You can only visit the Natural History Museum, spend time at your local park and see the animals in the Santa Fe Zoo so many times. Sometimes you need to shake it up with something new and fun. But, you also don’t have a whole weekend either. With the kids out of school everyone might be climbing the walls for some adventure. Here are a few day trip ideas to help you discover the hidden gems within a two hour drive.

Ginnie Springs. Looking to clear away the stress and enjoy a cool getaway? Look no further than Ginnie Springs which boasts the clearest spring water in Florida at a cool 72-degrees. River tubing is a main attraction with beautiful scenery and plenty of spots to stop when you need a break. Don’t forget your snorkeling or scuba gear, either. Ginnie Springs has five different springs each with its own unique beauty and charm. Super clear and perfectly cool with plenty of fun activities.

Saint Augustine. In under two hours you can visit 42 miles of beautiful beaches from Ponte Vedra Beach to St. Augustine Beach. There’s more than beaches though. St. Augustine is rich in history with Castillo de San Marcos (The Fort), the Lightner Museum, Fort Matanzas National Monument and dozens of other historic sites throughout this quaint town with cobblestone roads. Looking for something a little more unbelievable? Check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium or the Medieval Torture Museum and Micro Masterpieces Art Gallery. There’s so much to see in St. Augustine you’ll need to go again and again.

Cedar Key. Only about an hour away you’ll find a gem of a getaway in Cedar Key. Not only can you find some great fishing and exhilarating airboat rides, you’ll also discover a rich history while visiting the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum. And if you’re looking for some spectacular kayaking and canoeing, look no further. The Island of Cedar Key is surrounded by 13 smaller islands offering open gulf and grass flats. If land adventure is more your style, Cedar Key’s Cemetery Point Park gives you views of partially sunken boats, animals of all sorts and even a fitness and disc golf course.  

Homosassa Springs. In a short hour and a half drive you’ll be watching manatees and enjoying glass bottom boats in Homosassa Springs. You can also enjoy a beautiful walking trail and nice boat rides to fully immerse into nature. Take your camera or canvas because you’ll want to capture the beauty. And don’t miss the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where you can meet a very special citizen of Florida — Lu the Hippo! He’s the oldest living hippo in captivity in all of North and South America.

Big Talbot Island. In two hours you could be hiking Blackrock Trail to the shoreline or launching a boat to fish and tour the salt marsh. Big Talbot Island is a natural preserve in north Jacksonville perfect for nature study, bird-watching and photography. You can take a guided kayak tour and visit the Boneyard Beach, a unique beach famous for salt-washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees. If want to roll your way to fun, bring your bike, in-line skates or a stroller to cruise the almost 3 mile paved multi-use Timucuan Trail that parallels A1A.   


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