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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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Key West, Florida
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Punta Gorda, Florida

Central Florida: Set a table in the Sunshine State



From seafood to farm-fresh produce to succulent steaks, Central Florida is a movable feast. Start at the Gulf Coast for prime seafood, then move inland where strawberries and prime cuts await hungry travelers.

Drive 172 miles, 3 hours, 28 minutes

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Venice

Starting Point

With its relaxing Mediterranean vibe, Venice appropriately conjures images of charming beaches, tranquil waters, quaint shops and delicious food. This “Paradise on the Gulf” has several authentic Italian restaurants, but locals rave about Cassariano Italian Eatery, with its amazing balance of hearty bistro flavors served in a contemporary Italian cuisine style.

RECOMMENDED STOPOVERS 

Arbor Terrace RV Resort
Bradenton, FL
(888) 310-4975


2. Sarasota

23.7 miles, 40 minutes

Eclectic eateries abound in this circus town, and Painter’s Palate is the big top of fun, providing a delightfully hip vibe with extraordinary food with an Asian fusion twist. This hidden gem has a vast selection of dishes that promise to “bring beauty to your belly,” from the delectable mahi-mahi in a tangy mango sauce to the beef tenderloin, with a stunning mushroom and tangerine sauce.

Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

Getty Images/Wavebreak Media


3. St. Petersburg

38.3 miles, 59 minutes

The “Sunshine City” is home to a thriving restaurant scene, but nothing beats a grouper sandwich on the beach in the St. Petersburg sunshine. Kick back on the patio at Guppy’s on the Beach and enjoy a fresh grouper sandwich served picatta style with a lemon caper beurre blanc sauce. Dockside Dave’s offers a grouper sandwich (voted Best Grouper in the South by Southern Living magazine) served six different ways. Gussie up for dinner (or not) at the landmark Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.

RECOMMENDED STOPOVERS 

Tampa East RV Resort
Dover, FL
(877) 361-5208


4. Tampa

23.9 miles, 31 minutes

Treasure awaits food lovers in Tampa, and that includes the city’s signature sandwich, the Cuban. Brocato’s Sandwich Shop serves up a massive Cuban sandwich featuring succulent roast pork that melts in your mouth, along with Genoa salami, sliced ham and imported Swiss cheese, all piled on fresh-baked Cuban bread. Aguila Sandwich Shop offers a hearty Cuban sandwich with thinly sliced ham, shredded roast pork, tangy Swiss cheese and a side of salsa picante.


5. Plant City

46.5 miles, 39 minutes

What an apt name for the place known as the  “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World,” which is home to almost 3,000 farms and nurseries. The Florida Strawberry Festival takes you back to a time when fairs and festivals brought members of the community together to celebrate the harvest. If you miss the spring festival, don’t despair: these sweet, juicy fresh-from-the-farm beauties are available from December through April.


6. Haines City

39.6 miles, 39 minutes

Welcome to the heart of Florida, where life bustles and people-watching is a sport, especially at one of the most popular steak houses in town, Manny’s Original Chophouse. Mouth-watering steaks cooked to perfection, char-grilled and generously seasoned, served with hot, yeasty rolls, an endless salad and a side dish of your choice. Save room for Key lime pie.