30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

U.S. News & World Report

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Florida weekend getaways
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These top Florida getaways are perfect for couples, families, solo travelers and more.

While you may think of beaches and theme parks when the Sunshine State comes to mind, Florida offers so much more. The warm weather and sunshine make it a perfect year-round destination to explore charming historic towns, state parks and cities with vibrant cultural arts scenes. Whether you choose a relaxing coastal destination at a posh resort or a stay inland to explore the interior of the state, Florida's varying landscapes offer vacation options for all types of travelers. So, pick your destination and head south for your next weekend getaway to Florida.
Florida weekend getaways
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(Courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa)

Sunny Isles Beach

For a true escape away from it all, make reservations at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach. This luxurious beachfront resort is situated on the white sands of Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The property's 98 rooms and suites feature five-star amenities and views of the Intracoastal Waterway or ocean. While here, unwind with a signature spa treatment at Acqualina Spa by ESPA or relax outdoors at one of the property's palm tree-lined pools. Then, enjoy cocktails at the stylish AQ Bar before dinner at the Italian Il Mulino New York or Costa Grill, the latter of which allows you to dine on the beach.
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These top Florida getaways are perfect for couples, families, solo travelers and more.

While you may think of beaches and theme parks when the Sunshine State comes to mind, Florida offers so much more. The warm weather and sunshine make it a perfect year-round destination to explore charming historic towns, state parks and cities with vibrant cultural arts scenes. Whether you choose a relaxing coastal destination at a posh resort or a stay inland to explore the interior of the state, Florida's varying landscapes offer vacation options for all types of travelers. So, pick your destination and head south for your next weekend getaway to Florida.

Sunny Isles Beach

For a true escape away from it all, make reservations at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach. This luxurious beachfront resort is situated on the white sands of Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The property's 98 rooms and suites feature five-star amenities and views of the Intracoastal Waterway or ocean. While here, unwind with a signature spa treatment at Acqualina Spa by ESPA or relax outdoors at one of the property's palm tree-lined pools. Then, enjoy cocktails at the stylish AQ Bar before dinner at the Italian Il Mulino New York or Costa Grill, the latter of which allows you to dine on the beach.

Vero Beach

Located on Florida's Treasure Coast, Vero Beach offers a vibrant cultural arts scene as well as plenty of upscale shopping and dining. Plan to stay at the oceanfront Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, where you'll find powdery white sands, sparkling turquoise waters and comfortable digs. During your trip, visit the impressive Vero Beach Museum of Art and then explore the waterways by kayak or go on a paddleboard tour with Paddles by the Sea. For a real treat, have cocktails and dinner overlooking the beach at Citrus.

Apalachicola

Located in Northwest Florida, Apalachicola is nestled in the Panhandle in an area known as Florida's Forgotten Coast. This quaint town offers a laid-back getaway with opportunities for fishing, boating and kayaking. Visitors can take a walk through the beautiful historic district to explore unique art galleries, boutiques and music venues. The town is also home to tasty restaurants serving fresh local seafood, including oysters sourced from Apalachicola Bay. For lodging, reserve one of the four suites at the riverfront Consulate. These luxury accommodations are located within the Grady Building in the Historic Riverfront District and overlook the river. The property has been beautifully restored and features original heart pine floors, 11-foot tin-plated ceilings, antique prints and art.

Jupiter

Jupiter is part of The Palm Beaches community in South Florida. This chic, yet laid-back, seaside town boasts beautiful beaches and attractive amenities, including excellent dining, boating and live entertainment. While visiting, stay at the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place, located on the Intracoastal Waterway. This property is located next to many shops, restaurants, a riverwalk and an amphitheater. Plan to climb the top of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum for beautiful coastal views and take a dip in DuBois or Jupiter Beach Park, where you can swim and snorkel in vibrant lagoons. Afterward, catch a spectacular sunset from the hotel's rooftop pool bar.

Winter Park

Winter Park is a short distance from Orlando, but worlds away from the busy theme parks. The tree-lined streets are filled with upscale boutiques and restaurants. The city also has a thriving cultural arts scene. Spend a romantic weekend at The Alfond Inn where you can browse the property's colorful art collection, courtesy of the nearby Rollins College. Then, plan to visit the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, stroll through one of the city's many parks (Winter Park has a more than 70) and take a scenic boat ride along Winter Park's lakes.

Anna Maria Island

Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway and Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Island is a little more than 16 miles northwest of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. This quiet 7-mile stretch of beach is known for its natural beauty and casual vibe. Spend a weekend on island time and leave your cares behind while lounging on pristine sandy white beaches set against glistening turquoise waters. When it comes to accommodations, book a stay at Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages where you can take a snooze in a beach hammock and sip cocktails under tiki huts.

Universal Orlando Resort

Splurge on a Private VIP Experience for the weekend at Universal Orlando Resort. Your personal parks expert offers priority access to attractions and rides at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. This includes the new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The tour also features behind-the-scenes experiences, all meals, a photo package and other amenities.

Grayton Beach

The quiet village of Grayton Beach sits along the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida between Panama City and Pensacola. Most of the town is nestled within the nearly 2,000-acre Grayton Beach State Park. While you'll no doubt be spending lots of time at the beach, be sure to also hit up the park's extraordinary coastal dune lakes and coastal forest, where scrub oaks and magnolias have been twisted by the salty Gulf winds. This rare natural phenomena can be viewed along 4 miles of scenic walking trails. For accommodations, the park maintains 30 cabins for overnight stays.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach is recognized as "America's First Resort Destination," and today, just as in the late 1800s, this ritzy beach town lures travelers looking for a luxurious Florida vacation. Palm Beach is awash with not only posh resorts but also plenty of world-class dining and shopping options to keep visitors entertained. Spend your getaway at the storied The Breakers Palm Beach, where distinguished historical figures as the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers and J.P. Morgan have stayed. While in Palm Beach, play at Florida's oldest golf course (located at the resort), go shopping on Worth Avenue and then have cocktails or dinner at Café Boulud in the Brazilian Court Hotel.

St. Petersburg

This waterfront city is situated on the Pinellas Peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. St. Petersburg is known for being close to several beautiful beaches, including those at Fort De Soto Park. Book a stay at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, which is centrally located downtown. While in town, explore the Dali Museum, which boasts the most extensive collection of the artist's work outside of Spain, and the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center. For dinner and drinks, head over to Locale Market and the Italian-inspired FarmTable Cucina.

Gainesville

Located 72 miles southwest of Jacksonville, Gainesville is situated in the north-central part of the state. The city offers abundant natural beauty and is home to the University of Florida, creating a unique college town vibe. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Gainesville's more than 30 miles of biking and hiking trails, the wildlife viewing available in several state and local parks and the picturesque rivers for canoeing or paddleboarding. Gainesville also features an active arts community, including a thriving indie music scene, a theater and museums.

New Smyrna Beach

Plan a casual getaway to this eclectic beach town on Florida's Central Atlantic Coast. Part of the 17-mile stretch of hard-packed white sand is drivable, so travelers can bring their four-wheel drive SUVs. The beach is also popular with surfers, cyclists and runners. When it comes to accommodations, book a room at The Black Dolphin Inn, a historic property that overlooks the Indian River. After a day on the beach, wander downtown along Canal Street to check out its boutiques, art galleries and local restaurants.

Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs is situated about 15 miles north of Clearwater, close to the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the "Sponge Capital of the World," it's also home to several delectable Greek restaurants and bakeries, thanks to the sponging community's Greek founders. While in town, plan to stay at The 1910 Inn, a Victorian-style bed-and-breakfast. The property is within walking distance of many attractions and restaurants, and a short drive from the historic sponge docks.

Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach sits 9 miles east of Destin on Florida's Gulf Coast. Plan to stay at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, where rooms with views of powdery white sand beaches and emerald green waters await. As for activities, you can kick back and relax, book a coastal-inspired spa treatment at Serenity by the sea Spa or play a round of golf at one of four nearby courses. Then, for a memorable evening, dine at Seagar's at the resort. To explore more local culinary offerings, food and wine aficionados may want to visit in mid-April during the Sandestin Wine Festival.

Crystal River

Crystal River is a great getaway for nature and marine life lovers as it's one of the few places where you can swim with manatees. The city sits along central Florida's Nature Coast and is located on Kings Bay, which is fed by over 70 springs producing more than 600 million gallons of water daily. This environment creates an ideal winter refuge for the Florida manatee. In the summertime, you can go on a snorkel hunt for bay scallops in the Gulf of Mexico or try your hand at fishing with a local charter boat captain. After a bucket-list swim with a manatee or sourcing your own supper, check out the city's charming local shops and waterfront restaurants. Some dining spots will even prepare your fresh catch.

South Beach

Miami's eclectic South Beach is famous for its nightlife, vibrant residents, Art Deco buildings and white sand beaches. Reserve accommodations at The Betsy on Ocean Drive. This property offers many deluxe amenities, including a rooftop pool, bar and restaurant with panoramic views of the ocean. During your stay, sample the culinary offerings along nearby Española Way, visit the contemporary art collection at The Bass or grab a picnic dinner and experience a New World Symphony WALLCAST Concert at SoundScape Park.

Naples

Head to South Florida for an upscale and relaxing weekend getaway. The Inn on Fifth is located in the heart of Old Naples, next to boutiques, restaurants and nightlife. Reserve one of the property's 32 Club Level Suites with balconies or terraces overlooking Fifth Avenue. These accommodations include perks like a personal concierge, access to a private rooftop retreat, continental breakfast, evening appetizers and cocktails, and complimentary transportation in a Cadillac Escalade SUV. Spend an afternoon lounging by the hotel's rooftop pool, then dine on seafood and steaks at Truluck's, a Naples favorite.

DeLand

DeLand is located approximately 40 miles north of Orlando in central Florida. This historic town is home to the oldest college in the state, Stetson University, and is quite picturesque thanks to its stately architecture and oak trees. DeLand is also known for its unique aquatic diversity, including the most biodiverse estuary in North America. An intricate network of hiking and biking trails allows residents and visitors to explore these natural wonders. While here, plan to stay at the Artisan Downtown. This boutique hotel puts guests within walking distance of restaurants, shopping, museums and other attractions.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine sits in the northeast corner of the state along Florida's Historic Coast. It was founded in 1565 as the first city in the U.S. Highlights here include Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the country, and the impressive art collection at the Lightner Museum. Plan your travels between the end of November and the beginning of February to see Nights of Lights. This magical spectacle has been lauded as one of the greatest holiday light displays in the country.

Dunedin

This lively small town sits about 20 miles west of Tampa International Airport. Beachgoers will want to visit Dunedin's beautiful state park beaches at either Caladesi Island or Honeymoon Island, located a short distance from downtown. Visitors can also take a walk or bike along the 34-mile Pinellas Trail, play a round of golf at Dunedin Golf Club or spend the afternoon browsing the local shops in the quaint downtown area. While in town, check out the waterfront dining options, various breweries (including the oldest brewery in Florida) and beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico on Honeymoon Island.

Cocoa Beach

Families and couples will find both indoor and outdoor attractions to enjoy at this beach town located on Florida's Space Coast. NASA buffs can head to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center and Exploration Tower, which features interactive and informative exhibits on Port Canaveral and air and space history. While here, climb to the top of the tower's observation decks for panoramic views. For casual dining, head over to Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, where you'll find restaurants and bars overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. For more dining options, as well as shopping and local events, visit Historic Cocoa Village.

Everglades City

Outdoor enthusiasts and seafood lovers will appreciate this small town and the nearby Chokoloskee Island, located on Florida's Paradise Coast. Everglades City is known as the "Stone Crab Capital of the World," so be sure to time your visit between Oct. 15 and May 15 to taste these delectable crabs when they're in season. The area also hosts an annual Everglades Seafood Festival in early February. While here, arrange for an airboat ride or kayak tour in Everglades National Park to see the local wildlife, such as dolphins, osprey and manatees.

Fort Myers

Pack your shorts and flip flops and head to Southwest Florida in March when spring training comes to town. The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins hold their training camps in Fort Myers every year, bringing lots of cheering baseball fans to town. Come out and support the Florida Grapefruit League on game days at JetBlue Park at Fenway South and CenturyLink Sports Complex. At the park, grab a few bites and frosty cold local brews while rooting for your team.

Islamorada

Escape to the islands of Islamorada in the Florida Keys for a secluded tropical getaway. This village of six islands is considered the "Sportfishing Capital of the World" and offers plenty of activities in and around the water. Reserve one of just 18 villas at The Moorings Village where you can relax and sip Champagne under swaying coconut palms. For a special celebration, plan a three-course oceanfront dinner from your villa or take a sunset cruise on a private boat.

Lakeland

Lakeland is situated in central Florida, approximately 35 miles east of Tampa. The historic downtown is a beautiful sight thanks to Lake Mirror, its promenade and the more than 10,000 flowers, native trees and shrubs housed at Hollis Garden. Enthusiasts of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture will appreciate a visit to Florida Southern College. The school is home to the world's largest on-site collection of his work. Plan your getaway during the annual SUN 'N FUN Aerospace Expo, which takes place in early spring. This exciting event features vintage planes, evening entertainment, including a nighttime air show, and an aviation-themed kid zone.

Key Biscayne

Plan a family getaway to The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. This secluded resort is located on the island of Key Biscayne, just 9 miles from downtown Miami. Adults can indulge in signature spa treatments and relax on white sandy beaches. Meanwhile, kids will learn about the local environment and sea life at the Ritz Kids program partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society. In the evening, parents can sample complimentary tequilas with the Tequilier at Cantina Beach. Afterward, enjoy a family dinner overlooking the ocean at the Mexican-inspired restaurant.

Orlando

You don't have to be a fan of Mickey Mouse to enjoy a weekend at The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. This 26-acre luxury resort features a luxurious spa, a golf course, a 5-acre water park, an adults-only pool and six dining options. The resort offers complimentary transportation to the parks, can arrange for VIP Tour Guides or Disney FastPass+ access to see attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After dark, head to Capa's rooftop bar for spectacular views of Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks.

Amelia Island

This barrier island in the northeast corner of Florida offers beautiful beaches, excellent dining and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. While here, plan to stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. This elegant oceanfront property features several restaurants and bars, including Salt, a highly regarded dining experience on the island. Begin the day with a spectacular sunrise, then go horseback riding on the beach, or kayaking or biking. Afterward, head to historic downtown Fernandina Beach for dinner. Finally, visitors will not want to miss a memorable sunset cruise to Cumberland Island to see the wild horses with Amelia River Cruises.

Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach is located on Florida's Gulf Coast between Pensacola and Panama City. This lively town features powdery white sand beaches and activities for everyone. Military buffs will appreciate the Air Force Armament Museum while kids will enjoy interactive, educational experiences at Emerald Coast Science Center. Then, for a seafood dinner complete with sunset views, head over to the casual eatery, The Shack.

Fort Lauderdale

The bustling city and waterways of Fort Lauderdale are located on Florida's Atlantic Coast. If you want to be close to the excitement, but still experience a relaxing vacation, then plan your weekend at the Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club. This property sits on 500 feet of private beach, away from the busy main promenade and strip. If you'd like to explore, venture out to dine at one of the city's top-notch restaurants. If you'd rather relax, stay at the resort for a quiet dinner and an evening at Acquario. The dining venues at the resort are exclusive to hotel guests and members.
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