Updated: July 2020
My hometown of Jacksonville is a great base if you’re planning a road trips in Florida. You can get pretty far in a short amount of time. Living here most of my life, road trips were always part of growing up. And we have so many unique hotels in Florida, you really can’t go wrong. Pick a direction and drive!
Here are 9 destinations for road trips in Florida you can take this summer!
Ginnie Springs, High Springs, Florida
Have you been to Ginnie Springs? Less than two hours from Jacksonville in High Springs, Fla., Ginnie Springs is one of our favorite road trips in Florida. The perfect spot to cool off in the hot summer months! It’s generally less crowded than Ichetucknee, though take note that the weekends can get quite rowdy.
Activities include tubing down the Santa Fe River, snorkeling in the seven crystal clear springs, camping, hiking and scuba diving in one of the world’s most famous freshwater dive locations. Tubes, kayaks and canoes are available to rent, too.
Learn More About Ginnie Springs
- 30 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Ginnie Springs
- Why You Must Plan a Ginnie Springs Camping Trip
- Florida Bucket List: Chilling and Grilling at Ginnie Springs
- Florida’s Secret Natural Waterpark
Day trips to Ginnie Springs are $12 adults; $3 kids; 6 and under are free. Camping is $24/night for adults and $6 for kids.
The Florida Keys
I always say how lucky we are as Floridians to live so close to the islands because every time we go, it’s a magical trip. And it’s possibly the perfect destination for my family, too – fishing, food, nightlife, watersports – everybody’s happy. The coastal highway is one of the best road trips in Florida, if not the whole country.
My family just spent 7 days exploring the Keys and have come up with 8 activities you can’t miss. Weather you’re spending a day jet skiing or parasailing with Fury Water Adventures Key West, kayaking with Big Pine Kayak Adventures, deep sea fishing with Two Conchs Charters, getting to know the town with Key West Food Tours or feeding the tarpon at Robbie’s of Islamorada, everyone in the family (even the dog) will find something they love in the Florida Keys!
St. Augustine to Amelia Island, Florida
When you think about it, it makes sense that a professional world traveler like me hails from Florida’s First Coast. I grew up learning about the Spanish explorers who discovered St. Augustine and daydreaming about what it must’ve been like to sail across the Atlantic to an unknown new world. I’ve picnicked at 500-year-old Castillo de San Marcos since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, frolicked at the Fountain of Youth and spent more date nights carousing on St. George Street than I can recall. I got my wanderlust honest, that’s for sure.
A Florida road trip on any portion of A1A will satisfy your coastal wanderlust, but we really love the ride from Amelia Island to St. Augustine. The First Coast is so historically rich that you can cross three counties, countless beaches and centuries of history in one glorious road trip. And you can do it in a day or stretch it over multiple days without running out of things to do in North Florida.
Need a hotel in St. Augustine? We’ve got you covered!
This is a Jet Sisters FAVORITE! We love Central Florida so, so much – one of us even lives here! We filmed an early episode of The Jet Sisters in Orlando back in 2019 and you’ll find us exploring the area often.
We are theme park junkies, so we can’t recommend Central Florida highly enough for thrill seekers. Full disclosure, we both have worked for Universal in various capacities since 2010, so it’s a part of us at this point. Check out some of our top Universal Orlando posts below for all the info you need to plan a summer trip.
More Posts from Universal Orlando
- How to Spend Your Day at UO The Jet Sisters’ Way
- VIDEO: Our Silliest Day at Universal
- Why You Should Stay at a Universal Resort Hotel
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Tips and Secrets from an Insider
There’s much more to Orlando than theme parks though, if you’re willing to look past the mouse ears and wizard wands.
Things to do in Orlando
Captiva Island, Florida
Need some serious R&R? A few months ago, Rachel and I road tripped to the West Coast of Florida for some much needed sister time exploring South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island. Captiva Island is Florida’s best kept secret (from us at least)! We had never heard of the island but now that we have, we’re excited to return. Maybe this summer…?!
We went parasailing, did yoga on the beach, rode bikes around the island – all the fun stuff and more, here! Good thing we were so active, I don’t feel as bad eating all the delicious food.
Florida’s Space Coast
There’s nothing I love more than outer space! And the easiest way to explore the final frontier, since commercial space travel isn’t up and running quite yet, is via Florida’s Space Coast. It’s an affordable destination, easy to get to, family friendly, outdoorsy and just chock filled with wildlife.
Space ships, surf culture and shorebirds – that sums up the Space Coast in a pretty neat little package.
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key is a tiny old-fashioned fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico, perfect for families who like to kick back poolside, and then explore a little nature or go on a charter fishing trip. It’s only about three hours from Jacksonville, with a population of 702. It’s somewhat similar to the Florida Keys but less crowded and quite a bit closer. It’ll remind you of Florida in the 1940s.
Old school hotels & rustic cottages are available for rent all over. A favorite is the Harbour Master Suites starting at $90 during the week and $100 for weekends. There are kitchenettes & WiFi, and the location just across from the new pier is ideal.
Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
The Lodge at Little St. Simons Island is just 1.5 hours north of Jacksonville on a private 10,000 acre island. You can only get to the island via boat, but no worries if you don’t have one. They’ll pick you up at the dock! The price includes three full meals a day, all snacks and beverages including alcohol, unlimited use of the island, activities and recreation gear, plus boat transfer to and from the island. And I love that The Lodge provides everything – insect repellant, sunscreen, fishing tackle, kayaks, skiffs, peanut butter and jelly picnics if you want to take a long bike ride to the beach, awesome nature presentations and more.
Learn More About Little St. Simons Island
Meals are served family style among the 32 maximum guests allowed on island, so you get to know tons of new friends. It’s a wonderful destination for families with a love of wildlife, science and nature.
Chattooga Whitewater Adventures, Georgia
Chattooga isn’t in Florida, but it’s easy to get to! Years ago, I took my family whitewater rafting with Wildwater LTD on the Chattooga River on the border of Georgia and South Carolina. This is a must-do for the adventurous family. It’s about a 6.5 hour drive to the launch, and rafting excursions are super affordable from between $70-$140 depending on length. Rafters can choose between easy rapids up to more challenging Class IV, and there are also canopy tours kayaking clinics and stand-up paddle-boarding.
To book your Chattooga adventure, click here.
2 thoughts on “9 of the Best Destinations for Summer Road Trips in Florida”
I will never turn down white water!! I’m not positive, but I think I did that same one when I was in middles school.
Well, I’m glad at least one of these is already on my summer docket (DIAGON ALLEY, OMG) but I’m planning to go to Little St. Simons sometime in the next year, and now I’m dying to go to Ginnie Springs after your Mother’s Day weekend post!