With kids getting out of school and the start of summer, road trips are the perfect weekend getaways for families. Many parents work over the summer, which sometimes makes it hard to plan a trip that requires time to be taken off of work. However, short weekend road trips are a great solution! Families can take multiple ones throughout the summer and explore undiscovered gems around Florida and neighboring states.
Road trips are a classic American tradition. Since the advent of the US Highway System in the mid-1920s, not only has it been made easy to get to locations around the country, but also other establishments have opened to support the idea of traveling far distances by cars. An abundance of gas stations, detailed roadmaps, rest stops along the highways and drive-thru restaurants all started to become the norm in the early to mid-1900s and assisted travelers on their journeys. In more recent history, GPS devices have made it even easier for road-trippers to find the best routes to get to their destinations quickly and safely.
With gas prices at the lowest they have been in recent US history, this summer is the perfect time to be a part of the classic American road trip tradition. In Florida, there are so many places that your family can visit that would make for a perfect short weekend getaway. Here is a list of the top places to visit on a Florida road trip in our opinion:
Devil’s Den– Williston, FL
Devil’s Den is a prehistoric underground spring in a cave. You are able to snorkel or scuba in the crystal clear water. Located in the upper middle part of the state, it is a convenient place to drive to from most anywhere in Florida!
St. Augustine– St. Augustine, FL
The nation’s oldest city is a definite must-see this summer on your road trip. St. Augustine is beaming with history including the oldest masonry fort in the US, Castillo de San Marcos, and Flagler Museum and College. Not to mention countless restaurants, shops and the beach; which is just a few miles from the old town.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park– Weeki Wachee, FL
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a gem not to be missed on your Florida road trip this summer. Weeki Wachee is known for their mermaids who have been enchanting visitors since 1947. The Weeki Wachee River is also a gorgeous location to kayak, paddleboard and lookout for wildlife. Add in the animal shows and water park, Weeki Wachee has it all.
Anna Maria Island– Holmes Beach, FL
Want to spend your day relaxing after a road trip. Beautiful Florida beaches are the perfect places to unwind. “AMI” as the locals call it is known for their deep turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. On AMI you will enjoy eating the best seafood, great shopping and an extremely relaxed atmosphere.
Everglades National Park– Everglades City, FL
The Florida Everglades are not to be missed! Everglades National Park was established in 1947 to conserve the natural landscape and prevent further degradation of its land, plants, and animals. There is so much to do and see in the national park including hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, bird-watching and many different types of tours, all surrounded by amazing nature and wildlife.
You could take mini road trips to visit all these scenic Florida destinations, however if you want to take a week or more long vacation and you are starting in Tampa, there is a convenient route you could take starting heading south and circling north and back down to Tampa that you could take to hit all these spots, making for the ultimate Florida road trip. Not to mention it would take you through Orlando, so you could possibly head on over to Disney or Universal while you are there as well!
While on your Florida road trip this summer, remember to stay safe and always check your car to make sure it is running smoothly. Driving is a great way to get out and explore your own backyard, just make sure everybody gets back home safely. Have fun exploring!