The spring time in northern Florida always brings the perfect weather for exploring. School spring breaks are just around the corner and maybe you’re looking for an awesome day trip for your family. If you’re a college student, you may  want to escape for a day to get your mind off of stress and enjoy nature. Gainesville is central to several great locations to hike, swim, shop and eat!

St. Augustine
St. Augustine is only a one hour and a half drive away from Gainesville and holds a ton of history and beauty. If the weather is warm enough, St. Augustine beaches run along the coast from Crescent Beach up to Velano Beach and are some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. In fact, St. Augustine Beach was ranked number 14 on Trip Advisor’s list of the top 25 beaches in the United States!

St. Augustine is also home to incredible history including the oldest house in Florida. Take a stroll through the downtown historic district to experience history that dates back to the 1500’s.

Cedar Key
Cedar Key is just a short one hour drive west from Gainesville that makes for another great beach getaway. Cedar Key offers attractions on land such as nature hikes and state parks in addition to many water activities. Visitors are able to rent boats and kayaks or go on a boat tour. If you’re family is into fishing, there are several fishing boat charters that will take you out on the water with guides and help to plan a day of fishing!

Although it is a longer drive than the rest of the options, Orlando offers many attractions for every age group. For kids, Disney World, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure all make for a fun-filled day. Orlando also has great shopping and dining with some of the biggest outlet malls in central Florida. For a little more upscale getaway, Winter Park, just outside of Orlando offers unique boutiques, upscale restaurants and bars.

Payne’s Prairie & Ichetucknee Springs State Park

If you are looking for somewhere a little more local, Payne’s Prairie and Ichetucknee Springs offer amazing nature trails to enjoy the Florida weather and scenery. Explore La Chua Trail at Payne’s Prairie in the middle of a sunny day to watch huge alligators basking in the sun. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see wild horses, pigs, bison and a multitude of bird species.

Ichetucknee springs offers several hiking trails along with kayaking, canoeing or rafting down the river. With only a $5 fee for kayaking and canoeing, Ichetucknee springs is the perfect place to get away without breaking the bank.

We hope that our list helps you decide on a destination this weekend or weekends to come! Always remember that Mini Maid of Gainesville will come and tidy up your home for you while you enjoy your daycation!

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