Little Manatee River State Park RV & Campground Guide
You'll glide silently under a canopy of trees and hanging moss at Little Manatee River State Park in Wimauma, Florida. The spectacular Little Manatee River flows for more than six miles through the park, drawing paddlers with its shallow waters and mysterious atmosphere. If paddling isn’t your thing, stroll sun-dappled boardwalks through lush forests or relax at the riverside picnic areas. World-class fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing complete the experience, filling your days with outdoor activities for every taste. This part of Florida around Tampa and Bradenton has warm winters and steamy summers, so it’s always a wonderful time to visit.
Spring 60-85 F
Summer 75-90 F
Fall 65-85 F
Winter 50-70 F
St. Petersburg, FL
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Little Manatee River State Park
If you like to camp in comfort, an RV is an ideal home base. Park right in Little Manatee River State Park or stay nearby, and you’ll always have a cozy place to relax in at the end of the day. Don’t have your own RV? An RV rental from RVshare is the perfect solution. Pick your dream model and enjoy a luxurious vacation.
Little Manatee River State Park Campground
For the best access to the park’s paddling and hiking opportunities, reserve a site in the Little Manatee River State Park Campground. It offers 30 sites, each designed to fit an RV. Water is available in each spot, along with electric service up to 50 amps. Within the campground, you’ll find a dump station, restroom, and hot showers. Campsites cost $22 per night plus a reservation fee.
Terra Ceia RV Resort
Stay between Little Manatee River State Park and Tampa Bay at the beautiful Terra Ceia RV Resort. With 206 sites, this is also a great alternative when the state park campground is full. You’ll get full hookups, as well as access to the library, game room, and dog park. Enjoy the Florida heat in the swimming pool and take advantage of the laundry room and hot showers during your stay.
RV Rentals Near Little Manatee River State Park
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What to Do at
Little Manatee River State Park
Inside Little Manatee River State Park
The Little Manatee River is the heart of the state park, and the best way to enjoy it is by boat. Rent a kayak or canoe from the ranger station and launch nearby. From there, you can paddle for miles on the gentle, shallow river. While you’re at it, try fishing from your boat; you’ll need both freshwater and saltwater licenses. Afterward, check out the park from another perspective on the 15-mile trail network.
Outside Little Manatee River State Park
Little Manatee River State Park is the perfect base camp for exploring Florida’s fantastic water recreation areas. Whether you want to check out the calm Tampa Bay or splash in the waves of the Gulf of Mexico, you can do so in less than an hour’s drive. Since Tampa and Bradenton are close by, you’ll have your pick of shopping and dining.
Taqueria El Sol
With its affordable prices and bold flavors, Taqueria El Sol is a fantastic dinner option just 7 miles from the park. Go early in your trip, because you’ll want to come back again and again.
Location: 702 Railroad St, Wimauma, FL 33598, United States
Sip a stein of beer while you dig into a plate of sausage and sauerkraut at the Old Castle Restaurant. The menu is packed with exceptional German dishes, and the beer options are delicious.
Location: 3830 Sun City Center Blvd #107, Ruskin, FL 33573, United States
Smokeez BBQ may look simple — it’s located inside an unassuming trailer — but the meat it serves is spectacular. The chefs smoke it themselves. Whether you go for brisket or pork, be sure to have it with a side of mac and cheese.
Location: 204 W Shell Point Rd, Ruskin, FL 33570, United States
If you have kids, The Dog House And More is a fun spot to eat. The covered outdoor dining area serves everything from barbecue to hot dogs, making it a popular choice for meat-lovers.
Location: 106 N U.S. Hwy 41, Ruskin, FL 33570, United States
Experience the flavors of Cuba at Ybor Grille. With its upscale-casual interior, this is a lovely spot for a group lunch or dinner.
Location: 339 19th Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570, United States
Located a few miles north of the park, Winn-Dixie is the ideal place to pick up groceries for your camping trip.
Location: 4445 Sun City Center Blvd, Sun City Center, FL 33573, United States
If you’re planning to explore Florida by bike, pick up all the gear you need at the Trek Bicycle Store of Bradenton.
Location: 1849 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, FL 34211, United States
Find bargains on clothing, home goods, and more at the Premium Outlets. This outdoor shopping mall offers a store for everyone, along with a food court for when you need a treat.
Location: 5241 Factory Shops Blvd, Ellenton, FL 34222, United States
Look for the latest issue of your favorite comics plus rare back issues at the Comic Spot. Small and friendly, this store is loaded with treasures.
Location: 10453 Gibsonton Dr, Riverview, FL 33578, United States
Frequently voted one of the best beaches in the country, Siesta Key Beach is like something out of a postcard. With its soft white sand and bright turquoise water, it’s a captivating spot for strolling, swimming or sunbathing. The waves tend to be gentle, making it a popular choice for families.
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Watch adorable manatees as they relax near the shore at the Manatee Viewing Center Boardwalk Observation Point. These gentle giants flock here because of the clean, warm water that flows from the power station’s canal. The manatees arrive in the winter months; the rest of the year, you can take the habitat loop trail and boardwalk through beautiful foliage and the stunning butterfly garden.
Location: Apollo Beach, Florida
Located between Tampa Bay and Little Manatee River State Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park is a wild and wonderful stretch of Florida wilderness. Hike through an abundance of ecosystems, including mangrove forests and saltwater wetlands. Or, explore the preserve by boat in a kayak. Be sure to bring your fishing gear and binoculars along.
Location: Terra Ceia, Florida
Feel like you’re on a deserted island with a visit to Shell Key Preserve. You’ll need to rent a boat or take the Shell Key Shuttle boat to get there, but when you do, you’ll be rewarded by silent beaches, shallow waters, and absolutely no development. Spend the day picnicking, exploring, and birdwatching or just relax on the sand between swims.
Location: Tierra Verde, Florida
If you’re into mountain biking, head straight for Alafia River State Park. It’s built on land that was once a phosphate mine; as a result, you’ll get some of the steepest slopes and most difficult trails in the state of Florida. Experienced bikers love the challenging twisted boardwalk features. With 20 miles of trails, there’s also plenty to do for hikers and equestrians.
Location: Lithia, Florida
How to Get to
Little Manatee River State Park
Little Manatee River State Park is located between Highway 301 and I-75. If you’re coming from Tampa, take I-75 south, get off on exit 240A and head east. Turn south when you get to 301.
Entering Little Manatee River State Park
Little Manatee River State Park is open to the public 365 days a year. The gates open at 8 a.m. and close at sundown. The ranger station is also open every day, but it closes at 5 p.m.