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5 National Parks Just a Day from Tampa Bay

The winter months in Florida are the perfect time to plan an easy road trip to one of the 11 officially recognized National Park Service units in Florida.  With diverse offerings ranging from preserves and seashores to memorials and monuments, these parks are perfect for easy hikes and observing wildlife.

Here are five Florida National Parks within an easy day’s drive from Tampa.

National ParksThe Everglades National Park is a World Heritage Site and home to the second-largest mangrove forest in the world! Three separate park gates each lead to a different landscape with varied activities.

Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is home to the famous Clyde Butcher Gallery and the opportunity to see the environment up close through a guided swamp walk tour.


National Parks

Canaveral National Seashore is 24 miles of beach on a barrier island on the Atlantic Coast. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing, and you can even see the NASA launch pads from the beach.

Fort De Soto National Memorial near Bradenton has a pet friendly boardwalk, trails through mangroves and educational exhibits.

Fort Matanzas near St. Augustine (accessible by ferry) is unique for its preserved watchtower from the 1700s.


Learn more about planning a trip to these and other national parks in Florida on Outdoorsy Diva’s Comprehensive Guide to All the National Parks in Florida!

Follow Lauren Gay and her adventures:

Originally published in our February 2021 Issue

More articles by Lauren Gay of the Outdoorsy Diva:

*8 Must Do Outdoor Activities in Tampa Bay with the Kids


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