Family-Friendly Florida Staycation Ideas

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than getting out of the house, and even out of the town for a little while. If you’ve never heard of taking a staycation before, then we’re excited to give you the scoop on what it is and why everyone needs one now and then.

Simply put, a staycation is just a vacation that you take that keeps you close to your home — or right in your living room in the comfort of your own home. This allows for a quick trip to and from your destination, and the comfort of knowing you’re not far removed from what you’re familiar with.

A staycation can be something as adventurous as a road trip to a nearby national park or amusement park or as low-key as a movie night, some board games, and s’mores in the backyard. You can also stay at a local hotel or nearby AirBnb to get some vacation time without leaving town.

We’re pretty happy that over the past couple of years, staycations have become more popular because it takes a lot of the travel stress away from the whole ordeal. Focus on just the fun parts of taking a vacation with these fun staycation ideas for Florida residents below.

To start with, we’ll define what a staycation is and why you and your family should take one.

What Is a Staycation?

It’s reasonable to wonder what a term like this means we’ve always just taken a vacation. Luckily, we’re going to clear things up and fill you in on all things staycation. This word means what it sounds like. A great staycation allows you to stay close to home so that there’s less travel, less hotel hassle, and more.

A lot of times, people will assume that to take a staycation means to stay at home altogether. That may have been what the term meant for some originally, but today, a staycation means that you can stay in your general area of living. You can stay at a hotel 10 miles away from your house, or a resort 50 miles away. Whichever you choose, it’s meant to be relaxing and simple.

The point is, you don’t have to be a super long distance from home to feel like you’re on the getaway of a lifetime. You make the rules, and we know you’ll be able to make your next staycation one worth remembering.

Why Take a Staycation?

If you’re not convinced by now that you should take a staycation, we have some other tips and ideas that might make it a no-brainer. If you’ve been stuck in the same everyday cycle of going to work, coming home, and doing the same few activities that you do all the time, then that’s a big sign that a staycation is for you.

Many people choose to take a quick staycation to refresh their minds and unplug for a little while. That’s the inviting thing about these trips, is that because you can stay close by, it’s an easy choice to make to step away from reality real quick.

Another great reason to take a staycation is to explore some of the surrounding areas of your hometown! This might be a great opportunity to see more of the place you live if you haven’t gotten that chance in the past. See what’s right under your nose and enjoy the scenery.

Now you’re thinking about all the places and sights you can feast your eyes on, and we’ve got some ways to help in that area, too. Below, we’ve listed 10 different Florida staycation ideas that you and the whole family will enjoy thoroughly. Pack your bags and take your pick.

Sunny Isles Beach

To start with, we’ve chosen a serene beach stay that’s right in the sunshine state. No matter what time of year you take your staycation, Sunny Isles is the perfect place to unplug and unwind. We recommend booking a stay at a relaxing resort at this beach that’s just north of Miami.

You’ll feel brand new after a short stay away taking in the cool drinks and spa days. There’s no shame in this staycation game. After all, you can’t go wrong with taking a dip in one of the pools that have a gorgeous palm tree-filled view.

Vero Beach

Another beachy option is Vero Beach. This piece of paradise is part of Florida’s Treasure Coast and is chock full of things to do and places to see. Here, you can explore all of the beautiful art exhibits, shop, eat, or take it more low-key by having a picnic on its beautiful white sands.

Vero Beach offers a ton of activities for those who get restless but is also a great idea for anyone who wants a laid-back getaway. If you’re near Vero Beach and want the retreat of a lifetime, this is the place for you. Pack up the suitcase and hit the road, Jack.

Anna Maria Island

Where do we even begin with this extraordinary staycation spot? Anna Maria Island is about a block from Holmes Beach and is tucked away from the business of public beaches. So, in a nutshell, if you’re desiring some peace and quiet for a long weekend, we couldn’t recommend this spot more.

Anna Maria Island offers something for everyone, including the cocktail sipper, sweets enthusiast, and adventure seeker. Take your pick between having a night out for drinks, hitting the creamery, taking a kayaking trip, or fitting all of the above into your schedule.

Key West

This staycation spot is for anyone who loves a true Florida destination. Just pack a comfortable pair of water-ready shorts for your days of sightseeing at the Key West Lighthouse and Old Town Trolley. You won’t be sorry you chose this spot to get away for a little while. You’ll have endless options for fun and rest.

Like some of the other breathtaking beaches of Florida, you’ll have all the time in the world to be a kid again as you build a sandcastle or play some beach games with friends or family. Also, Key West has wonderful and delicious dining options, including Salute! On The Beach.

St. Augustine

Are you the biggest adventure or history buff in your family or friend group? If you or someone you know is all about getting out there to enjoy activities and even some learning, then definitely take a trip to St. Augustine. You’ll never run out of things to do in the oldest city in the US.

St. Augustine is a wonderful place to explore a rich history full of amazing buildings and meaning. Look out for the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas in between your trips to the ocean. Not only will you have countless opportunities to roam and learn, but you’ll also have amazing choices of places to lay your head, too, like Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.

Apalachicola

Apalachicola, placed in Northwest Florida, is the dream location for any person who wants the ultimate quiet staycation away from any reality. This beautiful spot is nestled right in Florida’s Panhandle and is known to many as the Forgotten Coast. Why, you may ask? Because this loved spot is small, quiet, and as laid-back as it gets.

Does that sound like the ultimate staycation for you? If you’re traveling with others who want a little more to do, Apalachicola also has plenty of restaurants and sights to look into. Taste the fresh oysters and seafood before gazing at incredible art and architecture. You won’t be sorry you did.

Jupiter

Jupiter, which is a part of The Palm Beaches in South Florida, is paradise just a drive away. Stay in this beautiful spot and you’ll find that you have more options for activity than you could ever hope to have. Do you and your crew enjoy seeking out everything there is to do when you go on a trip? Even if this doesn’t sound like you, there’s always the option to hang on the beach instead.

Here, you’ll be able to shop, dine, boat, and even check out a museum or two. There’s never a dull moment when you stay at Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place. Take it easy and enjoy a staycation at one of Florida’s most inviting beaches.

Winter Park

If you haven’t heard of this beauty of a Florida destination before, then you’re in for a treat. Winter Park, Florida is pretty close to Orlando, which only makes it that much more inviting. Aren’t you already planning all the fun you and the family can have that’s just a quick drive away?

Winter Park is a great choice because of its location. You have the option to take a hop over to Orlando’s theme park, but you can also stay where you are to enjoy its boutiques and art galleries. This spot is also known for its romantic parks and scenery, so you’ll have the best of pretty much every world.

Universal Orlando Resort

If you haven’t been to this epic spot before now, then we highly encourage you to take the plunge. If you’re staycation-ing and already live in the area, then this is a no-brainer visit! Universal Orlando has something for everyone to do and enjoy.

You can choose to ride all the rides this spot has to offer, or you can sit back and enjoy the weather while you let the rest of your crew take on the big stuff. Universal is an awesome attraction to see the magical world of Harry Potter and more. Pack a pair of comfortable shorts and get to exploring.

Disney World in Orlando

Along the same adventurous and magical lines as Universal Studios, we all have Disney on our list of must-go places. Disney World is an incredible place to take a staycation with the whole family. If you’re close by, pack up the car and take a short drive to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Here, you can truly do it all. Ride the roller coasters, eat all of the delicious foods and drinks, and splash around at the water attractions to cool off. If you’re not into the world of everything Disney-related, we’ve got good news. There are tons of opportunities in this area to hit the golf course and enjoy some amazing dining, as well.

Looking for a Simpler Staycation?

The best staycation ideas aren’t always the farthest away or most expensive. If you need a staycation idea that’s closer to home and costs a bit less, you’ll love the options listed below:

  • Go camping
  • Have a scavenger hunt in your own backyard
  • Take a bike ride around a local park
  • Visit your local farmer’s market
  • Take a food tour and check out local restaurants in your own city
  • Splurge on a pedicure and face mask at a local spa
  • Take a cooking class to learn some new recipes
  • Have a date night in and deliver “room service” to your significant other
  • Take a day trip to a state park near you
  • Build a DIY fire pit in your backyard and roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories
  • Stay in and take virtual tours of museums and monuments
  • Order takeout and watch a movie at home

You can’t go wrong with any of these ideas — you’ll get a real vacation without breaking the bank or leaving town.

What To Pack for a Staycation

Hopefully, at this point, you’ve reached a decision on where you’re going to take your next trip. What should you pack for a staycation? Is packing for a staycation any different than packing for regular vacation? We’ve got all the answers you need below.

Some main things we like to pack for a staycation are things like backpacks, fanny packs, picnic coolers, and lots of sunscreen. These might be obvious, but they’re easy to leave behind on accident and are super helpful once you’re on your trip.

It’s also great to pack comfortable clothing for all the outdoor activities you’ll be on, but pack a nice dress or outfit for any date or nice dining you’ll catch yourself on as well. And, obviously, don’t forget to throw in your toothpaste, toothbrush, and any other toiletries you use.

Ready To Hit the Road

Well, it’s about that time! Time to pack up the suitcase, the car, and get started on the short ride to whichever paradise place you’ve chosen. A staycation is the best way to refresh your mind and spirit in between what we know can be a busy lifestyle.

Don’t overthink the trip; just choose a gorgeous location and get ready to feel farther from home than you really are.

Sources:

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways | US News

What Is a Staycation and Why Now is the Best Time to Have One | World Packers

The Only Packing List You'll Need for Your Staycation | Heritage Collection