St. Petersburg · Miami · Fort Lauderdale · Vero Beach · Amelia Island · Ocala · Naples. From Jacksonville to Miami, Here Are 24 of the Best Florida Weekend Getaways. From beach getaways to city getaways, few places attract like the Sunshine State when it comes to fabulous, affordable weekend getaways.
Enjoy an urban stay in bustling downtown Tampa, plan to enjoy the golden sands and high fashion in Palm Beach, or try the laid-back Florida style on Amelia Island. Read on for the best weekend getaways to Florida and start planning your next getaway to the Sunshine State. With hundreds of murals by renowned street artists that animate its urban corridor, the new, avant-garde St. Pete Pier (with a rooftop tiki bar, conservation center, and bayside beach) and historic cotton candy pink hotels like The Vinoy and The Don CeSar, in downtown St.
Pete makes for a joyful weekend getaway. The Dalí Museum houses the largest collection of Salvador Dalí's works outside of his native Spain. The nearby Central Avenue and Bayshore Drive are packed with coffee shops, boutiques, and breweries to explore. Art, fashion, Florida's best food scene, and an international atmosphere make Miami one of the best weekend getaways in the entire U.S.
UU. Stay in Miami Beach at an elegant beachfront hotel like Faena or The Setai, or choose a more urban base in downtown Miami at EAST Miami or at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel. Two of Florida's most incredible national parks, Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, can transport you to nature surprisingly close to the urban metropolis. Yacht-watching, going to restaurants and biking, walking and skating along the waterfront are just a few ways to spend a weekend getaway in Fort Lauderdale, where culture awaits you just steps from the sand.
Park your car for the weekend and explore the city on foot or aboard the water taxi, with stops near the bustling Las Olas Boulevard and Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, as well as on the beach. Roughly equidistant from Miami and Orlando along Florida's east coast, Vero Beach is an exclusive coastal city with a compact, walkable pedestrian center, where you'll find a weekly farmers market, beachfront boutiques, and beachfront restaurants just steps from the sand. The hotel options offer something for everyone, from the romantic Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa and the Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa to the quirky Driftwood Resort. On Amelia Island, located just south of the border with Georgia, swampy meadows stretch to the horizon, golden beaches stretch mile after mile, and shrimp and grits are a staple on local menus.
Rent a bike to explore the historic sites and undeveloped beaches of Fort Clinch State Park, and cycle through the cozy restaurants and shops of downtown Fernandina. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is beachfront on a sublime stretch of coastline. North of Orlando, Ocala is the equestrian country of Florida, home to farms and ranches (where the Arabian champions are raised) and rolling landscapes unique to a state that would otherwise be flat. The Equestrian Hotel is the ideal place to stay, with a fabulous on-site spa, horse courts that host regular competitions, and a glorious heated pool.
Nearby, visit Rainbow Springs State Park to swim in crystal clear, spring-fed waters, or paddle a canoe down the river to see waders, turtles, and perhaps alligators. You can combine time on the beautiful sands of the Gulf of Mexico with luxury shopping and fabulous restaurants when you make Naples your weekend getaway. For a quiet, gulf-front stay, it's hard to beat the Edgewater Beach Hotel or the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. Naples is also a good starting point for day trips to the nearby Everglades National Park, where you can venture out on boat trips from the nearby town of the Everglades.
About an hour south of Tampa, Anna Maria Island has a picturesque Old Florida vibe, with houses painted in shades of Easter eggs, long beaches of fine sand, and no chain restaurants or massive tourist centers in sight. Rent a Surrey bike or golf cart to tour the island and explore, and don't miss the local nighttime ritual meeting at the beachfront SandBar restaurant to watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you're visiting the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks, or you prefer to explore leafy downtown Orlando and nearby Winter Park, this Central Florida city has something for every type of traveler. The city's food scene is booming, both in parks and elsewhere, with Soseki, star of Capa and Omakase, among Orlando's restaurants that have recently won Michelin stars.
Cool off in freshwater springs during kayaking trips in places like Wekiwa Springs State Park, or try some unconventional wellness at the state's first Beer Spa. Some of the closest beaches to Orlando are less than an hour east of the city, along the Florida Space Coast, where rockets launch regularly from Cape Canaveral, and a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must. Take surfing lessons in Cocoa Beach, where professional surfer Kelly Slater grew up, or on nearby Melbourne beach. Schedule your visit for the summer months for a chance to see sea turtles laying their eggs during nighttime guided tours along the Canaveral National Coast and inside the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a 90-minute drive south of Miami, the Islamorada Oasis, in the Upper Florida Keys, is a Caribbean getaway that includes snorkeling on coral reefs and deep-sea sport fishing. When you stay at the Hawks Cay Resort, in neighboring Marathon, you can leave directly from the property's docks for excursions and stay in private vacation villas with all the comforts of home. The sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the fine sand, plus many ways to enjoy nature from the beach, make the Destin-Fort Walton Beach area attractive to spend a few days outside. You can dive along artificial shipwrecks on the Florida Panhandle Wreck Trail or bike the 8.1-mile paved route of the Blackwater Heritage State Trail through habitats with excellent birdwatching.
Panama City Beach may be known as a spring break destination, but it's an attractive getaway all year round. Its beaches reach their maximum beauty in St. Andrews State Park, where you can watch birds, ride bikes to explore, or board a passenger boat to Shell Island, a barrier island off the coast. For an authentic experience in old Florida and to try some of the best fish and seafood in the state, plan a weekend getaway to the picturesque village of Cedar Key, on the Gulf Coast.
On this group of islands off the Gulf of Mexico, commercial fishing is still a way of life, and flip flops are as stylish as resort wear. Cedar Key's clam chowder, mullet sauce, and oysters are some of the local seafood specialties you can try. When it comes to accommodation, there are a few small inns and hotels, as well as atmospheric vacation rentals perched on stilts at the water's edge. With a compact, walkable center, 17th-century San Marcos Castle, and miles of golden beaches perfect for beginner surfers, St.
Augustine mixes history and fun under the Florida sun. Stay in town at the historic Casa Monica Resort & Spa or stay about 30 miles north along the coast at The Ponte Vedra Inn and Club and head to St. Augustine: a day trip to the beach. Lake County, in Central Florida, is filled with beautiful freshwater lakes and is home to some of the best places in Florida for birdwatching.
Turn it into the historic lakefront city of Mt. Dora, 30 miles northwest of Orlando, is your base and spend the day buying antiques, taking seaplane trips to see the lakes from above, and picking juicy citrus fruits from local farms during the orange and grapefruit season. Fort Pierce, home to one of the best weekend farmers markets in Florida, held every Saturday morning along the Intracoastal Waterway, and a marina full of charter fishing boats, is a Florida surprise. The compact and historic city center is home to buildings A, E.
The Backus Gallery and Museum, dedicated to Florida-inspired art, the Manatee Observation and Education Center, and the Sailfish Brewing Company, with beers made with local ingredients. The Martin County stretch of coastline along South Hutchinson Island, which is easy to overlook when you don't know, has some of the most picturesque and least crowded beaches in Florida, loved by kitesurfers and sunbathers alike. Towns like Stuart, Jensen Beach, and Hobe Sound are full of places that locals like to keep to themselves, including the unusual limestone beach at Blowing Rocks Preserve, where rare sea turtles and loggers come ashore to nest. All ads that appear on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors.
If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Condé Nast Traveler does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting a health professional. Founded in 1565, San Agustín is surrounded by history, beautiful architecture, and a vibrant environment.
There are a lot of things to see, but start the weekend by exploring the historic center, which is extremely walkable. There are also hop-on hop-off trolley tours that stop at the best sights. Tarpon Springs, a small piece of Greece, is Tarpon Springs, a small piece of Greece, on the Gulf coast of Central Florida. Greek sponge divers settled here in the early 20th century, and today, Tarpon Springs is home to the highest percentage of Greek Americans in the United States.
From the architecture, the food, the language, and the historic sponge docks, it's a unique weekend getaway in Florida like no other. Downtown Tarpon Springs is an area you can't miss. The historic streets are home to antique stores, breweries, and restaurants. If you want to stay in a historic house, several bed and breakfasts offer accommodation in this area.
We loved our stay at the Blue Bayou Inn. Spring Bayou, a beautiful bay that attracts lots of wildlife, is also worth visiting. During the winter months, you can see manatees. Crystal River is one of the few places in Florida where you can swim and snorkel with the state's most famous resident, the West Indian manatee.
This small town, with its crystal clear waters fed by springs, is home to migratory manatees. During the winter months, these gentle giants move to the warm spring waters due to the colder temperatures in the Gulf. Three Sisters Springs is Crystal River's most famous spring and crown jewel. Admire the spring waters from the park's waterfront trails, or get out on the water and swim or kayak with the manatees.
There are also boat launch areas from Kings Bay and Hunter Springs Park any time of year, and they're the perfect way to explore the area. Read about more great things to do in Crystal River. If you're looking for a unique way to go sightseeing and exercise, planning a walk along the Pinellas Trail is a great option. The Pinellas Trail is a 75-mile multipurpose trail between Tarpon Springs and St.
Petersburg. There are several entry points and things to see along the trail stretch. We decided to visit downtown Dunedin and head off the trail to explore a beautiful state park, Honeymoon Island. But there are a lot of route options.
Anna Maria is a barrier island, about 7 miles long (11 km), off the west coast of Florida. Located between Sarasota and Tampa Bay, this beautiful island is my number one weekend getaway to relax and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. The Ringling Museum is a truly unique place and a must see on any Florida weekend getaway itinerary. I couldn't get enough of this museum and spent about 6 hours exploring.
The beach is known for its great swimming and snorkeling spots. There's a beach cabin in the park with snorkel rentals, beach chairs, and umbrellas, so you don't need to bring your own equipment. Fishing is also popular, and there are bike trails throughout the 54-acre park. Augustine and I hope to see Tarpon Springs soon.
Keep up the excellent and informative writing. Here are eleven of my favorite unique weekend getaways so you can plan a visit and explore these jewels on your next Florida vacation. Beaches, outdoor activities, indoor activities, and family-friendly restaurants make Jacksonville a great weekend getaway for families. Take a look at the trail and plan some unique weekend getaways in Florida, as this trail has a lot to do.
I hope to have inspired you to plan a visit to one or more of these unique Florida weekend getaways. A visit to the Everglades National Park is common on many weekend getaways to Florida, but a unique way to enjoy the park is by glamping in an ecological tent. As one of the most visited states in the U.S. In the US, there are plenty of unique weekend getaways in Florida for visitors.
If you're in Orlando and looking for a unique getaway or a day trip, natural springs are a must see. The choice is yours, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy one of these unique weekend getaways in Florida in spring. I've included a list of things to do, where to eat and drink, and where to stay on the weekend in each city, so you'll definitely have a good head start on your planning. I've compiled the 10 best weekend getaways in Florida, whether you want to sit on the beach, go on adventures, explore its history and hear ghost stories, or watch some transvestite shows and go to the gay beach (yes, Florida, I said gay).