One Tank of Gas Day Trip Ideas from the Suncoast
Yes, the gas prices are rising, as is the cost of most everything these days. That doesn’t mean that we all aren’t stir crazy and in need of a quick getaway to recharge. Quarantining, winter, and a million other things have bogged us down and caused us a lot of gloomy days. It’s time to shake those blahs and take a quick day trip to see these amazing sights that are one tank of gas or less from the Suncoast and are sure to get you feeling a new spark of joy
Ten Thousand Islands Boat Tour
Discover what lies beyond Naples’ shoreline on a 10 Thousand Islands boat tour. With a small group size, it’s the perfect opportunity to get up close to local sea life, including dolphins and manatees, without disturbing the ecosystem. The family-friendly excursion also takes you to a remote barrier island where you can snorkel or look for shells. Whether you love to observe local marine life in its natural habitat, search for rare shells on a remote island or learn about Floridian history and sea life, this tour could be for you.
This underground spring is one of the U.S.’s most prehistoric places, so we had to add it to your Florida bucket list! It is one of the best-hidden gems in Florida! The spring of Devil’s Den is 120 feet in diameter and averages 72 degrees year-round. With a depth of 54 feet, many people come here to snorkel, scuba dive, and even rent a cabin or park their RV for some overnight adventure! Recreationally there are huge cabanas, charcoal grills, pavilions, lawn games, and a heated swimming pool, so this spring is full of things you can enjoy!
Florida artists Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda have spent the last 20 years turning their home and neighboring properties into flamboyant works of art. Originally known simply as the “Bowling Ball House” for the (now over 500) painted bowling balls littering the yard in various formations. Pyramids, stacks, and walls of bowling balls adorn the grounds, surrounded by a dizzying landscape of color created by the other works of recycled art all around.
Gardens made of colored bottles, rainbow mosaic pathways, and bright ceramic sculptures create an almost otherworldly atmosphere. Whimzeyland also features a small gallery where bowling balls decorated and donated by other artists are put on display for visitors to view.
Butterfly World is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and the Largest Butterfly Park in the World! Acres and acres of flying delights await you, from thousands of exotic butterflies to the World’s most amazing birds. The flowers are blooming, and this is the best time of the year to enjoy Butterfly World!
Airboat Everglades National Park
A popular way to see alligators in the Everglades is by taking an airboat tour. That’s a great option, which can take you deep into the wetlands with little effort. By taking a tour by airboat, you get to places you otherwise can’t reach. A problem with an airboat tour is that most alligators you spot will be in the water. And when they are in the dark liquid, the look you get isn’t as comprehensive as if they were on land. On the other hand, the water is the true home for the alligator, and it’s a special thing to see alligators in their natural element.
Caladesi Island State Park
Located off Florida’s Gulf Coast, west of the town of Dunedin and near the city of Clearwater, Caladesi Island State Park is famed for its unspoiled beach, named America’s Best by Dr. Beach in 2008. It’s accessible by a 20-minute ferry ride from Honeymoon Island. On pristine Caladesi Island State Park, quiet paths lead along the dunes, palms stand against the warm coastal breezes, and shorebirds and sea turtles live without interference from people. Gopher tortoises burrow behind the dunes and water laps against beaches sprinkled with scallops and sand dollars. Yes, there’s a concession stand, fishing, picnicking, shelling, nature studies, and marked kayak trails among the mangrove trees in Caladesi Island State Park.
Did we inspire you to get out and explore? Did we miss someplace on the list you just remembered and are dying to see? Well, let’s do this, Suncoast. Let’s get out, hit the road, and start seeing the World again. Whether it is a walk on the amazing trails that grace much of the Suncoast’s communities, a nature excursion, or a theme park, we have many options these days. The good news is that many of them can be done on a budget. So get out and start exploring this spring!
Happy Trails Suncoast!
Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos, Facebook, Visit Florida and Business websites