Jacksonville is home and we love it here! But every once in awhile it’s nice to get out of town for the weekend and explore some of the nearby towns in Florida and Georgia. Below are some of our favorite weekend getaways from Jacksonville:
Day Trips from Jacksonville, FL:
Ichetucknee Springs, FL
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is about an hour and a half from Jacksonville and worth every minute of the drive. This spot is perfect for a weekend getaway from Jacksonville (go camping nearby!) or also perfectly fine for a day trip.
You can explore the river by inner tube, paddleboard, canoe or kayak, or go swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving. The water is crystal clear and you can see lots of turtles and fish. Manatees also visit the river, but only during certain times of the year.
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
We are Harry Potter fanatics! Our wedding bands have a line from HP engraved in them and we even had quotes in our vows. (We weren’t kidding about being fanatics!) With that said, it makes sense that one of our favorite weekend getaways from Jacksonville is a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Disney World, Kissimmee, FL
Whether or not you’re a fan of Disney itself, the Disney parks seem to have something for everyone: visit the new Star Wars-themed area, take a safari at Animal Kingdom, eat and drink at Epcot’s famous Food & Wine festival, or wine and dine at Disney Springs or the Disney Boardwalk.
I went to the University of Florida and WC has been a fan since he was a kid, so, naturally, we like to get back to Gainesville whenever we can. There is no feeling like watching football in the Swamp with 90,000 of your best friends!
Ginnie Springs, FL
Much like Ichetucknee Springs, Ginnie Springs is a popular spot for spending a relaxing day floating on the crystal clear water. There are plenty of overnight options whether you prefer a tent, camper, or even a cottage.
Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, FL
For a resort getaway without having to fly to the Caribbean, Hammock Beach in Palm Coast is a great option. Hammock Beach Resort is about an hour from Jacksonville. Visitors have access to several pools, a lazy river, hot tubs, mini golf, and of course, an actual beach. There are also several restaurants, a golf course, and spa services available for an additional price.
Charming Savannah is a must-do weekend getaway and is perfect for any type of travel whether its a couples, friends, or solo trip. You’ll fall in love with the Spanish moss, historic Victorian homes, and cobblestone streets. There is plenty to do to last a weekend or more: shop at City Market or stroll the Forsyth Farmers’ Market, eat at one of the renowned restaurants, try craft beer at a local brewery, enjoy an evening on the Savannah River Queen, brave a ghost tour, or take a tour of the historic city (by trolley or carriage!).
Tampa Bay, FL
The Tampa Bay area has a ton of towns worth visiting and we could write an entire article about them alone! St. Petersburg and Clearwater are two of our favorite spots (I’m probably biased because I used to live there!). But you should also consider Tampa, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Treasure Island, or any of the other cute and quirky small towns!
St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine is so close to Jacksonville that it can easily be a day trip, but it’s also a fun weekend getaway! Go bar hopping or shopping downtown, explore the Fort Matanzas National Monument, climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse, visit the distillery, try a flight at San Sebastian Winery, or one of many other fun activities.