Exploring the Ultimate RV Show’s Southeast Region 920

Florida-welcome-sign

Camping World isn’t wasting any of the New Year staying stationary. On the contrary, the team is safely traveling the country, sharing the word about the advantages of RV travel as part of the Ultimate RV Show National Tour.

Unlike RV shows of years past, you don’t have to physically visit your local dealer to be a part of all the action. Enjoy the show from the comfort of home by registering online and accessing premium tour content like live-streamed walk-throughs, RVer interviews, and exclusive show pricing. Follow along and travel the country with us! In-person and online attendees can participate in an RV Treasure hunt and play to win over $250,000 worth of giveaways and prizes.

The tour schedule has divided the nation into 10 regions. This week (January 14-16) The Ultimate RV Show is visiting what we’re calling the Southeast region*. Find the Ultimate RV Show in Ft. Pierce Florida, and at participating Camping World, Gander RV, and Airstream dealerships in Florida.

*As a native Floridian, I have to apologize for the misnomer. For the purposes of this tour schedule, the “Southeast,” regional stop refers to the state of Florida. Georgia, Alabama–sorry ya’ll!  The tour will see you in Week 5. View the full schedule to find where the tour stops near you.

A premier destination for RVers year-round, Florida’s diverse landscapes are begging to be explored. Discover some of my favorite parks, towns, and attractions in my home state as you join us on The Ultimate RV Show’s Southeast regional stop—Florida!

Fort Pierce

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Fort Pierce

  • Gander RV & Outdoors of Fort Pierce – 2123 S Jenkins Rd Fort Pierce, Florida

Fort Pierce is halfway between Orlando and Miami on Florida’s southeastern coast. A more laid-back southern beach town, it is known for Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. The coastal hammock landscape is excellent for biking, hiking, fishing, and swimming. Paddle through mangroves and around barrier islands as you explore the real Florida.

Friends of Florida wildlife should swing in the Manatee Observation and Education Center. Learn about the gentle sea cows that call Florida’s warm winter waters home. Spy the mellow Florida manatees bobbing in the intercoastal waters, and if you’re lucky a Bottlenose dolphin too. The educational center is a must-visit for learning about Florida’s diverse and fragile ecosystems.

manatee
Photo: Shutterstock

Kissimmee 

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Kissimmee 

  • Camping World of Kissimmee – 5175 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee sits just South of the city of Orlando, and has long been known for its peaceful farmland, prairie, oak hammocks, and large glassy lakes. Despite Kissimmee’s bucolic feel, it’s actually closer to Central Florida’s famous amusement parks and attractions than the city of Orlando. Stay in Kissimmee if you’re looking to squeeze in a visit with “the Mouse,” or book your RV site at Disney’s For Wilderness Resort for the full Disney magic experience.

Star hunters looking to gaze upon the Milky Way shouldn’t miss Florida’s only official dark-sky park, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. The dry grassland at this enormous preserve sprawls out like a scene from the African savannah. Camp at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve in your RV and enjoy the sounds of native Florida birds and wildlife while getting lost in the night sky.

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Fort Myers

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Ft. Myers

  • Camping World of Fort Myers – 4681 Waycross Rd Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, on Florida’s southwestern coast, is a haven for snowbirds, both of the feathered and the flesh. Upscale RV Resorts abound with amenities like pools, Jacuzzis, tennis courts, and beach access.

Meanwhile, a short drive over the intercoastal highway takes you to Sanibel Island, home of J.N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and over 245 species of birds that love this warm winter home.

Fort Myers and its welcoming RV community make a great home base for exploring Sanibel. The Gulf of Mexico waters are warm and tranquil and wash soft-edged seashells upon Sanibel’s powder white sand. Beachcombers here find treasures like sparkling abalone shells and fat sand dollars the size of your hand.

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Jacksonville

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Jacksonville

  • Camping World of Jacksonville – 10101 Interstate Center Dr. Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gander RV & Outdoors of St. Augustine – 600 OUTLET MALL BLVD. St. Augustine, Florida

Jacksonville (or just “Jax,” to the locals) is located on Florida’s northeastern coast. Jax is the biggest city in the continental United States (by territory), but it isn’t the bustling urban metropolis you might have in the mind. The large city limits encompass beaches, pine Flatwoods, urban Riverfront, and the Timucuan Ecological Preserve. Camp in your RV at Hanna Park for shaded sites that are steps from the beach. Explore the driftwood giants at Boneyard Beach, a lesser-known attraction at Big Talbot Island State Park.

Just south of Jacksonville is America’s oldest city, St. Augustine. The town itself, with its colonial cathedrals and early Spanish military settlements, is a trip through history. Anastasia State Park preserves 1600 acres of natural Florida beach, marsh, and maritime hammock habitat. Camp in your RV at the park’s campground and fall asleep to the sound of Florida warblers, owls, and robins. Ride your bike to the beach in the morning to catch the sunrise.

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Boneyard Beach, Jacksonville FL Image: Shutterstock

Cocoa

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Cocoa Beach

  • Camping World of Cocoa – 4700 King St Cocoa, Florida

Famous for launching rockets and welcoming luxurious cruise liners, the Cocoa and Cape Canaveral section of Florida’s East coast is a destination for entertainment and history. Visit the Kennedy Space Center Complex and see what it’s like to be an astronaut for the day. Learn to surf on the same waves Kelly Slater cut his teeth on at Cocoa Beach. Or enjoy fresh seafood at the string of restaurants lining the beach in this touristic beach town. Stay at the Good Sam Sonrise Palms RV Park to be close to it all.

Fans of untouched Florida coastline will enjoy the quiet respite of Cape Canaveral National Seashore. Stake your claim on a soft piece of sand here for rocket launches.

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Cape Canaveral National Seashore. Image: Shutterstock

Tallahassee

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Tallahassee

  • Camping World of Tallahassee – 31300 BLUE STAR HWY US 90 MIDWAY, Florida
  • Camping World of Lake City – 530 SW Florida Gateway Dr. Lake City, Florida

Just “Tally,” to the locals, Tallahassee is the state capital and home to Florida State University. The college town is surrounded by Florida nature like pine forests, cypress groves, freshwater springs, and marsh habitat. To Tally’s West the Apalachicola National Forest, Florida’s largest forest, is filled with a web of trails. Hike to the Leon Sinks Geological Area, a mystical walk among swampland that opens to an extensive network of freshwater, underground caves.

Take a dip in the 70-degree waters of Wakulla Springs State Park. The park offers recreation for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Camp nearby at the Wildwood Golf and RV Resort.

Hitch up the bikes to the back of the RV and plan a leisurely ride on the Tallahassee-St. Mark’s Historic Railroad State Trail. The 16-mile ride takes you from Tally to the Gulf of Mexico on an easy, flat paved trail.

Image of manatees in Florida

Tampa

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Tampa

  • Camping World of Tampa – 4811 MCINTOSH ROAD DOVER, Florida
  • Camping World of New Port Richey – 2112 US Highway 19 Holiday, Florida
  • Gander RV & Outdoors of Bartow – 7400 State Road 60 E Bartow, Florida

Today, the greater area of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg is a hub for fine food, entertainment, fishing, and the Gulf’s iconic white sand beaches. It’s hard to be bored in this urban trifecta. The Bay’s calm waters are ideal for SUP and kayaking. Stroll through historic Ybor City, visit the Tampa Museum, or chase adrenaline at Tampa’s Busch Gardens theme park.

For a dose of nature head inland to Hillsborough River State Park. Miles of trails and Class II rapids entertain outdoor adventurers here, where alligator sightings are common. RV camp at any number of RV resorts in the Greater Tampa area that cater to the snowbirds who love it here.

couple kayaks through frog creek near Tampa, FL

The Panhandle

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in the panhandle

  • Camping World of Panama City – 4100 W 23RD ST PANAMA CITY, Florida
  • Gander RV & Outdoors of Gulf Breeze – 6240 Hwy 98 Gulf Breeze, Florida

Florida’s Panhandle is unlike any other part of Florida. The ocean water on this coast takes on an Emerald tone and rolls lazily upon sugar-fine sand. Beach towns here are not choked with high-rises and condos like the glitzy resort towns of other Florida coastal destinations. Quiet main streets are lined with local diners, crab shacks, and fish fry stands hawking the day’s fresh catch.

Park your beach chair in the shallow, warm waters of St. Andrews State Park in Panama City. RV camp at any one of St. Andrews Park’s 176 partial hookup campsites and awake to island deer curiously exploring your campsite.

Nearby in Gulf Breeze, Fort Pickens’ oak-shaded RV sites make for a tranquil stay at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

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St. Andrews State Park Pier, Panama City. Image: Shutterstock

Ocala

Find the Ultimate RV Show National Tour Stop near you in Ocala

  • Camping World of Ocala – 14200 S US Highway 441 Summerfield, Florida

Ocala is horse country. Find plains of tall grass and plenty of riding trails in this central section of the state. But what you may not know about Ocala is that it’s also a national hub for mountain biking. I know what you’re thinking ‘Mountains, in Florida?’ More than just anthills, the Santos Trailhead and Campground welcomes fat-tire riders from all over the country. Relax at the Santos campground after a day of riding the 30 miles of trails and tracks.

The Ocala National Forest is a playground of lakes, rivers, and freshwater springs gurgling crisp, cool water from Florida’s aquifer. Four campgrounds accommodate RV’s, but the sites at Alexander Springs Campground and Salt Springs Campground are my favorite for their direct access to crystal clear swimming waters.

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Alexander Springs, Ocala National Forest. Image: Shutterstock

What are your favorite Florida destinations? Tell us in the comments below.

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