Last Updated on October 27, 2023

Always On The Shore contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  If you make a purchase, we make a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, please read the disclaimer page

Tampa is a beautiful bay city along Florida’s Gulf Coast with so many fun things to do.

From here up to Orlando or south to Naples, there are a lot of day & weekend trips to take from Tampa.

The recommendations in this post are kid-friendly places and activities so bring the whole family!

Luscious, white, sandy beaches, Busch Gardens, and Ybor City are just a few things that Tampa has to offer in terms of attractions and entertainment.

If you’re from the Tampa area or just staying here on vacation, there are plenty of exciting activities to do nearby.

All of the attractions on this list are under 3 hours from Tampa.

Take a day trip from Tampa or even a weekend getaway to these spots and enjoy some of the best that Florida has to offer!

Here are 15 day & weekend trips to take from Tampa!

Best Day & Weekend Trips From Tampa

 

Things To Do Nearby- Downtown St. Petersburg

     Take a stroll or ride bike through the waterfront parks next to the pier.

    Check out the downtown shops and restaurants.

    Visit the Museum of Fine Arts or Dali Museum.

Looking to see a bit more of the area?  Take a downtown city tour!

Recommended Rental Nearby-

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

The St. Pete Pier has some great views and fun things to do
St Pete Pier

800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Things To Do Near Icon Park

If you’re looking for more fun in the area, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is right by Icon Park and is worth visiting.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows is right next to the parking ramp for the park.  It’s a live comedy/mystery show where you try to solve the crime.

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf is a mini-golf course and just a short walk from Icon Park.

For a deal that lets you bundle several attractions on International Drive, try the Orlando Explorer Pass! 

Recommended Rental NearbyHyatt Place

Icon Park

8375 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Hours- 10 am-2 am

Things To Do In Treasure Island and Nearby

John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is less than a 10-minute short drive from Treasure Island.

(See #8 on this list)

Rosselli Park is nearby and has tennis courts, a kids’ playground, baseball field, picnic area, and dog park.

Get some food at Caddy’s restaurant on the beach.  Known for their bottomless mimosas and sangrias on weekends.

If you’re looking to get out on the water, check out a yacht cruise in the area!

Recommended Rental NearbyIsland Inn Beach Resort

Treasure Island

11260 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, FL, 33706

Things To Do Near the Ocala National Forest

Both the Ocala National Recreation Trail and Silver Springs State Park are nearby.

Recommended Rental NearbyMicrotel Inn and Suites by Wyndham Ocala

Ocala National Forest

Forest Service Road 09, Silver Springs, FL, 34488

Things To Do Near Times Square, Fort Myers Beach

Try a 4-6 hour fishing charter in the area with Beeline Fishing Charters!

Bowditch Point Park is near the northern tip of the island and is a nature preserve with natural trails and a beach.

Take a Dolphin Tiki Cruise around Fort Myers Beach.

Recommended Rental Nearby- Pink Shell Vacation Villas

Times Square

1133 Estero Blvd. Fort Myers Beach, FL, 33931

Things To Do In Clearwater Beach

Visit downtown for shops and restaurants/bars.  The downtown area is just a block from the beach and includes Pelican Walk Plaza, 2 floors of shops, and restaurants.

Hogan’s Beach Shop is a great place to see wrestling history and collect memorabilia. After checking out the beach shop, have a beer at Hogan’s Hangout on the corner of Mandalay Ave.

The original Frenchy’s Cafe is right around the corner from Hogan’s Hangout.

While in Clearwater Beach, don’t miss the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for some family fun.  The aquarium is home to dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life.

Sand Key Beach Park is south of Clearwater Beach and Pier 60.  It’s a quieter spot with a picnic area, grills, shelters, dog park, and beach.

Recommended Rental NearbyHilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa

Clearwater Beach- Pier 60

7 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL, 33767

Bayfront Park is a nice beach on the northern end of Anna Maria Island

Things To Do In Anna Maria

While here, walk over to the Anna Maria City Pier.  The pier is just a little ways south.

Or you can walk north to Rod & Reel Pier for some great views and good food.  Both are less than a half-mile away from Bayfront Park.

Looking for more delicious food in the area?  Check out these restaurants on Anna Maria Island!

You can see lots of marine life in the water from the piers.  We saw stingrays and dolphins when we were at the Rod & Reel Pier.

Just a little further north from Rod & Reel Pier is Bean Point, which is the beach at the northernmost point of the island.  Here is where Tampa Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico.

There are no amenities at Bean Point, it’s just a great beach with picturesque views and smaller crowds.

Recommended Rental NearbySunrise Garden Resort

Bayfront Park

316 N Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, FL 34216

Things To Do Near John’s Pass, Madeira Beach

Just north of John’s Pass is a nice beach access area in Madeira Beach.   This beach isn’t very wide and there are a lot of hotels and vacation rentals on the beach, so it gets crowded fairly quickly.

There’s a parking lot and a pay station here.  There are no lifeguards here and hours are 7 am- Dusk.

About 10 minutes south of John’s Pass is the St. Petersburg Municipal Beach in Treasure Island (See #3)

Recommended Rental NearbyBarefoot Beach Club

John’s Pass

12902 Village Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Things To Do In Naples

The boat picks you up and drops you off at Tin City, which is a bunch of indoor shops and restaurants on the Naples waterfront.

The Naples Pier is close by and a popular attraction with concessions and a beach area.

For more to do in Naples and Southwest Florida, go here.

Recommended Rental NearbyCove Inn on Naples Bay

Pure Florida Cruises at Tin City

1200 5th Ave. S Ste 501, Naples, FL 34102

Things To Do In St. Pete Beach

The Drunken Clam is a good seafood restaurant right across the street from County Park Beach.  The Clam is a sports bar and is also popular for wings and drinks.

Pass-a-Grille Beach is further south on the island and has paddleboard and speed boat rentals.

This is a well-known beach with gift shops and restaurants/bars nearby, including Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.

Recommended Rental NearbyThe Don CeSar

County Park Beach

4700 Gulf Blvd., St. Petersburg Beach, FL 33706

Things To Do On Sanibel Island

There are quite a few places to rent bikes on the island and it’s a good way to get around and explore.

Bowman’s Beach Park is on the western end of the island and has trails, a kids’ playground, and another popular spot for shelling.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is close to Bowman’s Beach Park and is known for its migratory bird populations.

The refuge is more than 6400 acres and home to nearly 250 bird species!

Recommended Rental NearbyWaterside Inn on the Beach

Lighthouse Beach Park

One Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL, 33957

Things To Do Near Univeral Orlando

Shadow Bay Park is just north of Universal and has trails for walking and biking and tennis courts.

Fun Spot America is another lesser-known theme park with an arcade, roller coaster rides, bumper cars, and go-karts.

Recommended Rental NearbyLoews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando

6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819

Credit Dinosaur World/Youtube

Things To Do Near Dinosaur World- Plant City

There are a number of food options in Plant City not too far from Dinosaur World.  These include Carrabba’s Italian Grill,  1916 Irish Pub, Applebees, Outback Steakhouse, and Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant.

If you bring your dog to Dinosaur World, you can also let them play at the Plant City Dog Park which is close by.  Burchwood Park and Rowena Mays Park are also in the area.

Recommended Rental Nearby-  Hampton Inn Plant City offers 15% off room rates when you call ahead and mention Dinosaur World.

Dinosaur World

5145 Harvey Tew Rd, Plant City, FL 33565

Things To Do In Bradenton Beach

*Coquina Beach is right on the other side of Gulf Drive from Leftis Key and is the most popular beach on the south end of the island, with lots of amenities.

*Cortez Beach is also close by and is about a mile north of the preserve.

*If you’re looking for the best beaches on the island, go here!

Recommended Rental NearbyTropic Isle Inn

Leftis Key Preserve

2351 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217

 

Things To Do Near Disney World

Sea World is about 10 minutes from Disney.  This attraction has shows and presentations with marine life, rides and attractions, and close encounters with the animals.

Discovery Cove is a nearby snorkeling spot where you can also go swimming with dolphins!

Recommended Rental NearbyWyndham Grand Orlando Resort

Disney World

1375 E Buena Vista Dr., Orlando, FL, 32830

 

 

What Cities Are 1 Hour (Or Less) From Tampa?

St. Petersburg- 25 minutes

Plant City- 25 minutes

St. Pete Beach- 36 minutes

Clearwater Beach- 38 minutes

Madeira Beach- 39 minutes

Anna Maria Island- 60 minutes

What Cities Are 2 Hours (Or Less) From Tampa?

Orlando- 1 hour and 33 minutes

Ocala- 1 hour and 38 minutes

What Cities Are 3 Hours (Or Less) From Tampa?

Fort Myers Beach- 2 hours and 18 minutes

Naples- 2 hours and 23 minutes

Sanibel Island- 2 hours and 28 minutes

What Beaches Are Closest To Tampa?

Ben T. Davis Beach is a popular beach in Tampa and is located on the causeway as you head to Clearwater.  Located across from Davis Beach is East Tampa Beach.

For more on the most beautiful beaches in the Tampa area in the United States, check out this post!

Conclusion:15 Day & Weekend Trips From Tampa

As you can see, there are many awesome attractions and day trips from Tampa!

If you’re looking for more fun things to do in Florida, the sunshine state of the United States, check out these 17 Amazing Gulf Coast Beaches.

Booking a last-minute trip to Tampa?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and hotels!

Top Tours in Tampa

Guided Tampa Tour In A Deluxe Street Legal Golf Cart – (Best Guided Tampa Tour)

Tiki Boat – Downtown Tampa – (Authentic Tampa Floating Tiki Bar)

Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise From Tampa – (1.5 Hour Dolphin Watching Cruise)

Tampa History Cruise – (Learn Tampa’s History On A Cruise)

Historic Ybor City Food Walking Tour – (Guided Food Tour In Ybor City)

Top Hotels & Accommodations in Tampa

Courtyard By Marriott Tampa – (Budget To Mid-Range Stay In Tampa)

AC Hotel By Marriott Tampa Airport – (Top Rated Hotel Near Tampa Airport)

Hyatt House Tampa Airport/Westshore – (Highly Rated Hotel With Bar & Pool)

Hotel Haya – (Best Rated Hotel Near Ybor City)

Looking To Get Around In Tampa

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗