Today we woke up early to get started on searching for warmth in South Florida. We are quite excited because we are heading to the north shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and certainly it would be warm there… no?  After looking at the forecasts for that area, it turns out that it’s really not any warmer than it was in Nashville.  So we changed our plan.  We can do that, because our “hotel” is always with us in the back end of our car, haha!   “Let’s head to Tampa”, we said.

Day 4 – Searching for Warmth in South Florida


We stopped for lunch in this pretty little rest area along Hwy I-10 W.  The main highways in Florida all have amazing rest areas, with covered picnic tables, clean washrooms, and many with free WiFi.  

Distance Travelled:  534 km


Boondock stop: Auscilla Boat Ramp. We found this location on the iOverlander app.  We arrived just before sunset, and the last of the fishermen were just leaving.  There were a couple of other camping vans there already.  This is a beautiful spot, and there’s lots of room for any type of camping vehicle.

Day 5 – We found Palm Trees!


As we were driving toward Tampa, we found King’s Bay Park in the town of Crystal River.  We stopped here for lunch, stretched our legs and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.  But… still cold!

More palm trees at Howard Park Beach.  We didn’t stay, as it was (you guessed it), cold and windy!  It would be a great beach destination on another (warm) day.

Distance Travelled:  377 km


There is a little park in a Gulfport, Florida neighbourhood called Wood Ibis Park.  We found this boondock location on iOverlander.  We arrived after sunset and left before sunrise – no one bothered us.  It was a pretty walk around the pond before we turned in.

Day 6 – Beeline to the Keys


Our plan to dawdle along the west coast of Florida and explore the coastal towns and beaches went out the window.  Because it was still COLD!  We decided to drive straight to the Keys.  We stopped for lunch along the Everglades, and then kept driving!

Distance Travelled:  620 km

We made it the The Keys!  We decided to settle in Big Pine Key tonight.


Boondock spot:  We stayed at this National Key Deer Refuge Site found on iOverlander for a night.  It was very quiet all night long. The star gazing is pretty incredible here.  We were looking for The Big Dipper just before we turned in.  We didn’t see it then, but did see it at 4:00am!  Things are upside-down here! 🙂

A few little video clips – take a look!


Stick with us on our Florida Road Trip from Toronto, and we’ll tell you about the places we find to sleep, the places we find to picnic and rest, the beaches we relax at, and the cities we visit.

Yours Truly …. Yula