Best Road Trips From Tampa

For when you want to spread your wings, the best road trips from Tampa include world-famous beaches, the dramatic landscapes of Everglades National Park, and iconic American metropolises. Dip your toe by venturing out into and beyond the Sunshine State for one of these incredible road trips.

Top Road Trip Destinations From Tampa

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Our rankings are based only on editorial opinion, not any commercial consideration.
footbridge to the beach - Florida Key West

🚗 460 miles ⏱️ 9 hours

Key West is renowned for its beaches, watersports, historic attractions, vibrant nightlife and pastel conch-style architecture. The smallest of the Florida Keys, Key West is a fantastic destination to unwind and have fun.

This drive to Key West will take you past the most beautiful coastal towns on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean such as Vero Beach, West Palm Beach and Miami.

Miami Beach, Florida, USA on Ocean Drive at sunset.


🚗 590 miles ⏱️ 11 hours, 30 minutes

Some of the world's best beaches await you on this trip, along with city stops at Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. Amazing nightlife, food, art, and culture are on offer in Miami, not to forget the iconic South Beach.

Get ready to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and work on your tan at Cocoa Beach and Palm Bay en route.

Up close shot of people riding and having fun on the bright blue Manta Ray rollercoaster in action at Seaworld


🚗 85 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 40 minutes

Explore the excitement of Orlando, a bustling city known for its theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Beyond the parks, discover a vibrant arts scene and numerous outdoor activities.

This inland drive to Tampa will take you past Dinosaur World, and Polk Museum of Art and Barnett Family Park in Lakeland.

St Petersburg, Florida, USA with a boardwalk to a beach the beach with stunning flowers in the foreground on a sunny day.

St Petersburg

🚗 25 miles ⏱️ 30 minutes

St Petersburg is a short drive that's perfect for an afternoon outing, and you can enjoy dinner on the way back. One of Florida's sparkling gems, this beachside destination has sandy beaches and fun attractions for the entire family.

After you travel across Old Tampa Bay, make sure to visit Sawgrass Lake Park and Tampa Bay Automobile Museum before you reach St Petersburg.

Long wooden pier stretches out into calm sea with pink, blue and gold sunset light reflected


🚗 20 miles ⏱️ 40 minutes

Clearwater is arguably one of the best swimming locations in the state. White beaches, warm waters, and frolicking dolphins can be combined with a visit to Pier 60 and beautiful Caladesi Island nearby.

Tampa and Clearwater are only separated by the bay, so you will arrive at your destination without stopping by other cities.

Everglades National Park, Florida at in the sunrise with a wooden platform in the foreground overlooking waters covered with green plants.

Everglades National Park

🚗 205 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 5 minutes

The Everglades is an official World Heritage Site, home to several rare species and an important location for research on biodiversity. You can take guided tours with volunteers and participate in science workshops to learn more.

Before you reconnect with nature in the Everglades, you can visit beautiful coastal towns such as Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples en route.

Jacksonville, Florida, USA downtown city skyline.


🚗 200 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 10 minutes

Jacksonville is known for its entertainment on the water, with a bonus helping of a bustling cosmopolitan culture. The craft beers and buzzing food scene of Jacksonville, by themselves, are a good enough reason to come here.

From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic shores, this drive will take you past Lake Panasoffkee, Ocala and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlins Historic State Park.

St. Augustine, Florida, USA town square.

St Augustine

🚗 190 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 20 minutes

St Augustine offers a historic snapshot of Spanish colonial architecture. The rich history awaiting you in St Augustine is complemented nicely by the luxurious golf courses and sandy coastlines along the way such as Palm Coast.

En route to St Augustine, you can make stops at Ocala, Lochloosa Lake Park and Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka.

Aerial Close-up of Crab Island, Destin Florida on a sunny day


🚗 410 miles ⏱️ 8 hours, 50 minutes

Rather fittingly, Destin is also known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." Around Destin Harbor, you can find a wide range of waterfront dining, stores, paragliding, dolphin tours, fishing vessels, and even monthly fireworks.

Traveling on the coastline of Gulf of Mexico, you can visit Weeki Wachi Springs State Park, Panama City Beach and beautiful Santa Rosa Beach en route.

Savannah, Georgia, USA riverfront promenade at sunrise. A riverboat can be seen.


🚗 335 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 10 minutes

Savannah has a lengthy history and is well-known for its stunning coastal scenery and well-preserved architecture. Here, you can enjoy ghost tours, scenic boat rides and explore intriguing museums.

If you have some extra time on your hands, you can also visit Ocala, make a detour to Jacksonville, and spend an afternoon in Brunswick on the way.

Rainbow Row, Charleston SC


🚗 435 miles ⏱️ 6 hours, 50 minutes

Charleston is known for its rich history, beautiful and old architecture, and world-class restaurants. Explore the historic downtown, visit the old plantations, and immerse yourself in the charm of the Old South.

This is a sizeable road trip, so you can plan to make extra stops on your way to Charleston, such as Dade Battlefield Historic State Park and detour to Jacksonville or Savannah.

Myrtle Beach with its famous pier and Ferris Wheel in the background during a pink and peach sunset.

Myrtle Beach

🚗 560 miles ⏱️ 8 hours, 50 minutes

A beautiful coastal getaway, Myrtle Beach is home to a magnificent 60-mile stretch of beaches called the Grand Strand. Several of the most stunning state parks and gardens on the Eastern seaboard are located in Myrtle Beach.

A few of the amazing places you can visit on this drive steeped in history include Marjorie Kinnan Rawlins Historic State Park, Savannah and Lake Marion.

Dunedin Causeway Honeymoon Island State Park In Florida

Honeymoon Island

🚗 30 miles ⏱️ 45 minutes

One of Florida's calmer oceanside locations, Honeymoon Island is the perfect setting to relax amidst natural beauty. Honeymoon Island also has one of the country's best pet-friendly beaches, alongside hiking and nature trails.

To make the best of your road trip to this beautiful island, we recommend visiting Clearwater, Dunedin and Palm Harbor on the way.

Florida Fort Myers colorful facades and palm trees in USA

Fort Myers and Cape Coral

🚗 140 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 20 minutes

Another one of Florida's coastal paradises, the Fort Myers and Cape Coral area is known particularly for its golfing. Lush green golf courses await you here, along with white sandy beaches and deep-sea fishing.

On this drive south, you can admire some of Florida's beautiful natural areas, including Nathan Benderson Park and Myakka River State Park.

NASA Logo on Globe at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. To the left is a painting visible of President John F. Kennedy.

Cape Canaveral

🚗 130 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 20 minutes

The site of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral remains one of the most significant landmarks to the scientific progress of mankind. Cape Canaveral is also a short distance from the beautiful Cocoa Beach.

While the direst route we have highlighted here does not go through Orlando, we highly recommend making this detour, especially if you want to visit the one and only Walt Disney World Resort.

Greek fishing village in Florida, Main Street view on a sunny day

Tarpon Springs

🚗 35 miles ⏱️ 1 hour

Tarpon Springs is a coastal town with a twist of Greek culture, boasting with fascinating handmade goods and gift shops. Another highlight of Tarpon is its beautiful lake, surrounded by parks.

On your way to this small slice of Europe in Florida, you can visit Clearwater, East Lake and Brooker Creek Preserve en route.

Sarasota Florida Downtown Bayfront Park Marina Jacks Golden Gate


🚗 60 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 5 minutes

Sarasota is one of Florida's best locations if you are looking for a beach-centered vacation. Alongside a raft of beaches within spitting distance and splendid warm weather, the city is also home to the Ringling Museum of Art.

If you'd like to add more beautiful places to your itinerary on the way, you can visit Little Manatee River State Park and Nathan Benderson Park.

Marco Island, Florida, USA with a sunset over the boats in Esplanade Harbor Marina.

Marco Island

🚗 180 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 50 minutes

Marco Island, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is a slice of paradise with soft white sand beaches and beautiful sunsets. It is ideal for a relaxing getaway and offers opportunities for fishing and boating.

Outdoor lovers and urban adventurers will love this route, which will take you past Myakka River State Park, Fort Myers, Naples and Picayune Strand State Forest.

Manatees swimming under the crystal clear waters of the natural spring

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

🚗 55 miles ⏱️ 1 hour

This park is a water-filled paradise where you can spot exotic animals and hike beautiful trails. With waterslides, peacocks and even mermaids, Weeki Wachee Springs is a State Park unlike any other.

On your way to Weeki Wachee Springs, you can elevate your back-to-nature adventure by spending some time at Crews Lake Wilderness Park.

Crystal River, Florida taken at Three Sisters Springs with turquoise waters on a sunny day and trees in the distance.

Crystal River

🚗 80 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

The warm waters in Crystal River are fed by natural springs and are home to amazing outdoor activities. Here you can also enjoy the company of Florida's world-famous resident manatees and even swim with them.

You will be straying off the coast on this drive to visit Crews Lake Wilderness Park, Spring Hill and beautiful Weeki Wachi Springs State Park.

A tourist boat on the river with tall trees lining the shore


🚗 95 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ocala is known as the horse capital of the world, and its beautiful natural springs and national forest complement its greenery. Nearby you will find Silver Springs, one of the area's most popular artesian lakes.

En route, take some extra time to visit the Boyett's Grove & Citrus Attraction and Dade Battlefield Historic State Park.

Gainesville, Florida, USA downtown cityscape taken at sunset.


🚗 130 miles ⏱️ 2 hours

Discover miles and miles of natural hiking trails in Gainesville. Live music, world-renowned museums, and performing arts are among Gainesville's highlights, amidst acres of greenery in multiple state parks.

There are plenty of great places to visit on the way to Gainesville, including Lake Panasoffkee, Ocala and Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Sun setting over the lake with clouds in the sky

Lake Okeechobee

🚗 145 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 40 minutes

Explore Lake Okeechobee, Florida's inland sea and a haven for fishing, boating, and birdwatching. The surrounding wetlands offer scenic trails and a glimpse into Florida's diverse ecosystems.

On your way to this beautiful lake, you can also visit Lakeland, Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

Clear, blue waters of the natural springs, with trees lining the shores

Blue Springs State Park

🚗 120 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 15 minutes

Blue Springs State Park, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, is a designated Manatee Refuge. Winter is the perfect time to view the manatee population, and the park also offers swimming, snorkeling, and scenic riverboat tours.

This route passes through the theme park capital of Orlando, and we recommend visiting Walt Disney World Resort and Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Longer road trips from Tampa

Mural of historical jazz players on the side of a building in downtown

🚗 670 miles ⏱️ 12 hours, 30 minutes

New Orleans is well known worldwide for its unique music, Creole food and the abundance of festivities and events, most notably the famous Mardi Gras celebration.

A busy bar in downtown Nashville, with people watching live music. Neon signs and music memorabilia line the walls


🚗 705 miles ⏱️ 10 hours, 10 minutes

In addition to being the music capital of the US, Nashville is brimming with historical sites, outdoor activities, and delicious BBQ food.

The facade of the famous museum in New York City on a sunny day without people

New York

🚗 1,130 miles ⏱️ 16 hours, 45 minutes

New York is an amazing place for some retail therapy and is home to some of world class museums like MoMA and the Met.