Whether you've got a three-day weekend coming up that you want to take advantage of or you're looking for a getaway from Tampa, we have some suggestions to make the most of your weekend trip.
Make the two hour and 40-minute drive from Tampa to Fort Pierce and immerse yourself in this small town that is home to the Indian River Lagoon. See more than 4,000 species of animals and plants at the lagoon, or bring your binoculars and spend an afternoon birdwatching. The downtown area of Fort Piece offers Old Florida charm with a waterfront pier for fishing, and seafood restaurants such as the Harbor Cove Bar and Grill and 12A Buoy. A visit to the Navy Seal Museum gives you a chance to learn about the vigorous training efforts of these brave men and women while the St. Lucie County Historical Museum caters to the history buffs.
A three hour and 45-minute drive lands you and your family in the Wilderness Waterway, known as Everglades City. After a relaxing morning in your cozy vacation rental, set out to explore the mangrove forests and marshes by hiking Ten Thousand Islands. Underwater creatures are prevalent in this area, and a wildlife tour with Shurr Adventures Everglades gives you a chance to see these creatures from a safe distance. Stop in at the Museum of the Everglades to learn more about the area, or set out on foot when signing up for a walking tour with Everglades Area Tours.
Book a vacation rental in Captiva, located three hours and 45 minutes from Tampa, and admire the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico from your balcony or front porch. This small Florida city is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts with opportunities to fish right in the Gulf waters. Explore the town’s attractions when renting bikes from Billy’s Rentals and tooling through the streets. Lunch at the Bubble Room offers the kids an entertaining and scrumptious meal. When you want to make a splash, rent jet skis or kayaks from Captiva Watersports to take out on the water.
In just under three hours away from your Tampa home, you can explore the sights in Matlacha, a Florida city known for its vibrant arts community. This tiny town is home to the Calusa Heritage Trail, where you can kayak or paddle around the inlet, or hike for the day. Rent some bikes from Pine Island Cycles and take a whirl through the city’s limits to see the coast. The Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens offers some inspiration for budding artists while a reservation with Captain Jack Boat Tours gives you and the kids a chance to see dolphins and whales on the water.
Venture to a Florida city with old-world charm when booking a vacation rental in St. Augustine for the weekend. Take in the history of this town with tours of Castillo de San Marcos and the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. Relax on Crescent Beach as the waves crash in or get up close and personal with the water when renting tubes, canoes, or kayaks from Anastasia Watersports. St. Augustine ECO Tours sponsors boat tours so you can see dolphins splashing in and out of the water. When you want to explore the city’s sights, opt for a peaceful ride with Country Carriages down the cobblestone streets of the downtown area.