12 Best Road Trips From Orlando within 3 Hours (Weekend Getaways + Best Day Trips)

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Are there any road trips from Orlando? There are many options for the best day trips from Orlando (day trips near Orlando), as it is located centrally in Florida. 

Also Read: Ultimate Florida Itinerary 10 days – Best Of Florida Road trip (with Map + Key West)

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Orlando is the top destination in the world for Walt Disney, Universal Studios, and huge amusement parks. Not only for local travelers from the US but globally, this is the favorite destination for amusement park lovers. So if you are in Orlando, discover some of the beautiful nature, wildlife, and historic cultural places nearby and go for wonderful road trips from Orlando. 

Best Road Trips From Orlando (Weekend getaways from Orlando)

St. Augustine 

Distance From Orlando – 1 hr 43 min (105.2 mi) via I-95 S and I-4 W

Best St Augustine Itinerary weekend getaway - road trips from orlando

Things To Do In St. Augustine – 

  • George Street
  • Old Historic Town Trolley tours
  • St Augustine Beach
  • Flagler College
  • Old Town Ghost Tour
  • Colonial Quarter
  • Oldest House
  • Lightner Museum
  • Castillo de San Marcos
  • Walking tour of Historic Old City

Where To Stay – St. Augustine Historic Old city downtown – Click here for some of the best stays in St. Augustine with pros and cons

Type of Attraction – Historic and Nature

WHY: St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States, full of history and charm. Visitors can explore the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century Spanish fortress, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the oldest masonry lighthouse in the country, and stroll down St. George Street, a pedestrian-only street lined with shops and restaurants. If you love historical culture, St Augustine is one of the best road trips from Orlando, Fl.

Crystal River 

Distance From Orlando – 1 hr 33 min (87.4 mi) via Florida’s Turnpike

best day trips from orlando

Things To Do In Crystal River – 

  • Three Sisters Springs
  • Hunter Springs Park
  • Crystal River National Wildlife
  • Crystal River Preserve State Park
  • Hunter Springs Kayak Tours
  • Fort Island Gulf Beach

Where To Stay Book your stay at Crystal River historic downtown for all the vibrant restaurants and bars. You can also book a hotel at King’s Bay, which is near nature. 

Type of Attraction – Nature and Wildlife

WHY: Crystal River is a popular destination for those who want to swim with manatees. Crystal River is the best place in the world to view the manatee in its natural habitat! Visitors can take a guided tour with a certified guide and swim alongside these gentle giants. The town also has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and galleries; outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby parks and wildlife preserves.

Kennedy Space Center 

Distance From Orlando – 1 Hour (51.4 mi) via FL-528 E

Things To Do – Book a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center with special shows.  

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Where To Stay – Mostly, people stay in Orlando and do Kennedy Space Center as a day trip. Or you can book your stay in Cape Canaveral – Cocoa Beach stretch, just a few miles from the space center. 

Type of Attraction – Aerospace and Technology

WHY: The Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in space and science. Visitors can tour the facility and see rockets, exhibits, and the Space Shuttle Atlantis. There are also hands-on exhibits, simulations, and opportunities to meet astronauts and learn about NASA’s current and future missions. This place is one of the best day trips near Orlando. 

Book the Kennedy Space Center tour previously, as it is always fully booked

Mount Dora 

Distance From Orlando – 40-45 min (33.4 mi) via FL-429 N

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Things To Do In Mount Dora – 

  • Palm Island Park
  • Modernism Museum
  • Village Antique mall
  • Mount Dora Village Market

Where To Stay In Mount Dora – Book your hotels near Dora Lake for a view of the beautiful lake. 

Type of Attraction – Nature & Relaxed

WHY: Mount Dora is a quaint, picturesque town on Lake Dora’s shores. Visitors can take a scenic boat tour of the lake, stroll down the charming streets, and explore the many art galleries and antique shops. The town also has a thriving food scene, with many farm-to-table restaurants and cafes. It is one of the nearest road trips from Orlando, Fl. 

Blue Spring State Park 

Distance From Orlando – 40 min (33.2 mi) via Exit I-4 Express E, I-4 E, and US-92 E/Hwy 17 N

Things To Do In Blue Spring State Park – 

  • 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail
  • Spot 14 manatees in St. Johns River – St. Johns River Cruises
  • The Thursby House
  • Boat tours and canoe/kayak rentals

Type Of Attraction – Nature and Wildlife

Where To Stay – Cabins and Campgrounds are inside the park. Or book a hotel stay in Orlando

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WHY: Blue Spring State Park is a popular spot for swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. The park is home to hundreds of manatees during the winter months, and visitors can observe these gentle giants from a boardwalk or take a guided kayak tour. The park also has hiking trails, picnic areas, a historic site, and camping facilities.

Sarasota 

Distance From Orlando – 2 hr 17 min (131.2 mi) via I-4 W and I-75 S

Things To Do In Sarasota – 

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Siesta Key
  • The Ringling
  • Marie Selby Botanical Garden
  • St. Armands Circle
  • Ca d’Zan
  • Myakka River State Park
  • Siesta Key Village
  • Lido Key
  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens
  • Myakka Canopy Walkway

Type Of Attraction – Nature And Artistic

Where To Stay In Sarasota – Book your hotels in Downtown Sarasota for first-timers, Rosemary District for art and food, Lido Key for beaches, and Siesta Key for families. 

WHY: Sarasota is known for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the Ringling Museum of Art, which houses an impressive art collection, including works by Rubens, Velázquez, and Gainsborough. The town also has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and galleries; outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby parks and wildlife preserves.

Daytona  

Distance From Orlando – 55 min (55.8 mi) via I-4 E

Daytona Beach - best day trips from Jacksonville florida

Things To Do at Daytona – 

  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Daytona Boardwalk Amusements
  • Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory
  • Daytona Lagoon
  • Daytona Beach Main Street
  • Daytona Beach Pier
  • Tanger Outlets Daytona Beach 

Type of Attraction – Amusement, Fun, and Nature

Where To Stay In DaytonaBook your hotel at the best location in Daytona Beach or Downtown Daytona Beach.

WHY: Daytona Beach is famous for its hard-packed sand, which allows cars to drive on the beach. Visitors can watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, explore the Daytona International Speedway, and stroll down the boardwalk full of shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Winter Park 

Distance From Orlando – 15 min (7.3 mi) via I-4 E and W Fairbanks Ave

day trips from orlando - road trips from orlando

Things To Do In Winter Park – 

  • Mead Botanical Garden
  • Kraft Azalea Garden
  • Rollins Museum of Art
  • Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
  • Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
  • Central Park
  • Winter Park

Where To Stay In Winter Park – Book your hotel in authentic historic Winter Park downtown.   

Type Of Attraction – Park town (more than 70 parks in the whole city) and Artsy town

WHY: Winter Park is a charming town located just outside of Orlando. Enjoy the green parks of this place, with more than 70 parks and green spaces. Take a scenic boat tour of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, and stroll down historic and rustic Downtown, with shops, restaurants, and cafes. 

Tampa Bay 

Distance From Orlando – 1 hr 30 min (84.2 mi) via I-4 W

Tampa Instagram Captions and quotes

Things To Do In Tampa Bay – 

  •  Busch Gardens 
  • The Florida Aquarium 
  • Tampa Riverwalk
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park 
  • Sunshine Skyway Bridge 
  • Tampa Riverwalk 
  • Ybor City
  • Bayshore Boulevard
  • Henry B. Plant Museum

Where To Stay In Tampa Bay – 

Click to book hotels in Tampa Downtown for vibes in the city, Bay Harbor for water sports enthusiasts, Westshore for vibrant nightclubs, Ybor city for the Cuban and Latin American vibes, and Temple Terrace for amusement and animal parks. 

Type Of Attraction – Modern City, nature

WHY: Tampa Bay is a popular destination for its beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. Visitors can explore the Tampa Bay History Center, which offers exhibits on the region’s history and culture, or the Florida Aquarium, which features over 20,000 aquatic animals. Other attractions include:

  • The Busch Gardens theme park.
  • The Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary.
  • The Lowry Park Zoo.

Tarpon Springs 

Distance From Orlando – 2 hr 10 min (113.7 mi) via I-4 W

road trips from orlando - places to visit near Orlando

Things To Do In Tarpon Springs – 

  • Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
  • Fred Howard Park
  • Sunset Beach
  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral 
  • Craig Park
  • Whitcomb Bayou

Where To Stay In Tarpon Springs – Click here to book hotels in Tarpon Springs

Type Of Attraction – Nature & Greek style historical region of US. 

WHY: Tarpon Springs is known for its Greek heritage and is home to one of the largest Greek communities in the United States. Visitors can explore the historic sponge docks, where sponge divers would unload their harvest, and visit the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, which exhibits the town’s history and culture. 

Clearwater (Weekend Trips From Orlando)

Distance From Orlando – 2 hr 10 min (107.9 mi) via I-4 W

weekend trips from orlando - weekend getaways from orlando - places to visit near Orlando

Things To Do At Clearwater Beach – 

  • Sand Key Park
  • Honeymoon Island State Park
  • Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
  • Dolphin Encounters
  • Beach Walk
  • Pier 60 
  • Aspirations Winery 
  • Murielle Winery 
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
  • Spectrum Field.

Where To Stay at Clearwater Beach – South Beach is the best location to book hotels at Clearwater Beach

Type of Attraction – Nature 

WHY: Clearwater Beach is a popular destination for its crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand. Visitors can take a dolphin-watching cruise, parasail over the ocean, or enjoy a sunset dinner cruise. Other attractions include the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is home to Winter the Dolphin, and the Pier 60 Park, which features nightly sunset celebrations. It is one of the best road trips from Orlando for beach and ocean lovers. 

Weeki Wachee Springs (Places to Visit Near Orlando)

Distance From Orlando – 1 hr 45 min (91.5 mi) via Florida’s Turnpike

day trips near orlando - day trips from orlando

Things To Do At Weeki Wachee Springs – 

  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
  • Weeki Wachee Kayak & Canoe
  • Buccaneer Bay 
  • Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park
  • Linda Pedersen Park
  • Buccaneer Bay
  • Mermaid Shows

Where To Stay –  Camp inside the park or book a hotel a few kilometers away. You can also book your hotel in Orlando and cover this attraction as a day trip from Orlando.

Type of Attraction – Nature

WHY: Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural springs park with mermaid shows, wildlife exhibits, and water attractions. Visitors can watch the mermaids perform underwater ballets, take a riverboat cruise, or go kayaking or canoeing down the Weeki Wachee River. Other interests include the Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, which features water slides, a lazy river, and a kiddie pool.

These are just a few of the many day trips from Orlando or road trips from Orlando that offer unique features and things to do. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone within a few hours’ drive of Orlando.

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