We think it’s fair to say that, with a global pandemic, this summer has been a stressful one! Maybe you’re wondering how you can have a relaxing end-of-summer getaway for your family, while still saving money and following COVID-19 guidelines?
As a leading property management company in the Tampa Bay region, Kong Management Group knows this area like the back of our hands, and we have a few ideas for a driveable and socially distant staycation! We think that this is the perfect time to discover the Florida state parks, outdoor attractions, and local destinations – allowing your family to experience nature away from the crowds.
(We also recommend that you stay current with COVID-19 closures while making your plans – VISIT FLORIDA is a great statewide resource. And, make sure to wash your hands regularly, where a mask where mandated, and maintain six feet of distance wherever possible.)
From hiking a nature trail to visiting a natural spring, there are so many ways for your family to explore the Tampa Bay area. Here is a list of our favorite budget- and family-friendly places to visit – all just a short drive from home!
State Parks and Springs:
July is National Parks and Recreation month, so celebrate with a trip to a state park or natural spring! Weeki Watchee State Park, located in Spring Hill which is approximately 45 minutes north of Tampa, features one of the deepest, naturally formed caverns in the United States. While most of its attractions are closed due to COVID-19, you can canoe or kayak along the Weeki Watchee River for a freshwater adventure you’ll never forget!
A one-of-a-kind outdoor attraction, SunWest Park is a recreational waterfront facility that was developed around an old limestone mine, located just off Highway 19 in northwest Pasco County. At SunWest, you’ll find a public swimming beach and many on-water amenities, including a wake park, and aqua park, paddleboarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball.
Heading closer to Tampa, the Hillsborough River State Park is located in the northeast corner of Hillsborough County, near Zephyrhills. Currently, trails and picnic facilities are open, which are all you need for a great day of exploring! The park consists of over 2,990 acres, featuring seven miles of trails that run throughout it. If your family loves to fish, canoe, kayak, hike, or go birding, this is the park for you!
Another great option is the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, which runs through northwest Hillsborough County from Memorial Highway to the Veterans Expressway. With an historic train track and nearby scenic river, this is a popular trail for hikers, bikers, runners, walkers, and even horse riders!
More Outdoor Attractions and Activities:
Looking for a dolphin or manatee sighting? The beaches along the West Coast of Florida are the places to go! Most beaches are open with restrictions, due to COVID-19. Look for less popular beaches so you can maintain social distance and really enjoy your day in the sun!
If you’d prefer a day among the flowers instead of the sand, head over to Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, just a quick drive from Tampa. Featuring more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, this 100-year-old botanical garden is one of the oldest roadside attractions in the United States! Take a stroll down the shaded paths that wind through water features and bird habitats, allowing you to be immersed in natural beauty!
Another fun outdoor activity is golfing, and Florida is renown for our pristine courses! Check out 10 of Tampa’s best courses on this list. When you hit the links, make sure that you’re also practicing social distancing in addition to your swing.
As the largest open-water estuary in Florida, Tampa Bay is a great place to fish – and the Tarpon are now biting! Because most people maintain distance between them when they fish, it’s a relatively COVID-safe activity, too! From state parks to piers, there are many fishing spots for your family to choose from.
Take an RV Vacation:
If your family doesn’t want the summer fun to stop and you’d like to extend your in-state travels a bit, consider going on an RV tour! RVs allow your family to travel safely and responsibly, while still getting out of the house and having a memorable experience.
(If you are 55+, we recommend renting an RV lot at The Oaks at Zephyrhills or The Village of Zephyrhills, managed by Kong Management Group!)
From our RV parks to affordable rental properties to vacation homes, Kong Management Group is here for you! We are a full-service property management company, based in Tampa and serving several regions throughout Florida. We help connect potential renters to both long-term and short-term housing opportunities, and our goal is to create a quality living experience for everyone.
Our ever-expanding portfolio includes properties in Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay), Pasco County (Zephyrhills), and Broward County (Hallandale Beach), including single-family homes, townhouses, condos, recreational vehicle/mobile home parks, and tiny home communities. Contact us at 866-499-9026 or email us for more information!