Tampa to Jackson Road Trip Guide


Tampa, most notable for its bay which flows into the Gulf of Mexico, is home to Florida’s largest port. There are several activities that can keep you glued to this city besides the lovely beaches and white sands. The city of about 112 square miles is most remarkable for its thunderstorms, thereby declared as one of the stormiest cities in the country.

The relatively cool and warm weather makes it easy for many new businesses to come in and develop, thereby rejuvenating the city. As a result, the establishment of these businesses has brought together both new and old worlds in terms of culture and architecture to reveal a city that is truly dynamic.

But if you decide to leave Tampa, the options for recreation expand even further. Dare to go on a road trip? Tampa would be an ideal location to start your trip. Heading to the southern part of the country makes for an outstanding journey, and the trip, spread across four days or so, will give you just enough time behind the wheel and plenty of time to see everything, because there’s really so much to enjoy and explore.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

Hattiesburg Zoo

Two hours from Mobile and you’ll arrive in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This makes a great stop as you enter into the State. The road may not offer much as you go, but you'll be rewarded on reaching Hattiesburg.

The Zoo at Hattiesburg features several species of various species animals that are native to Mississippi. Riding a train and going on a high rope adventure ensures you don’t miss a beat of what is happening. Whether you like it or not, you won’t miss out or be left out of the fun and learning to be experienced at the zoo.

Suitable for all, this Zoo is ideal for the whole family. Want to picnic? The lovely landscape will make for an unforgettable experience. Whatever you do, you’ll have a blast at the zoo! After all, it’s not every day you get to see a flamingo.

Mobile Carnival Museum

Another famous city! The city of Mobile is one to enchant, with several kinds of entertainment for the old and young. The landscape is terrific with a lot of historic architecture, and a diversity of art from all walks of life that shows the deep cultural heritage that this city holds.

The Carnival Museum showcases the history behind the Mardi Gras Carnival, the parade that Mobile is most famous for. You will be able to see and experience amazing costumes and cultures during the carnival and have a first-hand insight into the origin of this festival. Visit Mobile in January and you might as well see for yourself the splendor of the carnival on the city’s streets. In addition, you get to enjoy souvenirs from the local gift shop.

No camping options are presented by the museum, but who wants to stay all cooped up in one spot when there’s a beautiful city waiting to be explored? You can get accommodation options or camp your RV elsewhere in the city though.

National Naval Aviation Museum

As you arrive at the famous and historical city of Pensacola, you’ll be tempted to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. This historic city is filled with several landmarks and beautiful features that will make you never want to leave once you've visited.

The museum is the largest of its kind in the world, boasting over 150 aircraft on display. It is no wonder why this place is a favorite for all family or group visits.

The aircraft and exhibits here provide an account of historical events. Simulated rides, motion pictures and several practices of the Blue Angels will give you a feel of what it’s like to be part of the Navy. Kids have their own arena with several interactive devices and other artifacts retrieved from a real ship. Feel free to grab a bite at the café with meals that are a tribute to aviation.

DeFuniak Springs Lake

There is never a dull moment on the way bringing you up to the city DeFuniak Springs. An easy-to-explore area with imposing stunning architecture and an imposing history, DeFuniak Springs is one to be at, and the location that surrounds the lake is well worth a visit.

Wish to explore the area? A 15-minute drive will take you to Chautauqua Vineyards where you can learn how the finest of grapefruits harvested in the vineyard are handled and processed into delicious fruity wines. Come here during the harvest and you’re sure to go on a fruit-picking adventure where you can have some to taste.

A quick visit to the lake affords you a nice walk alongside the almost perfectly round lake, with lots of nice places to eat and drink and a playground for children. There are several private camping options for your RV near the park.

Alligator Lake Park

Alligator Lake Park is one of the places you’ll surely want to spend some time on this road trip. Although this park in Lake City does not offer camping privileges, there’s plenty of nearby places that you can station your RV and enjoy a day visit here.

This park is designed around a beautiful lake and it contains several alligators as well as recreational features such as nature trails, a boat ramp and a playground for children. Activities to enjoy here include bird watching, hiking, and canoeing. It is a great place to come with the family as well as to organize an event or party.

What’s more, there’s a disc- golf course here for guests that fancy the activity. This park has something for everyone to experience diverse recreational activities.

Butterfly Rainforest - Florida Museum of Natural History

You definitely should have a stopover here in Gainesville on your way to Jackson!

The rainforest museum is gorgeous and stunning, ideal for visitors of any age, and makes for an awesome day trip where you can take great photos and make delightful memories.

Spectacular flowers - of various colors and from different plants - waterfalls, trees, and nature at its finest await you here. The museum is blessed with birds and butterflies of many species flying over your head. You may even be lucky to have one land on you. The museum also has an assortment of other aquatic animals as well as a simulated rainforest with trails you can walk.

It’s hard to believe that a place like this can exist in Florida, with all the hustle and bustle of its big cities. But nature doesn’t come more breathtaking than this.

Ocala National Forest

Driving for an about an hour outside of Tampa brings to your view the amazing city of Ocala. Where better to begin your road trip adventure than in this natural reserve on your four-day or long weekend trip? With several diverse outdoor recreation activities, this park ensures you have a swell time during your visit.

Known as the reserve with the largest conglomeration of sand pine scrub, this forest is one of the rarest eco-regions of the world. Enjoying a picnic with your family, hunting for deer, hiking/cycling, fishing, swimming in crystal clear water, or just viewing nature and the landscape will ensure that everyone enjoys their time here.

Want to add some cool pictures for your Instagram or Facebook feed? There’s no better place to start clicking. Plus, you are welcome to stay overnight thanks to the camping options and accommodation available to suit your every need. Be sure to bring your pets along!


Jackson has lots of things going for it as the state capital. With exotic foods, lots of music across different genres and a vibrant social life, this city is said to have launched a thousand different careers as many musicians got their start from there. You’ll find, just about anywhere you go, incredible views, stunning art, color, and creativity.

There are plenty of campgrounds to accommodate your RV/motorhome should you be looking for a place to stay too. There’s a lot to do both indoors and outdoors. Enjoy music, food, carnivals, and good old southern hospitality.

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