Spring Break Staycations

Places to visit in Florida for both friends and family

Spring Break Staycations

Cassie Santella, Staff Reporter

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater beach is rated one of the best beaches in Florida and it’s located right in our backyards. It’s a popular hangout spot for students on weekends, breaks, and during the summer time.

photo courtesy of Sydney Goldsmith

There’s lots of fun activities and fun things for visitors to try. There are numerous cruises and outings including the Calypso Queen Tropical Party Buffet Cruise, Tiki Boat Cruise, a Helicopter tour,

Private boating, and dolphin watching tours such as the Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat. 

“Clearwater is fun because you can walk around and eat and there’s always something to do. It feels more teen oriented than like a family beach. I went with my friends Alexandra, Nadia and Sonia. My favorite memory from there was when I had my birthday party in a hotel on the beach,” Sydney Goldsmith (‘23) said. 


Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island is accessible either by boat or the ferry connection at Honeymoon Island State Park. The ferry is $8 per vehicle and $4 for a single occupant vehicle. This island is beautiful for swimming, fishing, having a picnic and makes for a really nice beach day. There is a trail on the island about 3 miles where visitors can hike, walk, and even go bird watching. 


Fort De Soto

photo courtesy of William Campbell

Fort de Soto Park is about an hour drive from Palm Harbor and has lots of activities for friends and family to enjoy. Fort De Soto’s beaches make for a beautiful day from sunrise to sunset. There are paved and natural trails for runners, cyclists, and walkers. There are also canoes and kayaks to rent, there’s a possibility to catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife such as turtles and cormorants. Additionally, there’s a dog beach and paw playground, fishing spots, waterfront camping, and more. 

“My friends, family, and I stayed at the Fort Desoto campground. My favorite parts were biking from the campground to the fort and getting ice cream by the beach and stargazing at night,” William Campbell (‘23) said.



The city of Orlando is about a two hour drive from Palm harbor and has endless activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained. In Orlando there’s Discovery Cove, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and Gatorland. Also in Orlando are the Universal Parks such as Volcano Bay, islands of adventure, and of course Universal. 


Discover Cove

Discovery Cove is a resort best known for its swimming with dolphins attraction. Additionally to swimming with dolphins there’s snorkeling with fish and rays, wading beside otters, and hand feeding toucans and other exotic birds. There’s options to visit for just a day or stay in their hotel and make it a vacation. 


Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon lagoon is Disney’s water park filled with fun slides and raft rides along with a wave pool. This outing is on the more expensive side as it is a Disney park however reviews say it’s worth it. They offer cabanas and umbrellas to rent. Additionally, if you plan ahead, there’s surf lessons in the wave pool. 



Gatorland has an extensive collection of rare crocodiles and alligators, from babies to 14-footers. Gatorland is more than just a gator park; it also has a petting zoo, animal shows, zip lines, and more. The park was founded 73 years ago and is the perfect affordable day adventure for all ages. 


Universal parks

photo courtesy of Cheyanne Ferrara

Orlando Florida’s Universal parks include Universal Studios,Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano bay.This is a popular destination and vacation amongst families not only from florida but from other parts of the country. One of the main attractions is Universal Studios The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which attracts many Harry Potter fans. Additionally there are Marvel, Despicable Me, Shrek, Jurassic park, and more themed rides and areas. Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park. This water park is known for its big rides and big model Volcano in the middle of the park. 


I went with friends and family and I rode all the rollercoasters along with the men in black ride. My favorite part was being able to spend time with my family,”

(‘23) said.


Florida Botanical Gardens

The Florida Botanical Gardens is a 100 acre park owned by Pinellas County. They have a huge collection of plants and the park includes a butterfly garden, cactus and succulent garden, cottage garden,herb garden, jazz garden, tropical fruit garden, and many many more. There are often Yoga in the Gardens events, over spring break this year there is Yoga in the Gardens March 12th and 19th. Also on the 19th is an orchid repotting clinic. It is a beautiful place to check out and support. 


Whoever you choose to spend your spring break with, family, new or old friends. Hopefully you get to spend it visiting some fun places like these.