Whether you are more into hidden gems that aren’t known by everyone, or looking for the best beaches, there’s a weekend getaway for you in Florida. From the Panhandle to the Keys, there are plenty of great places to camp, dive, or relax. If you’re looking for something new, try one of the places we’ve found for you below.
Source: Instagram (@citystaug)
Distance from Tampa: 3 hours
Distance from Melbourne: 2 hours, 15 minutes
St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the United States, and is rich with history. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés of Spain founded it in 1565, and would eventually become Florida’s first governor. For over 200 years, the city was split between Spanish and British rule until Florida became a state in 1818. For history buffs, a visit to the Castillo de San Marcos and the Lightner Museum are must visits.
Be sure to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and take a walk down Avenida Menendez at night. The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park is also located in St. Augustine, and is Florida’s oldest attraction.
Source: Florida State Parks
Distance from Tampa: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Distance from Melbourne: 5 hours, 30 minutes
While this state park is a bit of a hike, it’s the only cave in Florida that is accessible by foot. Cave tours are offered Thursday-Monday and last around 45 minutes. You can also go for hikes or horseback rides around the park. For those looking for water activities, Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring offer canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Campsite reservations can be made directly on the Florida State Parks website.
Source: Instagram (@streamsongresort)
Distance from Tampa: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Distance from Melbourne: 2 hours, 35 minutes
This resort is known for their world-class golf courses. Golf Digest named the Streamsong Resort’s Red and Blue golf courses the fourth and sixth best courses in the entire state! Both courses have won numerous awards on both a local and national level. For those who are not in to golf, you can also enjoy an expansive spa, bass fishing, clay shooting, and archery lessons. This is the perfect spot to indulge and relax.
Source: Instagram (@larslarsen)
Distance from Tampa: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Distance from Melbourne: 5 hours
Want to head to the same beach as the locals? Sombrero Beach is a great spot on the Florida Keys for soaking up some sun. It’s a great spot for divers and snorkelers, as turtles tend to nest at nearby Coco Plum Beach. Sombrero Beach also offers volleyball courts, pavilions (some with a grill), restrooms, and a pier that provides a great view of the sunset each night.