Cave Diving and RV Camping in North Central Florida

The rivers and springs north of Gainesville, Florida are world famous for their clean, clear water, an amazing variety of marine life and epic underwater cave systems. The good news for divers who like to travel by RV is that North Central Florida RV parks are also famous for their laid back hospitality and scenic beauty.

If you’ve dived underwater caves elsewhere and hope to visit Florida’s caverns soon, here’s a quick guide to finding the best cave diving and RV campsites in North Central Florida.

Three North Central FL Cave Diving Venues

Ginnie Springs Outdoors, a private recreation complex on the Santa Fe River, is just north of Gainesville, or two hours north of Orlando, via I-75. Not only do they offer RV camping plus swimming, tubing and paddling in a beautifully-wooded natural setting, they also offer scuba divers the chance to explore caves in seven freshwater springs. If you’re new to the sport, the on-site staff can provide PADI certification instruction. Certified cave divers can explore more than thirty-thousand-feet of underwater caves in the Devil’s Eye Cave System—it’s on the bucket list of most well-experienced divers!

Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, two miles east of Luraville, FL, is also cave diving heaven for veteran divers. If you’ve received certification in cave diving, you’ll be able to explore the longest underwater cave system in the US. Not quite ready to try this extensive cave system in two large springs and six sinkholes? You can still immerse yourself in outdoor recreation by swimming, paddling or hiking throughout the park. RV camping isn’t available on-site, but there are a number of private campgrounds just up the road in Live Oak.

While RV camping in Live Oak, FL, you’re also going to want to explore

Madison Blue Spring State Park

Madison Blue Spring State Park

the extensive, mapped cave system at Madison Blue Spring State Park.

A pretty place on the banks of the Withlacoochee River, this small spring delivers a big treat for certified cave divers. It’s also a popular swimming hole and kayakers will enjoy paddling the river for a scenic taste of North Central Florida.

These are just three of the most famous cave diving venues in North Central Florida—the area’s more remote, less-documented springs and sinkholes also promise adventure for highly-experienced cave divers. We do need to mention that cave diving isn’t for everyone—it requires extensive training for certification. But those who’ve spent the time underwater to learn what cave diving takes will no doubt find Florida’s freshwater springs a first-rate experience.

The campgrounds you’ll find throughout historic North Florida are well-equipped to meet the needs of divers, paddlers and hikers in search of adventure. So why not come RV camping to Florida’s spring-rich northern paradise? As always, we’re ready to help with a Florida RV rental.

The rivers, springs and sinkholes, combined with ‘old-time Florida’s’ relaxed and friendly campgrounds, will soon have you planning your return trip to discover even more underwater caves in North Central Florida.

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Celebrate National Parks Week with an RV Camping Trip!

With America’s National Parks Week just around the corner, it’s time for RV camping fans to start planning for national park camping. For one hundred years, the National Park Service has managed our country’s most beautiful destinations. In honor of their centennial, from April 16-24, 2016 they’re waiving entrance fees for all national park visitors.

With more than four hundred destinations to choose from, finding the perfect national park for your April camping adventure might seem difficult. Never fear! We’ve gathered tools to help our readers locate national park campsites and attractions from Acadia NP in coastal Maine to California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Ready to plan?

How to Pick Your Next National Park Camping Destination

One of the things we like best about America’s National Park Service is their visitor-friendly attitude. Since 1916, they’ve been refining their outreach to national park visitors to make it easy for anyone to access information on NPS-managed locations.

Finding a park that suits your interests, travel schedule and camping style is simple, with several ways to search and access national park information. The first is through the website, a community-engagement resource where national park fans can share information, search for national park locations and learn about ways the NPS connects with communities.

Another excellent resource for national park RV campers is the National Park Service National Park Service website itself. You can search for NPS-managed locations, including national parks, heritage areas, historic sites and monuments, state by state, by using their easy-to-understand search tools. Once you’ve located one or more possible National Parks Week camping destinations, click on each park’s link to access information such as driving directions, things to do, places to see and campground amenities.

What to Expect RV Camping at a National Park

Never camped at a national park campground and wondering what to expect? National Park Service campgrounds run the gamut from no-hookups ‘dispersed camping’ to full-hookups, amenity-rich developed campsites. One note for those who plan to camp during National Parks Week—entrance fees are waived, but campground fees will still apply.

Here are some examples of national park campgrounds, to give you an idea of the range of amenities.

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area, that water sports wonderland on the Arizona/Nevada border, offers both developed campgrounds run by concessionaires and NPS-run campgrounds with water and dump stations but no hook-ups.
  • The campgrounds at Everglades National Park also offer a range of possibilities, from sites with electric hook-ups only on Florida Bay to ‘dry camping’ sites in a pine forest.
  • Yosemite National Park’s ten campgrounds are located amidst magnificent scenery, but plan ahead because hook-ups aren’t part of the camping amenities.
  • Maine’s vast and scenic Acadia National Park gives RV campers the choice of primitive campsites, electric sites and electric/water sites.
  • The large campground at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park is a beautiful spot without RV hookups but with easy access to the cave’s entrance and miles of above-ground hiking trails.

Ready to Go National Park Camping?

Keep in mind, no matter where you camp in America’s national parks, you can expect scenic wonders, outdoor adventures and interesting people you might never have met otherwise. Don’t those all sound like fantastic reasons to go RV camping during National Parks Week?

One more tool  for planning to camp in your RV at a national park— offers a wealth of ideas and information on national park vacations, and for those campgrounds that allow reservations, this is the place to reserve your campsites before you go.

Let’s celebrate our country’s National Park Centennial by doing what we love best—camping in a motorhome or trailer.  And be sure to let us know about your national park camping experience in the Comments Section below!

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How to Get Away from the Crowd While RV Camping

Traveling by RV is always comfortable, no matter whether you’re parked in a luxury RV resort or deep within a national forest. For campers who enjoy solitude, seeking campsites beyond developed campgrounds can be your best choice, if you’re willing to plan ahead.

One of the easiest ways to get away from the crowd while RV camping is to take advantage of campsites at state and national forests. Here are just a few spots to consider as you plan your adventures:

  • If you’re planning a Virginia RV camping adventure, consider a visit to Shenandoah National Forest. The campgrounds there, set among woodlands, waterfalls and trails with panoramic views, offer dump stations, drinking water and large campsites.
  • Travelers planning a Pennsylvania RV vacation should take a look at the less-developed campgrounds in Allegheny National Forest. This vast greenspace is a fishing and hiking paradise and some campgrounds offer both electric or primitive campsites.
  • Visitors to California will want to take a look at Lassen National Forest, where several campgrounds accommodate your need for no-hookups privacy (and the views are simply breathtaking!)
  • Florida RV campers hoping for a less crowded environment can check out Osceola National Forest west of Jacksonville, especially the Ocean Pond campground. Three levels of camping allow you to pick how isolated you’d like to be while exploring the trails and waterways in this lush, green environment.

But you may be saying, “Wait a minute! What exactly do you mean by “camping outside of developed campgrounds”? What we’re talking about is a camping area where you’ll find a water supply, dump station and shower/restroom facilities close by, but perhaps without electric or water hookups at each campsite. You may not be able to use your electronic appliances and devices unless generator use is allowed, but the trade-off is in uncluttered views and uncrowded camping.

To take advantage of the beauty many of these campgrounds have to offer, you’ll have to plan ahead and make some adjustments to expectations. Here are some suggestions as you prepare to camp in a state or national forest campground.

  • Check ahead for rules about generator use, and plan for essentials accordingly.
  • Fill water tanks and empty waste water tanks before arriving.
  • Plan to cook on a gas stove or grill or plan menus that don’t require cooking.
  • Take care to only dispose of waste water at campground or park dump stations.
  • During the warmest hours of the day, plan activities like swimming or hiking in the deep woods to stay cool.
  • Plan ahead for safe food storage.
  • For ‘dispersed camping’ spots, where parking the RV is allowed in areas without amenities, you’ll need to pack out your own trash.

Being able to embrace the beauty of natural areas is possible even while enjoying RV comfort. Don’t own an RV? No problem—we’re always here to help with an RV rental.

With a little planning, camping in less crowded campgrounds might just become your favorite way to vacation. Why not start planning your get-away-from-it-all adventure now?

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What Will You Find While Camping in the Everglades?

Exploring the vast national park that encompasses the Florida Everglades is an adventure every RV camper should experience. The wildlife, scenery and enormous land and water mass of Everglades National Park everglades come together to create an unparalleled camping experience. If you’ve never been, you may be wondering if it’s all about ‘gators and airboats, but there’s so much more to discover when you come to South Florida’s ecological treasure.

Camping Opportunities You’ll Find in the Everglades

The National Park Service serves up top-notch camping facilities in all fifty states, and campgrounds at Everglades National Park are no exception.

Two campgrounds within the National Park can accommodate RVs—Flamingo Campground and Long Pine Key Campground. You may find portions of the campgrounds closed during wet season (May to October) but they are both wide open and welcoming campers every day from November to April.

If you choose to camp at Long Pine Key, you’ll be on the Park’s southeast side, near the Homestead entrance. The quickest route is through Miami, south on the Florida Turnpike to Florida City. This plan positions you to explore the Long Pine Key Trail (see below) and the wildlife-rich trails connected to the Royal Palm Visitor Center. This is a no-hookups campground but water and a dump station are available. Campsites are first-come, first-served.

Farther south, at Florida’s most southern tip, Flamingo Campground has developed campsites, dump stations and solar showers. It’s also accessed via the Homestead entrance by traveling about forty miles into the park past Long Pine Key and the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook to the Flamingo Visitor Center. Camping at Flamingo puts you close to plenty of outdoor adventure, with easy access to water and hiking trails. We strongly advise reserving your campsite if you plan to stay at Flamingo Campground during the winter months.

Wildlife You Can Find in the Everglades

With more than a million acres covering the gamut from sawgrass prairie to mangrove swamps, you won’t miss out on wildlife watching opportunities when you visit the Everglades.

As you hike the trails, take a tram tour, paddle a canoe or take advantage of access points like the Shark Valley observation tower, you might just see not only alligators but also saltwater crocodiles, West Indian Manatees, bottle-nosed dolphins, several species of bats and an abundance of wading birds.

Depending on the habitat, you may cross paths with raccoons, grey fox, river otters and flying squirrels. Keep your eyes on the ‘River of Grass’ in all its forms—there’s always some kind of creature making its way through this one-of-a-kind sanctuary.

Outdoor Recreation You’ll Find in the Everglades

We’ve mentioned wildlife viewing and RV camping, but what else is there to do outdoors at Everglades National Park? Plenty!

The extensive paddling, biking and hiking trail system within the Park can keep you busy for weeks, so let’s talk about some of the most popular pathways:

  • Anhinga and Gumbo-Limbo Hiking Trails, Royal Palm Visitor Center: Anhinga Trail is a little less than a mile long, full loop, and is accessible. Lots of bird and wildlife watching along the way. The shorter, quarter mile, Gumbo-Limbo Trail is also paved and wheelchair accessible, offering a quick view of the coastal hammock habitat.
  • Bayshore Loop Hiking Trail: Two miles long and offering a view of Florida Bay, this trail can be reached via the Flamingo Campground.
  • Shark Valley Biking Scenic Loop: This fifteen mile bike trail is for experienced bicyclists able to make the whole loop, but it is also a terrific opportunity to observe wildlife, birds and the ever-changing landscape of the Everglades. If you’re not up for the bike ride, tram tours are also available for this loop.
  • Ten Thousand Islands Water Trails: Experienced paddlers will find the perfect challenge by following one of the water trails along the Gulf Coast of the Everglades. Start at the canoe launch at Everglades City and follow your chosen trail toward Big Cypress National Preserve. Not confident of your ability to paddle these backcountry trails safely? There are boat tours available, so you won’t miss out on the mystery and beauty of this vast wilderness area.

You can also indulge in saltwater and freshwater fishing at many spots throughout the National Park. Check the website for information on other activities such as birdwatching, kayaking and eco tours for an in-depth Everglades experience.

Setting up camp in Florida’s Everglades National Park can be the beginning of one of your best RV vacations. Make plans to visit now by reserving your Miami RV rental and planning your Everglades activities. The River of Grass is waiting to take you on the ultimate outdoor adventure.

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RV Camping on Florida Panhandle Scenic Byways

Beaches, wildlife and one magnificent sunset after another—that’s what you can expect to find while RV camping along the scenic byways of Florida’s Panhandle. We’ve picked three itineraries to help you discover the area’s diverse beauty.

RV Camping on Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway

Follow Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway to discover mysterious legends, small town charm and the highest bluffs on the Florida coast. Follow US-90 in Pensacola north along Pensacola Bay and get ready to fall under the spell of these fascinating places:

  • Magnolia Bluff – incomparable views of Escambia Bay
  • Emanuel Point – where shipwrecks wait to be discovered offshore
  • Bayou Texar – take the drive across the bridge for a one-of-a-kind experience
  • Gaberonne Swamp – discover the plants and animals of native swampland, with a touch of Spanish history tossed in for good measure
  • East Pensacola Heights – quaint shopping and residential district with old Florida charm

Search our directory of Florida campgrounds in the Pensacola area, and take your time to enjoy its dramatic beauty.

Scenic Highway 30A by RV

It’s less than thirty miles long, but this stretch of highway through Florida’s South Walton area encompasses the very best of the state. With more than a dozen distinct beach communities offering almost unlimited attractions, the question will be, “What should we enjoy first?”

Plan time to take in the sights, sounds and flavors along South Walton’s white sand beaches. From the architectural wonders of Seaside to the towering dunes of Blue Mountain Beach, there’s something for everyone to love along this byway. You’ll also want to add a trip to the area’s two state parks, Grayton Beach and Topsail Hill Preserve, to round out your enjoyment of South Walton. Bonus: both state parks boast full-service RV campgrounds!

Big Bend Scenic Byway

As this combination of highways winds between Tallahassee and Apalachicola, the Florida Panhandle RV traveler is treated to an amazing array of natural and cultural wonders. Use this detailed guide to the Big Bend Scenic Byway to map your route along the Coastal Trail spurs, the Forest Trail or the all-encompassing Two-Day Loop Trail. Everywhere you turn, you’re going to find something memorable on this Byway.

Big Bend Scenic Byway, Florida

Photo courtesy of

Here are just a few of the sights you can see along the way:

  • George Island State Park—unspoiled beauty, sea turtles and plenty of specimens for your shell collection
  • Wakulla Springs State Park—home to one of the world’s deepest freshwater springs
  • Marks—a vintage coastal town where two rivers meet, with easy access to a wide range of hiking and biking trails
  • Ochlockonee River State Park—come watch for manatee and other coastal wildlife in this lush preserve
  • St Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse—seventy thousand acres of wetlands and marshes plus a well-preserved lighthouse make this a stop you’ll want to make.

As you travel through Florida’s sun-drenched Panhandle, you’ll find fascinating wildlife, beautiful beaches and history reaching back to the first Spanish explorers. Get in touch with us for a Florida RV rental and start planning your own epic journey along a Florida Panhandle Scenic Byway.

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RV Camping Flea Market Adventures – Florida Style

The Sunshine State is a flea market shopper’s wonderland, and there’s no better way to travel there than by RV. Why? Because the money you’ll save sleeping, cooking and traveling in an RV, as opposed to booking hotel rooms and rental cars and eating in restaurants every day, leaves you plenty of vacation dollars for your favorite flea market finds. Here are four fabulous Florida flea markets within a four hour drive of each other.  flea_market_shutterstock_229645399

Waldo Flea and Farmers Market – Waldo, FL

This old-fashioned, 50 acre, open air flea market is just northeast of Gainesville on Hwy 301. It is also located only two hours north of Orlando, if you’re flying into Orlando International to pick up your RV rental. With more than nine hundred dealers on-site, plus a twenty thousand square foot Antiques Village indoors, you can’t possibly go home without at least one treasured bargain. This gem is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Camping Ideas: Every type of RV travelers will find their style of campground in the vicinity, which includes the towns of Alachua, Starke, Gainesville and Waldo. River Rise Preserve State Park near High Springs also gets great marks from campers.

Pecan Park Flea & Farmers Market – Jacksonville, FL

Another northeast Florida favorite, off I-95 in Jacksonville, is Pecan Park Flea & Farmers Market, where more than seven hundred covered ‘store fronts’ attract thousands of shoppers each Saturday and Sunday. This is a true family destination, with mini-golf, restaurants and special events on-site, so plan for a full day of fun. Here’s one more bonus—Pecan Park RV Resort is right next door, with large, full service campsites in an attractive setting.

St Augustine Flea Market – St Augustine, FL

Another North Florida flea market popular with RV travelers is the St Augustine Flea Market, just off I-95. Hundreds of vendors in both indoor and outdoor booths offer everything from electronics to fresh produce and antiques. Park your big rig at St Johns RV Park adjacent to the market, and plan to spend both Saturday and Sunday shopping. And don’t miss seeing the nation’s oldest continuous settlement’s many historic attractions while you’re there!

Daytona Flea & Farmers Market – Daytona Beach, FL

Before returning your Florida RV rental in Orlando, or on Friday as you head to the North Florida markets, be sure to stop in Daytona Beach, home of one of the top-rated flea markets in America. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market offers one thousand booths on forty nicely maintained acres for the ultimate in flea market shopping. Crazy Horse Campground is right next door to make your trip even more enjoyable.

These are just four fantastic reasons for coming to Florida for an RV camping and flea market shopping vacation. Spectacular beaches, freshwater springs and charming ‘Old Florida’ towns can round out your perfect loop. Use our convenient link to find your Florida RV campground if you plan to stop and play along the way. And be sure to get in touch if we can help with an RV rental!

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Sarasota, Florida RV Camping-Three Ways to Thrill the Kids

How many times have you said, “Next year we’ll camp in Florida?” Two hundred miles northwest of Miami and less than two hours’ drive southwest of Orlando, Sarasota is the perfect place to get your feet wet in Florida family RV camping. And the kids will love you for it! Here are three ways to thrill the kids when you make Sarasota your family’s RV camping destination.

Run Away to the Circus!

John and Mabel Ringling, the couple who helped introduce America to the circus, once lived in a fabulous mansion on Sarasota Bay. Now a part of “The Ringling”, a public attraction that includes a circus museum, the Ringling mansion, a world-class art museum and a dizzying collection of all things circus, this stop is a must for families camping in Sarasota.

Wander the grounds and experience this beloved destination as you learn about John Ringling’s fascinating life and the circus whose winter home was once Sarasota.

Hit the Beach!

Florida’s Gulf Coast is nowhere more spectacular than on Sarasota Bay, where six islands (“keys”) sit in the sparkling water, waiting to enchant your family. The white sand beaches on the keys off Sarasota offer RV camping families endless days of fun. Build sand castles, splash in the surf and search for shells with the little ones, while older kids tour the shoreline on stand up paddle boards. No matter what your family loves to do at the beach, you’ll find a place to do it along Sarasota Bay.

Sarasota Beach Hot Tips: Turtle Beach, run by Sarasota County, has a full-service RV campground and the chance to see the sea turtles that give this beach its name. You’ll also want to visit celebrated Siesta Key Beach to find out why it’s one of the most popular in America.

Go on a Gator Safari!

Reserve a campsite at Myakka River State Park and open the door to outdoor adventures the whole family will enjoy. From searching for alligators from the safety of an enclosed airboat tour to a walk among the treetops on the park’s Canopy Walkway, this state park offers enough excitement for an entire camping vacation.

Families who love to explore from the water will find dozens of special places to canoe or kayak along the shores of two lakes and the river within the park’s boundaries. Set up camp at the park and then plan to hike, paddle and tour your way through the wonders of nature.

Ready to discover Sarasota and Florida’s spectacular Gulf Coast on your next family camping vacation? All it takes is a Florida RV rental and a sense of adventure. With so many ways to thrill the kids in Sarasota, get ready to hear them say, “This was the best vacation ever!”

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RV Camping to 2015 Grapefruit League Spring Training

Are you pacing the floor, anxious for Major League Baseball to begin? While you’re waiting, why not take an RV camping trip to Central Florida, where Grapefruit League stadiums host fifteen MLB teams in pre-season play during March?

That’s right—your favorite MLB teams are playing in scenic Florida towns like Jupiter, Port St. Lucie and Kissimmee. It’s your chance to check out the new talent on each team and watch the play up close and personal before the regular season starts.

Camping in a motorhome as you take in the games keeps your Grapefruit League vacation affordable, comfortable and close to the stadiums. You can also enjoy the flexibility of driving Grapefruit League Baseball in Floridato the next town to watch another game. Sound exciting? Then let’s get started planning!

Grapefruit League Spring Training

In March of every year since 1889, major league teams have traveled to sunny Florida to warm up their skills. From Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees thrill their fans at games throughout Central Florida.

Why not take in as many games as possible during your Florida RV vacation? Within an easy drive, you can watch the teams play that may be too far distant when you get back home. Here’s a link to each team’s Grapefruit League schedule to help you plan your itinerary.

Plenty of RV Campgrounds in Florida

No need to worry about finding convenient RV campgrounds while in Florida for Grapefruit League Spring Training. Our handy guide to Florida RV campgrounds is your first stop for reserving just the right campsites, whether you decide to move around to catch the most games possible or make one Florida city your home base.

Convenient Florida RV Rentals

With two convenient El Monte RV rental sites near major Florida airports, it’s easy to fly in and pick up your home-away-from-home. Flying into Miami? No problem—our Miami El Monte RV location is a short ride from the airport. Prefer to arrive at Orlando International Airport? Our Orlando location is less than twenty miles away.

We’ve also collected some helpful tips for getting the most out of your Grapefruit League experience.

Still hesitating on the ‘Go’ button? Let’s review three outstanding reasons to make the trip:

  1. As many as eight games per day are played in Grapefruit League Stadiums,
  2. An RV rental keeps your Florida vacation on budget, and
  3. Outstanding motorhome camping is always close by.

Grapefruit League games give RV travelers the perfect excuse to go camping in Florida this March. This exodus to Florida Grapefruit League action might just become your family’s annual must-do excursion!

Picture credits:  By P. Bauck (Sliver7) (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Top 5 Orlando Winter Events that are Worth a Stop

Are your RV travel plans steering you towards Orlando this winter? If so, you’re probably looking for something special to do or a one-of-a-kind event to attend. Luckily the Sunshine State is always alive with things to do. From theme park festivals to cultural events you can only find locally, winter events in Orlando will have you slowing down, stopping for fun and enjoying a break from the open road.

1. Busch Gardens Real Music Concert Series

January 5-March 6, 2015, Tampa

Make a stop in Tampa and listen to the grooves of live music spanning the 1950s to today. Real Music Concerts are free with a Busch Gardens ticket so you can also spend the day at the park exploring animal habitats and hop on a ride or two if you’re a thrill seeker. The line-up for 2015 includes Herman’s Hermits, Shirley Jones, The Diamonds, The Grass Roots and more. Concerts are held at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm, Monday through Friday.

2. Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza

February 7, 2015 9am to 4pm Magnolia Park

Get close to nature during this second annual event. Birdapalooza celebrates the rich variety of birds and wildlife found in the natural habitat of Lake Apopka, Florida. During your day at Florida’s third largest lake, take part in free birding tours and outdoor recreation. If you’re a bird enthusiast you’ll delight at spotting rare birds like bald eagles, great blue herons, snowy egrets and mottled ducks.

3. Mount Dora Arts Festival

February 7-8, 2015 10am to 5pm Donnelly Park

Listen to local and regional musical talent while browsing endless rows of fine art. It’s a true day in the park during the Mount Dora Arts Festival. The juried arts show is located in Downtown Mount Dora, a quant New England-esque town bordering Lake Dora. It’s a beautiful backdrop for an event that is artistic yet casual. Come hungry, too, as a food vendors and local downtown restaurants will be serving great food at reasonable prices.

4. Florida Strawberry Festival

February 26-March 8, 2015, Plant City

Remember a time when fairs and festivals brought communities together? The Florida Strawberry Festival strives to do that each year with their Americana and harvest themed event. Over the course of eleven days, a myriad of events and exhibits occur. Look forward to exhibits on agriculture, fine arts, horticulture and crafts, as well as parades, marching bands and top notch entertainment acts such as Alabama, Reba McEntire, Craig Morgan, Dan+Shay, John Legend, Boyz II Men, Loretta Lynn, Hunter Hayes, MercyMe and many, many more. You may be asking why the event is held in Plant City. It’s actually the perfect place as more than 10,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually.

5. Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras

February 7-April 18, 2015

You may be in the heart of Florida, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of The Big Easy. On select nights, Universal Orlando hosts Mardi Gras – a larger-than-life extravaganza,
featuring an amazing concert line-up, a jazzy mix of Cajun cuisine, see-it-to-believe-it street performers and boldly fashioned parade floats. Each night of Universal Studios Mardi Gras is a party! Purchase Universal Orlando tickets to ensure you’re invited to Mardi Gras – Florida style!

Looking for more? Mark your map for these bonus stops.

Bonus 1: Lakeridge Winery hosts free festivities, wine tours and tastings. Plus, a Winter Wine Festival is held each Saturday night in January and WINEFEST XXV takes place February 13-15, 2015.

Bonus 2: Love classic cars? Old Town in Kissimmee hosts classic car shows each Friday and Old Town classic car showSaturday. On Wednesdays, doo-wop music, dancing and a cruise-in add a throwback element to the fun.

Bonus 3: Want to sit back, relax and listen to music? Head to The Villages. A variety of concerts are held throughout the year, with January and February playing host to Silver Creek Band, The 45s, Doo Wop ‘n Rock, Prairie Junction Band and a variety of others.

Click here to book your winter Orlando RV trip!

Bio: Ashley is Reserve Orlando’s travel expert, offering the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.


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Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

Are you hoping to get away from ice, sleet and snow when you hit the road this winter? Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast offers fabulous weather, fascinating attractions and top-notch RV camping.

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

The southwestern coast of Florida centers on the sunny islands of Sanibel and Estero and the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Whether you choose to add to your seashell collection, soak up the sun on a white sand beach or kayak down a tree-lined paddling trail, there’s a place to do it when you get here.

Ride along as we unveil the joys of RV camping on Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast!

Places to Enjoy

With more than a dozen amenity rich RV parks in the Fort Myers/Estero Island area, there’s no reason not to go right now. Find the park closest to your favorite attractions and call today for reservations.

Here are just a few of the reasons RV travelers love the laid-back beauty of the region:

    • Beaches: This sun-drenched region is a haven for beach-loving motorhome travelers. With calm seas and gentle slopes underwater, you can safely enjoy your time in the water. Just a few of the family-friendly beaches you’ll want to explore are Bowditch Point Park, Lovers Key State Park, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Pier and Lighthouse Park Beach on nearby Sanibel Island.
    • Wildlife: Grab a kayak and paddle the Great Calusa Blueway to spot dolphins and manatees within an oar’s reach of your watercraft. Hike the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park for a full day of bird watching in an unspoiled setting. If you have the time, make the jump to Sanibel Island’s J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. That’s where thousands of migratory birds arrive each winter, to make their home with the resident shorebirds. And did we mention the alligators?
    • Golf: Did you know that one of the biggest draws to Florida’s southwestern coast is the availability of excellent golfing? Thrill your golf playing campers with world-class opportunities to play. Here’s a useful link to golf courses in the region—reserve your tee times before you go and don’t forget the sunscreen!
    • History: Like to visit historic sites? Then Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is your perfect winter vacation spot, with attractions like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s winter homes in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Estero’s Koreshan State Historic Site that includes the remnants of a 19th century utopian compound. From early Native American burial mounds to a museum of railroad history, you’ll find your history fix in the Fort Myers area.
    • Shopping: If someone in your RV camping family likes to shop, they’ll have to pace themselves, because there are literally too many outlet malls and upscale shopping districts to count. Top recommendations are legendary Miromar Outlets, the scenic Coconut Point mall in Estero and Fort Myer’s exciting River District.                        

Ready to roll your RV toward fascinating southwest Florida? We’re ready to help with RV rentals and information on local attractions. Don’t wait—experience Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast this year.

 Monty the MotorhomePhoto credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

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