A Sarasota to St. Augustine road trip is the perfect way to explore Central Florida. You can easily drive through part of the Everglades National Park on this trip. You may also want to plan stops in Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach. There are many fascinating things to do in state parks and points of interest along the way. If you love animals, you will not want to miss the fascinating animal attractions like Bush Gardens Tampa, Giraffe Ranch, and Marineland. Consider these ideas for a Sarasota to St. Augustine RV road trip.
Biscayne National Park
If you love to play on the water and go island exploring, then make sure to include a stop at Biscayne National Park on your Sarasota to St. Augustine road trip. Go on a saltwater fishing expedition, or enjoy a sunny day boating in the ocean. Climb the lighthouse on Boca Chita Key to see the entire area from the observation deck. Hike along the 6-mile Spitz Highway running down the middle of Elliott Key to experience various marine habitats. Enjoy a picnic while your kids play on the playground at Adams Key.
Everglades National Park
If you love to see animals in their natural setting, then a trip to the Everglades National Park is an awesome opportunity. Go on a guided boat tour, leaving the Gulf Coast Visitor Center to see alligators sunning themselves in the mangrove forests. Head to Chokoloskee Bay to see dolphins and a vast array of marine birds. Consider taking the tram in the Shark Valley area to see turtles, alligators, and snakes. Hike along the Anhinga Trail to see even more alligators that live along the canal where this path runs. Flamingo Marina offers you an excellent chance of seeing manatees, dolphins, and flamingos. Be sure to look at the national park guide to see other options to include on future trips.
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park is the longest fishing pier in the world. This state park consists of an old bridge connecting St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa Bay, Florida. You can park very near this bridge, which is lit up at night. Check out the Florida state park guide while waiting on the big one to bite. You never know what you might catch, including king mackerel over 60 inches long and weighing over 45 pounds. Snook, tarpon, red snapper, and more are regularly caught at this unique state park.
Hillsborough River State Park
If you love to go whitewater rafting, then head to Hillsborough River State Park where you can find a Class II rapid to navigate. Elsewhere at this park, you will want to tour Old Fort Foster where Seminole Indians took their stand. Rent a bike from the park’s headquarters to enjoy a ride on the 2.2-mile trail running through a wetland restoration area. Catch catfish, bream, and bass in the Hillsborough River. The hydric hammock forest makes a wonderful place to go hiking on the interpretative nature trail.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
Hear stories of how people lived in cow camps from May to October at Lake Kissimmee State Park. You may find the cow hunter preparing a meal, taking a short nap, or making strong coffee over the campfire, but he will be glad to stop and tell you about his adventures. Then, saddle up your horse for a ride to Buster Island. All year long, climb the three observation towers to see beautiful views of Lake Kissimmee and the surrounding chain of lakes. These lakes make excellent places to go on a paddling adventure or to go fishing. Hike along the paths lined with pine and hammock trees and find a quiet spot to relax.
Blue Spring State Park
You will not want to miss seeing the manatees from November to March at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City, Florida. Go on a St. John’s River paddling adventure as the water is always 72 degrees. Follow hiking trails across middens created by the Native Americans to reach the three-story Thursby House. Shortly after the home was constructed in 1857, Louis Thursby planted one of the area’s first orange groves next to it.
Anastasia State Park
Enjoy spending time on white sandy beaches at Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine, Florida. This park is a great place to visit on your road trip from Sarasota to St. Augustine if you want to soak in the ocean and play on the beach. Go beachcombing during low tide when most of the beach is exposed. The beach breaks just offshore make a terrific place to go surfing. Make sure to watch for the birds and wildlife at this park on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Salt Run is an excellent place to go sailing and fishing. You can also rent a canoe or kayak near Salt Run to explore this tidal marsh. Stock up on fresh fruit and produce at the weekly farmers market held at the amphitheater where you can often watch concerts or see art shows.
Bush Gardens Tampa Bay
Ride the thrill rides at Bush Gardens Tampa Bay before exploring the animal habitats, where "Wildlife Docs" was filmed, a 500-bird aviary, and free-roaming African animal exhibits. Busch Gardens is an ideal stop on an animal lover's road trip itinerary from Sarasota to St. Augustine.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is one of the largest theme parks in the world. At this park, covering more than 580 acres, you can see many different animals divided up by unique zones with many thrill rides incorporated into the theme. You can also dine at four restaurants.
Go on one of the customized safari tours at this park to learn more about the giraffes that live here. Consider taking the Segway tour, llama trek, or camel expedition to learn even more. You can also see the Irish Dexter cattle and the sandhill cranes. Children love to feed and pet the giraffes.
Swim with a dolphin at Discovery Cove. Listen to the birds sing in the 250-bird, free-flight aviary as you float on a Lazy River-style ride through this park.
Marineland of Florida
Swim, touch, pet, and interact with dolphins at Marineland of Florida. Take the behind-the-scenes tour to learn how the 14 bottlenose dolphins are cared for by their keepers. Arrange to go on one of the kayaking adventures.
You may want to do many things when you visit Tampa, Florida, including watching the city’s four professional sports teams, going on a brewery tour, and visiting the American Victory Ship Mariner’s Museum. Stay in Tampa campgrounds, like Sarasota Bay RV Park if you love the beach or Sanland RV & Golf Resort if you love to play this sport. Tampa RV dump station options include the Elks Lodge and Travel World RV Park.
There are more than 10 theme parks in the greater Orlando area, so you may want to spend some time exploring options like Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios Florida, and Legoland Florida. Depending on what fits your lifestyle best, you can find a wide variety of Orlando campgrounds, like Disney’s Fort Wilderness Retreat or Moss Park. Finding an RV dump station in Orlando is never a problem when you consider outstanding options like Camp USA and Loves Travel Centers.
Daytona Beach, Florida
You may want to take in a race at the Daytona International Speedway or participate in one of their driving experiences. Cool off with a trip to Daytona Lagoon, or explore an indoor attraction like the Museum of Arts and Sciences on a warm day. You can find many beachfront Daytona Beach campgrounds, like Coral Sands Oceanfront RV Resort, or options away from the water, like Daytona’s Endless Summer Nights Campground. Use Daytona Beach RV dump stations like Orange Blossom RV Park or Alexander Springs Recreation Area or other nearby Florida locations.
Now is the perfect time to take an RV road trip from Sarasota to St. Augustine. Traveling in an RV is the way to go because you have a quiet retreat to settle into at night, allowing you to rest well for all the fun things to do in between these two cities. If you do not have an RV, you can rent one on RVshare in Sarasota or St. Augustine. You will be so glad that you did not wait any longer to make this fantastic journey.