A Perfect 5-Day Florida Road Trip Itinerary for Nature Lovers

Grab your car keys, pack a swimsuit, and hit the road! We’ve mapped out must-see Florida attractions, hidden gems, and the most unique campsites, RV spots, and cabins along the way for an unforgettable Central Florida road trip full of adventure and scenic drives.

Day 1

Start your Florida adventure around Orlando, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore both natural beauty spots and iconic theme parks in Orange County: Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka, Lake Buena Vista’s Magic Kingdom Park in the Walt Disney World Resort near Kissimmee, or Universal Studios Florida. Pop up to Winter Park for leafy green city spaces.

To start your journey, book a camping getaway at one of these standout spots:

Photo by Shayna Frankenfield at Home of Many Miniature Animals

Day 2

Time to hit the road again. Today, we’ll head toward Tampa, a quick 1.5-hour drive from Orlando. On your way, pass through Lakeland or Hillsborough River State Park for a quick pit stop.

Once in Tampa, it’s time to choose your own adventure. Take a day trip to St. Petersburg and explore the city’s eccentric urban spaces, or grab your beach towels and lounge on the palm-fringed shores of Fort De Soto Park.

Once you’ve seen the sights, find a cozy Hipcamp and settle in for the evening.

Photo by Hipcamper Carla B. at Fort de Soto Park Campground

Day 3

Today, we’re heading out of Tampa Bay and making our way to the manatee capital of the world, Crystal River. If you’re itching for a detour along the way, make a stop in Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids, learn about Florida wildlife on a riverboat cruise, or swim at the Buccaneer Bay waterpark.

Spend an afternoon immersing yourself in the diverse waters of Homosassa Springs, a wildlife conservation area where nature abounds and an up-close manatee or alligator sighting is almost guaranteed.

Photo of manatees by Hipcamp Host Alonda M. at Homosassa Springs RV Site
Photo by Shayna Frankenfield at Homosassa Springs RV Site

If you didn’t get enough beach time on day 2, take a drive to Cedar Key for local seafood right on the water at Steamers Clam Bar & Grill.

Before we set off for Ocala National Forest on day 4, take your pick from these Hipcamps for a magical night’s stay near Crystal River:

Photo by Hipcamp Photographers Ryan + Alex Smith at Scooter Haven Country Club

Day 4

Now we’re east to Ocala National Forest, home to four of Florida’s bucket list-worthy natural springs—Juniper, Alexander Springs, Silver Glen, and Salt Springs. Whether you want to paddle the waters or hike the boardwalks, you’ll be surrounded by nature.

Tonight, take your pick between these campsites on the water and get your fix of microbrews and grub at Hiatus Brewing.

Photo by Hipcamp Host Marci S. at Marci’s Magical Lakefront Oasis

Day 5

Ready for another day in paradise? Today is all about making your way to Daytona Beach for one final day of oceanside adventure. Pay the International Speedway a visit, take a sunset stroll on the boardwalk, or head north toward Floridian favorite Tomoka State Park to trek the 2,000-acre park’s endless hiking and biking trails.

To wrap up the final night of your road trip, stay in a cozy vintage camper hidden among the trees in Ormond Beach, or pull up in your RV along the water at Lighthouse Boatyard and Marina in Ponce Inlet. In the morning, swing by Daytona’s Red Bud Cafe for breakfast and coffee before making the journey back to Orlando.

If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to nature, be sure to pass through the crystal-clear waters of Blue Springs State Park, where there’s no shortage of kayaking, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching. Or, continue on down the east coast to other hot spots and small towns like Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center.

Discover more of Hipcamp’s Central Florida stays to start planning your own escape in the Sunshine State.

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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