5 Hidden Weekend Road Trips

October 24, 2016

Ava Accardi shares, My favorite thing about  living in Tampa is that since its in the middle of the state no place is too far for a weekend trip.

Credit: Victoria Baldor

Ava Accardi shares, “My favorite thing about living in Tampa is that since it’s in the middle of the state no place is too far for a weekend trip.”

Many tourists flock to the sunny Tampa, Florida for the NFL’s Buccaneers, a rich local history, and the sunny climate. The city of Tampa has a lot to offer itself, but there’s so much more to Florida that’s begging to be seen and enjoyed.

Tampa to Jacksonville, FL

Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Distance Covered: 226 miles

Take This Trip If: With a lively arts scene, a great downtown district, and some of the country’s best golf courses, Jacksonville is a hidden gem located in Northern Florida. Since the weather is a bit colder upstate compared to the beaches of Miami, the conditions make for ideal golf weather. And with a less-crowded beach scene, this once underrated seaside city has become a vibrant spot, with an NFL team to boot.

Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, FL

Total Driving Time: 4 hours, 11 minutes

Distance Covered: 265 miles

Take This Trip If: No longer taking a back seat to its sister cities to the north and south, Fort Lauderdale is coming into its own. The downtown and beach area are filled with restaurants and shops, similar to the surrounding communities like Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and beyond. In the center of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard stretching from the beach at A1A filled with fashion boutiques and art galleries, to restaurants and sidewalk cafes. The main stretch of shopping and dining is about 10 blocks making Las Olas a great stroll for day after a four hour drive. 


Tampa to Seaside, FL

Total Driving Time: 5 h 59 min

Distance Covered: 419.0 miles

Take This Trip If: Seaside is located on Highway 30A (what’s categorized as a relatively short piece of road that runs along the beaches between Destin and Panama City) and is a quaint, yet chic beach town different from anything stateside. The crystal clear blue waters and white sand beaches were just named the “Best Beach on Earth for Families!” Travel + Leisure. The beaches of 30A has tons of amazing shopping, some smaller shops, all with a beachy-chic vibes. The store Perspicacity is an open air market that is a must see.



Tampa to Miami, FL

Total Driving Time: 4 h 5 min

Distance Covered: 279.9 mi

Take This Trip If: Miami is a pretty large city comprised of multiple neighborhoods with lots of personality. If there’s one thing you’ll leave Miami with, it’s certainly going to be a full stomach. Chefs make their mark in any way they can with the flavors from Latin America, The Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and various parts of America. The famous La Sandwicherie, is known for its Cuban sandwiches. With the culture-soaked into Miami life, the one must-see is Little Havana.


Tampa to Rainbow River Park, FL

Total Driving Time: 1 h 48 min

Distance Covered: 107.0 miles

Take This Trip If: You love the outdoors. Make a day trip out of this great park only 107 miles from Tampa. Take tubes down the river for a one-half hours long trip with friends and family. There are hundreds of tuber/kayakers/boaters, but since it’s spring fed there is a swift current and the water is unpolluted and crystal clear. There are many types of fish and several minor springs in the upper part of the river close to the park. And after floating down the river you can show your receipt for free admission to the headsprings area of the park at the US 41 entrance for a day of picnicking, nature study, swimming and family fun.

Freshman Grace Orama shares, “When I went, in order to get everything there done in one day, we had to leave at six in the morning, but it was so much fun!”



After being stuck in the same city for months on end, sometimes it’s best to take a short trip. Luckily, these places are just a drive away.

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