Day Trips to Tampa and Orlando Attractions

Looking to extend your trip with a day excursion? Check out the top attractions near St. Pete/Clearwater.

A mermaid strikes a pose in the Weeki Wachee River near St. Pete/Clearwater

Watch the world-famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park perform live shows in a submerged 400-seat auditorium.

There's no shortage of fun and exciting things to see and do in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. But commit to a bit of car time and you'll open up a whole new universe of entertainment and relaxation possibilities. Just 30 minutes will get you to Tampa and its myriad attractions, and a mere 90 minutes will let you tap Orlando's roster of exciting, family-friendly theme parks. Both cities make for ideal day trips and their offerings will leave you with the feeling that you truly made the most of your St. Pete stay--for yourself and your family.

 

Natural Attractions North of St. Pete/Clearwater

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

The main draw in this fun, family oriented park are the mermaids in the mermaid theater who swim in the seemingly bottomless ancient springs along with manatees and turtles. The Riverboat Cruise on the Weeki Wachee River showcases native wildlife.

Crystal River

Crystal River, about a two hour drive from Tampa/St. Petersburg, is situated around the magnificent Kings Bay, along Central Florida's "Nature Coast"—a locale that's rich in natural beauty and history. Pay a visit to the stately white buildings of the Plantation on Crystal River and tap into the area's many boating, diving, swimming and fishing opportunities. The warm waters of the Crystal River (the springs flow at a constant 72 degrees) attract herds of manatees, and this is one of the few places you can swim with them.

 

A boy jumps out of the water at a pool in Adventure Island

Splash and Slide

Adventure Island is a Tampa Bay area attraction with water slides, pools and a lazy river.

 

Tampa Area Attractions

Adventure Island

Located right across the street from Busch Gardens® Tampa, Adventure Island® is 30 acres of water-drenched fun featuring the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings. New for the 2020 season, experience AquaLucent™ elements as you spin and splash on Solar Vortex™, America’s first dual tailspin water slide.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens® Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, combining world-class thrill rides, live entertainment and more than 12,000 animals. Venture across the Serengeti and race like a Cheetah aboard Florida’s first triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt. Plus, enjoy the fully-remodeled Pantopia with shopping, dining, live entertainment and North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, Falcon’s Fury®. 

The Florida Aquarium

The 200,000-sq.-ft. Florida Aquarium tells Florida’s unique water story, from a drop of water underground to the open sea. Super-captivating exhibits give you the scoop on oceans, bays and beaches, wetlands and coral reefs. Some exhibits even offer interactive touch experiences and divers can go underwater to explore underwater life firsthand. Another participatory facet: a 2-acre outdoor water adventure zone that'll get kids riding waves and slides.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

At this 4 1/2-acre zoo recognized by Parents magazine as the No.1 zoo in the United States, your kids will feed a rhino and giraffe, walk among hopping kangaroos and brush a goat, but it's not just for kids. The zoo also offers intriguing behind-the-scenes tours affording up-close encounters with animals and insight into the day-to-day life of zookeepers.

MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry)

The largest science center in the southeastern United States provides learning experiences through numerous  interactive exhibits and play.Extraordinary examples: Disasterville, which will give you the science behind tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires; and MOSI's High Wire Bike, where you'll harness yourself into a bike and soar along a 98-foot-long steel cable suspended 30 feet above the ground.
 

 

A person in a Minnie Mouse costume plays with a child at Disney World

Wish Upon A Star

Walt Disney World Resort brings magic to life with beloved Disney Characters, like Minnie Mouse.

 

Orlando Area Attractions
 

Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios®, and Volcano Bay

At this theme park, adrenaline-pumping rides, shows and interactive attractions bring the magic of movies, cartoons and comic books to life. Experience, for example, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and more! Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando’s newish water park with a simulated volcano, wave pool, winding rivers, and endless aquatic fun for the whole family.

SeaWorld, Discovery Cove & Aquatica

This fascinating trio is housed in a single complex. At Seaworld, an interactive marine adventure park, you'll find 200 acres of world-class shows, thrill-rides and encounters with stingrays, dolphins, sea turtles and seal lions. Discover Cove, an exclusive island oasis,will give you a chance to swim with dolphins and explore coral reefs.The signature attraction of Aquatica, Seaworld's waterpark, is Dolphin Plunge--ride in clear tubes through a blue lagoon where Commerson's dolphins reside.
 

Walt Disney World Resort

Bring the family to the place where beloved Disney characters and their tales come to life in thrilling rides, amazing restaurants, fireworks extravaganzas and delightful parades. Here, you can take in Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, home to more than 1,700 animals; Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the exciting attractions are based on blockbuster movies like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; Epcot, where a universe of tech innovations and the culture and cuisine of 11 countries make you feel that you've left your daily life behind; and the Magic Kingdom Park, where six different fantasy lands give you a chance to become a swashbuckling pirate, walk around Cinderella's Castle and soar through space.
 

LEGOLAND Florida

Geared towards youngsters ages two through 12, the 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida interactive theme park offers more than 50 rides, spectacular shows, restaurants, shopping, a fab botanical garden and wonderful water park. Here, 11 themed zones make it easy to get around and soak up the fun.