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Go RVing to Florida’s National Parks in 1 Unforgettable Trip

Published on December 8th, 2022 by Brenna Chambliss

Getting ready to fly south for winter? This itinerary for RVing to Florida’s national parks makes it super easy to visit in one seven-day trip.

Florida boasts some of the world’s most beautiful coastline and three of the coolest national parks in America. All three parks are open after Hurricane Ian, so follow this fun seven-day itinerary for RVing to all three Florida national parks. Of course it also includes time for relaxation and exploration.

The Best Trip Plan for RVing to Florida’s National Parks

Note: This RV trip planning itinerary does not include RV travel time to or from south Florida, so plan accordingly. Also consider the month of your trip. South Florida is miserably hot and humid in the height of summer and pleasant during cooler months.

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First Stop: RVing in Key West

RVing to Key West, Florida
Start your journey in fun Key West

On your first full day after RV travel, take it easy and just enjoy Key West. The Florida Keys are great for relaxing and building energy for the rest of your trip.

Where to RV Camp in Key West

Looking for a luxury RV park in Key West? Try Bluewater Key RV Resort. The park has spacious, back-in-only spots right on the water. Each comes with a large Tiki hut complete with amenities. It’s located about 30 minutes from downtown Key West. And it’s the perfect location to relax in tropical luxury away from the city hustle and bustle. Reserve soon. Bluewater Key usually books up one year in advance.

RVing on a budget? No worries! Bahia Honda State Park is great for families and nature lovers. This low cost Florida state park campground also fills up quickly. Enjoy RV camping on the beach, beautiful water, excellent birdwatching and more.

Day One: See the City

  • Relax after traveling
  • Admire the crystal clear water by paddle board, jet ski, kayak or a boat
  • Explore the southernmost city of Key West
  • Enjoy Mallory Square for sunset
  • Dine in downtown Key West

Day 2: Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park
A side view of Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park.

Plan for a one day visit at Dry Tortugas National Park, home to one of the nation’s largest 19th-century forts. The only way to travel to Dry Tortugas is by boat or seaplane. Book a reservation in advance – they sell out quickly.

The Yankee Freedom ferry provides comfortable seating with tables, an outdoor deck, lunch, additional snacks and drinks for purchase, and snorkeling gear.

Some of the most amazing features of this National Park are underwater. Snorkel the moat wall for beautiful coral and fish and the historic Coaling Pier Pilings for larger marine animals, like the rare shark.

For scuba divers, there are several scuba locations around Dry Tortugas, including the popular Windjammer shipwreck from 1901.

Day 3: Wrap up your adventures

Prepare for departure and enjoy anything else on your list, like:

Second Stop: RVing to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park

Plan at least four hours to go RVing from the Keys to Miami. Your ultimate Florida fun destination: Biscayne National Park.

Where to Stay in Miami

Each national park has campgrounds, but we chose a centrally located RV resort instead. Our preferred stay was at Miami Everglades RV Resort. This RV park is about 30-minutes from each national park and just 45 minutes from downtown Miami.

Map showing Florida's national parks and RV resorts distances.
A screenshot from Google Maps shows the location of Miami Everglades RV Resort in relation to Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park and Miami.

Day 4: Travel from Key West to Miami

Don’t try to do too much today, it’s a long RV trip. Just set up camp, enjoy the resort’s amenities and relax!

Day 5: Biscayne National Park

RVing to Florida's national parks at Biscayne Bay.
A manatee mother and baby float along the dock at Biscayne National Park.

About 95% of Biscayne National Park is water. You may want to skip this park if you’re not up for boating, snorkeling, paddle boarding or scuba diving. There isn’t much to explore on land other than a basic visitor center and tiny museum. Guided snorkeling and scuba trips at Biscayne National Park are highly recommended.

The snorkeling at Biscayne is phenomenal. Our trip was made even better by guides who fed us information, helped us identify what we saw and answered all our questions.

Birdwatching in Biscayne Bay, Florida.

The coral was bright and colorful out in the ocean. We watched a four-foot, lime-green eel slither its way through the coral fans. Snorkeling the mangroves revealed tons of colorful fish and other creatures.

Be sure to visit the dock to look for manatees. In early May, this area was teeming with manatee mommas and babies.

Day 6: Everglades National Park

Scene at Everglades Loop Road while RVing to Florida's national parks.
A clearing along Loop Road scenic drive at Everglades National Park.

In one day, you can visit a large chunk of Everglades National Park, do an airboat tour and spot more alligators than you can count.

There are two main, accessible visitor centers. Shark Valley Visitor Center on the north side and Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center on the south side.

Depending on your pace and how early you arrive, you can visit both in a day, plus a few short hikes and activities. However, if your itinerary allows, consider one full day to explore the north side and an additional day for the south side.

At Shark Valley Visitor Center, a 15-mile paved road leads to an observation tower for stunning views of the Everglades. Book a tram tour, rent bikes or bring your own bikes for the 15-mile trek.

A park ranger suggested the Loop Road scenic drive when a late afternoon storm interrupted our wandering around Shark Valley Visitor Center. It was one of our favorite surprises of the trip.

We nearly had the road to ourselves, besides the soft shell tortoises and alligators we stumbled upon. Clearings along the way reveal marsh water, air-plant-covered trees and families of alligators chilling in the water.

At one large clearing, we pulled over and sat for a while, listening and watching as the sun went down. To a chorus of frog croaks, we witnessed what looked like an alligator fight several yards away.

Day 7: Wild Card

On the last day, relax, return to Everglades National Park or brave the Miami traffic to explore the city. Our favorite Miami stops included:

Pro Tip for RVing to Florida’s National Parks

There are toll roads in and around Miami and other parts of Florida. While they are often the fastest routes, be prepared for the bills. If you tow a car behind your RV, you will get fined for BOTH vehicles. We paid over $30 in fees for the RV and another $30 for our tow vehicle.

Customize your itinerary for RVing to Florida’s national parks according to your availability, interests and trip goals. Factor in your RV resort budget too. The goal is to make your long-haul trip to south Florida worth the miles and time by hitting all the state’s national parks. Don’t forget to stay in budget and squeeze in some fun in the sun too!

Get More Help with RV Trip Planning

Wish you had help planning your Florida RV trips? You’ve got it RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. Use it along with the RV LIFE trip planning app, RV Trip Wizard. It’s the ultimate way to find great camping destinations with RV-friendly routes tailored to your RV and travel preferences.

All photos by Brenna Chambliss.

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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