School is in session and work gets crazy—your family deserves a weekend getaway from Orlando! Whether you want to spend a holiday away (hello Labor Day) or just use a good ol' fashioned Saturday and Sunday to get out of town, we have some wonderful weekend trips ideas...all within a three-hour drive from Orlando. These family-friendly places will keep children and parents entertained, happy, and refreshed to return to the hussle and bussle of everyday life.
Whether you like the action of Daytona Beach or the serenity of Jekyll Island, or some hybrid in between, we've got great weekend trips from Orlando that everyone will love!
Popular for both its picturesque beach life AND cool attractions, Daytona Beach makes an excellent weekend trip from Orlando for any family. There's always something happening along the Daytona Beach Pier and boardwalk, a concert to see at the Daytona Beach Bandshell, as well as swimming, surfing, and more water activities in the water. Families can pay for board rentals and/or surfing lessons at a variety of companies along the shore. Want to skip the sand for a day? Tour Daytona International Speedway, visit the Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS), zip across Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure, and even more! Party or sleep (or both) at fun hotels like Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach and Best Western Aku Tiki Inn.
A reminder that Daytona Beach is a major spring break destination for college kids, and may not be the right weekend trip to bring the family during that time. In addition, this beach town hosts the Daytona 500, one of NASCAR's biggest races, so plan around those dates.
Museum of Science and Industry is a fun attraction for kids of all ages! Photo courtesy of museum and Visit Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay, Florida
Distance from Orlando: 1.5 hours
Head to the Gulf Coast of Florida with a quick drive to Tampa, where your family will be exhausted from all the kid-friendly activities and attractions. Start your weekend at the Glazer Children's Museum (for younger kids), Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (for older kids), Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) for all ages, The Florida Aquarium, Zootampa at Lowry Park, and more. Enjoy the sand and sun at one of the many Tampa beaches, take a 2.6-mile stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk, or even book a pirate ship tour. If you have the time, drive to Weeki Wachee Spring State Park for mermaid fun!
Amelia Island has great ways of exploring its extensive waterways. Photo by Michelle Valle, courtesy Amelia Island
Amelia Island, Florida
Distance from Orlando: 3 hours
For families who seek more rest and relaxation than jam-packed attractions, Amelia Island may be the perfect weekend destination. Enjoy the tranquil beaches of Amelia Island and explore the local ecosystem. Besides the obvious fun of the ocean, Main Beach offers mini golf, a skate park, and family-friendly restaurants. There are a ton of state parks and playgrounds (including a pirate-themed one) for kids to unleash, as well river cruises, horseback riding tours, and much more.
Distance from Orlando: 3.5 hours
Drive north from Orlando and arrive in beautiful Jekyll Island, Georgia for a fun weekend getaway with the kids! Part of Georgia's "Golden Isles
," Jekyll Island offers sand, surf, and natural beauty around every corner. Families can lounge, swim, bike, or play at one of the many gorgeous beaches, then head to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn more about these wonderful creatures. Learn more about the local wildlife by visiting the 4H Tidelands Nature Center or take a dolphin cruise.
Visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm for a look at amazing creatures. Photo courtesy FloridasHistoricCoast.com
Distance from Orlando: 2 hours
Part of Florida's "Historic Coast," this idyllic beach town offers beauty, history, and fun. St. Augustine is first and foremost a beachy paradise, with swimming, kayaking, boating, and much more. Families can even board a pirate ship for a tour of the waters with all their mateys! Beyond the pristine waters, a weekend trip to St. Augustine can include a visit to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, Potter's Wax Museum, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, and much more.
Space Coast, Florida
Distance from Orlando: 1 hour
Look up at the stars and feel a little closer to space by spending time along Florida's Space Coast. Located by Merritt Island, Space Coast stretches across 72 miles and is a dream for those families looking to experience a weekend full of sand, sun, and stars. Exciting Kennedy Space Center
, bustling Port Canaveral, fun Cocoa Beach, starry Titusville, beachy Melbourne, and more spots await families.