Sometimes the easiest and most memorable vacations are staycations in your own backyard. Many people conjure up images of Florida’s breathtaking coastline when they think of taking a vacation. And if you haven’t explored Southwest Florida or Ocala, maybe it’s time to consider taking a Florida staycation. After all, weekend getaways in the Sunshine State are always the best.

Southwest Florida is worth the drive if you’re thinking about taking a staycation in Florida with your loved ones. Here’s why:

  • Sanibel and Captiva Islands. There is nowhere else like them. If you like seashells, these islands are perfect for collecting them. The islands will make you feel like you’re on vacation, even if you’re coming from Southwest Florida.
  • Naples is known for its beaches and it has an impressive foodie scene. If you like dining out, you can try a new restaurant every day, and it’ll never get old.
  • Fort Myers and Cape Coral are beautiful and they’re great destinations for families.
  • Bonita Springs and Estero are smack dab in the middle of Naples and Fort Myers. They’re also not far from Sanibel and Captiva Islands. These are great destinations if you like being in the center of the action.

If you’re seeking a laidback staycation in Florida, no matter where you’re coming from, we’ve got you covered. If you enjoy golf and horse riding, we also have vacation rental properties in the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. The community has a top-rated golf course, resort amenities and it’s located in the horse capital of the world, Ocala, Florida. Come experience the Florida lifestyle with us!

Where Can I Go for a Weekend Getaway in Florida

Where Can I Go for a Weekend Getaway in Florida?

Our eight locations in Southwest Florida all provide something different and they’re all unique. We also have vacation rental properties in Ocala and the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. It’s surrounded by Central Florida’s natural beauty and rolling green hills. It’s a great vacation destination, and we highly recommend it if you’re searching for a laidback and relaxing Central Florida getaway. Once you decide where you’d like to staycation in Florida, any of our Royal Shell vacation planners can help you plan the ultimate vacation and answer any questions you might have.

Take a road trip, come visit us and experience Florida’s unique charm and laidback atmosphere. Spending the day walking some of the most pristine beaches in the country is what a staycation in Florida is all about, right?

If you’re on the East coast in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or any other part of South Florida, the West coast is only about a three-hour car ride across Interstate-75 (Alligator Alley). If you’re thinking about visiting for a weekend getaway from Tampa, it’s about a two-hour drive south on Interstate-75 as well. If you’re coming from Central Florida in Orlando, Ocala or Gainesville, the drive isn’t bad either. It’s only about four to five hours. If you’re a resident of North Florida in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, or anywhere in-between, it’ll take you a minute to get to Southwest Florida, but a Florida West Coast getaway is so worth the drive. If you’re in North or Central Florida and you don’t want to drive far, Ocala is a closer option!

Whether you’re aiming for a Florida beach staycation or a Florida weekend getaway for couples, we have both options covered! Our luxury rentals in Golden Ocala are second-to-none and you and your loved one will love the clubhouse, on-site restaurants, pool, spa and lushly landscaped grounds. Southwest Florida has an impressive amount of beaches to choose from. If your goal is to be a total beach bum on your Southwest Florida staycation, we can make that happen!

How Do You Plan a Staycation for Florida Residents?

Think about planning your staycation in Florida like it’s a real bonafide vacation, but with less stress. You’ll still need time to prepare, but you won’t have to go on a plane and deal with the fuss that comes along with that. This makes it perfect for a last-minute Florida getaway. Figure out where you’re going to stay, and think about what you’re most looking forward to doing. If you’re bringing the kids with you, you’ll have to make sure you have things scheduled for them to do, of course. Think of a loose itinerary, but keep in mind that you’ll probably want to do things that come up last-minute, so make time for spontaneity.

One of the best perks about a staycation in Florida is that you don’t have to book a flight or deal with all the hassle at the airport. No limited space in your carry-on, long TSA lines, and best of all, no crowded airplane. And if you’re scared of flying, you won’t even have to worry about that. When you drive, you can also bring more stuff with you like pillows, blankets and pet accessories. Car rides are generally more comfortable because you can have more space to stretch your legs, and your pet will appreciate the extra legroom as well. You can also create a virtual classroom for the kiddos so your little students won’t miss a beat.

Where Can I Go for a Weekend Getaway in Florida

Enjoy Southwest Florida Beaches

Enjoy Southwest Florida Beaches

If you live on the Atlantic side of the Florida peninsula, why not check out the Gulf Coast and see what it has to offer? The water looks different. It’s more of a turquoise- blue-green versus the Atlantic’s clear, aqua-like water. The sand is finer on the West coast and we hear the water is warmer, too. And if you live far away from the beach now, go ahead and treat yourself to a Florida staycation where you’re either staying on or near the beach. Nothing is more relaxing than that.

If you’re looking for a true beach getaway, we highly recommend Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Barefoot Beach, Lovers Key Beach and Fort Myers Beach. We know all the good Florida vacation spots and we have the best Florida staycation ideas. If you want to plan a memorable trip and create memories you’ll cherish forever, we can certainly help!

Sanibel and Captiva Island Beaches

won’t be able to take any live shells with you. The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach is also worth a visit. It was one of the first lighthouses on the Sunshine State’s Gulf coast north of Key West and the Dry Tortugas. Captiva beaches also have some serious views of the sunset. You could stare at them every evening and they’d never get old.

Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park

The great thing about this beach, located in Collier County close to the County Line, is that there’s also a nature trail full of plant identifiers, mangrove swamps, shade, tidal creeks, and the occasional gopher tortoise.

Lovers Key State Park Beach

This beach is more isolated than others, making it the perfect option for nature lovers. You can also rent canoes and kayaks here if you want to get really adventurous.

Fort Myers Beach

This is the best of both worlds. One end of the island is full of restaurants, shops and bars. It’s also where the popular pier is located. The other end of the island is quieter and a good option for families. Fort Myers Beach is also centrally located, so it’s a good option if you want to be in the middle of everything.

Visit Ocala in Central Florida

If rolling green hills, a natural forest, horseback riding and an award-winning golf course appeals to you, Royal Shell also has Ocala vacation rentals available in Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. Ocala is about four hours away from Southwest Florida, and it’s also a convenient locale if you live in Central or North Florida.

Southwest Florida is Known For Fishing

According to, Southwest Florida has some of the best backwater fishing in the state. This means fishing in an extensive network of bays, tidal creeks and mangrove islands.

Southwest Florida is an angler’s paradise. The Gulf Coast features thousands of miles of white sand beaches, tons of oyster bars and acres of seagrass beds that draw in an abundance of saltwater fish.

Some types of fish you might find:

  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Spotted seatrout
  • Tarpon

In fact, thousands of anglers visit Southwest Florida each year to attempt a grand slam, which is when you catch one of each species in one day.

Lovers Key State Park

If fishing from the shore appeals to you, local lifestyle magazine Gulfshore Life recommends Lovers Key State Park in Bonita Springs. The 712-acre preserve spans three islands, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch something. If you’re looking for a challenge, try dropping a line off the bridge and see if you can catch a tarpon.

Blind Pass on Captiva

Gulfshore Life also says that Blind Pass is an excellent fishing spot. If you’re staying on Captiva, or don’t mind a scenic drive to one of the most serene barrier islands in the U.S., Blind Pass is a haven for snook, redfish and more. The pass is on the left-hand side, just before you reach Captiva proper. You can either fish from the beach or from the small rock jetty.

Play a Round of Golf While the Courses Aren’t as Crowded

Play a Round of Golf While the Courses Aren’t as Crowded

Another advantage of taking a staycation in Florida in the summer is that the golf courses are more accessible and less saturated with people. Sure, you can golf anywhere in Florida, but why not try something new and tee up on an island or near the beach with Gulf of Mexico views.

And if you want to experience true island-style golf, check out The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club at 949 Sand Castle Road in Sanibel.

Make Lasting Memories on your Florida Staycation with Royal Shell

Find the ultimate vacation rental property and come down to Southwest Florida and vacation like a king or queen. A staycation, whether it’s a Florida staycation for families or a small group of friends, is usually more affordable, you don’t have to deal with the hassles of plane travel and a staycation in Florida is also more convenient.

Southwest Florida is its own unique slice of paradise. With beautiful beaches, private balconies with postcard views, prime fishing, and countless golf courses, there’s always something to do for everyone! Ocala is surrounded by nature and life seems more simple there. If you do decide to visit for a weekend getaway in Florida (or any other length of time), let us know how your staycation in Florida with Royal Shell went. We also have flexcation options to help you make confident bookings. Helping our guests create lasting memories is what we do best!