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Getaways for a Great Day Away

Make the most of your spring break this year and cut down on travel time by checking out what other regions of The Sunshine State have to offer, whether you’re traveling solo or appealing to a multigenerational group. 


Between kids’ activities, family obligations, conflicting vacation schedules and work demands, hitting pause for a week away can bring a whole new kind of stress into your life. But getting even a day or three away can be the breather everyone needs, and there are all kinds of statewide getaways just a road trip away.  

Whether you’re fitting everything into one day or planning an overnight stay, traveling with kids or hitting the road with friends, reuniting extending family or finally getting a couple’s weekend away, everyone from the avid outdoor adventurer and eager beginner to the casual window-shopper and curious localvore will find a way to fill their day no matter where they go in The Sunshine State.  

Of course, your vacation is yours to design, but we’ve got some ideas to get you started. 


The Panhandle
Bayou George
Taking its name from a waterway that flows into part of the panhandle’s saltwater Saint Andrews Bay, Bayou George is unsurprisingly a great place to swim and splash around on spring break. No matter how many lily pads or canopied overhangs you count along your quiet aquatic adventures, though, all that natural beauty is in fierce competition with the vibrant scarlet sunsets you can catch here. 

It’s not just white-sand beaches and emerald waters that make Destin a must-visit destination: From golfing to dining, pampering spas to high-energy amusement parks, jet-ski rentals to shopping excursions, there are a million ways to get the vacation you need from this Gulf Coast town. Check out the variety of animal encounters, all-level lessons in everything from surfing to scuba diving to sandcastle-building, restaurants boasting fresh-caught seafood, and even show-stopping sunrises and sunsets bookending the day that appeal to early birds and night owls alike. 

Perdido Key
Amid the quiet and seclusion of this laidback coastal community snugly nestled on the Alabama and Florida border, you’ll find that one of the state’s best-kept secrets is filled with wildlife havens, art galleries and museums, historical fixtures and tours, and plenty of eco-tourism opportunities like bird watching and nature-trail hiking paths. If getting touch in nature is how you unwind best, almost 60% of Perdido Key’s 16 miles of narrow, unblemished beaches is located in either state or federal parks, boasting some of the gulf’s last stretches of pristine wilderness. 

Big Bend
Cedar Key
History buffs have plenty to explore here, with roughly 8,000 acres in and around Cedar Key designated to the National Register of Historic Places. Go back in time at Cedar Key Museum State Park, which depicts the town’s 19th-century history, or visit the Cedar Key Historical Society & Museum, where two historical buildings are home to a collection of archival material, records and artifacts dating back to 1842. Of course, there’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts, too, with wildlife refuges, nature trails and state preserves all offering up-close glimpses of Cedar Key’s rich natural beauty. 

With a mild climate and vistas of verdant, unspoiled natural settings framed by Spanish moss, Monticello promises its visitors a destination vacation like no other with something for everyone. Whether you cozy up at a downtown B&B or hunker down anywhere from a hotel to a campsite, you’ll be a stone’s throw from enough dining options and outdoor activities to try something new every day, plus a downtown shopping district that’ll send you home with local treasures like homemade honey, handmade jewelry, collectibles and antiques.

High Springs
A true haven for anyone looking to recharge in the great outdoors, this town’s advantageous proximity to the Santa Fe River and other natural wonders attracts campers and sightseers, canoers and swimmers, and cave divers and snorkelers—a natural springs flowing steadily at a year-round 72 degrees is appealing in its own right, too. If you prefer to take your spring break at a more leisurely tempo, the town fully embraces that casual pace, as well as a flair for the unique that defines its many art, retail and cultural offerings.

Palm Coast
For those looking for the kind of vacation where everything you need—including an incredible seaside view—is right within your reach, check out Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa. There you’ll find nine restaurants serving a veritably globe-trotting range of cuisines, plus 10 swimming pools, a full-service spa, two golf courses, a drop-off camp for kids and more, right on down to a fresh ocean breeze. Of course, the area is also home to a vibrant art scene, and locating the 10 strikingly designed turtle sculptures that the Palm Coast Arts Foundation distributed among local public spaces, including five in The City of Palm Coast alone, makes for one fun family scavenger hunt.

St. Augustine
The country’s oldest city is jam-packed with a reverence for its history while simultaneously embracing a forward-thinking fondness for modern art, a whirlwind tour of international eats and something new to see with every visit. Even its museums always find new ways to celebrate the old days, and the Lightener Museum is no exception. Springtime visitors will be privy to limited engagements like the museum’s 75th anniversary culminating with the major exhibition The Triumph of Nature: Art Nouveau from the Chrysler Museum of Art, as well as the soon-opening reinterpretation of the Lightener’s breathtaking permanent collection from America’s Gilded Age.

Western Florida/The Gulf Coast
Greer Island
Not to be confused with the privately owned Beer Can Island in the middle of Tampa Bay that’s also a popular hangout spot for boaters, this one’s on the northern tip of Longboat Key and offers visitors to its one-mile stretch of baby-powder-white beach stunningly clear water that’s great for spotting both manatees and dolphins.

St. Pete Beach
Whatever brings you to these acclaimed white-sand beaches and warm gulf waters, staying somewhere with great service and incredible amenities can be what elevates the experience for everyone you’re traveling with. With two conjoining hotels, the coastally charming Island Grand and nautically decorated RumFish Beach Resort by TradeWinds can help good times become cherished memories with a variety of options: low-key family-friendly activities; more adrenaline-pumping options like jet-ski rentals; the high-flying view that parasailing offers; or taking to the water on a dolphin-spotting excursion.

Tarpon Springs
With plenty to both fill the daylight and nightlife hours, you could spend an entire vacation getting to know Tarpon Springs and still not see it all. Get lost in an independent bookstore or get pampered at a local salon, take a tour of local sites or historical landmarks on foot or on water, and then sample your way through its many dining spots’ unique and flavorful fare. If your vacations double as educational opportunities, you can’t miss the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum’s current exhibit, artist Christopher M. Still’s depiction of the history, culture and spirit contained within “The Great State of Florida.”

Central Florida
Merritt Island
Located on the state’s biggest island, this town enjoys all the excitement of a front-row seat to today’s milestone chapter in American space exploration while celebrating its wild side. Split your day between a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and a kayak tour of the local waterways, or get in a quick round of golf before visiting the 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and being lucky enough to catch a rocket blasting off from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. You’ll find everything from familiar chain restaurants and unique local eats, too, so you won’t have to go far to make sure everyone’s tastes are satisfied.

River Ranch
If dropping off the grid for a few days is the spring getaway you need, the rustic vibe here offers the perfect counterbalance to a lifestyle of constantly being on the go and always being plugged in. Whether you’re indulging in outdoor activities like fishing, trail riding or taking a trip down the Kissimmee River, or you’re starting your hike by picking up the Florida Trail—one of the country’s 11 National Scenic Trails—at its River Ranch trailhead, you won’t even miss the phone you haven’t checked all day.

Volusia County
In this region spanning from the St. Johns River to the ocean, the ECHOtourism initiative delivers the best in entertainment and education centering local ecological, cultural, heritage and outdoor and making them accessible to everyone. If you or your travel companions have a variety of vacation goals, this east-central county is sure to please with offerings that include performances by European symphony orchestras, access to some of the region’s most stunning and well-maintained parks, and a whole stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline giving way to welcoming beaches.

South Florida/The Keys
Fort Lauderdale
Traveling with family and kids can be a challenge, and places like Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club understand that appealing to a range of ages and interests can be the peace-keeping compromise where everyone wins. Guests won’t even have to leave the property to discover amenities like one of Fort Lauderdale’s deepest private beaches, two large pools, multi-purpose racquet courts, a mini golf course, a newly upgraded beach playground complete with playsets suited for both toddlers and young kids.

Key West
Home to the southernmost point of the continental U.S.A., Key West is no stranger to drawing big crowds with its unique environment, unique claims to history and year-round tropical appeal. It takes something a little extraordinary to stand out among that inherently unique landscape, and the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is a one-of-a-kind arboretum, botanical garden, museum and wildlife refuge filled with attention-grabbing living displays, rare and endangered plants, and a flourishing native nursery.

When you need a break from seeing, doing and playing, relax at your home away from home by checking into Isla Bella Beach Resort. At the threshold of the iconic Seven Mile Bridge lies this private oasis reimagining the Florida Keys with a tranquil, scenic escape from the world you left behind with the mainland. Here you’ll find everything from in-room enhancements and other world-class guest accommodations onsite and the local experiential expertise to craft curated, one-of-a-kind experiences off-site.

West Palm Beach
Time is everything when you’re trying to take in as much as you can in a town known for its beautiful weather, vibrant atmosphere and stunning beaches, and throwing down anchor in a central location can help you check off just one more must-see site during your time away. Guests at the Hilton West Palm Beach can find themselves with easy access to shopping and dining at The Square, and just two miles from the Palm Beach waterfront, when they’re not enjoying resort-style pool and cabanas, restaurants, live music, fitness classes and lawn games.