15 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida in 2023


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Searching for weekend getaways in Florida but not sure where to go?

Worry no more! We are here to help you plan the perfect weekend trip in Florida, whether you are looking for fun weekend getaways with family or a romantic trip by the beach. 

Florida is home to many cities, beach towns, national parks, and beautiful islands. Full of such variety, it’s an amazing state to consider when planning a weekend vacation. Check out this rundown of all the best places for a relaxing or exhilarating weekend stay in Florida.

Weekend Getaways in Florida Ideas

Photo of a beach in Destin is one of the most happening beach towns in the Florida Panhandle.
Destin is an incredible place for a weekend getaway or staycation in Florida.

1. Destin

Destin is one of the most happening beach towns in the Florida Panhandle. From water sports like jet-skiing and kayaking to beach volleyball and top-tier shopping, this place is a beach paradise and an amazing place for a weekend getaway or staycation in Florida.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk and Henderson Beach State Park are some of the best places to explore on a getaway to Destin. It’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful round of golf on a renowned course.

There are so many beautiful hotels on the beach in Destin.

Henderson Beach Resort is one of the most luxurious places to stay while visiting this beach town. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Below are some fun activities and tours you can do when visiting Destin.

Photo of Panama City Beach in Florida, US. There are a few people on the sand and waves on the sea.
Panama City Beach is waiting for you.

2. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is most famously known for spring break shenanigans. But it’s more than that. Pier Park is a fun place to explore, alongside miles of white sand beaches and blue waters.

St. Andrews State Park is a must-visit attraction when visiting Panama City Beach. It features beautiful beaches with so many outdoor activity options. From birding and biking, you won’t regret spending part of your getaway here.

Hyatt Place Panama City Beach offers gorgeous rooms for your weekend stay. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Here are some activities in Panama City Beach you must add to your FL weekend getaway.

Pensacola Beach is a fabulous weekend getaway in Florida. The photo shows crystal clear water on a white sand beach.
Can you see yourself swimming here?

3. Pensacola

Pensacola is a charming Floridian town with a rich outdoor activity roster. Paddling, fishing, biking, and hiking trails, there are plenty of activities to keep outdoors people happy.

Pensacola Beach is a wonderful weekend getaway in Florida for those traveling with pets. Pensacola Dog Beach and Perdido Key River Road Park both feature coastlines just waiting to be zoomed up and down by your dog.

Hotel Pensacola is a well-kept and unique place to stay while spending time in Pensacola. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Check out these two unique tours in Pensacola, and don’t forget to book in advance. 

Jacksonville, Florida. City lights at night with bridge and river reflections.
Jacksonville has a good combination of city and beach life.

4. Jacksonville

Jacksonville is the perfect weekend getaway for travelers looking for both the beach and city experience.

Make your way through Atlantic, Jacksonville, and Neptune beaches before wandering downtown to enjoy the nightlife in San Marco or Riverside. You can’t lose with the beauty and the fun of Jacksonville.

Four Points by Sheraton in Jacksonville makes for a great home base when staying over in this fun city. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Here are three unique experiences you can have in your weekend getaway in Jacksonville.

Photo of a beach in Clearwater. It is one of Florida's most popular tourist attractions.
Clearwater has the perfect combination of white sand and crystal-clear warm waters.

5. Clearwater

Clearwater is one of Florida’s most popular tourist attractions. The powder, white sand, and crystal clear gulf warm waters of Clearwater Beach pull in visitors from all over the world.

The beach and nearby Pier 60 make for the perfect beach day backdrop. Don’t forget a beach chair with an umbrella when spending some downtime there.

For a change of pace from the beach, consider a quick day trip to Tarpon Springs. The sponge docks and shops there offer a unique look into the state’s history and this town’s significance to the sponge industry.

For a unique stay check out Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Hotel. It’s a stunning beachfront property that offers a great location. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Check out these two water activities in Clearwater.

St. Pete, Florida, USA downtown city skyline from the pier at night.
Go to St. Petersburg for a laid-back weekend in Florida.

6. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is the perfect choice for a laid-back weekend in Florida. St. Pete Pier is the center of the town’s attractions featuring walking paths, a nature discovery center, and an outdoor market.

Street art murals really spark up this part of town, here is a really cool electric bike sightseeing tour that can take you to the famous murals.

The city is home to Imagine Museum, a one-of-a-kind glass art museum with a big collection from the American and international contemporary glass art movements.

When hunger strikes, there’s a slew of tasty restaurants in downtown St. Pete. Central Avenue and Bayshore Drive are the places to scour. They are just brimming full of cafes and breweries.

The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club has an awesome waterfront location in downtown St. Petersburg. It’s a cozy and convenient place to stay while exploring the city. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

When planning your trip, check out this tour and activities in St. Petersburg.

South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA. The photo shows the turquoise water and white sand beach in front and skyscrapers in the background.
Luxury Miami South Beach.

7. Miami

Travelers who lust after luxury and style will love Miami. The art and fashion mecca also sports a colorful international flavor, influenced by so many different and lovely cultures.

Adventurous foodies will love strolling down the streets of this city, where new culinary adventures await around each corner.

And if you are up for some food tasting check out these two food tours in Miami, yummy:

Miami may be a happening city, but stunning nature can still be explored nearby. It’s home to one of some of the best national parks on the East Coast and they are worth a visit. Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park are within an hour’s drive from Miami.

EAST Miami is a trendy and impressive place to stay when vacationing in Miami. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

There are plenty of things to do in Miami Beach and the city, and you probably will run out of time. If you want to join any organized activities or tours, I suggest you book everything in advance, so you save time. 

Here are some of the most booked tours in Miami.

Islamorada Florida Keys Cheeca Lodge Resort Panorama at Sunrise
Is this paradise? No, it’s Islamorada!

8. Islamorada

Islamorada is a wonderful island-inspired weekend getaway in Florida less than two hours outside of Miami.

Considered part of the Upper Keys, this spot is a wonderland for snorkeling enthusiasts. With coral reefs to explore and deep-sea fishing charters, there’s no reason to stray too far away from the turquoise water while visiting this beach destination.

Islamorada is one of the best weekend getaways in Florida for couples who love a mix of adventure and relaxation.

Fisher Inn Resort & Marina is a simple yet lovely place to stay in Islamorada. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Key West is one of the most famous destinations in Florida and a perfect place for a weekend trip in Florida.
Key West turquoise waters.

9. Key West

If you love to explore new cities on foot, come to Key West. This spot is easily enjoyable on foot or by bike. And there’s always the fun option of hopping the local trolley. All in all, there’s no pressure to navigate traffic or timelines. It’s the ultimate location to unplug.

While in town, enjoy local history at The Hemingway Home & Museum or spend an afternoon wandering through Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. You can also visit the southernmost point of the continental U.S., just for the touristy fun of it. Be sure not to miss the stunning reefs too!

Key West is a popular destination for those who want to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park. The Yankee Freedom Dry Tortugas Ferry departs daily from Key West, and the boat ride takes about 2 hours. A visit to this incredible park for sure will make your Florida weekend getaway a memorable one.

Casablanca Hotel Key West is one of the most unique and interesting hotels in this area. The 3-star hotel provides comfortable accommodations as well as a departure from the typical hotel chain experience. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Here are three unique experiences you must have in Key West, FL.

Photo of a beach with a lifeguard house and palm trees at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, USA.
That postcard pic of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

10. Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a fun weekend destination in Florida, perfect for recharging in the sunshine.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is one of the city’s best highlights. It’s clean, well-manicured, and stacked with some impressive amenities. There’s a boat ramp, outdoor showers, and one of the best beach playgrounds around!

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, a mile-long stretch alongside the New River, features many of the city’s finest shops and restaurants. Visitors can stroll, bike, or even rollerblade along the promenade, catching views of luxury yachts and fascinating drawbridges.

Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club is a top-notch hotel in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a beautiful and comfortable beachside resort featuring a 500-foot private beach. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Check out these activities in Fort Lauderdale.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA. Universal Studios theme park entrance with globe and sign.
Orlando is the theme capital of the country.

11. Orlando

Orlando is the theme capital of the country. You can’t visit this central Florida city without partaking in the magic of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. 

For visitors looking for more than just thrill rides, you should know that Orlando has become a bit of a foodie’s paradise. Come hungry and ready to sample as you explore the culinary side of this city.

Outdoor activity fans won’t be left out. Orlando’s Wekiwa Springs State Park is a favorite local spot for kayaking! This is also a great place to look for wildlife.

Keep the good times rolling by staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. There’s no better place to live it up than at this family-friendly hotel in Orlando! (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Plan your Orlando weekend trip in advance and get skip-the-line tickets to amusement parks and attractions.

Things to do in Tampa Florida
Photo Credit: Visit Tampa Bay.

12. Tampa

Tampa is a great city for staycations in Florida. Ben T. Davis and Picnic Island are great beach areas for sunbathing, paddling, or biking, but swimming is not recommended. Be sure to spend some time on the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk too! Favorite attractions here include Courtney Campbell Trail, Busch Gardens, and Zoo Tampa.

Here is a quick guide about the best things to do in Tampa you don’t want to miss on your weekend getaway, 

Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is one of the highest-rated hotels in the city. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Not sure what to do in Tampa, check out these tours we’ve selected for you.

Scenic fifth avenue cityscape in the popular downtown district in Naples, Florida.
If you are looking for some luxury, then go to Naples.

13. Naples

When you think Naples, think luxury hotels, shopping, and impeccable food. If you’re looking for the ultimate r&r getaway with some serious class, Naples is the perfect destination for you.

Along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, Naples Pier is awesome for fishing and dolphin watching. This boat trip (click here for details) will take you to Ten Thousand Islands to look for manatees, dolphins, alligators, and indigenous birds.

Clam Pass Park and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park are the best beaches in town!

Stay at Edgewater Beach Hotel for an amazing stay in Naples. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Photo of Marina and luxury hotel high rises in Sarasota, Florida.
Sarasota has a small, sleepy town feel.

14. Sarasota

Sarasota has a small, sleepy town feel. Travelers can enjoy some sun on Longboat Key, explore the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and enjoy all the glorious flavors of restaurants along St. Armand’s Circle.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a fun place to stay in Sarasota. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Photo of two kids walking on the beach in St. Augustine on a weekend getaway in Florida.
Peaceful Paradise!

15. St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a wanderer’s paradise, perfect to be explored on foot. Spend an afternoon exploring Castillo de San Marcos before heading out to Ponte Vedra Beach to surf. Venturing through St. Augustine is like striking a balance between historic sites and all-out fun.

Casa Monica Resort & Spa is the place to stay in this colorful paradise. It’s also one of the most sought places for romantic getaways in Florida. (click on the hotel name to see the room and rates)

Here are three unique tours that show different sides of St. Augustine.

FAQ: Weekend Getaways in Florida

How do I choose a weekend getaway in Florida?

It’s always best to decide exactly what you’re hoping to get out of your getaway before jumping into choosing a destination. Whether you’re looking for a restful and rejuvenating trip, a historic town to visit, or a party weekend to remember will determine which Florida getaway is right for you.

What is the best place for a weekend trip to Florida?

There are so many amazing places in Florida to spend a weekend. The best destination for you will depend on your budget and what your perfect weekend looks like! 

What are the best places for cheap getaways in Florida?

For sure you can always plan a budget trip in Florida, it will always depend on how much you are willing to spend on accommodation, activities, and food.

But let’s say that Pensacola, Orlando, Clearwater, and Jacksonville are good op[tions for cheap getaways in Florida. 

On the other hand, Miami Beach, Naples, and Key West with their luxury resorts are some of the most expensive destinations.

How in advance should I book hotels and tours for my Florida getaway?

We recommend you plan your trip in advance, which includes booking hotels, transfers, and activities a few weeks before the trip, especially during the high season. You are going on a weekend getaway in Florida, and for sure you don’t want to spend precious time looking for things to do, or searching for a hotel room.

Booking.com has a great selection of hotels in Florida for all budgets and styles. 

GetYourGuide and Viator are the platforms we use for booking activities, tours, and transfers.  

Travel Advice:

Don’t forget your Travel Insurance! You don’t want anything to ruin your trip, right? So don’t take the risk! Reliable travel insurance can help you in case of travel issues, from accidents to health problems, travel delays, and lost luggage.

There are many insurances in the market, our picks are HeyMondo and SafetyWing. We used both and always had a good experience. Click on the insurance names to get a quote.

Weekend Getaways in Florida Wrap Up

Whether you choose an action-packed weekend or a restful itinerary, enjoy your weekend getaway in Florida! There are many great places to visit, from fun theme parks to stunning beaches on the Gulf Coast.

We’ve just listed the 15 best places to go on a weekend trip in Florida but for sure many other towns and sandy beaches are waiting for you.

Author: Candice Wood Steele

Candice is the main contributor and writer for two US-based travel blogs, CS Ginger and Exploring the Gulf. She and her family love traveling in the country in their RV, visiting national parks and small beach towns.