If you love the beach, then a Tampa to Fort Lauderdale road trip may be perfect for you. You may want to go a little further south and see Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, which both have many fun activities to offer. You may also want to stop at the unique state parks along the way. There are plenty of interesting points of interest to visit. Do not delay this road trip and all the fun it offers.
Biscayne National Park
While you can always explore Biscayne National Park near Homestead, Florida, on your own, there are many organized tours and activities offered by park staff. You can go on fishing trips and even learn to bow fish. You can also join the crew for a sailing adventure or hop on a plane to explore the park from the air. This park is a fantastic place to go kitesurfing and kiteboarding, and lessons are available. If you feel the need for speed, sign up for a speedboat tour. There are also plenty of options that allow you to enjoy sightseeing in the park and surrounding area.
Everglades National Park
The edge of Everglades National Park is located only 72 miles south of Fort Lauderdale. The Gulf Coast Visitors Center is the perfect place to start an exploration of the mangrove forest that makes up Ten Thousand Islands. Consider taking the 90-minute guided boat tour through the Chokoloskee Bay and the Indian Key Pass. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the visitor center. There are many other things that you can do in the Everglades, including biking, boating, and hiking.
Egmont Key State Park
Egmont Key State Park is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, and it is a terrific location to go beachcombing. You can use your boat to get to this state park near St. Petersburg or take the Fort DeSoto ferry. Snapper, grouper, seatrout, and snook are regularly snagged by anglers who fish in the bay’s waters. Over six miles of hiking trails run through historic Fort Dade. This island’s lighthouse has stood since 1858, and you can snorkel and swim in the blue-green water just offshore.
Myakka River State Park
Myakka River is the oldest state-designated wild and scenic river in Florida, and Myakka River State Park near Sarasota is a great place to stop and explore it on your Tampa to Fort Lauderdale RV road trip. Stop at the ranger’s station to get a map of the seven bike paths in this park. The 37,000-acre park is home to many birds, and you can learn more about them by talking to the expert at the "birdwalk" from November to mid-April. Climb on board the flat-bottomed boats for a tour of Myakka Lake with a naturalist. The bridge and spot behind the pavilions are favorite fishing spots.
Lovers Key State Park
The maritime forest makes a great spot to go on a bike ride at Lovers Key State Park. Here, you can often see manatees and dolphins playing in the Intercoastal Waterway. Head to the bait shop to get your favorite live bait before launching a boat from the boat ramp for some fishing fun. The bait shop rents various vessels if you did not bring one with you on your Tampa to Fort Lauderdale road trip. There are two short hiking trails where you can see stunning views of the waterway. Collect seashells along the 2.5-mile sandy beach, which is also open for swimming. This park is a popular place for destination weddings.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
If you are looking for a pristine beach to visit during your road trip from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, stop at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park near Naples, Florida. Umbrellas, beach chairs, and all types of water toys are available to rent. Hike along five miles of boardwalk to enjoy the scenic beauty or stroll along the beach. A special wheelchair for the beach is available to those who need it. Rent a canoe or stand-up paddleboard to explore Wild Turkey Bay. Snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving are allowed from the beach. A protected wildlife area shares a border with this park, making it a fantastic place to see eagles, ospreys, and owls.
Collier-Seminole State Park
One of the largest mangrove swamps in the world is located at Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples. See it from the 3.5-mile bike trail or the four nature trails. One of the best trails within this park is the 5.25-mile Strand Swamp Tour where you may see Florida panthers, bears, and other native animals as you walk by big cypress trees and under pine trees. Wildflowers usually bloom abundantly along this trail in the spring. The unique mixture of freshwater and saltwater found in the Black River in this park makes it a unique place to go fishing. Guided canoe paddling tours are offered from December through March.
Salvador Dali Museum
Learn more about Salvador Dali’s life when you visit the Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg. This museum is divided into gardens and exhibits examining his life and his artwork.
You will not want to pass up the opportunity to play on Caspersen Beach near Sarasota, Florida. It’s well known in the area for the number of shark teeth that visitors can find while strolling along the sand. After beachcombing, follow the boardwalk to see the dunes.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is spread across 20 acres, and you can visit Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s historic homes. Other attractions on-site include Edison’s 1928 botanical research library and the gardens started by Edison, Ford, and Harvey Firestone.
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve covers nearly 40% of Collier County. The reserve education center offers an aquarium, art gallery, interactive exhibits, nature trails, workshops, and much more. You can find places to go kayaking, fishing, beachcombing, and wildlife viewing.
See over 3,000 types of plants, view Everglade rehabilitated animals, and tour the oldest residence in Broward County when you stop at the Flamingo Gardens. This facility is home to the largest collection of native animals in the state.
St. Petersburg gets an average of 351 days of sunshine annually, making it a great place to explore the beautiful Florida beaches. St. Petersburg campgrounds include Dunedin RV Resort and St. Petersburg / Madeira Beach KOA. RV dump stations in St. Petersburg include those at Lazydays RV at the Villages and Colonial Self Storage.
The white sandy beaches of Fort Myers make it a great place to stop and play. Great golf courses and outstanding fishing make it a city where you may want to spend some time on your road trip from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale. Consider staying at Red Coconut RV Park or at Ramblers Rest RV Campground in Fort Myers. Excellent Fort Myers RV dump station options include the stations offered at Sun-n-Fun and Peace River Campground.
If you love shopping, then you will adore downtown Naples. There are also many outstanding luxury restaurants in this community. Campground options include The Waves RV Resort and Marco Island KOA. Alternatively, there are a number of other great campgrounds in the area. Crystal Lake RV Resort and Collier-Seminole State Park are just a couple of the options for RV dump stations near Naples. You can also consider these other Florida RV dump station locations.
You may want to include all these stops on your road trip itinerary from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, or you may want to mix and match the above-mentioned destinations to suit your interests. Whatever you choose, you're sure to have a great time during your Florida road trip. Get the RV packed because Florida is a terrific place to visit any time of the year. If you do not have an RV, you can easily rent one in Tampa or Fort Lauderdale. Start planning your Tampa to Fort Lauderdale trip today!