Escape the City: Top 9 Weekend RV Trips Near Tampa

Travel Inspiration

Tampa is a wonderful place to live. It’s home to some great museums and community events and gives you quick and easy access to some beautiful beaches. That said, everyone likes to escape the city from time to time, and this is just as true for those living in this sunny city as it is for anyone else. This is where weekend RV road trips near Tampa can help.

There are tons of great things to do around Tampa. There are some great Tampa day trips and even more fantastic weekend getaways. The only problem? Deciding which awesome thing you want to do first. 

In this article, we will share the very best things to do outside Tampa, so can pick an amazing place for your next quick getaway. Which one will you choose? 

Birds at Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Distance from Tampa: 3.5 hours

First on our list of weekend RV trips near Tampa is Everglades National Park. As with every national park, this place makes an absolutely incredible vacation destination, and when you live just 3 and a half hours away, it only makes sense to visit the place as often as possible.

Everglades is a wetlands paradise for all kinds of local flora and fauna. You can expect to see an enormous number of interesting birds during your visit, and alligators are plentiful during many times of year. To see a ton of wildlife in a single walk, head to the Anhinga Trail. For an extra cool visit to this trail, head out on a ranger-led night walk.

You will also want to visit the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center to learn more about the park, ride the Shark Valley tram to see even more wildlife, and hop on an airboat tour to explore the park from the water. 

Where to Stay

We will always recommend staying in the national parks you visit. In the case of the Everglades, you have two choices: Flamingo Campground and Long Pine Key Campground. Neither one has hookups, but both offer potable water and a dump station, and you really can’t beat the locations. 


Crystal River

Distance from Tampa: 1.5 hours

Crystal River is so close to the city, it could easily be a Tampa day trip. That said, we recommend visiting this beautiful place as one of your weekend RV trips near Tampa in order to soak in everything Mother Nature has to offer in the area. 

You see, the beautiful Crystal River is a haven for manatees during the winter months. The amazing water giants swim into the river during the winter to stay comfortable in the relatively warm waters, and there are tons of them during the months of January and February. 

The best part? People are allowed to kayak to where the manatees are and then hop in for a swim with them. You can do this via guided tour or on your own. Either way, it is important to remember that you are not allowed to touch the manatees, but they can touch you if they wish. 

Other things to do in the Crystal River area include hiking and other outdoor adventures. 

Where to Stay

When staying in Crystal River, we recommend parking your RV at Crystal Isles RV Resort. A cute place, this park has some of the most amazing campground showers we’ve ever seen and offers amenities like full hookups, a pool and hot tube, and a playground for the kids. Best of all, it is just a short drive away from the manatees. 

Kayak on the water at Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Distance from Tampa: 1 hour

We love Weeki Wachee Springs State Park! This is another option that could totally be a day trip, but there is enough going on in the park to fill a whole weekend, so how you visit is entirely up to you. 

Wondering what’s so special about this particular park? Well, it’s home to mermaids. Yes, you heard that right, you can see mermaids perform under the water during your visit to this magical place! Performances happen a few times a day, and there are usually two different shows running, so you can watch the mermaids twice in one day. 

The park is also home to Buccaneer Bay, a small water park, complete with water slides that spit you out into the springs. This is a super fun addition during the summer months, and you can easily fill an entire second day enjoying the water park amenities. 

Other things to do in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park include awesome ranger talks (complete with live animals), boat tours, walking paths, mermaid meet and greets, and a playground. 

Where to Stay

Unfortunately, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park does not offer camping. The good news? There is camping nearby. We recommend Big Oaks RV Resort. Here you will be about 25 minutes from Weeki Wachee Springs and will  have a full hookup site and access to a swimming pool, laundry room, and more. 

People paddling at Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park

Distance from Tampa: 1.75 hours

Another state park we highly recommend checking out? Silver Springs State Park. This is the place to go to see some animals without visiting a zoo. After spending some time in this park, you’re sure to feel more connected to the natural Florida. 

Silver Springs is one of the largest springs in America, and the crystal clear waters of the spring are absolutely stunning. It’s perfect for paddling, and the park offers glass bottom boat tours, so guests can look down through the crystal clear water and watch the fish and other water animals swim beneath their feet. 

The park is home to hiking trails, a museum, and even the Cracker Village living history museum. There is really no way to be bored while spending time in this beautiful state park. 

Where to Stay

Silver Springs is one of the best weekend RV getaways near Tampa because it offers onsite camping, meaning you never have to leave the beauty of the park during your time there. The sites here accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long and offer both water and electric hookups. 

Bird on pier in Fort Myers

Fort Myers, FL

Distance from Tampa: 2.25 hours

If you want to escape one city and explore another, Fort Myers might be the perfect place. This city is on the smaller side, but is still big enough to offer plenty of exciting things to see and do.

We highly recommend a visit to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates where you can take a tour of the winter homes of both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and learn a bit about these amazing men. Besides the homes, this site also includes a 21 acre botanical garden for guests to explore. 

Other great things to do in Fort Myers include getting hands-on at the IMAG History and Science Center, exploring the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and checking out the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. 

Where to Stay

There are tons of places to stay in your RV while in Fort Myers. One great spot is Blueway RV Village. This is a very well maintained park that is near groceries and other must-haves as well as the attractions of Fort Myers. The park offers full hookups sites, a pool and hot time, mini golf, a gym, and more. 

Balloons at Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort

Distance from Tampa: 1.5 hours

This list of weekend RV trips near Tampa absolutely would not be complete if we didn’t include Walt Disney World Resort. Located just an hour and a half away from Tampa, folks living in Tampa have no excuse not to escape to the most magical place on earth from time to time. 

With four theme parks, two water parks, a couple of mini golf courses, Disney Springs, and more, you can rest assured there will be something for everyone in Disney World. We recommend visiting 1 or 2 parks during your weekend visit and planning future visits to see the others, as trying to cram it all into one weekend is just too much.

Think you’ll want to visit Disney World often? Consider snagging an annual pass, so you can visit regularly without spending a fortune each time. 

Where to Stay

The very best place to stay when visiting Walt Disney World with an RV? Fort Wilderness RV Resort . This place is easily among the best campgrounds in the country. It features multiple restaurants, pools, a water slide, horseback riding, archery, campfires with Disney characters, and more. Not only that, but it’s just a quick boat ride across the water from the Magic Kingdom (and a bus ride away from the other parks). 

Siesta Key Beach at night

Sarasota, FL

Distance from Tampa: 1.25 hours

Sarasota is, in our opinion, one of the prettiest and most underrated cities in Florida. The place is charming, full of stuff to do, and set right on the ocean. What more could you ask for when looking for things to do outside Tampa?

One of our favorite things to do in Sarasota? Visit The Ringling. This is a huge museum complex that includes two awesome circus museum buildings, a beautiful art museum, gardens, a cool playground set near a banyan tree, and the Ca’ d’Zan, winter home of John and Mable Ringling. One could easily spend an entire weekend exploring this lovely place!

Want other things to do while in Sarasota? We recommend the MoteMarine Laboratory and Aquarium, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and the gorgeous Siesta Key Beach. 

Where to Stay

Clearly, you will need a place to park your RV while visiting the area. Myakka River State Park is the perfect option. This lovely state park is home to three campgrounds and a total of 90 partial and full hookup campsites. Restrooms with showers are available for guest use, as is a dump station. 

St. Augustine, FL

Distance from Tampa: 3 hours

Another beautiful Florida City, St. Augustine is also well worth visiting and is one of our favorite weekend RV trips near Tampa. This is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the US, and is an excellent destination for history buffs. That said, anyone can have a great time here!

One of the best things to do in St. Augustine is visiting Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Built in 1695, this fort is the oldest in the continental United States. It was built by the Spanish to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route and has many amazing stories to share. Be sure to wander all of the rooms in the fort, chat with the interpreters, and see a cannon firing while you’re there.

The fort is far from the only thing to do in St. Augustine. We also highly recommend the Pirate and Treasure Museum, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and Colonial Quarter. The trolly tours are also very informative and fun!

Where to Stay

One great place to stay when visiting St. Augustine is Anastasia State Park. This park is home to some seriously beautiful beaches and is close to all the city has to offer. RVs up to 38 feet in length can fit into the campsites there, and each of the 139 sites has electricity and water hookups. There is also a dump station available in the park. 

Savannah, GA

Distance from Tampa: 5.25 hours

Want to escape Florida entirely for a few days? For this, we recommend the lovely city of Savannah, Georgia. This place is just dripping with southern charm, and you’re sure to adore the welcoming vibe of the place. 

To be honest, one of the best things to do in Savannah is simply walk around Forsyth Park and then take a stroll around the city. Check out the beautiful antebellum homes, try some of Leopold’s amazing ice cream, and enjoy the local shops. 

If you want more activities to fill your time, we recommend heading to the American Prohibition Museum, Wormsloe Historic Site or Owen-Thomas House and Slave Quarters to learn some history. You could also drive over to Hilton Head Island for a beach day. 

Where to Stay

Once again, we have to recommend staying in a state park. In the case of Savannah, we recommend Skidaway Island State Park. This is a gorgeous place with plenty of shade trees that are covered in Spanish moss. The sites include water and electricity and some even have sewer hookups. A dump station and bathhouses are available as well. 

More Things to do Outside Tampa

Clearly, there are plenty of awesome places to go for weekend RV trips near Tampa. Looking for even more options? You could stay close to home by heading to St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach. Alternatively, you might choose to take a longer trip to Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, or Daytona Beach. No matter where you choose to go, you’re sure to be happy you get a chance to escape the city for a bit and experience some of the things to do around Tampa. 

Of course, you will need an RV to take an RV trip. If you don’t have a rig of your own, we recommend looking into our many Tampa rental RVs. We have lots to choose from, so you should be able to find the perfect trailer and motorhome and have it booked for your trip in no time at all!