Friday, July 19, 2024

Five Epic Day Trips from Jacksonville

HomeTravelFive Epic Day Trips from Jacksonville

Daydreaming about day-tripping? On a quick jaunt from Northeast Florida, you will find a treasure trove of diverse destinations just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, this region has something for everyone. Join us on five daytime adventures where you’ll discover the beauty and charm of Northeast Florida.

Ormond Beach

In Ormond Beach, where sun-kissed shores meet a rich history, you’ll stroll along the iconic Ormond Beach boardwalk and enjoy the pristine beaches that stretch for miles. The Birthplace of Speed Park pays tribute to the area’s racing heritage, where pioneers like Sir Malcolm Campbell raced their automobiles on the hard-packed sands, creating the first speed tournaments in 1903. Wade into the waters for a surf or paddle stand up paddleboarding lesson with Surfari Surf School. And wrap the day with a little shopping and sipping along Main Street.

Blue Springs

November to March is the prime season to witness the gentle giants of the sea – manatees. Blue Springs State Park in Volusia County, is a winter haven for these graceful creatures. Take a guided river cruise or explore the boardwalks and observation areas to catch a glimpse of these charismatic mammals in their natural habitat. Apart from the manatees, Blue Springs offers opportunities for kayaking, picnicking and hiking along the scenic trails, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.

Jekyll Island

Cross the state line into Georgia, arrive at the captivating Jekyll Island. This barrier island boasts a wealth of history and natural beauty. Relax in the Jekyll Island Historic District, a collection of well-preserved mansions and cottages dating back to the late 19th century, offering a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of America’s elite. Driftwood Beach, famous for its hauntingly beautiful driftwood trees lining the shore is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, shelling and snapping the kind of frame-worthy photos that’ll make your social media scroll sizzle. If you’re a critter lover, stop by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn about the area’s most beloved mascots and see rehabilitation in action with a host of interactive exhibits and experiences.

Ocala

Ocala is known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” Here, you can embrace the equestrian culture by embarking on a horseback riding adventure through the lush forests and rolling hills of the Ocala National Forest. Numerous stables and trails cater to riders of all levels, ensuring a memorable experience. Visit Silver Springs State Park, where crystal-clear springs create an enchanting oasis. Take a glass-bottom boat tour to see the vibrant underwater world, teeming with fish and lush aquatic plants.

Gainesville

Heading inland to Gainesville, a hub of culture and natural wonders awaits. Start your day at the Florida Museum of Natural History, where you’ll embark on a fascinating journey through Florida’s diverse ecosystems, featuring impressive displays of fossils and ancient artifacts. Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, home to over 24 unique gardens, including the breathtaking Butterfly Garden and the scenic Hammock Hollow. Don’t miss the Water Gardens, featuring serene ponds and cascading waterfalls. Venture to Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, a massive sinkhole with lush vegetation and a hidden miniature rainforest. Descend into the depths of this natural wonder and marvel at the unique ecosystem thriving within.

There’s plenty to discover just over the horizon! So, fill up your tank and escape from the city for a day. Go!

Photo Credit: Element Digital 

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