PLACES WITHIN 3 HOURS OF
New Port Richey, on Pasco County’s southern coast in Central West Florida, is the place to go for spectacular sunsets and outdoor adventures that range from easy and relaxed to action-packed.
Spot dolphins from the 650-foot boardwalk at Robert K. Rees Memorial Park and spend time on the beach. Explore New Port Richey’s parks, expansive nature preserves, and the Pithlachascotee or “Cotee” River, put in some miles on the Suncoast Trail, and hike, bike, and camp at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. Take your adventures to new heights with a trip to Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park and zip-line between the treetops.
Explore the historic downtown area and check out Sims Park, which has an amphitheater, boat and kayak launches, and a playground and splash pad for kids. Catch a performance or movie at the historic Richey Suncoast Theatre and see the newly restored Hacienda Hotel, which has a full-service restaurant and bar. The 40-room bubblegum-pink Mediterranean Revival building brings visitors stylishly back to the 1920s, when the area was a haven and vacation spot for celebrities.
Grab a bite to eat at The Social NPR, which features a rooftop bar, Hershel’s Scratch Kitchen, or one of the area’s many popular restaurants. Finish with a craft beer at Cotee River Brewing Company or Ordinance One.
Nicknamed The Athens of Florida, the city of DeLand was founded in 1876. Located in Central Florida between Orlando and Daytona Beach, DeLand is home to Stetson University, Florida's oldest college. Stetson's stately red-brick buildings, Greco-Roman columns and magnificent oaks exude the aura of a quaint New England college town. Stetson Mansion, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is a blend of cottage, Gothic, Tudor, Moorish and Polynesian details. In addition, DeLand offers visitors the chance to explore the Museum of Art - DeLand and De Leon Springs State Park. At the park, you can take a dip 25 feet down to the mouth of the springs that release about 16 million gallons a day. Feeling even more adventurous? Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Spring Garden Run beside the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge for an eyeful of birds and other wildlife.
Hard to imagine that some 80 miles north, this same river parts big-city Jacksonville. But then the St. Johns, which stubbornly flows south to north, flashes a number of personalities.
The St. Johns River Cruises out of Blue Spring State Park is one of many tourist excursions along the 310-mile river (the state’s longest), including a sternwheel paddleboat tour out of St. Johns Rivership Co. in Sanford to the south. On its way, the river forms a number of lakes, widens and narrows, and contorts along a series of twists and turns despite early straightening efforts, using only handsaws, oxen and dredges, that ultimately chopped 21 miles off the river.
Apopka is one of Central Florida’s top destinations for outdoor recreation, offering a beautiful landscape of lakes, springs and natural land areas – ideal for getaway and exploring the best of nature within minutes of Orlando.
Enjoy fishing on Lake Apopka, or hike along the vast north shore. Birders can enjoy many of the area’s 300 documented species. Canoe, camp or hike more than 13 miles of nature trails at scenic Wekiwa Springs State Park and Kelly Park/Rock Springs, or cycle along 22 paved miles of the West Orange Trail.
Get in the game at the 182-acre Northwest Recreation Complex – one of Florida’s premier outdoor sports facilities with 28 fields and a 1,360-seat outdoor amphitheater, with additional lawn space for 5,000 people. In August 2021 the City purchased Camp Wewa. It offers well supervised, organized, active, and fun-filled summer activities for youth and teens. It also can host events, parties, team building retreats, educational trips, and other group programs throughout the year. Apopka is home to the annual Apopka Art and Foliage Festival in April.
The city’s rich history resonates in its small-town charm, locally owned businesses and tree-lined neighborhoods. Major shopping areas, entertainment, tourist destinations and airports are just minutes away with direct access to northwest Central Florida's growing highway system. Get out and visit Apopka on your next trip to the Orlando area.
Along with beautiful, award-winning beaches, St. Petersburg is home to the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum, top-rated restaurants and beautiful Fort De Soto Park. The waterfront escape is a perfect family getaway with so many things to do!
The gleaming new 26-acre St. Pete Pier combines the peaceful blue waters of Tampa Bay with the vibrant greenery of downtown St. Petersburg’s parks, creating the ultimate place to stroll, bike, dine, drink, shop, swim, and take in a concert and more.
St. Petersburg, which glimmers between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, is known for its warm weather and for holding the title of “most consecutive days with sunshine” at 768 days!
Downtown St. Petersburg is the city’s heart, home to great shopping, restaurants, bars and cultural attractions. After making a stop to check out the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain, swing by the Chihuly Collection on Central Avenue to witness mind-blowing glasswork.
Whether you’re having some down time on America’s best beaches or admiring beautiful Tampa Bay from downtown St. Pete, you’re in for some major fun in the sun.
In Jupiter, you can experience beautiful beaches, luxury amenities and an easygoing lifestyle.
Take the family on a turtle hatchling walk, hike or bike the many park and beach trails, paddle a kayak along the Loxahatchee River or climb the Jupiter Lighthouse for the view.
Jupiter's Roger Dean Stadium is Spring Training home to both the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Nearby Downtown Abacoa features specialty shops, sidewalk dining, weekly events and live concerts.
And Jupiter's beaches have served as retreats for surfers and beachgoers for decades.
Stop by Dubois Park, with more than 1,200 feet of tropical palm-lined beach, plus playgrounds and picnic pavilions. Carlin Park offers an exercise trail and well-equipped picnic areas. Ocean Cay Park features a playground, showers, pavilions and restrooms.
Coastal Living magazine named Jupiter as one of the Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns in the USA . Come and see why.
A day of diving at the Phil Foster Park Marine Protected Area is a ‘shore thing.’ Here’s why:
- Twice-daily high tides and shallow water permit hours and hours of tank time
- Underwater snorkeling trail
- Day- and night-dives offer uniquely different wildlife encounters
- Guided day- and night dives for viewers and photographers
- Many unique offshore dive sites nearby
- Daytime guarded beach.
- Great fishing at the park’s piers, and nearby
Jacksonville, perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in Northeast Florida, is a natural paradise for visitors looking for an affordable yet luxurious destination.
Whether you're looking to discover the undiscovered, ignite romance, reconnect with family, or be inspired by the city’s cultural offerings or vivid sunrises, anything is possible in Jacksonville.
The "River City by the Sea" boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River.
On land, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks.
Its authentic cuisine, thriving craft-beer scene and fun and cosmopolitan nightlife make Jacksonville a unique destination.