RV Rental Wildwood, FL

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A city in central Florida within an hour's drive of Orlando, Wildwood sits at a junction where many of Florida's major highways converge. Before the train came to town, Wildwood was so remote that a telegraph line surveyor referred to it as "the wild woods." Today, Wildwood's centralized location has given it a reputation as "The Crossroads of Florida", making it easy for travelers to book an RV in Wildwood and drive to both the Atlantic and Gulf coast destinations from there.

A pioneer who built a lumbering operation here was the first to settle Wildwood. Farming was the major occupation of the other early settlers until the Tropical Florida Railroad Company built their tracks and contributed to the steady growth of the community. The railroad industry declined in the 1960s, but the construction of Florida’s Turnpike was completed by then, putting Wildwood on the map again.

Discover Wildwood

Central Florida’s Waterworlds: A Clear Crowd-Pleaser

Wildwood is surrounded by some of Florida’s pristine waterworlds. See what's below the surface of the crystal clear water of the Silver Springs State Park about a 30-minute drive by motorhome rental in Wildwood. Pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of water a day, Silver Springs is one of the largest in the state, harboring a diverse range of wildlife from alligators to manatees to otters. Birdlife is also abundant. Join one of the glass-bottom boat tours running all day or if you want seclusion, rent a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard and gently float on the five-mile Silver River.

Just beyond the gateway that is Silver Springs, take your RV trailer rental in Wildwood deep into Ocala National Forest where hundreds of lakes, rivers, springs, and waterways are vividly clear and veritable playgrounds for kayaking and canoeing. Swimming, snorkeling, and diving are also popular pursuits. Ocala National Forest is also home to one of the largest contiguous sand pine scrub forests in the world. Encompassing more than 380,000 acres, it beckons with a network of day hike trails, 22 miles of a single-track loop through deep woods and rolling hills, and nearly 100 miles of paved roads cutting through dense vegetation. Consider driving the 60-mile Black Bear Scenic Byway if you'd like to take in the variety of ecosystems from the comfort of your Wildwood camper rental.

If seeing just a few manatees leaves you wanting more, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is the place to go. This is the only sanctuary specifically created to protect these gentle underwater grazers who find the warm spring waters welcoming as they migrate from the cold waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Time your visit between November and early spring and head to the Three Sisters Spring complex for prime manatee viewing.

Where to Park Your RV

True to its reputation as a city at the crossroads, Wildwood has several RV parks within its boundaries. Some of the local motorhome sites you might want to consider are Wildwood RV Village and Three Flags RV Campground. Adult-only groups of travelers may want to check Lake Deaton RV Park and Villager RV Park. All have full hookup sites, most have hot showers, and some have heated pools.

For an overnight stay somewhere safe without the frills, get the store manager's approval at the Walmart stores in The Villages, the closest from Wildwood, for overnight parking in their lot. Look a bit farther from the city and plenty of choices open up in Lake Panasoffkee, Summerfield and Bushnell, all within half an hour's drive by travel trailer rental in Wildwood. You don’t have to leave town, however, to buy gas and groceries as numerous gas stations and several shops are available within Wildwood, with a few of them open 24/7.

For a taste of state park camping, bring your Wildwood RV rental to Lake Griffin State Park where you’ll find water, electric, and sewer hookups in some sites. Discover Lake Griffin's marshes on a canoe or a kayak rental, or join one of the guided canoe, kayak, or pontoon boat tours. Keep your eyes peeled for bobcats, coyotes, and even bears.

Experience Wildwood’s City Charms

A bit of old world Florida lingers in Wildwood. Let the Baker House and its wooden craftsmanship and stained glass windows transport you to simpler times. Baker House was the home of Senator David Hume Baker who also served in the Civil War. Little change has been made over the years so the house looks mostly the same as it was in the late 19th century.

This being Florida, you’ll probably want to encounter alligators from the comfort of your Wildwood rental RV or up close. Wildwood has a special place for alligators rescued from being euthanized and from being made into leather goods. Step inside this place to take pictures with some of their largest reptiles, or if you’re cold-blooded enough, hold a small alligator under the watchful eye of a guide.

Hop on the Wildwood Circulator to sample the city's culinary offerings. Expect to be served Southern eats, BBQ, and grill fare, and with both coasts not far away, seafood (including oysters and catfish). On top of American comfort food, there's also a smattering of Mexican, Italian, and Chinese staples. Or you can be adventurous and ask for gator meat.

Some portions of Sumter County, to which Wildwood belongs, was once part of the original Seminole Indian reservation whose resistance led to the Second Seminole War beginning in 1835. Only two members of the US Army Infantry under the command of Maj. Francis Dade survived a pivotal battle near present-day Bushnell. The Dade Battlefield Park marks this historic event with a museum, monuments, and plaques that retell the story. A reenactment is staged on the battle's anniversary.

Wildwood is more than just a place to pass through as you hurry on to other destinations. Dig deeper and you’ll be charmed by its unpretentious character. When you’ve had your fill, search for an RV rental in Wildwood and put it to good use. When you’re at major crossroads, you’d be missing out if you don’t.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Daubenmire Trail, FLLeesburg, FL
  • PEAR Park Trail, FLOkahumpka, FL
  • Cross Florida Greenway Trail, FLOcala, FL
  • Chernobyl Memorial Forest Loop, FLCandler, FL
  • Belleview-Santos Trailhead, FLOcala, FL
  • The Florida Trail Segment 20: Townsend Park to Pruitt Trailhead, FLCroom Wildlife Management Area, FL
  • Liberty Trail, FLInverness, FL
  • Levee Trail, FLCandler, FL
  • Tavares Nature Trail, FLTavares, FL
  • Whispering Pines Park (Perimeter Trail), FLInverness, FL

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