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It’s not too soon or too late to plan that family summer vacation for 2022. If you can’t get away for long, there are plenty of places within driving distance from the Tampa area. Perhaps some of these ideas could be the way to enjoy those summer months.

Right here in the Tampa Bay area, we have Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Florida Aquarium, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, ZooTampa, beaches, etc. You know and might already enjoy visiting our most local attractions. If you want to get out of the immediate area, here are some suggestions:

  • 1. Clearwater Beach:

    The Pinellas County beaches have lots of options from the bustle of Clearwater to the more serene Indian Rocks Beach.

    Clearwater Beach

    The Pinellas County beaches are the nearest place to go for the sun, the sand and the water.(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2. The most obvious, and possibly expensive: Walt Disney World and Universal

    Orlando area theme parks at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The tourist mecca of central Florida has seemingly anything you’d like to do. Add in Sea World Orlando and Legoland and there’s something for every age group.

    Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

    Walt Disney’s dream is still the most visited tourist attraction.
    (Photo by Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

    Universal Studios Orlando Globe

    (Photo by Rachel Pitts/BBGI)

  • 3. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:

    Some history, some technology, all coolness. If you plan the trip right, you might even be lucky enough to witness a rocket launch.

    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • 4. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park:

    Yes, it’s still there and so is the famous mermaid show!

  • 5. Cedar Key:

    It’s a small community on the Gulf of Mexico where you can find yourself enjoying getting away from the ‘big city’ and enjoy some of the best clam chowder in the country. We’re looking at you, Tony’s!

    Tony’s Platter for 2! Enjoy!

    Posted by Tony's Seafood Restaurant on Wednesday, May 12, 2021
  • 6. Silver Springs State Park:

    You can enjoy looking through the crystal clear waters from a glass-bottom boat. Bring the family to go canoeing or kayaking through the springs.

  • 7. Tarpon Springs

    Whether you visit for the food, or a dolphin cruise, or to learn the history of the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs, it’s a family trip that isn’t so far.

    Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

    (Photo by Geno/BBGI)