Activities on I-75 Between Ocala & Tampa, Florida

Ocala is a city located in central Florida approximately 20 miles south of Gainesville. Ocala is home to the Ocala National Forest, the second largest national forest in Florida. Tampa is a major coastal city located in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area. In between the two cities are 100 miles and highway and several attractions.

  1. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

    • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, approximately 12 miles off I-75. The state park is famous in Florida for its live mermaid performances. Women and men dressed in fins perform underwater in an aquarium-like setting. Buccaneer Bay, an on-site water park, opens in the summer as another attraction for visitors. The state park also offers canoeing and kayaking tours around the Weeki Wachee River.

    Juniper Springs Recreation Area

    • Juniper Springs Recreation Area is a year-round campground in the Ocala National Forest. The recreation area is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Ocala. Visitors come to the Ocala National Forest to take advantage of acres of wildlife area. Natural springs provide miles of paddling opportunities and swimming holes. Hikers report sighting of several wild animals including alligators, deer, black bear, turkey and a variety of bird species. Overnight campers are welcome to spend the night at one of Juniper Springs’ campsites. Reservations are not required, but are recommended during the peak season.

    Dade City

    • Dade City is a historic town situated approximately 10 miles off I-75. The downtown area of Dade City is home to several antique shops that pay homage to the city’s historical roots. Pioneer Florida Museum, located in Dade City, displays life for pioneers in central Florida in the 1800s. The museum holds regular community events, which include public dances, tractor pulls, train shows and concerts.

    Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve

    • Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is located approximately 20 miles off I-75. Green Swamp consists of nearly 110,000 acres of swamp land. The area is home to an abundance of central Florida’s wild flora and fauna. Its habitat is a mixture of sand hills, flat woods, oak hammocks, river swamp and cypress ponds. Green Swamp offers acres of undeveloped land for hiking, bird-watching, biking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and paddling. Overnight camping is permitted, though visitors must adhere to Leave No Trace principles. Cutting down trees and disturbing wildlife are strictly prohibited.

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