Ready for a change in scenery? It’s time to discover the best day trips from Tampa Bay! Whether you are looking to explore beautiful gardens, natural springs, and more, we’ve got something for everyone. We’ve curated a list of the must-do day trips from Tampa Bay. Keep reading to find your next adventure!
Only an hour and a half from downtown Tampa, Crystal River makes for one of the perfect day trips from Tampa Bay! There’s nothing more Florida than exploring Crystal River. We started our day off at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, home to manatees, panthers, black bears, and more Florida wildlife.
Then we hit the water for a kayak tour with Hunter Springs Kayaks. Our adventure included a guided kayak tour and the opportunity to swim with manatees! Lastly, we explored the river on an airboat with Ozello Boats which was so fun and a great way to see more of Crystal River. For more information, visit Discover Crystal River’s website.
📍Crystal River, Florida
The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is one of the must-visit day trips from Tampa Bay! Where fine art meets nature and coastal beauty, you will feel like you have traveled to a time and place far away.
Masterworks from the 16th to 20th century are displayed in the grand waterfront mansion that was home to Mabel and John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus. As beautiful as the art inside is, you won’t want to miss exploring the sprawling gardens that surround the museum, too. For more information, visit the Ringing Museum of Art website.
Pro-Tip: If you’re on a budget, The Museum of Art and Bayfront Gardens are free to the public on Mondays!
📍 5401 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34243
Snorkel and scuba dive Florida’s premier pre-historic spring, Devil’s Den Spring! Located inside a dry cave, this underground spring has been home to many extinct animal fossils dating back to the Pleistocene Age. As one of your day trips from Tampa Bay, Go and explore Florida’s best and oldest swimming holes! To schedule your dive, visit the Devil Den’s Spring website.
📍5390 NE 180th Ave. Williston, FL32696
You’ve probably heard of the Weeki Wachee mermaid show, but did you know that this Old Florida site is also home to the deepest freshwater cave system in the country? There is plenty to do at the park to make a day of it.
The iconic mermaid show and underwater theater are a must, but we also recommend the family-friendly water park at Buccaneer Bay or renting an inner tube for a lazy river ride down the clear Weeki Wachee River. The river is also the perfect place to launch a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard! For more information, visit the Weeki Wachee website.
Pro-Tip: Bring a waterproof camera and a dry bag. Also, don’t forget to stop by the floating hot dog stand!
📍6131 Commercial Way Weeki Wachee FL 34606
This contemplative garden and bird sanctuary is a must-do day trips from Tampa! Bok Tower Gardens is made up of a 240-acre garden, the 205-foot Singing Tower with its beautiful carillon bells, the Pine Ridge Trail, and the Pinewood Estate.
The historic landscape garden is decorated with breathtaking seasonal colors of azaleas, camellias, and magnolias! Bok Tower Garden makes for a beautiful photo op and afternoon adventure. For more information, visit the Bok Tower Garden website.
Grab your beach blanket and bathing suit for a trip to Anna Marie Island! This seven-mile-long barrier island is full of laid-back, Florida charm.
Whether you are relaxing on the white-sandy beaches or renting a bike to explore the island on two wheels, there is something for everyone on Anna Maria Island. The Historic Bridge Street Pier is the place for dining and shopping, a must-visit for sure as a day trips from Tampa!
Pro-Tip: There are only so many restaurants on Anna Maria Island and very few take reservations. Plan to eat dinner extra early if you don’t want to wait! For more information, visit the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce website.
Been transported to a lush, tropical garden in the heart of St. Pete at the Sunken Gardens. Open in 1903, this roadside attraction is one of the oldest in the country. The Gardens are open for tours, educational programs, and special events. After exploring the Sunken Gardens, check out more fun things to do in St. Pete by tapping our guide below! To plan your trip, visit Sunken Gardens’ website.
📍1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
📸 Clearwater Marine Aquarium
If you’re an animal lover, spend the day in Clearwater and visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This rehabilitation aquarium is home to the stars of Dolphin Tale!
You’ll get to see a memorial for the beloved and playful Winter the dolphin, who passed away in November of 2021. We loved Winter very much, and hope you can relive her memory at the aquarium.
While in Clearwater, grab a bite at a local beach bar and catch the sunset along Clearwater Beach! For tickets, visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium website.
📍249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767
Besides the annual Strawberry Festival, Plant City has a lot to explore and experience! Enjoy an afternoon outside at Dinosaur World or Cow Creek Farm. Keel and Curley Farm has you covered with delicious farm fresh wine and berries to pick from.
Downtown Plant City is home to hidden gems like the Tipsy Bookworm, the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum, and the Krazy Kup coffee shop. Plant City is only 25 miles or a 25-30 minute drive from Downtown Tampa, making it the perfect day trips from Tampa Bay.
Pro-Tip: Skip your regular grocery store this week and visit Parkesdale Market! They offer fresh-picked produce, plants, jellies, and more! Plan your day in Plant City with our Neighborhood Guide!
📍Plant City, Florida
Been wanting to take a trip to Greece? Well, Tarpon Springs is the next best thing! Head to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and enjoy authentic Greek restaurants and bakeries, local shops, sponge diving, and more. You can’t visit without picking up a natural sea sponge! To plan your visit, the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks website.
📍735 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Legend has it that the waters of Rainbow Springs possess magical healing powers! Whether or not that’s true, you are sure to enjoy the crystal-clear spring by swimming, tubing, or kayaking. An afternoon at Rainbow Springs is refreshing and relaxing. Be sure to explore and find the three large man-made waterfalls on your day trips from Tampa! For more information, visit the Rainbow River State Park website.
📍 19158 SW 81st Place Rd.
Dunnellon FL 34432
Tampa Bay has a new business in town! Next time you’re going on a day trip and bringing along your bike, kayak, or canoe—you need to check out Rack Attack Tampa.
They have the largest inventory and the best selection of roof racks for bikes, kayaks, canoes, skis, snowboards, and more.
You can expect top service, knowledgeable staff, and the best selection of roof racks and more accessories for your outdoor adventures…plus everything is installed on-site!
Venezuelan (she/her) | 📍 Tampa since 2019 | Content Writer & Dog Mom...