Regardless of the time of year, exploring the great towns and beaches of Florida is a great thing to do, especially if you can do it in a nice little day trip. From quaint towns with an old South feel, to beautiful beaches, nature preserves and the Space Coast, there is no end to the variety that awaits.
Here are some suggestions for places to go for a sweet day trip! I am defining day trips from Orlando as anything within two hours. Fill up the tank, buckle up and let’s take a road trip!
One of my favorite things to do is to take a drive to St. Augustine. This beautiful, historic city has so much to offer. At 450 years, St. Augustine offers a window into the past as you walk through the old part of the city and explore the Castillo de San Marcos, which is the fortress that defended the city at its infancy.
St. Augustine has over 42 miles of beaches. Each one is unique, with its own charms. They include Anastasia State Park, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine Beach, Crescent Beach and Washington Oaks State Park.
There are so many great places to dine in St. Augustine, but my absolute favorite for lunch is O’Steen’s Restaurant, for the best fried shrimp anywhere!
Florida Beaches Just a Day Trip Away From Orlando!
No doubt about it, Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. People flock to Florida in the Winter months just to enjoy sun, sand and water! Starting on the East Coast, one can reach just about any beach from St. Augustine to the north to Vero Beach to the south. Check out any of Florida’s glorious Atlantic coast beaches, you will not be disappointed!
- Butler Beach
- Ormond Beach
- Daytona Beach
- New Smyrna Beach
- Cape Canaveral National Seashore
- Cocoa Beach
- Sebastian Inlet State Park
- Vero Beach
- Matanzas Inlet
- Flagler Beach
This is just a small representation of the glorious beaches that Florida has to offer. Check out this website for more information by county for Central Florida Beaches!
If you are more of a Gulf Coast person where the waters are the calmest and warmest, there are also many fabulous options that are perfect for a day trip from Orlando, in under two hours. Many of them are in the Tampa Area!
- Robert J. Strickland memorial Park (Hudson Beach)
- Robert K. Reese Memorial Park
- Ben T. Davis Beach
- Picnic Island
- Davis Island Beach
- E.G. Simmons Park
- St. Pete Beach
- Clearwater Beach
Kennedy Space Center
The best anyone can say about the Kennedy Space Center is that it is awe inspiring. There is so much to see and do there and it can take up an entire day. The vast campus is filled with a wide variety of space-themed activities and attractions.
Visit the Manatees
There are several places that one can see the Manatees, those sweet, gentle sea cows. During the Winter months these animals head into warm waters such as springs and power plant discharge waters. Here are the best places to see these gentle giants :
- Three Sisters Springs , Crystal River
- Blue Spring State Park , Orange City.
- TECO Manatee Viewing Center , Apollo Beach.
- Lee County Manatee Park , Fort Myers. (Not exactly a day trip from Winter Park, but something to keep in mind if you fine yourself in Southwest Florida.
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge , Titusville.
Visit Quaint Florida Towns
Florida is literally dotted with beautiful, quaint small towns. Unique and pretty, these towns reflect the roots of Florida living that is often overlooked for the more famous towns like Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Some of these towns are good for a day trip, some are a bit father, but all are worth a visit.