PW On The Map – Florida Travel Guide
Florida is a beautiful and warm state, perfect for taking a road trip or exploring! Here’s the official PW Florida Travel Guide!
PLACES TO CAMP IN FLORIDA
Long Key State Park: park your RV right on the waterline and fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves.
Fort De Soto County Park
Our favourite apps to find campgrounds include Recreation.gov, iOverlander, Campendium, FreeRoam, Gaia GPS, and Harvest Host.
FLORIDA WEATHER & CLIMATE
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a reason. While the state does see quite a lot of rain, it’s hot most of the time. Temperatures range from 50F in January to 88F in August or 13C to 31C. Remember to pack and wear a lot of sunscreen, even if you’re travelling in the winter! Bring an umbrella and your rubber boots, too.
The problem with the heat in Florida is the humidity, which makes the air feel heavy or swampy. You can’t dry towels outside due to the moisture. To counteract this, everywhere has AC on full blast, so you might be chilly indoors.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Get a Sunpass! Florida’s toll highways are quickly becoming bill by plate, so unless you have a compatible bill pass, you’ll receive an invoice in the mail for your tolls and an extra high admin fee.
- Take advantage of the summer storms. Around 3 or 4 pm, storms close in but clear out in about an hour. Non-locals take the first drop as a sign to leave, but Floridians know to take this opportunity to find a bar nearby to wait it out. Keep an umbrella handy when heading out for the afternoon, and you’ll be dry before dinner.
- Pack bug spray. Bugs are a nightmare in Florida, especially in the hottest months. They are worst in the early morning and evening and near standing water.
THE OVERSEAS HIGHWAY: FLORIDA’S BEST ROAD TRIP
Of course, you want to see some sights! If you have a few hours, drive from Miami to Key West via the Overseas Highway. This route was built on the former right of way of the Overseas Railroad. It takes you right over crystal clear waters, where you can see countless coral and limestone islets, American alligators, American crocodiles, and Key Deer. Along the 113 miles of highway are multiple different islets and places to stop. Here’s some information about each.
Key Largo is the northernmost and longest island, just over an hour’s drive from Miami International Airport. It is best known for the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – the US’s first underwater preserve and part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Islamorada is known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the world. It features the Florida Key’s largest fleet of offshore charter and shallow-water “backcountry” roads. Also featuring eco-tours, watersports, tennis facilities, bike trails, historic hikes, and beautiful vistas, it’s the perfect place to get lost for the day!
Marathon, located in the Middle Keys, appeals to multigenerational families and recreational boaters. Just southwest of Marathon lies the Seven Mile Bridge, which is precisely what it sounds like, 6.79 miles over blue-green waters. It was nicknamed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ in the early 1900s.
In Big Pine & The Lower Keys, the scenery becomes wilder and more deserted, and the environment is full of wildlife. It’s the least people-populated section of the Florida Keys and is a realm of small communities, ecotourism, and wildlife refugees created to protect endangered species such as the miniature Key Deer. Ensure you visit Bahia Honda State Park and the Old Bahia Honda Bridge while you’re here.
The Lower Keys eventually become Key West, where the Florida Keys Overseas Highway ends at Mile Marker 0. Palm trees, historic homes with gingerbread trim, and a nightly waterfront sunset celebration paired with a flourishing arts community make Key West the most relaxing spot on this trip.
THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
We’ve all been inspired by NASA and space at some point. With a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with objects that are so cool, they’re out of this world.
- Hubble Space Telescope: lauded as the most famous space mission of the modern era, and was deployed in 1990.
- Tech Used in Apollo Missions: Apollo missions took the man to the moon for the first time. See the technology that made Neil Armstrong a household name, including the Saturn V rocket, which carried Armstrong to the moon.
- Space Shuttle Program: The shuttle fleet was retired in 2011, but not before they made numerous flights and launched many astronauts into space. The shuttle Atlantis is on full display as astronauts would have seen it in space.
- See the Future of Space: You’ll be shown where NASA intents to take space travel. To infinity and beyond!
Busch Gardens is located in Tampa Bay and was built before Walt Disney World. There are some unique features of the Gardens that make them the perfect day out.
- Visit Animals: Busch Gardens is home to an incredible number of animals that hail from all over the world. From alligators to penguins and turtles, you will surely have some much-needed face time with your favourite animal!
- Shows: There’s a wide variety of shows for you and the family. Pet shows, ice skating, musical shows, and shows for kids. It’s the perfect low-exertion activity!
- Eat: Busch Gardens is the place to be if you want to have dinner outside of the van. Pick up a dining pass which allows you to eat from select restaurants all day.
- Ride the Rides: Busch Gardens is home to many rollercoasters and other thrill rides. If you’re looking for adrenaline, this is the place for you!
St Augustine is a coastal city that is the oldest in the United States. Here’s what you can find there.
- Ancient History: A ride on the Old Town Trolley takes you to all the most important historical sights and allows for hop on and off. You’ll see sights like the Fountain of Youth, the City Gates, the Spanish Quarter, and St. George Street.
- Beaches: As a coastal city, you’ll find some beautiful beaches with soft white sand, swimming, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more.
- Castillo De San Marcos: The massive fort was constructed by the Spanish between 1672 and 1695 and is the oldest masonry fortress in the US. Witness cannon firings and historical re-enactments as you soak in the history.
LEGOLAND Florida is precisely what it sounds like, yet so much more! A place dedicated to everybody’s favourite brick, LEGOLAND Florida brings the world of LEGO to life as you could never imagine. LEGOLAND is perfect if you’re travelling with children or looking for a hit of nostalgia.
One of the most significant benefits of travelling in an RV is the ability to bring your pets along! Here are some pet-specific parks to take Fluffy or Fido to!
- Dog Wood Park in Jacksonville is a 42-acre (25 acres fenced), is entirely off-leash and features huge fields for fetch and Frisbee, a two-acre swimming lake (called Lake Bow Wow), and plenty of shady areas. There’s a small dog swimming pond called Lake Fifi and a play area for dogs under 25 lbs.
- Woofing Waters in Broward County is roughly two acres and emphasizes water features like shower nozzles and line jets, with separate areas for large and small dogs. Each area has a dog wash area and dog-height fountains. Humans can enjoy picnic tables, a lakefront beach, and 20 ft umbrellas.
- Amelia Earhart Bark Park in the Miami area (in Hialeah) is a 515-acre park with a watersports complex. It includes 5 acres of fenced-in park for small and large dogs. There are dog water fountains, shaded areas, places for owners to sit, tunnels, and other obstacle-course objects for dogs to run through. Admission is free, as is parking on weekdays; parking on weekends is $7.
- The Everglades National Park: The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides essential habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. An international treasure as well that is designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.
- The Apalachicola National Forest is home to some of the world’s most unique animal and plant species. Here, visitors can enjoy safe, family-friendly activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking and trail riding while surrounded by tranquil, diverse ecosystems.
Have you visited the Sunshine State in your Pleasure-Way? We’d love to see photos! Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to see them in our marketing channels!