Here at Florida Prepaid, we believe it’s never too early to get your student excited about attending college—and spring break can be a great time for campus visits!
Counting the weekends, families generally have seven to eight days—between early March and late April—to work with, so why not combine your college exploration with the fun of a classic road trip? It’s Florida, so the list of possible—and FUN—destinations is long and varied.
To get started, check your child’s spring break dates with the universities you’re visiting, because they might coincide. While it’s ideal to visit when classes are in session—and when guided tours are available—if it’s not possible, don’t worry. Most universities are happy for visitors to explore the campus through self-guided tours.
Here are three itineraries we put together to save you time:
Road Trip: Gainesville
College Visit: University of Florida
Before arriving, download UF’s GatorWay app, designed to help you navigate the 2,000-acre campus. Points of interest include the eight-story Reitz Union, widely considered to be the go-to spot for dining and socializing, and Century Tower with its 61-bell carillon chiming every 15 minutes.
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park—At this park, less than an hour’s drive northwest of UF, you can snorkel Blue Hole, the pristine spring with waters that stay 72 degrees year-round.
- Cedar Key – This charming island village, located about an hour southwest of Gainesville, is perfect for slow bike rides, pier fishing and fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
Road Trip: Orlando
College Visit: University of Central Florida
Founded in 1963 to provide talent for the United States’ emerging space program, UCF now has 13 colleges and 240 degrees to choose from. Use this campus map to visit the John T. Washington Center, which is named for one of UCF’s first Black faculty members and has a barber shop, restaurants and a campus bookstore, and Memory Hall, the sprawling grassy area that serves as a popular tailgating spot before football games.
- Universal Studios—Just across town from UCF, this theme park is where blockbuster movies come to life. Wander the halls of Hogwarts, sling webs with Spiderman and run from Velociraptors!
- Kennedy Space Center—Learn about the origins of the U.S. space program in the place where much of it happened. Download the center’s official guide app to make your way around the complex, which includes shows, exhibits and attractions, as well as dining and shopping.
Road Trip: Tallahassee
College Visit: Florida State University and Florida A&M University
Tallahassee is home to two acclaimed universities—FSU and FAMU. At FSU, take time to see Legacy Fountain on beautiful Landis Green and snap a selfie at the University’s historic East Gate. A few miles away at FAMU, don’t miss the bustling Efferson Student Union or the Meek-Eaton Black Archives, one of the premier research centers on African American history in the Southeast.
- State Capitol—Take a self-guided tour and be sure to view the Capital City from the 22nd floor observation deck, where you’ll also find the Capitol Gallery, featuring the work of Florida artists.
- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park—Drive about 20 minutes south to this nature lover’s paradise. In addition to having one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs, the park’s historic 1930s-era lodge offers a slice of Old Florida.
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