Sometimes breaking away from the routine and exploring somewhere new is a great idea, even if you´re living in a coastal paradise such as Sarasota. The special thing about Florida is that every nearby city offers many attractions and beautiful sites that are perfect for easy getaway trips from Sarasota, so keep reading and check out which places made our list!
Tampa is home to a number of charming beaches that are constantly ranked among the best in the country. The ideal season to visit is during fall or winter when the weather has started to cool off and you can enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze. Apart from its famous beaches, you can also do a little tourism in Tampa by visiting the world-famous Busch Gardens where you can ride wicked-cool attractions and amusement rides.
If you’re stopping by during the summer, maybe you’re more inclined to check out Adventure Island, located in front of Busch Gardens and considered to be one of the best water parks in Florida. Other great places to visit include ZooTampa at Lowry Park and the Florida Aquarium, making Tampa one of the top cities for weekend getaways from Sarasota.
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Maybe all you need for a perfect weekend getaway is to spend some time in nature. In this case, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda have many possible destinations for your upcoming trip. By visiting the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, you'll be able to spend your days hiking, fishing, kayaking, and appreciating the local wildlife. Many species of birds thrive in this ecosystem, so it’s a great place to do go birdwatching!
Another cool spot in Port Charlotte is the Port Charlotte Beach State Park , which features a pier, a public pool, and picnic areas where you can enjoy Port Charlotte’s incredible sunsets. The city also has many restaurants and pubs you can find by walking around town such as the popular Visani Restaurant and Comedy Theater.
Apart from its pleasant weather, St. Petersburg has something for everyone. Tourists can learn more about Salvador Dali’s artwork at The Dali Museum, visit the Florida Holocaust Museum, or even enjoy a few plays at the American Stage Theatre Company. For those who enjoy fishing, the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park offers the world’s longest fishing pier, and it's open 24/7! Nature lovers will also enjoy the many picturesque beaches the city has to offer as well as the Weedon Island Preserve where you will get to appreciate the local plants and animals.
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Bradenton may be just north of Sarasota, but it’s still an amazing spot for weekend getaways. Tourists get to bask in the beautiful views of the Manatee River just south of Tampa and enjoy many recreational activities around the city. Delve in and explore the Emerson Point Preserve by hiking or kayaking around this 365-acre natural haven. The city is filled with other astonishing state parks like De Soto National Memorial and Lake Manatee State Park, to name a couple. There are also many cultural destinations in Bradenton such as the Florida Maritime Museum, the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, and the South Florida Museum.
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Next time you want to venture out or go on a mini-vacation, refer to our list of the best easy getaway trips from Sarasota. If we missed any of your favorite destinations, let us know in the comments below!
Cover photo courtesy of PxHere