Traveling from Atlanta to Tampa takes less than 500 miles, but the route along I-75 is straightforward and beautiful. This single highway will take you to your destination with plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Your Atlanta to Tampa road trip can include stops at several state parks, historical sites, and other attractions along the way. While you are in Georgia, take the time to find a place that sells peaches or pecans. If you would like to extend the trip to spend more time exploring, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
When taking a road trip from Atlanta to Tampa, you are not going to find a lot of national parks along the way. However, if you are willing to go off the planned path, there is at least one national park in Florida worth visiting.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is south of Tampa, and it features mangroves and marshes that animals make their home. In the park, you can enjoy watching the birds and go boating. Even though this is a wetland, there are several trails that you can explore and hike throughout the park.
When you are planning your Atlanta to Tampa road trip itinerary, there are also several amazing state parks to visit. If you would like to stop at a more scenic park, there are several state parks you should consider visiting that are not that far from the route that you will be taking.
High Falls State Park
High Falls State Park is a massive preserved area that covers 1,050 acres. Inside the park, you will find a lake, the largest waterfall in Georgia, and wildlife that live in the area. Hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming are all popular activities with visitors. There is also an 18-hole mini-golf course that families will enjoy. If you decide to stay overnight, there is also camping available at the park.
Big Shoals State Park
For those who enjoy kayaking and canoeing, Big Shoals State Park is a great place to make a stop. There are white rapids for the thrill-seekers to enjoy as well as calmer water for those with less experience. Trails are also plentiful in this Florida state park, so there will be plenty of opportunities to take a hike.
Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park in Florida opened in 1938, and it is another stop that you will want to add to your Atlanta to Tampa RV road trip. The river is a great place to go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and more. Trails are plentiful in this park as well, so you can explore as you look for local wildlife.
The Rock Garden in Calhoun
This is a hidden gem that is located right off Exit 312 on I-75 northwest of Atlanta. The rock garden comprises a small miniature city of more than 50 structures. There are castles, monasteries, and more that are built with small pebbles, shells, and pieces of glass. The plants around the garden are very picturesque, so you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take some pictures.
Tellus Science Museum
Another place in Georgia that you will want to visit is the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. If you are traveling with kids who adore dinosaurs, there is a T. Rex at the museum as well as a fossil dig that they are sure to enjoy. The museum is 120,000 square feet, so it can be entertaining for quite a while, especially for anyone who loves science. There is also a 120-seat planetarium on-site as well as a mineral gallery.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
If you love animals, then Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary near Locust Grove, GA, is another point of interest to consider seeing during your Atlanta to Tampa road trip. It is 250 acres of land where animals that have been abused, orphaned, or injured are cared for. The sanctuary was founded in 1978, and since then, it has become home to a vast array of animals.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a place where exotic botanicals can be seen in one place. There are 24 exhibits in the gardens that are all linked by a walkway that is a mile and a half long. The gardens are located in Gainesville, which is a city that you are going to stop at during this Atlanta to Tampa RV road trip. You will be able to see unique plants like bamboo and water lilies. You can even enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens if you’d like.
Jackson lies only about 49 miles from Atlanta, and it’s right on the way to Tampa, making it a great little city to visit. One of the highlights of Jackson, GA, is the Dauset Trails Nature Center, which is a beautiful and sprawling natural area with miles of trails to explore. It’s well-suited for biking or hiking, and there are even scenic trails for horseback riding. Additionally, nature lovers should check out picturesque Lake Jackson, which is great for sailing, swimming, and fishing.
While in the Jackson area, there are multiple RV campgrounds at which you can stay. For example, Camping World of Macon is less than an hour away from Jackson, and this large campground provides access to a dump station as well as full hookups.
If you’re into beautiful, turn-of-the-century brick buildings and a lively populace, then Ashburn, GA, is a great place to consider visiting on your road trip from Atlanta to Tampa. The town is also home to some top-notch cuisine that runs from delicious seafood to Southern-style barbecue. The Crime and Punishment Museum is also a fun detour for those looking to get a glimpse of the criminal history of Georgia.
If you want to take an overnight break on your Atlanta to Tampa road trip, Wanee Lake RV Park is a great place to rest while you’re making your way. This RV park is perfect for those traveling south on I-75, and it has 30/50-amp connections for RVers to use while they relax. There’s even a hot tub for you and your family to enjoy while you’re staying at the campground.
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, so if you would like to see a Gator's football game, you will have the opportunity in the fall. There is also a Museum of Natural History in town, which is a great place to explore Florida’s biodiversity. If you’ve ever wanted to explore a sinkhole and learn more about it, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is also located in Gainesville. Since this is a landlocked city, take the time to explore Ichetucknee Springs State Park. You can snorkel, swim, and even go diving in the pools.
With so much to explore in Gainesville, you may want to stay overnight. There are several Gainesville campgrounds to consider staying at in the area. Williston Crossing RV Resort is well-maintained, and Grand Lake RV and Golf Resort gives you the chance to try out your golf swing without having to find a local course.
The final city that you should include on your road trip itinerary for Atlanta to Tampa is Ocala. It is the largest city in this part of Florida, so it has a lot to offer. Ocala National Forest is a beautiful destination that offers fishing, kayaking, and wildlife photography. There also are zip-lining and canopy tours that are great for families who would like to enjoy some time outdoors.
Ocala campgrounds are plentiful. If you decide to stay longer in this area before heading to Tampa, Ocala North RV Park and the Ocala RV Camp Resort are easily accessible.
When you are planning an Atlanta to Tampa road trip, having an itinerary that is detailed can help you find all of the must-see locations along the way. If you don’t have an RV of your own, then make sure to consider renting one from RVshare. There is nearly every size of RV that you could want to rent, and the rental process is straightforward and easy to manage whether you are starting your trip in Atlanta or you want to reverse things and start your journey in Tampa.