Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
One Tank Trip for Central Florida Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
244 miles – 5 hours, 24 minutes
Every year, more and more people visit Florida on vacation who end up making it their permanent residence. Who can blame them? Palm trees, white sandy beaches, and year-round mild temperatures and endless sunny days. It might lure you to pull up stakes, too!
If you’re looking for sun, miles of beach, and beautiful azure water, you’d be hard-pressed to find better than what Sarasota has to offer. Six islands line Sarasota’s long coastline, each with its own personality, beauty, and recreational activities; the most popular is Siesta Key, world-famous for its white sandy beaches and delicate beauty. When you’re ready to pull yourself away from the sandcastle-making and the beachcombing, head over to Big Top Tours, which celebrates Sarasota’s fascinating circus heritage. On your tour, you’ll visit Ringling Museum, one of Sarasota’s top attractions and named for the city’s most illustrious resident, circus showman John Ringling. From there, continue to the beautiful Ringling Mansion, then on to several other fun circus-themed sights. It’s enough to make you want to run away and join the circus yourself. But St. Pete’s awaits, so perhaps another day!
37.6 miles – 45 minutes
On your way to St. Petersburg from Sarasota, check out the spectacular view as you cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a sweeping panorama of Tampa Bay, the Gulf, and the city of St Petersburg. When you arrive in this charming city, it’s easy to spend your entire vacation here lazing in a hammock on the beach with a cooler close by and a fishing pole at the ready, but then you’d be missing some of St. Pete’s other amazing attractions. In Downtown St. Petersburg, the streets are lined with some of the country’s best examples of Mediterranean Revival-style architecture, some two dozen of which are listed on the National Historic Register. At the Florida International Museum, you’ll find exquisite displays of unique and decorative arts formed out of jade, emeralds, rubies, ivory, and diamonds. In the evening, make your way to the historic Coliseum to cut a rug on its beautiful oak dance floor or kick back at one of St. Pete’s martini or daiquiri bars or fine downtown restaurants.
23.7 miles – 30 minutes
From St. Petersburg, it’s just a short drive to Tampa, well-known as a multi-cultured collage with a thriving Hispanic population. Tampa is renowned for its several exceptional museums, such as the Tampa Museum of Art with its world-class exhibitions of both classical and contemporary art. A short distance away, enjoy all the fun family attractions at Tampa’s popular Busch Gardens. Want a fascinating look at the creatures who make the Gulf waters their home? One of Tampa’s most beloved attractions is the Florida Aquarium where you can swim with the fishes, hang out with penguins, and watch dolphins cavort about.
73.3 miles – 1 hour, 46 minutes
Far from the hustle of bustling tourist destinations, Brooksville is a tranquil, historic city where you’ll find a serene, laid-back atmosphere and many of the streets lined with beautiful Victorian homes. You’ll feel like you just traveled through a time portal between here and Tampa. Visit the Hernando Heritage Museum, housed in a beautiful seven-gabled house and filled with historic treasures. If you happen to be in this area in late January, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the 1,500-man reenactment of the Brooksville Raid of 1864, which is Florida’s largest Civil War restaging.
69.9 miles – 1 hour, 31 minutes
When you arrive in Orlando, it’s really
hard to decide where to go first! Epcot, Disneyworld, Seaworld, and Universal Studios (with its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction) are world-famous theme parks that draw visitors from all over the globe. Once you’re theme-parked-out, for a completely different experience, stop by the 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens, an oasis of flora and fauna complete with a butterfly garden; its centerpiece is Harry Leu’s meticulously restored former home, which offers a glimpse of Florida life in the early 1900s. To get a taste of the backwaters, take an airboat ride on the beautiful, historic St. John’s River with Bill’s Airboat Adventures. The beauty of the backwaters and marshlands is one of Orlando’s best-kept secrets where you can see real live gators in their natural habitat, as well as osprey, manatees, and maybe an otter or two. Be sure to visit the Mennello Museum of American Folkart and view its collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham, known for his Everglades paintings. The Orlando Museum of Art features many famous 19th- and 20th-century American artists, and the Morse Museum of American Art houses a superb collection of American arts and crafts as well as an impressive collection of Tiffany pieces.
41.2 miles – 48 minutes
Your last stop takes you to Titusville on Florida’s east coast. The town is directly across from the Kennedy Space Center and near the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, where you can tour the now-retired launch areas, meet a veteran astronaut, and view gigantic rockets. But there’s more to Titusville than launch pads and astronauts! The Canaveral National Seashore just north of Titusville is the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on Florida’s east coast and offers year-round recreation on the barrier island, including canoeing, surfing, fishing, boating, and hiking. On the seashore is Seminole Rest, an ancient Native American site with several large prehistoric shell mounds dating from 2,000 BC; many first encounters between Europeans and the native tribes took place here. What a tranquil place to end after an all eventful trip!
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Florida Central
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Florida Central
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Florida
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