Inexpensive and smothered in nature, these scenic campgrounds are the best for RV and tent campers within an hour’s drive of Disney World.
Wakulla Springs State Park has a historic lodge, spectacular spring/swimming hole, scenic boat rides and many spots to hike, bike and kayak nearby. The Big Bend region of Florida is often overlooked by visitors, who are missing out on a rustic, rural area.
You can experience four outstanding Florida rivers in one trip if you base yourself in the Ocala area. In four days of paddling, you have a good chance to see wildlife — from manatees to American eagles to alligators and even monkeys. Three of the four rivers are aquarium-clear spring-fed streams. The fourth is a wild and peaceful place where you can escape the modern world.
Tucked into a corner of Hillsborough County is a quiet, well-shaded campground that packs a lot of nature into a small 160-acre preserve along the Alafia River.
Silver Springs State Park near Ocala lets kayakers launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway where paddlers often see monkeys, manatees and an array of birds and other animals.
This out-of-the-way rural area on the St. Johns River offers good hiking, kayaking and springs. With Welaka as a base, we explored a place little changed by the years.
DeLeon Springs, about an hour north of Orlando, is a state parks with swimming, kayaking and fantastic history. But it’s best known for — of all things — its pancakes.
Dunnellon is known for its spectacular Rainbow Springs and River, especially during tubing season. But there are more reasons to visit in cool weather, including another exquisite river– the Withlacoochee — several good restaurants, and trails for both hiking and biking.
Not all of Central Florida’s magic is at Disney. North of Orlando is a vast ecological preserve that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities with unique exposure to Florida’s great outdoors.