If the summer doldrums have you down, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the road and away from Sarasota for a few days. Within just a few hours, you can be in a totally different world, away from the stresses of everyday life. 

There are destinations close to the area that offer something for everyone. Here is our list of travel ideas for weekend trips from Sarasota. 

St. Petersburg 

You can get to St. Petersburg from Sarasota in under an hour and plenty of tranquil beachfront awaits. The accommodations on St. Pete Beach include smaller inns that remind of Old Florida and five-star resort experiences. 

If the beach is not your thing, downtown has a bustling arts scene and plenty of breweries to bar hop to for a day. You can also check out the Tampa Bay Rays who play just west of downtown at Tropicana Field. 

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is our other west coast destination on the list and you can reach it in under two hours driving south from Sarasota. There are several great resorts on the island and excellent opportunities for kayaking and shelling. 

The Sanibel Island vibe is very relaxed and there are several galleries, restaurants, and shops on Periwinkle Way. The nearby Captiva Island is another good place to stay in the area. 


People with families travel from all over the world to visit Orlando's renowned theme parks, but luckily you can get there in under two hours. Whether you are looking at visiting one of the Disney parks, Universal Orlando or SeaWorld, it is an experience your kids are sure to remember for years to come. 

International Drive is a great place to stay if you are interested in finding places to eat and things to do apart from the attractions. Those without kids looking for a different experience in Central Florida should look at spending a weekend shopping on Park Avenue in Winter Park or checking out the quaint antique shops in Mount Dora

West Palm Beach 

West Palm Beach is home to many of the rich and famous and Sarasotans can experience a slice of what their life is like by making just a three-hour drive across the state. There are many upscale shops, high-end restaurants and lively nightlife on Clematis Street

West Palm Beach's cultural highlights include touring the Norton Museum of Art or taking in a show at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. There is certainly ample space to lay out and get a tan on the beach as well. 

Key Largo 

It may be a little bit of a stretch to make a weekend trek to Key West, but you can reach one of the best northern keys, Key Largo, in just over four house. With a national park and two state parks, this is a great place to explore native flora and fauna. 

Key Largo is also one of the top places to go diving in the country and there are resources for people of any skill level to enjoy their time in the water. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is 70 nautical square miles offering overnight camping options too. One your finish with your excursions with nature, there are also great dining and nightlife options available. 

Find your perfect summer getaway from Sarasota. Enjoy the time to reflect on life, spend time with family or enjoy some relaxing alone time. 

To find out more about Sarasota travel, register with 941area, your free guide to the Sarasota and Bradenton area.