Owning a home in the Central Florida area comes with a variety of benefits. Speak to anyone who lives in the area and you’ll hear rave reviews of the weather, fantastic locally owned business’, and friendly, world-class communities. And whether you decide to buy a home in Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, Apopka, or Windimere – you’ll find yourself conveniently located to some top-notch destinations that make for ideal day-trips! Check out some of the outstanding local treasures within driving distance of Central Florida:

1. Mount Dora

Beautiful Downtown Mount Dora (Photo Courtesy of visitmountdora.com)

Beautiful Downtown Mount Dora (Photo Courtesy of visitmountdora.com)

Mount Dora is a a little town located just north of Orlando that offers more than enough character and charm to fill a day-trip. You can park your car and walk up and down the streets of Downtown Mt. Dora, wandering in and out of little shops, eateries, and cafes. There’s also a handful of trails and natural sights to enjoy – and all it takes is less than an hour of drive time.

HIGHLIGHTS: If you set your sights on Mount Dora for your day trip destination, take advantage of the unique dining experiences such as the intimate, book-lined dining rooms of The Goblin Market. Mount Dora is also well known for it’s thriving Antique markets, such as Renningers which could fill a day-trip all on its own. And if you’re looking to enjoy some time outside, check out some prime Florida hiking trails such as Hidden Waters Preserve or the Trimble Park hiking trail.

2. Silver Springs State Park

Glass Bottom Boat at Silver Springs (Photo Courtesy of wesh.com)

Glass Bottom Boat at Silver Springs (Photo Courtesy of wesh.com)

Silver Springs State Park is 350 acres of natural Florida beauty. Ancient live oaks line the shores of crystal clear spring water filled with marine wild-life. Just an hour and a half north of Orlando, you can get your fill of pristine, beautiful nature.

HIGHLIGHTS: Get a front row seat to marine life in it’s natural habitat on the famed glass-bottomed boat tour. Adventure along trails and explore wildlife at the Silver Springs exhibits and botanical gardens. Enjoy live music as a part of the concert series or get an up close look into the life of bears at the World of Bears attraction. Silver Springs is a must for all nature lovers.

3. St. Augustine

Flagler College (image courtesy of tripadvisor.com)

Flagler College (image courtesy of tripadvisor.com)

Settled nearly 500 years ago and steeped in a rich and vibrant history, St. Augustine has plenty to offer visitors. You can spend the day wandering around historic landmarks, enjoying world-class cuisine or relaxing on the beach. Just short of a two hour drive away, you’ll find no shortage of fun things to do with family and friends here.

HIGHLIGHTS: For the history buff, make sure to check out the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument or the stunning Flagler College Campus. If you’re a foodie, choose between some culinary gems such as gourmet waffles at Cousteau’s Waffle & Milkshake Bar, a refreshing summer salad at The Floridian, or a meticulously crafted cocktail at the factory turned restaurant The Ice Plant.

4. The Tampa Bay Area

Tampa Bay (Photo Courtesy of tampabay.org)

Tampa Bay (Photo Courtesy of tampabay.org)

The Tampa Bay Area is home to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. These three neighboring cities have plenty to offer in the realm of entertainment, food, and the arts.

HIGHLIGHTS: Head over to The Oxford Exchange in Tampa for the perfect meal, a cup of coffee, or the perfect souvenir, all conveniently available in one space. Explore your inner artist at the world-class Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, or relax for a day on one of the pristine stretches of beach in Clearwater. What more could you want for a day trip?

5. The Space Coast

Kennedy Space Center (Photo Courtesy of space.com)

Kennedy Space Center (Photo Courtesy of space.com)

All it takes is an hour drive to experience the out of this world Cape Canaveral. Home to the Kennedy Space Center and a large stretch of stunning coastline, it’s a quintessential destination for Florida residents and tourists alike.

HIGHLIGHTS: Visit the Kennedy Space Center to get a first hand look at our nation’s human space program. Learn all about man’s voyages into space including visiting launch pads, examining actual space shuttles, and maybe even catching a launch. And if you manage to leave with any time to spare, visit the Canaveral National Seashore to enjoy almost 25 miles of undeveloped beaches that are home to over a thousand plant species and over 300 species of birds. The Space Coast will impress even the most seasoned day-trippers.

When you’re in need of a quick escape form the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you’ll be delighted to find all of these day-trip destinations and more. Are there any destinations you’d add to this list?

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