, Sanibel Island. When you reach Key West, you must sip on the famous local drink key lime pie. You will get the best flavors of Key West when you have your lime pie from Key Lime Shoppe.
Driving Distance from Tampa to Key West: 7 hours by car or 424 miles
Fun Fact: Did you know that Key West locals are known as conchs? Yes, the locals of Key West are called conchs while others who relocated here are called “freshwater conchs”. You must try out the special food of Key West which is conch fritters.
Tampa is a great place to explore. Also, if you are planning to move to Florida, keep Tampa as one of your choices as it’s one of the best cities to live in Florida. The cost of living in Tampa is lower than the average rate and it offers amazing opportunities for work as well. Whether you want to enjoy the scenic beauty of Tampa, go for a sunbath, or just simply sit back and sip on a beer in some of the most famous Tampa breweries, Tampa has everything for everyone.
So, now you know how to plan day trips from Tampa. Mark your calendar, pack your essentials, and hop on to have fun-filled best day trips from Tampa.
FAQ – Best Day Trips From Tampa
1. How many days do you need in Tampa?
Ans– To discover the beauty of Tampa, you need usually 3 days to complete. However, there are many amazing day trips from Tampa that you can take when you don’t have much time in hand.
2. Where can I go on a road trip to Tampa?
Ans– There are plenty of options for road trips to Tampa if you are looking for one. Places like Orlando, Naples, Key West Crystal River, Anna Maria Island are some of the popular ones among them.
3. What part of Tampa is closest to the beach?
Ans– Davis Beach is the nearest beach in Tampa which is on the east side.
4. Is Tampa safe for solo travelers?
Ans– Tampa is one of the best places to travel solo in the US. You will find lots of friendly people there to guide you if you ever come across a problem. Tampa has a lot to offer for all kinds of travelers.
5. What is the best time to visit Tampa?
Ans– To enjoy the best discounts you must visit Tampa from September to December. May to August is the most crowded season in Tampa.