9 Best Day Trips from Orlando, Florida – Hand Luggage Only

Orlando needs little introduction! Along with the top theme parks in Florida, this is one place filled with amusements, rides and more. That being said, there are many things to see in Florida within easy reach of Orlando – especially when you consider the best day trips from Orlando that run all year round.

So, to help you make the most of your time in Orlando, we’d like to share some of the best places in Florida that you won’t miss while you’re there.

Additionally, all of them are easily accessible by any means of transportation and/or transportation that this state of Florida can afford.

Check out, below, the best day trips from Orlando. Have an epic vacation… and love Mickey from us!

1.) Mount Dora

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

About a 40-minute drive from Walt Disney World, Mount Dora is one of the best day trips from Orlando if you want to get away from Orlando itself.

Although relatively small (compared to other Floridian gems such as Miami), Mount Dora is an example of its own.

Once here, feel free to ride the Trolley down Donnelley Street and explore some of the small shops, restaurants and boutiques that call this area home.

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

When hungry, pop into the Highland Street Cafe for their amazing French cuisine. It’s a very cozy place that offers some of the best breakfasts and lunches – no problem.

Also, you can take some time to visit Mount Dora museums. Be sure to stop by the Modernism Museum whose seasonal exhibitions change throughout the year.

If that’s not your thing, head to Premier Boat Tours for a 2-hour boat tour of the surrounding countryside. It is very beautiful.

However, if you are with children, go to Gilbert Park, which is one of the best playgrounds. That said, if you want a walk, go to Palm Island Park which is beautiful on a sunny day.

Read more: Best places to see in Florida

2.) Kennedy Space Center

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

For most of us, the Kennedy Space Center is the closest we’ll ever get to heading into space!

It’s amazing to visit and one of the best day trips from Orlando perfect for budding astronauts. To make the most of your trip from Orlando, book these Kennedy Space Center tickets.

Not only will they allow you to visit some of the space exhibits, you’ll also get up close and personal with the Space Shuttle Atlantis and see the Shuttle Launch Experience.

Also, don’t worry if you don’t drive. You can book this Kennedy Space Center ticket that comes with direct transportation from Orlando. This way, you don’t have to worry about renting a car or leaving your appointments!

Read more: Best beaches in Florida to visit

3.) St. Augustine

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

For one of the best day trips from Orlando, be sure to head to St. Austin. It’s full of history and so beautiful to explore. In fact, it is believed to be one of America’s oldest continuously inhabited cities.

Now, take a look at the National Historic Landmark District and admire the beauty of the Spanish buildings in the area.

Oh, and don’t forget to see the Castillo de San Marcos National Museum, Fort Matanzas, and the peaceful Mission of Nombre de Dios.

For the most convenient, book this day trip to St. Augustine – about shipping from Orlando. Best of all, you can choose the option to include all your tickets for the museum and cruises! It’s very simple.

Read more: The best theme parks in Florida to visit

4.) Crystal River

Best places in Florida to visit (9)

Orlando is truly full of adventure, with its white-knuckle rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Walt Disney World. That being said, if you want to explore the Florida outdoors, then this is the place for you.

About a 90 minute drive from Orlando, Crystal River is a place where you can come face to face with the resident manatee that call this area home.

While here, please read this Crystal River Manatee Snorkeling trip or this thrilling Airboat trip that is epic. It is so idyllic that you can swim in the Homosassa River, while seeing the majestic manatees.

However, if you want to stay dry on your trip, you can always visit the Crystal River Wildlife Refuge or Blue Spring State Park. It’s great for those who don’t want to carry water.

5.) Clearwater Beach

48 hours in Clearwater Beach, Florida (8)

Clearwater Beach is one of our favorite places in Florida. We’ve loved every trip we’ve taken here and the beach is often voted one of the most beautiful in the US.

For one of the best day trips from Orlando, book this Clearwater Day Trip from Orlando itself.

While here, you can go out on a Dolphin Encounter Boat Tour which is perfect. We’ve seen loads! Plus, the ticket will include all transportation from Orlando and a lunch to fix you up!

For an even more adrenaline rush, you can try the speedboat ride offered by the Clearwater Sea Screamer. On the other hand, if you want something quieter, you can relax at one of the most popular fishing spots in the area, Pier 60.

If you walk a little, you can find Sand Key Park, a nice place to visit.

Alternatively, book tickets for Busch Gardens (Tampa) for fun and exciting activities such as live shows and roller coasters.

Read more: Best things to do in the Everglades

6.) Daytona Beach

The best beaches in Florida to visit

About a 70-minute drive from Orlando, Daytona Beach is one of the best day trips from Orlando if you want a perfect beach day.

Not only that, the famous Daytona 500 considers this beach its home! Also, it is the birthplace of NASCAR racing.

While here, check out the Daytona International Speedway, explore the Museum of Arts and Sciences and don’t miss the Main Street Pier.

For a delicious meal, pop into Caribbean Jack’s for some of the best wings and shrimp on Daytona Beach.

7.) New Smyrna Beach

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

Known for its beautiful beaches, New Smyrna Beach is one of the best day trips from Orlando on Florida’s east coast.

Not far from Daytona Beach, it’s a perfect spot for surfing, paddling or fishing off the coast. If you’re looking for art, pop into Arts on Douglas which has a nice little collection.

If you stay long enough and drive a little further, you might be able to see baby sea turtles roosting at night at Canaveral National Seashore.

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

Finally, a great place to visit is the Marine Discovery Center where you can go kayaking and boating.

Read more: Best places to see in Florida

8.) Ocala National Forest

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

Want to find a great and unique place to visit in Orlando? The city of Ocala and the Ocala National Forest are easily one of the best day trips from Orlando to get away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando theme parks.

Now, while Ocala itself is a great place to stop – the real gem is the Ocala National Forest. There are 360,000 acres of land to explore, with hiking trails established for all needs.

The best day trips from Orlando Florida

Also, don’t forget about visiting Silver Glen Springs for a swim. It’s a few miles from the entrance at Juniper Creek and it’s amazing.

9.) St. Pete

The beautiful red town of St Pete, Florida (9)

Not far from Clearwater, St Pete is a wonderful place to visit and one of the best day trips from Florida if you want the perfect combination of sun, city and sand!

About a 90-minute drive from Orlando, it’s a great place to spend time on the beach, going on a helicopter to see St. Pete Beach or just enjoying the white sand of the beach itself.

Do you want to take water? Book this St. Pete’s dolphin cruise. It’s a great way to explore the beaches and see the fish that make up the Kai Kai.

Sun In St Pete Beach, Florida... (28)

Also, don’t forget to check out the very beautiful Dalí (Salvador Dalí) gallery. We spent a few hours here.

Planning to stay longer? Check out the Don CeSar, where we wanted to stay. It is a popular beach property and perfect for a weekend getaway.

Read more: Best places to see in Florida

12 best places in Florida to visit

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