A road trip from Jacksonville to Marco Island allows you to see the most amazing scenic views of the land and lakes of Florida with a number of exciting things to do along the way, complete with places to pick up gifts and souvenirs to take home with you. Along with the Jacksonville to Marco Island road trip route, you'll have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs in the state forest areas. Travelers can make this one-day trip even longer by exploring and visiting places along the route.
Everglades National Park
Slightly past your final destination is Everglades National Park, which is the largest tropical wilderness in the country east of the Mississippi River. At the park, you can take a stroll on the Anhinga Trail to spot wildlife such as herons, turtles, and alligators or climb to the top of the Shark Valley's 65-foot observation tower for the perfect view of the open meadows below. You also can take a tour boat or kayak out on Florida Bay to get a glimpse of the dolphins. Camping opportunities are available at this national park as well.
Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park is slightly over the halfway point into your road trip and is the perfect place to stay the night. You can take a stroll along the river rapids or explore the 7.3 miles of nature trails. Step back in time as you take a 90-minute guided tour and view the Fort Foster, a standing replica of a Second Seminole War fort right on the grounds. If you love to fish, you're in luck as the Hillsborough River has been known to house bass, catfish, and bream. Bicyclists will love traveling the 1.6-mile Wetland Restoration Natural Trail and 2.2-mile park loop. The campground provides a dump station for your RV's water waste.
Oscar Scherer State Park
Oscar Scherer State Park is a hidden gem surrounded by major highways and housing developments. There are 15 miles of hiking trails that offer solitude from the city, with several benches along the path for the perfect resting spot and spectacular views. Swimming at Lake Osprey in the roped-off areas is an option, and there is even a beach area to take in the rays or build a sandcastle. The lake also has plenty of spots to cast a line into the water to fish. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for rent at the park.
Little Manatee Springs State Park
Little Manatee Springs State Park offers an unforgettable camping experience, and with the Little Manatee River flowing through certain parts of the park, it makes for the perfect location to go fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. There is a 6.5-mile hiking trail in the northern wilderness side of the park that takes you through scrubby flatwoods, riverine hammocks, remnant sandhills, and a mature sand pine forest. With 2,400 acres of habitat and the river, there are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities for the whole family. There is a playground with two swing sets, climbing enclosures, four slides, and tunnels where the kiddos can play.
Koreshan State Park
Koreshan State Park is the ideal place to spend the night, and with a dump station on-site, you can empty your RV water waste tank before traveling further. So be sure to add this state park to your road trip itinerary for Jacksonville to Marco Island. You can find many spots along the river for fishing, but be aware that bobcats, river otters, alligators, and gray foxes have made it their home. Canoeing and kayaking on the Estero River is an option, and there are boat rentals available at this park. There are also many historic buildings at the park, including Planetary Court, Art Hall, Founders House, a machine shop, and the Cast Iron Café.
Jacksonville International Raceway
As you leave the city of Jacksonville and about 30 minutes into your road trip, you'll come across the Jacksonville International Raceway. This oval dirt track has mini-sprint racing events that are a thrill to watch as the cars race for first place. There is a concession stand where you can get sandwiches and drinks.
Silver River Museum
You'll reach the Silver River Museum in Ocala within a couple of hours from leaving Jacksonville. This museum consists of three main galleries where you'll see prehistoric artifacts dating back 12,000 years, rare Florida fossils, and some unique exhibits about the history of north-central Florida. There is also a gift shop where you may find a keepsake to take home with you.
Another great place to stop on your road trip is the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon where you can slide down five different water slides. The Sting Ray is completely enclosed and is the fastest. It has a seven-second drop to the pool below. If you prefer something more relaxing, climb on an inner tube and float on the circular paths through the park. There are also pools for all levels of swimmers.
Grand Prix Tampa
You'll reach Tampa just three hours after leaving Jacksonville. This part of Florida is home to the Grand Prix Tampa, which has 15 acres of family fun. Those who have a competitive streak in them will have a blast at the big go-kart track or family track. Golfers can practice their short strokes on the miniature golf course. There is also the Castle Arcade for the gamer in the family.
Ocala is a unique city that lies south of Gainesville along Interstate 75. The area is particularly well-known for its undeveloped forests and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for wildlife viewing and exploring. There are hundreds of thoroughbred horse farms and prominent horse shows for the animal lovers of the world in this area. If you want to learn more about Ocala, visit the Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology and Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.
There are a few Ocala campgrounds in the area where you can spend the night while checking out the city. The Ocala RV Resort is one of the many camps in the area that provides a dump station to their guests, making it effortless to remove your RV water waste.
Tampa is the third-largest city in Florida and part of the Tampa Bay area. It sits right along the Gulf Coast and is known for its beautiful beaches and world-class theme parks. You'll want to be sure to stop by The Florida Aquarium and explore aquatic and terrestrial animals. There are also many museums and cultural offerings in this area.
To make your stay in the city more lasting and enjoyable, park your RV at one of the Tampa campgrounds while you explore this magnificent city. There are also a few dump stations in the area where you can get rid of your waste before you continue on your Jacksonville to Marco Island RV road trip.
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers hugs the shores of the wide Caloosahatchee River, which hosts the largest population of burrowing owls in Florida. The city is where the famous Thomas Edison, light bulb inventor, put down roots and built his laboratory, home, and botanical gardens between the river and McGregor Boulevard. Edison eventually convinced his friend Henry Ford of automobile fame to take up residence to the house next door. Today, these homes are open to the public to help inform visitors of local history.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Jacksonville to Marco Island, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Jacksonville or Marco Island.