Day Trips

Day Trips
(For a co mplete listing of Florida Activit ies visit
This lists popular day trips from Gainesville. Listings include springs, beaches, theme parks,
water parks, animal parks and zoos museums and other popular destinations.
Adventure Island Water Park
Soaking, sunning and relaxing - that's what life's all about at Adventure Island. A step through
the entrance and you're transported straight to the Florida Keys and the laid-back lifestyle that
made them famous. Adventure Island's 30 acres provide water-soaked excitement for guests of
all ages. Ease into island time in a place where corkscrew slides, waterfalls, a giant wave pool,
a rambling river, and other family attractions create a laid-back atmosphere and hours of sundrenched fun.
10001 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 / (888) 800-5447
Adventure Landing Shipwreck Island
If you happen to land in Jacksonville Beach, you can find mild to wild adventure! Adventure
Landing is not just a waterpark! Besides slippery slides and watery waves, you can take a turn
on their go-karts, take a shot at laser tag, go batty in their batting cages, putter around their
miniature golf courses, or bounce around in their arcade that features over 100 games.
Adventure Landing Jax Beach is home to Jacksonville's only water park. Their interactive water
park, Shipwreck Island, features a 65-foot tall pirate play village that includes 12 slides and over
200 nozzles that can spray and squirt guests of all ages.
1944 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 246-4386
This amazing NEW water park will blow you away. Created by SeaWorld ®, Aquatica TM is full
of amazing rides and beautiful animals. In South Sea exotic surroundings, you can test out 36
water slides, winding rivers, wave lagoons or relax and sun bathe on the white sandy beaches.
You can travel under water through a world of dolphins on Dolphin Plunge, laze down
Loggerhead Lane or race your friends and family on the Taumata Racer, a high-speed mat race.
5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821 / (888) 800-5447
Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary
Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is devoted to rescuing and providing a
permanent home for exotic (i.e. wild, not domestic) cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred
to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats, and to
educating the public about these animals and the issues facing them in captivity and in the wild.
The sanctuary is home to the most diverse population of exotic cats in the world, with 16 species
and subspecies of wild cat represented among more than 100 residents. These include tigers,
lions, liger, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and others, many of whom
are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the wild.
12802 Easy Street, Tampa, FL 33625
(813) 920-4130
[email protected]
Blue Grotto
Come to Blue Grotto and discover the rich beauty and thrilling experience of diving the
largestclear water cavern in Florida. Located deep in the heart of freshwater spring country in
Williston, FL, you will be able to dive to a depth of 100' into this cavern which remains a
constant 72 degrees year round. Only open water diving certification is necessary! Picnic
tables, bathhouse and the safest cavern in the area make Blue grotto a wonderful trip for the
entire family. *Not open for general swimming, free diving or snorkeling unless accompanied
by divers.
3852 NE 172nd Court, Williston, Fl. 32696 / (352) 528-5704
[email protected]
Blue Springs Park
Blue Springs is a heavenly escape from everyday life and hurried vacations. Swim in the crystalclear blue waters, walk the boardwalk to the Santa Fe River, canoe or kayak the spring run, and
camp at our fully-equipped campground. Our park caters to families with children, in addition to
canoe, tube and kayak rentals we also have a great playground for children. Blue Springs is also
the only spring in the area with 50 yards of beach area whereby young children can enter into the
water and play without the worry of getting near the deep spring boil.
7450 NE 60th Street, High Springs, FL 32643 / (386) 454-1369
(4 miles west of High Springs on County Road 340)
[email protected]
Buccaneer Bay
Florida’s only spring fed waterpark. Enjoy our white sandy beach, thrilling flume rides, beach
volleyball, lazy river ride, kiddie pool area and much more.
6131 Commercial Way, WeekiWachee, FL 34606 - (352) 592-5956
Busch Gardens
The ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic
encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's
premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games,
Busch Gardens provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.
10165 N McKinley Dr., Tampa, FL 33612 / (888) 800-5447
Cedar Key
Cedar Key is one of the oldest ports in the state, and when Florida's first railroad connected it to
the east coast, it became a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast. Today
it has become a haven for artists and writers who find the unspoiled environment inspirational to
their work. Many people visit each year to walk the historic streets browse the shops and
galleries, explore the back bayous and enjoy the world- famous restaurants featuring seafood
fresh from local waters.
Central Florida Zoo
Enter the enchanted, tropical world of the Central Florida Zoo, a relaxing, entertaining and
educational experience for the entire family. Discover a world of animals from around the world
within this intimate park nestled in the heart of Florida. Stroll along shaded, winding boardwalks
and paths as you see towering elephants, appreciate the beauty of the hyacinth macaw and listen
to the song of the kookaburra. Or dare to meet some of the world’s most venomous reptiles and
non-venomous snakes, lizards and frogs in the Herpetarium.
Tropical Splash Ground: Kids of all ages will enjoy staying cool as they splash around the
watery playground. The Splash Ground features unique water sources resembling some of the
local residents and former residents of the Zoo! Located at the front of the Zoo, the Splash
Ground was designed for those hot and humid days in Florida when you just want to cool
off. The Tropical Splash Ground includes an alligator, frog, hippopotamus, raining trees, water
tunnel and a bucket dump and is just waiting for children-of-all-ages to enjoy.
3755 NW Hwy 17-92, Sanford FL 32747 / (407) 323-4450
[email protected]
Crystal River
Crystal River is known for snorkeling or swimming with the manatees, one of mother natures
most amazing creatures, right here in Crystal River. Kayak with dolphins, or take a fishing trip
for some of the most amazing redfish, trout, shark, tarpon and bonefish. Snook fishing is in the
area. Citrus County is known as "Mother Nature's Theme Park" and is the only place in the
world where interaction with the manatee is encouraged. Come see the real Florida the way it
was meant to be lived. Crystal River also has a strong fishing community. Whether it's fishing
from a kayak, or with an experienced guide, Crystal River is known for record breaking catches
of tarpon, reds and trout. Crystal River is also known for great sea food and even better
hospitality. The Crystal River area also has over 30 on-the-water restaurants between the towns
of Crystal River and Homosassa Springs. There are over 60 plus restaurants on the water and
off the water, giving you incredible options for takeout or eating in.
Daytona Beach
The World's Most Famous Beach -- a breathtaking 500 feet wide at low tide -- has an ocean park
atmosphere second to none, and it's open year-round. You can drive your vehicle during daytime
hours on a specially designated 18- mile stretch of hard-packed sand, accessible via a series of
clearly marked access ramps. The speed limit is 10 mph, and the daily charge of $5 per vehicle
(from February through Labor Day) includes unlimited re-entry for that day. During other times
of the year, admission is free! You can rent just about everything you need -- from water floats,
lounge chairs and umbrellas to bicycles and motorbikes -- from vendors right on the beach. And
enjoy the convenience of ordering cold sodas, hot dogs, ice cream and other tasty foods from
nearby oceanside concessionaires. Lifeguard towers are strategically stationed along the beach
for the safety of our residents and guests.
Daytona Beach Area
Daytona Beach is the perfect place for family fun. Activities include the beach, water park, gokart tracks, parasailing, miniature golf, the planetarium and much more! With over twenty miles
of wide sandy beach, wall-to-wall motels, and inviting aquamarine water, Daytona is the ultimate
beach town and one of the biggest draws in Florida. Daytona's other big draw is auto
racing. The Daytona International Speedway hosts a number of high-profile racing events, most
notably the world- famous Daytona 500 in February. Motorsports fans can visit the impressive
Daytona USA, which is a $20 million dollar racing museum featuring celebrated racecars and
interactive displays.,FL
Devil's Den
Visit one of North A merica's most prehistoric places, Devil's Den -- an underground spring inside a dry cave in
central Florida. The remains of many ext inct animals fro m the Pleistocene Age (2 million - 10,000 years ago) were
discovered at Devil's Den, including the bones of early man, dating back to 75,000 B.C.
The pleasant year-around temperature of 72 degrees in the Den allo ws comfortable div ing, winter or summer. On
cold winter morn ings you can see steam, like s moke, rising fro m the cave's chimney. Hence, the early settlers
called the place Devil's Den.
5390 NE 180th Avenue, Williston, Fl. 32696 / (352) 528-3344
[email protected]
Discovery Cove
You can immerse yourself in adventure everywhere you turn and forget about your cares for the
day. All you need to focus on is discovery -- interacting with dolphins, birds, fish and rays in an
all- inclusive setting. Attendance is limited to 1,000 guests per day at this reservations-only
adventure, setting it apart from the other Orlando attractions.
6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821 / (877) 557-7404
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom is full of attractions, adventures and entertainment that reflect Walt
Disney's dedication to nature and conservation, and in doing so, the park leads the way in animal
care, education and research. Home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species and sprawling
across 500 acres of lush landscape, this is the largest animal-themed park in the world! The park
is divided into 7 areas. Within each area, encounter real and fantastic animals
Osceola Parkway,Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 939-6244
Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features one of the world's
tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, as well as slides and rides for the whole family-like a kid-sized, snowcastle fountain play area with scaled-down versions of the more thrilling attractions.
1500 W Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 939-6244
Disney's Epcot
Epcot is twice the size as Magic Kingdom and is divided into Future World and World
Showcase. Future World is full of sensational attractions as well as inspiring entertainment and
shows, all of which focus on technological advancements, innovation and wonder. World
Showcase is a collective of Pavilions that wrap around the World Showcase Lagoon. Inside the
Pavilions are shops, attractions and restaurants that represent the culture and cuisine of 11
1200 Epcot Resort Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 / (407) 939-6244
Disney's Hollywood Studios
This theme Park offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style action with live shows, thrilling
attractions, backstage tours and special events that only happen in this Disney Park dedicated to
entertainment. The glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Heydays from the 1930s and 1940s are captured
by the neon, chrome, art deco and modern architecture throughout the park. The streets and sections of
the 4 areas of the Park blend together like a large, bustling movie set.
351 South Studio Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 / (407) 939-6244
Disney's Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom theme park, one of 4 Theme Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, captures the enchantment of fairy
tales with exciting entertain ment, classic attractions, backstage tours and beloved Disney Characters. Designed like
a wheel with the hub in front of Cinderella Castle, pathways spoke out across the 107 acres of Magic Kingdom
theme park and lead to these 6 wh imsical lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square,
Fantasyland, and Tomorro wland. Travel through these lands and see how fantasy becomes reality when you learn
how to be a pirate, match wits with funny monsters and conquer mountains. Get swept up in the spectacle of
splendid parades and fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom theme park—it's here that dreams come t rue for ch ild ren
of all ages.
3111 World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 / (407) 939-6244
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort,
features attractions for the whole family- from fast waterslides to a children's area with pint-sized
raft rides. Catch 6-foot waves in the Surf Pool and snorkel Shark Reef-with real sharks!
1494 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 939-6244 lagoon/
Fanning Springs
Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for
thousands of years. Fanning Springs produces an average of 65 million gallons of water daily,
making it one of Florida´s 33 first magnitude springs. Swimming or snorkeling in the spring is a
refreshing activity on a hot day; fishing is also a popular recreation. Visitors can enter the park
by boat from the Suwannee River as well as by car. Many visitors enjoy the picnic area,
playground, and the park's large open areas for Frisbee, football, soccer and also for several local
events. A nature trail and boardwalk overlook the spring and river. White-tailed deer, gray
squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and barred owls are some of the animals
seen in the park. Manatees sometimes visit the spring during the winter months. Reserve a
canoe or kayak by calling Suwannee Guides and Outfitters at (352) 542-8331. The Park is
located on U.S. 19/98 in the town of Fanning Springs.
18020 N.W. Highway 19, Fanning Springs, Florida 32693 / (352) 463-3420
Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach features six miles of un-crowded, car-free shoreline. There are five public parks
in the area - Jungle Hut Road Park, Malacompra County Park, Old Salt Road Park, Varn Park
and River to Sea Preserve. All five parks have restrooms and showers. Flagler Beach Municipal
Boardwalk and Pier is the local gathering area and features restaurants, gift shops, recreational
facilities and beach wheelchairs. Watch locals catch dinner or the surfers catch some of the best
waves in the area.
Founded by the late Owen Godwin in 1949, and still privately owned by his family today,
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve, combining "Old Florida" charm with
exciting, new exhibits and entertainment. Known internationally as the "Alligator Capital of the
World," Gatorland today provides affordably priced family- fun with thousands of alligators and
crocodiles, a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower, one-of-a-kind reptilian
shows, aviary, petting zoo, splash park, swamp walk, educational programs and much, much
14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837 / (407) 855-5496
Ginnie Springs
Enjoy our seven crystal-clear, freshwater springs nestled in over 200 wooded acres along the
banks of the Santa Fe River in Florida. Each day, the 7 separate springs of Ginnie Springs
Outdoors discharge hundreds of millions of gallons of crystal-clear water that is a constant 72
degrees, year round.
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, FL 32643 / (386) 454-7188
Glazer Childre n's Museum
Glazer Children’s Museum offers over 170 ‘interactivities’ in 12 themed areas to explore, there
are tons of fun ways to grow the minds of parents and children alike.
110 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, Florida 33602 / (813) 443-3861
Green Meadows Farm
For the price of admission you will have a 2 hour guided tour through our farm. We have over
300 farm animals that will give you a great chance to learn about pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks,
geese, donkeys, and more. Each person is encouraged to have first hand experience by touching
all of the animals. Everyone milks a cow, rides a pony and takes a tractor ride. Our goal is to
educate children and adults about farm animals, which we accomplish with our hands on tours.
1368 South Poinciana Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34746 / (407) 846-0770
[email protected]
Hands-On Childre n's Museum
The Hands On Children's Museum offers almost 6500 sq. feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits
for children from ages 1-12. 15 Major Exhibits include like: - Little Vets- Kids Mini Bank- Winn
Dixie Lil' Grocery, Kids U. S. Postal Office- KIDS TV / Radio Newsroom, You're the Star Stage
8580 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216 / (904) 642-2688
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park's underwater
observatory in the main spring. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees,
black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river
otters. Manatee programs are offered three times daily. At the Wildlife Encounter programs,
snakes and other native animals are featured. Recreational opportunities include picnicking,
nature study, and bird-watching. The park features a children's education center, providing
hands-on experiences about Florida's environment. Transportation from the visitor center on
U.S. 19 to the West Entrance is available by tram or boat.
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, Florida 34446 / (352) 628-5343
Ichetucknee Springs
The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands
before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National
Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early
September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing,
visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife
viewing. October through March scuba diving is available in the Blue Hole only (you must be
cave certified). White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can
be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the
park. A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial
Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private
vendors outside the park located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238.
12087 S.W. US Hwy 27, Fort White, Florida 32038 / (386) 497-4690.
As the largest city in land area in the U.S., Jacksonville offers a wealth of attractions and
recreational opportunities. A predominant waterfront gives convenient access to boat cruises,
riverfront boardwalks, fish camps, and offshore fishing. For sports fans, Jacksonville is the
home of the NFL Jaguars, as well as college football's Gator Bowl Classic. Other points of
interest include: Jacksonville Landing, a waterfront marketplace with unique shops and
restaurants; the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens; Adventure Landing amusement park; plus a
number of local museums and historical sites. And don't forget, the golden sand of Jacksonville
Beach is just a short drive away.
Whispe ring Pines Park
Visit Whispering Pines Park to cool off and splash around at the new children’s water
playground, “Puddle in the Pines”. This new park amenity features a zero depth water
playground with various spray features that will entertain children for hours. The water
playground is located up the hill from the existing children's picnic and playground area. Other
new amenities in the area include two covered pavilions with picnic tables, several benches and a
children's trail. The green shade shelter, which is down the hill from the water playground is
available to reserve for private parties.
1700 Forest Drive Inverness, FL 34453
Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures is a 170-acre theme park located in Valdosta, Georgia featuring one of the
largest ride collections in the South, more than 500 wild animals, Splash Island Water Park, the
region’s largest water park, shows, festivals and all-star concerts.
3766 Old Clyattville Road, Valdosta, GA 31601 / (229) 219-7080
Wild Waters
Located adjacent to the lush grounds and natural beauty of Silver Springs, near Ocala, Florida,
Wild Waters is a place where the whole family can chill out on a warm summer day. Soak up
the sun on our "beach" or stay cool in the shade of our giant oak and palm trees. Ride the surf in
our 450,000 gallon wave pool. Hit the twists and turns of Osceola’s Revenge, Bunyan’s Bend or
Mini Monster water slides. Or, if you dare, tackle the 220 foot long Silver Bullet flumes or the
twisting turns of the Alligator Ambush. For the younger set, there’s Cool Kids Cove, a
multilevel fun zone, and the shallow pools of the Tad Pool.
5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488
(352) 236-2121
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Hernando County
Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando (WROH) was formed 11 years ago in Spring Hill, Florida.
It was set up to provide a place for injured or orphaned wildlife to be brought to, given medical
treatment, food and a chance to recover before being released back into the wild. Orphaned
animals are taken care of and taught to be able to survive in the wild, and then given a soft
release. Red fox, gray fox, raccoons, opossums, flying squirrels, grey squirrels, fox squirrels,
bobcats, snakes, turtles, coyotes, eagles, owls, hawks, ducks, deer and alligators are some of the
animals that have been helped along in their life. Visitors are welcome by appointment only.
Please call first.
360 Suncoast Blvd, Spring Hill FL 34608 / (352) 279-3600