VISIT FLORIDA recently sent out these travel tips for visitors and residents who want to see the Sunshine State in an RV. As they note, "Every day in the Sunshine State invites a new RV adventure of different scenery, towns and attractions."
"As you drive to Florida, make your first stop at the top of Florida in the off-the-beaten-path Santa Rosa County. Park your RV and enjoy the pristine white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Start your vacation by hiking to Coldwater Creek, where you can spend the night on a private sandbar.
"Explore unique and natural formations during your next stop at the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna. Camp in your RV inside the state park and enjoy exclusive tours of the caverns. You can also picnic, fish, hike, canoe and boat in the nearby Chipola River and Blue Hole spring.
"Next, head south to the coast of the Apalachicola Bay and enjoy five-star amenities at the Coastline RV Resort. Take day trips to local towns such as Carrabelle and Apalachicola. Definitely make it a priority to spend a day at the beach on St. George Island, which is routinely ranked Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in America.
"Follow the Gulf of Mexico coastline south to the island of Cedar Key. Park your RV at theSunset Isle RV Park and Motel and spend a couple of days exploring the 200-year-old fishing and clamming village. Feed your appetite at the local Ada Blue Café with slow-cooked BBQ for dinner and 16 flavors of homemade butter cream fudge for dessert.
"For a change of scenery, head inland to Ocala and Juniper Springs Campground, one of Florida’s oldest campgrounds, dating to the 1930’s. With a forested canopy providing shade to the campsites and some of Florida’s most popular natural springs, this campground provides the perfect atmosphere to unwind and relax. Put down the smartphones, iPads and disconnect for picnicking, canoeing, snorkeling, hiking, birding, and tremendous wildlife viewing. Take a dip in one of the cool springs that hide beneath the natural flora and fauna of the area.
"With beaches, caverns, nature and springs, you may think you have seen it all. But visit the Westgate River Ranch Resort as your next stop to add cattle lands and wetlands to your list. Unleash your inner cowboy on the same land where Florida’s first cowboys roamed. Enjoy a championship rodeo, street party, dance hall, roasting marshmallows, a petting farm, horseback riding and dinnertime hay rides.
"Take a break from your RV and “glamp” for a few days at this resort. Westgate River Ranch is unlike most as it offers Glamping tents set on raised platforms and include deluxe interiors, screened-in porches with rocking chairs and access to private bathroom facilities. Step it up a notch and stay in one of the all-inclusive Luxe Teepeesto enjoy a personal Luxe Concierge, all resort activities, VIP rodeo tickets and seating at the Saturday night Rodeo, a resort golf cart, morning coffee service and pastry delivery, and a nightly campfire prepared for your indulgence in s’mores and fireside story-telling.
"Then, make your way east to the Palm Beaches for a variety of campsites, including the Intracostal waterway, inland nature trails, historical sites and family-friendly beaches. You can you can even listen to the roaring sounds of lions at the Lion Country Safari Koa Campground. In the Palm Beaches, you can embrace nature and stay in your RV while still enjoying the buzzing beat of the nearby downtown districts and a variety of attractions.
"On your way to Florida’s southernmost destination, RV sites can be found all along U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys. On Key Largo, camp at the nation’s first underwater park,John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and take part in water activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, boat rentals, and glass-bottom boat tours of the Florida Keys’ living coral reef.
"Make your way back north along Florida’s west coast. Stop first in Fort Myers and spend days basking in the warm Florida sun or playing in gentle waves at Red Coconut RV Park. This famous Fort Myers beach landmark sits on 450 feet of beachfront and offers exciting activities from parasailing to kayaking to shopping. Spend a day shelling on Sanibel Island for beautiful, authentic souvenirs to take back to your friends and family.
"Make the last stop of your Florida RV trip in St. Petersburg and camp in a classic Volkswagen Van. Though true to their 1970's exterior, these specialty vans come with running water, a two-burner gas stove, a dining table and two beds. Take one of these vans, or your RV, to camp at Fort de Soto State Park, recently named the “Best Beach for Families” by USA Today.
"Your Florida RV vacation can take you from north to south Florida, and from east to west Florida for experiences only the Sunshine State can offer."
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
GERRY PRONOUNCED GARY
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"