Florida Park Model

Trip Planning

Summer Escapes in Florida

Jeff Crider shares some awesome locations to escape to this summer in Florida.

While Florida is famous as a winter retreat, growing numbers of RV enthusiasts are escaping to the Sunshine State’s campgrounds and RV resorts during the summer months, including native Floridians. Gary Wright, general manager of Zachary Taylor Waterfront RV Resort in Okeechobee said he is seeing an increase in RVers who live along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf Coasts who are traveling inland to enjoy watersports in the Lake Okeechobee area. Zachary Taylor Waterfront RV Resort has 220 campsites and a half mile of frontage along Taylor Creek, a tributary to Lake Okeechobee, offers both canoe and kayak rentals as well as boat rentals for fishing.

Other campgrounds offering organized family activities include Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale, which is roughly half way between Orlando and Tampa.

Sunlight RV Resorts is also seeing an increase in campers at its Florida parks, which include the Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales and Champions Run RV Resort in Ocala. “The majority of our clientele during the summer is families,” said Tristan Farrell, president of Atlanta-based Sunlight Resorts. Canopy Oaks and Champions Run offer organized activities for families during the summer months. Activity schedules are posted on the websites of each park along with information about nearby attractions.

Several RV resorts in Palmetto, just south of Tampa, also offer a variety of organized activities as well as suggestions on things to see and do throughout the summer months. Palmetto area RV resorts include Fisherman's Cove RV Resort, which partners with guides who can lead private fishing and nature tours through the Terra Ceia State Park Preserve and other nearby locations. The resort is surrounded by 24,900 contiguous acres of serene aquatic preserve as well as county and state parks such as Robinson Preserve, Emerson Point and Terra Ceia State Park. As such, the resort can serve as a base camp for hiking, biking, boating, fishing and kayaking trips. The resort has produced a video to highlight its onsite and nearby activities.

Meanwhile, two other Palmetto area resorts have developed summer activities specifically for adults. These include:

The Surf RV Resort: This resort’s activities for the weekend of July 7-9 include a helicopter tour of Tampa Bay followed by a trip to Jungle Gardens. Onsite resort activities include a “Flamingo Pink Pool Party” with live music, pink tropical drinks and delicious appetizers. The weekend of July 21-23 has a “Havana Nights” theme with the music, food and culture of Cuba, including a walking tour of historic Ybor City, lunch at the famous Colombia Restaurant.

Columbia restaurant, Salsa dancing at the park, and tasty mojitos.

The Tides Signature RV Resort: This resort has an extensive summer activity program, which features Friday night Happy Hours with live music twice a month; gourmet food truck selections and complimentary cocktails; exercise classes three times per week; and weekly 8-ball and cornhole tournaments; monthly guided eco-tours on kayaks; Mexican Train play on Tuesdays and cards/euchre on Thursdays. 

Of course, Florida campgrounds that offer water activities are always popular destinations or people of all ages in summer, especially families with children. Such parks include Twin Lakes Camp Resort in DeFuniak Springs and Ginnie Springs in High Springs, which complements its campsites with classes in scuba diving. Visitors can also rent canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards to try out on the Santa Fe River. Other Florida campgrounds with onsite water parks include Splash RV Resort & Waterpark in Milton.

While growing numbers of Florida RV resorts have summer activities posted on their websites, many also offer suggestions on nearby attractions, which makes it easy for Floridians to plan their weekend escapes. For example, Madison RV & Golf Resort in Madison highlights several nearby attractions, including the Treasures of Madison County Museum, the Four Freedoms Trail, and the Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga.

St. Augustine Beach KOA Holiday in St. Augustine, for its part, includes trip planning information on every major historical attractions in the city, including the nearly 300-year-old fortified coquina watchtower at Fort Matanzas National Monument, which defended the southern approach to the Spanish military settlement of St. Augustine, the oldest permanently occupied European settlement in North America.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.