When it comes to relaxing and unwinding, you’re always on the lookout for the next great place to take your family for the weekend. The city of Hialeah, Florida is situated within easy driving distance from everything Miami has to offer. When it’s time to expand beyond that, there’s a bounty of vibrant cities and towns nearby to explore. Many Hialeah vacation rentals are conveniently located near Florida’s most exciting attractions and activities. That said, check out the seven best weekend getaway spots from Hialeah.

Busch Gardens Tampa
Source: Flickr/Jeremy Thompson

1. Cocoa Beach

Drive three hours north to the fun little beach community of Cocoa Beach, which was the playground of American astronauts in the 1960s. Tour the Kennedy Space Center and ride the bus to all the buildings on the tour to learn more about America’s race to the moon. The Orbit Cafe offers a quick lunch before taking in a movie at the IMAX theater. Pick up some beach items and cool souvenirs at the iconic Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. Cocoa Beach Kayaking Guided Eco Tours offers an afternoon trip to the beautiful Thousand Islands. See if you can catch your own dinner with a fishing expedition to the Cocoa Beach Pier.

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2. Tampa

Visit the other side of Florida by booking a vacation rental in Tampa. It takes a little over three and a half hours to drive to the city. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay blends all of your favorite amusement park rides with an African zoo adventure. While in the park, enjoy live shows and carnival-type foods, such as a hotdog-on-a-stick, funnel cakes, and nachos. Cool off as you zoom down the Aruba Tuba at Adventure Island, a water park that includes a dedicated kiddie area. Located in Tampa’s Waterfronts Arts District, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is a unique art museum in that it only displays photographs.

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3. Sarasota

Sarasota sits on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s only a little more than a three-hour drive. Many business magnets spent the winters in this area and created a vibrant arts scene. Visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, founded by the owner of the famous circus. Afterward, tour Ca’ d’Zan, John Ringling’s winter home. Siesta Beach offers year-round lifeguards, making it a great place to visit with small kids. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary provides a safe space for large cats who have been neglected or abused to heal and your family can see them in their new home.

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4. Key West

Find the southernmost point in the United States after your three-hour drive to Key West. During the Spanish-American War, the Harry S. Truman Little White House served as naval command and a tour includes fun tales of its time as the winter White House. Smell the exotic fragrances in the air at the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens. Kids love seeing all the animals at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center and learning more about the conservation effort in the Florida Keys. Find a hidden cove to go snorkeling or see the dolphins frolicking in the water with an afternoon tour from Sun Private Charters.

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5. Jacksonville

After a five-hour drive to Jacksonville, check into your vacation rental in Jacksonville and then visit MOSH, The Museum of Science and History. Kids enjoy solving the brain teasers and seeing how archeologists dig up dinosaur bones. Learn more about the stars and cosmos at the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium. Saturday morning, drive over to the Riverside Arts Market and wander among the stalls to see the work of local and regional artists. Kingsley Plantation is a Spanish colonial that dates back to the 1800s, and EcoMotion Tours provides a detailed walking tour. Slow down and take life easy by booking a tour through Now and Zen Sailing Charters.

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6. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is only a three- and a half -hour drive for a weekend on the beach along the Gulf of Mexico. Watch the flamingos standing on one leg and smell the blooms at the Sunken Gardens. This historic garden has mostly native plants, trees, and flowers. Located in a stunning glass-panel building, the Salvador Dalí Museum is filled with surrealist art from the master painter. Take a tour of the Egmont Key State Park and National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge was once a military installation, and sits just off the coast, making it a true haven for the animals that call it home.

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7. Daytona Beach

Get your motor running in Dayton Beach, a little over three and a half hours from your home. Even if it isn’t a race weekend, you can take a Daytona International Speedway tour to see the pits and stand on the track. Lined with restaurants and shops, the Daytona Beach boardwalk is a popular place for an evening stroll, and when the sun starts to go down, step out onto the beach for a great place to watch the sunset. For a leisurely meal, pack a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation rental for a day at Lighthouse Point Park. From the water’s edge, kids sometimes spot dolphins playing in the water.

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