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An RV camping vacation is your chance to get away from it all without completely giving up your creature comforts, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. If you're in Florida, this means heading for Alafia River Campground where you'll have the important necessities without feeling drowned in urban development. This RV campground has flat sites with 20, 30, and 50 amp electrical hookups and water hookups, plus a dump station near the entrance. Each site has a picnic table surrounded by trees and a grill; the site pads are asphalt, and you can choose between sites with back-in or pull-through access. There is a ranger station where you can buy ice and firewood if needed; access to the RV park is controlled by a gate.
Once you've arrived, the Lithia campground has numerous activities to occupy your time such as swimming and fishing, geocaching, or hiking or biking the extensive trails within Alafia River State Park. There are events throughout the year within and outside of the park; mountain bike and foot races are held, as are marathons and mini-marathons. You can observe or join in if you'd like. Outside of the campground, there are festivals and farmers' markets, a manatee viewing center, and other events for your enjoyment.
Book an RV in Hillsborough County, and you will be all set for the adventure of a lifetime. You should begin your adventure by pointing your rental RV towards Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve. This multi-use area was established shortly after Hurricane Donna in 1960 to reroute floodwaters to minimize damage, but it was also created with conservation in mind in the hopes of creating habitats for local wildlife. Some of these features are a wood stork rookery, a sawgrass marsh, a sphagnum bog, and two sinkholes; the preserve also provides treated drinking water for Tampa. You can come here to enjoy hiking and bicycling, canoeing and boating, picnicking, and a variety of other activities.
Kissimmee Chain Of Lakes is a year-round outdoor recreation area centered around several lakes and the marshes, wet prairies, and pine flatwoods that sit at the edges and around the lakes. This complex ecosystem is home to sandhill and whooping cranes, bald eagles, and wintering waterfowl, plus other bird species. Deer, hogs, and other mammals also reside in the area, making it an ideal destination for nature and wildlife photography; park your RV rental nearby, and you can use it as a nature blind. Fishing is allowed, and anglers can fish for largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie. If you're hoping to go hiking here, you're in luck; there are numerous trails, and leashed dogs are allowed. The park is also open for hunting in season so you should check with authorities to determine if there is hunting while you're there. Hunters require a license, and there are restrictions, so hunters should check with park rangers to determine what the limitations are before heading out.
Arbuckle WMA is one of several properties within the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, and it is a combination of ancient sand dunes and stands of pine flatwoods, sandhill, and bottomland hardwoods, which you'll find along the banks of the streams and creeks. You can fish and kayak in the park all year, and there are trails where you can hike and horseback ride; one of the trails is a portion of the Florida Trail. The trails are designated for either hiking or horseback riding, and there are signs indicating which is which. You can enjoy bird watching in the area; keep an eye out for Florida scrub-jays, short-tailed hawks, ospreys, and other bird species. Arbuckle WMA is part of the Great Florida Birding Trails system.
Once you've had your fill of the outdoors, you'll want to explore the urban attractions too. You can start at Lakeland, which has some historic and eye-catching architecture. Several of the buildings at Florida Southern College were designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and you can take a leisurely stroll of the grounds while admiring the cultivated scenery. You can also visit Hollis Garden with its neoclassical design and Lake Mirror, one of several lakes within the city limits. Joker Marchant Stadium is where you can enjoy some minor league baseball and if you time it right, watch the MLB Detroit Tigers go through their spring training camp.
Bartow is a historical city that began as Fort Blount before being renamed after a Confederate Army Commander, Francis S. Bartow. It is the self-titled “City of Oaks and Azaleas,” so your visit to the city should begin with a self-guided walking tour that will expose you to grand structures, stands of dogwood and oak trees, and an abundant array of flowers. The Polk Museum of Art and the city's historic courthouse are just two of the attractive structures you'll witness. It has an annual Bloomin' Arts Festival, malls and outlets where you can get some shopping in, and numerous antique stores where you can browse for that one unique item you won't recognize until you see it.
Bradenton is a picturesque city located on the Manatee River; one of its attractions is the Riverwalk where you can enjoy the city and nature views. The Village of the Arts is a working artists' community where you can browse their work and possibly interact with the artists. Some of the historic buildings from Manatee County's past have been restored, such as a courthouse, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and more.
Simple, functional campgrounds with access to outdoor and urban attractions; you can't ask for much more, and Alafia River Campground is where you'll find all of this.