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Black Bear

Day Trips Near The Villages

There’s lots of things to do in The Villages but there’s even more just outside The Villages.

So, stop Googling things to do near me and browse the pages of our website. From suggestions for great Day Trips just a short drive away to live theater, festivals, restaurants and more.

Notes: Day Trips are defined as a venue or activity within ~1.5 hour drive of The Villages. If you have taken an interesting Day Trip that's not on our list .. click here to share it with us.. and check back frequently, as we are continuously adding new adventures! 

  1. Just a short drive to Mt Dora and you'll find CatBoat Adventures  VIDEO where you can rent a 2-man catamaran (CraigCat boat) for a relaxing guided tour through the nature-filled Dora  . An alternative to the Catboat tour is the Premier Boat Tours  VIDEO also in Mt Dora. Premier takes the same route as the Catboat tour but with a Pontoon boats (this is a great, well narrated tour)

  2. Tired of your Napa Valley cabernet .. then try some refreshingly different blueberry wine at Whispering Oaks Winery and enjoy their Steak Night with live country music on the patio.

  3. When you're out visiting the area, choosing a restaurant can be a hit or miss experience .. but we have a solution. Our section on Restaurants. Here you'll find a database of nearly 1000 restaurants that you can search by location, food type or rating by The Villages Gourmet Club. It's a great way to find a new restaurant to try!

  4. Turn your ball cap around backwards and take an airboat ride down the Withlacoochee River with Wild Bill's Airboat Tours VIDEO.. then head up the road to Cedar River Seafood in Inverness for a pound and a half of jumbo snow crab legs.

  5. How about a live stage play at the Melon Patch Players theatre .. then around the corner for some Sweet Potato "Q" Tuna at Turners Kitchen + Bar in Leesburg .. or look for other theatrical performances in our section on Live Theatre

  6. Speaking of live theatre, for a shorter drive and more intimate black box experience, catch a stage play at The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol

  7. Have lunch on the back patio at Swampy's Bar & Grill in Dunnellon and watch the kids tubing down the Rainbow River or .. if you're feeling adventurous .. go rent a tube at KP Hole Park

  8. Check the calendar of events at the World Equestrian Center VIDEO.. then spend an afternoon watching the hunter/jumpers or champion canines before keeping your dinner reservations at Stirrups

  9. Take the grandkids to the classic Old Florida attraction to see the world famous mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park VIDEO.. then go kayaking or river boat cruising without leaving the park.

  10. Read the Prologue of a recent medical thriller about the opioid crisis, then spend $3.99 on Amazon to download the eBook, take it on your tablet to the back porch at Cody's Roadhouse in Sumter Landing, order a glass of wine at Happy Hour and enjoy the informative and entertaining read... knowing the proceeds from the book are donated to opioid rehabilitation! 

  11. Drive down to Tarpon Springs for a sponge diving boat tour with St Nicholas Boat Tours VIDEO.. then enjoy a waterfront lunch at Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill

  12. Clean your 9mm and head to Shooters World in Brownwood for some target practice .. then consider joining the 1000+ member Villages Straight Shooters Club .. or have a look at our section Inside The Villages - Clubs and join one that interests you!

  13. Take a day trip to Tampa and visit the Salvador Dali Museum  VIDEO.. then catch the flamenco dancers while you dine at the Columbia Restaurant  VIDEO in Ybor City .. and be sure to make reservations as the dance shows are very popular.

  14. Head to Crump's Landing Waterfront Tiki Restaurant  VIDEO on the Homosassa River and watch the boats float by while the pelicans soar overhead .. then wander down the road to PT AirboatAdventures   a WaterCoaster ride.

  15. Grab the family .. don the swimsuits .. and head to the west coast for some Scallop fishing in Homosassa VIDEO with a licensed charter boat captain .. then enjoy some fresh seafood at the Florida Cracker Kitchen while being entertained by our primate friends at Monkey Island

  16. ​Spend the day strolling the sidewalks and visiting the vendors during the annual Brooksville Blueberry Festival the last weekend in April .. or visit our section on Fairs & Festivals to mark your calendar for others of interest. 

  17. Tired of golfing the same 'ole beautiful courses in The Villages? How about a challenging round at Deer Island in Tavares .. or scroll through our list of other Golf Courses in the area. 

  18. Put on your old Mark "The Bird" Fidrych baseball jersey and head down to the Publix Field Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland for a spring training game .. and if the Detroit Tigers are not your cup-of-tea .. look for your favorite team in our Grapefruit League Guide

  19. For a horse of a different color .. visit the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm in Ocala and pet one of the small draft horses that were bred to pull the ornate Gypsy caravan wagons .. and if you need some gas along the way, jump to our Quick Links to find the lowest price in the area!

  20. A horse is a horse, of course, of course .. unless you're taking about the big boys and girls at Grandview Clydesdale Farm in Ocala.

  21. Do the 1.5 hour call-ahead for dinner at Eaton's Beach Sandbar & Grille and maybe catch a seaplane landing on Lake Weir .. then head around the corner to the Orange Blossom Opry for a evening performance by a top country music entertainer like Lee Greenwood.

  22. Take the grandkids to Giraffe Ranch VIDEO .. then head to Lake Panasoffkee for some great seafood & live bluegrass music at Catfish Johnny's

  23. Head up to Ocala with the family to The Canyons Zip Line & Adventure Park VIDEO .. then over to the Horse & Hounds restaurant for some award-winning Prime Rib or Sheppard's Pie.

  24. Wander over to one of the softball complexes in The Villages .. grab a cold brew at the concession stand and have a seat in the bleachers to cheer for your favorite team. But check their schedules in our section Inside The Villages - Softball so you don't find yourself sitting alone! 

  25. Take a relaxing guided boat tour down the Rainbow River with Singing River Tours .. followed by some gator nuggets and all-u-can-eat catfish at Stumpknockers on the River in Dunnellon.

  26. Take a ride in a Jeep through Florida's own Serengeti at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland.

  27. Head over to Williston and visit the retired circus elephants at Two Tails Ranch or the eclectic private grounds of a local dentist at Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens .. then over to the Ivy House  for some southern fried seafood.

  28. Head up to Gainesville for an educational experience at the Butterfly Rainforest VIDEO .. followed by some of the best Cajun food this side of New Orleans at Harry's Seafood

  29. Stroll through the National Landmark Bok Tower Gardens and enjoy a deli sandwich at their Blue Palmetto Cafe before going back outside for the 1:00 p.m. Carillon concert.

  30. Catch one of the vintage shows and wander the aisles of one of Florida's largest flea markets at Renniger's Farmer & Flea Market in Mt Dora.

  31. Don your overalls, check the schedule for your favorite groups, then mosey on over to the Bluegrass Festival at the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch in Palatka for some of the finest bluegrass music in the country. 

  32. Next time the grandkids are down for the holidays, take them to Kirby Family Farm in Williston for a ride on the Christmas Train​ .. and don't forget to ride the 1950 Ferris wheel.

  33. And speaking of trains .. maybe take in the Central Florida Railroad Museum in the delightful little town of Winter Garden .. then around the corner to Thai Blossom for some savory Asian cuisine.

  34. OK .. we'll admit .. some of the best entertainment in the area can be found on the Town Squares of The Villages on any given night. To see who's playing tonight .. or to watch the live video feeds .. go to our section on Inside The Villages - Entertainment .. and leave your wallet at home 'cause these performances are free, of course. 

  35. Put on your polarized sunglasses and take a glass bottom boat ride at Silver Springs .. an Old Florida attraction .. and check their website before you go so you don't miss a free concert or special event at the state park.

  36. Visit some of Florida's native species like Rhinoceros?.. or Gila Monsters?.. at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

  37. ​Don't just take the kids to Disney World.. get them a Backstage Magic pass for a glimpse of the world beyond the streets and an inside look at its complex operations.

  38. If you're an Open Water Diver .. head up to the Blue Grotto Dive Resort in Williston and tell Virgil.. the resident soft-shell turtle .. that we said Hello!

  39. Lock arms with your better half and head to Clermont for live entertainment on weekends at the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards .. and don't miss the complimentary film and guided tour!

  40. Same theme, but different location on the St John's River .. head to the Big River Marina in Astor for a St Johns River Tours .. then cross the Astor Bridge and order a couple of fish tacos at Drifters Riverfront Bar & Grill

  41. Grab your favorite aviation enthusiasts and head to Lakeland the 1st weekend in April for the Sun-N-Fun International Fly-In Expo .. and if airshows don't suit your fancy .. scroll through our section on annual Fairs & Festivals

  42. Spend a couple hours on Veteran's Day at the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee .. then head on up to Air Force Fun for a breathtaking helicopter ride over Orlando-Disneyworld.

  43. Go with some friends to the Suncoast Broadway Dinner Theatre in Hudson .. or maybe to a show with some audience participation like Capone's Dinner & Show

  44. Grab the Go-Pro .. and if you don't have one, get one! .. then head out before dawn for your hot air balloon ride over Orlando with Aerostat Adventures .. followed by a champagne toast & breakfast at La Hacienda Restaurant at the Mission Inn & Resort.

  45. Drag out that Go-Pro you just bought .. put it on one of the grandkids .. and take them to Tree Hoppers Aerial Adventures Park in Dade City.

  46. Grab your gearhead buddy and visit the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing near Ocala for a look at the Big Daddy dragsters and other famous racers of yesteryear. 

  47. Put on your Stetson and tour the Stetson Mansion .. made famous by the hat .. then be seated for the Sunday matinee at the Athens Theatre in Deland .. and don't forget to remove your Stetson as a courtesy to those behind you!

  48. It’s not an Oceania Cruise Line .. but an evening dinner cruise on the Dora Queen around Lake Dora is a unique and enjoyable way to end the day.

  49. For a Birdseye view of the old citrus groves (now subdivisions), head to the top of Florida Citrus Tower in Clermont .. one the famous Old Florida attractions.

  50. Catch a standup comic at the Funny Bone comedy club in Orlando  then go around the corner to the IceBar for a nightcap in the Igloo Room

  51. If you have never tried scuba diving then put on your bathing suit and head up 27-441 for an introductory class at the Aquatic Center of Ocala

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