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Day Trips from Orlando

By Viator, October 2015

5 38 Reviews | Add your review

While Orlando has much to offer any visitor, sometimes you just need a change of scenery for a few hours. Luckily, the city offers an array of easily accessible and worthwhile day trips. To help you plan your nearby jaunt, here are some suggestions.

Tampa

While visiting attractions in Tampa is worth a week of its own, the city is easily accessible and one of the best day trips from Orlando as it’s located only an hour and 15 minutes southwest. While Tampa is split up into five main districts, most people stick to exploring Downtown, North Tampa and the historic Ybor City, a culturally-diverse district founded by cigar manufacturers and populated by mainly Spanish, Cuban and Italian immigrants. This area is worth strolling through as it will immerse you in old world charm with its narrow brick streets, brick buildings, historic architecture and visible cultural influences like Spanish tapas restaurants, Italian cafes and hand rolled cigar shops. This is also where you’ll find some of Tampa’s best restaurants, bars and clubs.

Those looking for a theme park experience should head to North Tampa, an area that can compete with all of Orlando’s many attractions. You’ll find Busch Gardens and the Lowry Park Zoo, a top-rated zoo with an African Safari, Asian Gardens and Florida Wildlife Center, all filled with the appropriate wildlife. Those interested in arts and culture will love downtown Tampa with its many galleries, Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Museum of Photographic Arts. Families will enjoy the Glazer Children’s Museum, while history buffs should head to the Tampa Bay History Center, the Henry B. Plant Museum and American Victory Ship Mariners Museum. For shopping and dining, head to Channelside Bay Plaza where you’ll find numerous boutiques, a variety of restaurants and bars, and live entertainment on the weekends.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Located about an hour and a half west of Orlando you’ll find Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, one of the best places in Florida to view manatees. The park features an underwater observatory where West Indian manatees can be seen everyday of the year. Other native wildlife can be seen in the park as well, for example, American crocodiles, American alligators, hippos, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer and river otters. Wildlife Encounter programs, Ranger Programs and numerous monthly events enhance the experience. In terms of recreation, bird watching is a popular activity (make sure to also visit their Shore Bird Aviary, where you can view disabled shore birds being nursed back to health), as is picnicking, seeing animals during a stroll over the elevated Homosassa River Walk, riding a pontoon boat along Pepper Creek and hiking on the park’s 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) paved trail.

Silver Springs, Florida

Located about an hour and a half northwest of Orlando is Silver Springs Nature Theme Park, one of Florida’s original roadside attractions still in existence. In fact, the park’s famous glass bottom boat tours — which allow visitors an underwater glimpse at the crystal springs that make up Florida’s landscape without having to go scuba diving — have been operating since the 1870s. Interestingly, Silver Springs is where you’ll find one of the world’s largest artesian spring formations, which produces almost 550 million gallons (2,081,976,481 liters) of crystal spring water each day. Along with exploring Florida’s spring culture, the park offers a children’s playland, wildlife shows, crocodile feedings, a wilderness trail and a unique Lighthouse Ride, which is like riding a carousel and gondola at the same time and awards aerial views from 80 feet (24 meters ) above Silver Springs.

Contributed by Jessica Festa

Tours & Tickets

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Kennedy Space Center Day Trip with Transport from Orlando

4.5 star rating: Recommended 338 Reviews

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 11 hours

From USD $98.79
$103.99 Save $5.20
From USD $128.99

Miami Day Trip and Florida Everglades Airboat Ride

4.5 star rating: Recommended 89 Reviews

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 15 hours

From USD $127.99
$134.99 Save $7.00

Saint Augustine Day Trip from Orlando

4.5 star rating: Recommended 35 Reviews

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 10 hours

From USD $66.99

Everglades and Miami Adventure from Orlando

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 16 hours

From USD $128.99

Kennedy Space Center Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 10 hours

From USD $58.99
From USD $112.99
$118.98 Save $5.99
From USD $78.99

Western Ranch Rodeo with Dinner

Location: Orlando, Florida
Duration: 8 hours

From USD $88.99

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