Check Out These 17 Hidden Staycation Gems


Looking for something to do this weekend? Why travel anywhere else when you can plan a little staycation in one of the most beautiful areas of the world? Whether you’re new to Central Florida or have lived here for decades, check out these hidden staycation gems you may not have known about. 

The Beaches

Every list of local getaways in Florida HAS to have our beaches at the top of the list. We love them so much, we created a separate list just for the best beaches in the area. You’ll find something for every beach lover on this list!

Blue Spring State Park

Located just west of Orange City along the St. John River, Blue Spring State Park offers a chance to hike or kayak and enjoy wildlife, including ospreys, and manatee.

Bok Tower Gardens

Located on top of Iron Mountain, Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales features the famous Singing Tower (one of only 600 in the world). You’ll also find cultural performances, a bird sanctuary and the garden inspired by the long-time editor of The Ladies Home Journal, Edward Bok. 

Crystal River

With more than 27,000 acres of scrub, pinewoods, hardwood forests, salt marshes, and mangrove islands, Crystal River Preservation State Park in Citrus County offers visitors a glimpse into how Florida looked centuries ago. Visitors can enjoy hiking, kayaking, and bird-watching in a park that remains mostly untouched. 

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

Don’t be scared by the name! Devil’s Den in Williston allows visitors to travel back in time to an underground spring inside a dry cave. Here visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to see animal fossils dating back 33 million years to the Pleistocene Age. 

Ginnie Springs

A privately owned park just north of High Springs, Ginnie Springs features accessible caverns with a sand and limestone bottom. Visitors can enjoy camping, floating, and clear freshwater dives. 

Harry Leu Gardens

Minutes from downtown Orlando, the Harry Leu Gardens in Winter Park features tropical gardens designed for educational experiences. The grounds also are home to the historical Leu Home Museum that showcases 19th and 20th century architectural styles and tells the story of the gardens origin. 

Ichetucknee Springs

Well known for its warm weather tubing, Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White is a 6-mile spring-fed river perfect for diving, snorkeling, cave exploring, swimming and boating. Get there early to avoid capacity limit closings! 

Kelly Park and Rock Springs Run

Enjoy year-round 68-degree free-flowing natural springs at Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run in Apopka. Visitors can camp, tube, canoe, kayak, and paddle board from Camp Joy. The park also has a full concession stand, picnic pavilions, and playgrounds. 

Conway Chain of Lakes 

The Conway Chain of Lakes is made of four interconnected portions of Lake Conway and Lake Gatlin in Belle Isle. Here you’ll find one of Orlando’s prime areas for largemouth bass fishing where you’ll also find crappie and bluegill in waters that average 8-feet deep. 

Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont is located in the northeast corner of the Green Swamp and the southwestern shore of Lake Louisa. It is made up of bald cypress, live oak, and saw palmettos. On the trails you’ll find deer, bobcats, gopher tortoises, fox squirrels, bald eagles, and osprey.

Moss Park (Lake Nona)

Enjoy a camping getaway at Moss Park on Lake Nona in Orlando. You’ll find boat slips near the campgrounds and playgrounds in addition to nature walks and orienteering programming in the park. 

Ocala National Forest 

Located just north of Orlando in Marion County, Ocala National Forest attracts visitors from around the world with its migratory birds, playful manatees, delicate freshwater springs, and some of the world’s rarest plants. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing make this a prime vacation spot.  

Rainbow Springs

You’ll find crystal clear spring rivers to canoe, kayak, and tube in Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon. The clear teal-blue water that is over ten thousand years old from the fourth largest spring in Florida, is the perfect place to spend the day swimming or snorkeling.

Silver Springs

Home of the world-famous glass-bottomed boats, Silver Springs State Park in Ocala is a group of artesian springs and a historic tourist attraction. Silver Springs has been one of Florida’s earliest tourist attractions, since the 1870s. It offers premier views of clear groundwater flowing to land surface and an excellent example of the connection between rocks and water over geologic time.

Wekiwa Springs State Park / Wekiva Springs (Apopka / Longwood)

Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka is just minutes from downtown Orlando, but offers lush tropical hammocks with emerald springs that feed the Wekiva River. The park offers the perfect place for bicycling, birding, camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. 

Winter Park Chain of Lakes

Explore the interconnected system of six lakes (Lake Virginia, Lake Mizell, Lake Osceola, Lake Maitland, Lake Nina and Lake Minnehaha) at Winter Park Chain of Lakes in Winter Park by paddling through the navigable canals. The lakes are popular for paddleboarding, kayaking, waterskiing, boating, and fishing.
No matter how you choose to spend your outdoor time, Central Florida has tons of hidden gems to make memorable staycations. Wish you could live closer to these destinations? Check out available rentals on The Realty Medics website.