Tampa

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While it's great to pick one destination to enjoy to the fullest, a day trip to a nearby town or attraction can be the icing on the cake of your vacation. ShermansTravel experts have rounded up the top day trips within a few hours' drive so you can experience that must-visit stretch of beach, national park, or under-the-radar city.

Day Trips from Tampa

Caladesi Island

Reachable only by ferry or private boat, this state park near Clearwater is home to wading birds, armadillos, a three-mile nature trail, and a sparsely populated stretch of white sand.

23 miles west of Tampa, FL, www.floridasbeach.com
Tags: editor pick | outdoors | day trip | wildlife

Crystal River

Pre-Columbian Native American burial grounds, the Floridian fauna of Homosassa State Wildlife Park, and the opportunity to swim alongside docile West Indian manatees lure nature enthusiasts to this spring-fed coastal area.

79 miles northwest of Tampa, FL, www.crystalriverflorida.com
Tags: family | outdoors | history | day trip | wildlife

Orlando

The Central Florida theme park oasis beckons kids of all ages with Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and countless kitschy independent attractions—the Gatorland alligator park instantly springs to mind.

85 miles northeast of Tampa, FL, www.orlandoinfo.com
Tags: family | day trip | wildlife

Sarasota

A bayfront community flanked by picturesque keys, it's the site of Florida's first golf course, the 66-acre Ringling historic mansion and art museum, and orchid-rich botanical gardens.

60 miles southwest of Tampa, FL, www.sarasotafl.org
Tags: golf | art | culture | architecture | history | day trip

Tarpon Springs

Mediterranean heritage permeates this tranquil town, best known for its shop-lined Sponge Docks where Greek divers have gathered sea sponges since 1905 Other wares include jewelry, hand-rolled cigars and Greek crafts.

29 miles west of Tampa, FL, www.tarponsprings.com
Tags: day trip

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