Hooray for Memorial Day!  The unofficial official start of summer, parties and pools and BBQ is nearly here! Memorial Day is Monday May 27, 2024.  And that does mean crowds in Orlando.

If you're feeling the need for a little escape this Memorial Holiday, maybe a quick day trip somewhere new is the perfect recipe for Memorial Weekend fun!

And hey – Florida is a tourist hotspot in the summertime for good reason. There are so many places to visit and take advantage of your days in the sun. Explore our list of day trips from Orlando Memorial Day Weekend getaways.

Originally by Natalie Monzon, updated May 2024 by Meghan Roth


If cooling off in natural water is more your speed, rent a couple of kayaks, or alternatively, if you'd rather splash around in nature's water parks, there are plenty of Natural Springs Near Orlando for Memorial Day.

You can also avoid the Memorial Day weekend crowds by booking a ResortPass to an Orlando resort pool (without staying overnight).

1. Buccaneer Bay

There are tons of water parks around Florida but none is quite as unique as this spring-fed water park.  It's the perfect Memorial Day Weekend day trip from Orlando. Buccaneer Bay is located inside Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

There's a sandy white beach, a swimming area, and two water slides. The slides drop you off into the natural springs. If you're not up for the thrill you can rent a tube and flow along the natural lazy river. You can also rent a kayak or canoe for a DIY adventure. Don't be surprised if you spot a mermaid swimming around the crystal-clear waters.

This water park is the perfect mix of nature and fun, perfect for Memorial Day weekend. Just be sure to get there as early as possible.

2. Epperson Lagoon

I found the perfect place to kick back and relax this Memorial Holiday! Epperson Lagoon has everything you could ever need for a day in the sun. There's a swim-up bar with a variety of beer and specialty drinks and tons of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Tickets to Epperson Lagoon run about $25, and for $12 you get unlimited access to an obstacle course and water slide that plummets you back into the lagoon. Kayaks and paddle boards are available to rent for those who don't feel like swimming.

This seven-acre lagoon is located within the Metro Places Lagoon communities but open to the public for a limited time. Enjoy the sandy beaches, live music, and clear waters. Make sure to get your Memorial Day holiday tickets in advance; it's common for the park to sell out, and with so many people wanting to escape for somewhere cool this Memorial Holiday Weekend, a sellout is possible.

Related: Day Trip to Epperson Lagoon for Fun in the Sun

memorial weekend getaway
Image credit: Epperson Lagoon

If you're interested in exploring more of the Tampa Bay area then consider a scalloping trip. It is a popular thing to do in the summer. Here's your Ultimate Guide to the 2024 Scalloping Season in Tampa Bay.

3. Island H20 Live!

Orlando is famous for its theme parks and water parks any day of the year, but particularly on a Memorial Holiday Weekend. Cool off this Memorial Day by taking a trip to Kissimmee. Island H2O Live! has slides, a lazy river, a pool for adults-only 21 and up, and live entertainment. It's an interactive water park with games that allow you to earn points towards food and merchandise discounts. There is even a live feed you can be a part of to show everyone how you're spending your day in the sun.

Admission is $54.99 for one day (a season pass is just $10 more). Get your tickets online so you don't have to wait in line at the entrance.

This waterpark is within walking distance (or a short trolley ride) of Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort Orlando, a new shopping and dining district. Highlights include a monthly classic car show (2nd Sunday of the month from 11am-2pm), tons of places to eat, and you can follow our Live Music Pub Crawl Itinerary.

Sunset Walk Kissimmee Live Music Stage
Sunset Walk Kissimmee Live Music Stage – Jodi Caballero

4.Volcano Bay on Memorial Day

It can be hard to decide which Orlando water park is best for the best Memorial Day experience. If you're looking for a place that feels like paradise, you may want to consider Universal's Volcano Bay. Besides tons of water slides, there is a lazy river, and a fast river, plus a gorgeous beach and multiple pools. And, it has some of the best food and drinks in any water park.

Plan your day with Volcano Bay Tips for Couples.


5. St Pete

St. Pete is an artsy city – the murals–a huge part of the city's culture–will have you walking around for hours and are a huge part of the city's culture. There's also a collection of museums that are unique to the city. Located by the waterfront, the Dali Museum houses the largest collection of Dali's works outside Europe.

Also located in St Pete, the Florida Holocaust Museum is one of the largest in the country. It was built as a living memorial for those who suffered and perished due to the holocaust.

For an outdoorsy adventure, head to Sunken Gardens, a botanical garden lush with tropical foliage, waterfalls, and flamingos.

Foodie and craft beer highlights include Bodega on Central (amazing Cubans), Engine No. 9 (burgers), and Green Bench Brewing.

There's so much to see and do in this city that sometimes a day doesn't feel like enough. When you're done experiencing all of the art and culture, enjoy one of St Pete's best qualities — the beach.

memorial weekend getaway day trip
St. Pete mural

Memorial Weekend calls for all things tropical. If you enjoy the St. Pete area then consider exploring the many Tropical and Authentic Tiki Bars around Tampa Bay.

6. Winter Garden

If you love cute, historic towns then this place is within a 25 minute drive from downtown Orlando! Winter Garden has a vintage feel to it that makes it so charming. I love walking through the streets visiting the small coffee shops and window shopping. One of my favorite times to go is on a Saturday morning. They have the Winter Garden Farmer's Market at 9am which has tons of local vendors selling produce, crafts, juices, popsicles, and so much more. It's the perfect place to take your family (including the furry ones) for the Memorial holiday weekend.

It's a very dog-friendly place and most restaurants have an outdoor area so you're able to hang out with your best friends and enjoy some delicious food.

Plant Street Market has to be my favorite thing about this place. It's a local community market with 20 vendors selling natural, organic, and handmade products. Crooked Can Brewing Company takes up a good portion of this space and is always full. They sell hand-crafted beers and have live entertainment for guests to enjoy.

There are so many options here that it's almost guaranteed no one will leave this place disappointed. For an active Memorial Weekend adventure, set out for a peaceful bike ride along the West Orange Trail.

Memorial Day-Trip Worthy Attractions

7. Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne is perfect for your Memorial Weekend if you're into getting up close to cute animals. You can feed a giraffe, enter a room with a ton of hungry birds, pet a llama, and walk alongside kangaroos. The zoo's mission is to conserve wildlife through education and participation. Every animal is housed in an environment that resembles its own in the wild. You'll encounter a mob of meerkats, rhinos, gators, monkeys, and so much more.

If you’re tired of walking, you can take a different route by experiencing the zoo via kayak. Or, get a bird’s eye view of everything from the zip lines up above the zoo. There's so much to do here so plan ahead.

memorial holiday day trips from orlando
Brevard Zoo

8. Showcase of Citrus

Nothing screams Florida quite like a bright, juicy orange. Showcase of Citrus allows you to walk through acres of groves and hand-pick these famous fruits yourself (when in season). There are 50+ varieties of citrus ready to be picked. Just grab a fruit picker and look for the brightest ones. If you don't want to get your shoes dirty, there are some pre-picked fruits available for purchase in the market.

When you're done picking your fruits there's tons to do on the property. You can take a ride in a huge 4×4 through native woodland, pastures, groves, and swampland. You can also visit the bar that has a delicious freshly squeezed orange juice mimosa and a variety of wines. It's the perfect way to stay cool on what can be a really hot Memorial Day.

While you're in the area don't forget to visit Downtown Clermont on Memorial Day Weekend. For dinner, try Root & Branch or The Crooked Spoon, both great date night spots located just outside of town. You can also have your own sunset picnic at Waterfront Park. Clermont has some great craft breweries: Suncreek Brewery and Clermont Brewing Company. Both have tasty food options.

memorial weekend day trip
Showcase of Citrus

9. Tampa's Riverwalk

Most Floridians love being near water. It's where we feel most at home, which is why I love Tampa for a Memorial Weekend day trip experience! The Tampa Riverwalk has it all. You can hop on the Pirate Water Taxi to take in the scenic views while making various stops around the city. It's $20 for an all-day pass and stops at various places like the History Center, Straz Performing Arts Center, Ricks on the River, and more. It even stops at some restaurants where you can enjoy waterfront dining, Ulele being the most popular.

For something a little more educational, you can visit the Tampa Museum of Art on a Memorial Day getaway. The exhibits are constantly changing so you can keep going back and never get bored. It has interactive exhibits that everyone will enjoy.

Tampa's Riverwalk also reaches one of my favorite places – and a great Memorial Day adventure! Armature Works is a fully restored mixed-use building with eateries, shops, and a rooftop bar.

Enjoy a pizza at Ava or a cubaono at Ichicoro Ramen. Relax with a drink on the rooftop or take it in one of their to-go cups and take a romantic stroll through the Riverwalk. You get such a beautiful view of the city and the water, and it's perfect for a Memorial Day getaway.

Memorial Weekend Day Trip to Tampa's Riverwalk
Image credit: Tampa Riverwalk

More Romantic Memorial Day Day Trip Destinations

Holidays, particularly long holiday weekends like Memorial Day, are a chance to celebrate the special bond shared with your beloved, which makes now the perfect time to plan a romantic excursion for your sweetie. Fill up the car, toss your phones and tablets aside, and spend the day connecting with and deepening your affection for each other by visiting one of these places for a romantic Memorial Day trip from Orlando.

Explore 12 Places for a Day Trip Near Orlando, many of which are just about an hour away.

And for something quiet, low-key, and charming head to Titusville. This hometown shares a special place with Florida's space programs and has a great historic downtown area that just beckons for a relaxing summer day trip. For a step-by-step itinerary check out 8 Great Hours in Titusville.

Memorial Weekend Day Trip to Historic Downtown Titusville - with a pastel purple bicycle prop in the foreground
Atlantic Avenue Main Street of Historic Downtown Titusville | Dani Meyering

All photos by Natalie Monzon unless otherwise noted

Feature image credit: Buccaneer Bay