Florida Backroads Travel is your free mentor through some of the most populated areas of the state.

Central West Florida Travel Guide MapCentral West Florida

Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton and Sarasota are major Florida towns in Central West Florida.

You also see some of the most rural and southern areas remaining in the state.

Central West Florida has 8 counties: Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto.

All but Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties are very rural.

Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach are all growing toward each other along the I-4 corridor that connects east Florida to west Florida.

The central part of Central West Florida is urban with large populations in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

With Busch Gardens in the region, and with Orlando only an hour or less away, this area is also a rival to Miami and Orlando in the Florida tourism industry.

Here is a Florida Road Map and a Florida County Map for your enjoyment.

These maps will be useful to you as part of your free Florida travel guide to Central West Florida.


The following free Florida travel guide links will tell you about the many things to do in Central West Florida.

          Central West Florida Art Festivals

          Central West Florida Day Trips

          Central West Florida Heritage Sites

          Central West Florida Museums

          Central West Florida Parks

          Central West Florida Theater

          Central West Florida Tourist Attractions

          Central West Florida Wineries


This free Florida travel guide lists places to stay and eat on the individual town pages.

The individual town pages include a brief history of the town along with my recommended motels, hotels and restaurants.

Each town page also includes a description of at least one bed and breakfast or historic hotel.

Some towns and places in Central West Florida currently on our website are:

  1. Anna Maria
  2. Arcadia
  3. Bradenton
  4. Cortez
  5. Dade City
  6. Englewood
  7. Floral City
  8. Sarasota
  9. St. Petersburg
  10. Tampa
  11. Tarpon Springs
  12. Venice


There are four Central West Florida wineries listed in this free Florida travel guide:

  1. Florida Orange Groves, Inc., St. Petersburg
  2. Keel and Curley Winery, Plant City
  3. Rosa Fiorelli Winery, Inc., Bradenton
  4. Strong Tower Vineyard & Winery, Spring Hill

More information about Florida's wine industry and a list of wineries and vineyards is available at Florida Wineries.


Our free Florida travel guide will tell you about some of the best beaches in Florida. The beaches in Central West Florida are magnificent and sandy from Venice in the south up to Caladesi Island north of Dunedin.

The Gulf of Mexico is usually warmer and calmer than the Atlantic.

The Florida Gulf Coast is troubled once in a while by "red tide".

This is a form of floating algae bloom that kills fish and makes your eyes water.

It won't kill you, but you won't enjoy it.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a website that will tell you the status of red tide currents.

Don't book any beach time if you learn the red tide is around. Many Florida travel brochures and websites won't warn you about this.

For details of Central West Florida beaches, consult Best Beaches In Florida.


  1. Florida Aquarium, Tampa
  2. Ringling Museum, Sarasota
  3. Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
  4. Crystal River Swim With The Manatees
  5. University of Tampa, Tampa
  6. Solomon's Castle, Ona
  7. Weeki Wachee Springs

More information about these and other attractions can be found at Florida Tourist Attractions. 


Central West Florida heritage begins with the early native Americans who dwelled in the area 12,000 years ago.

This region was settled by southerners and other Floridians in the mid to late 1890's.

This heritage is shared by all the counties in Central West Florida. Each county has its fair share of sites that are an important part of Florida history.

A list of these heritage sites is at Central West Florida Heritage Sites.


Central West Florida State Parks offer a tremendous variety of experiences. Camping, boating, beaching and hiking. There is something for everyone.

Your Florida travel experience will be enhanced by visiting one of our beautiful state parks.

More information is available at Central West Florida State Parks.


Our getaways are inns that capture the authentic Florida feeling and have been stayed at by Florida Backroads Travel staff or inspected and rated by established associations.


There is a demand throughout the country for information on day trips and one tank trips. People like the idea of leaving their home, seeing a lot in a day or two, and not breaking the family budget.

Virtually every state, including Florida, has websites and books that focus on the concept of being able to travel from your home and see a lot of interesting places and things.

Florida-Backroads-Travel.com is a Florida travel website that will give you some great ideas for local day trips and one tank trips.

Central West Florida has plenty of safe and scenic, lightly traveled backroads that will take you through interesting Florida towns and attractions. 

Here are some Central West Florida day trips and one tank trips.

Much of the information in our website is available in a series of books for each of Florida's eight geographical regions, along with a separate book covering the entire state titled Florida Backroads Travel. All books are available in Kindle versions and some in soft cover format also.

Click on the book cover for free previews of these books at Amazon.

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This  book   shows you 50 nifty places to visit on less than a tank of gas from major Florida cities.

Click on the cover for a free preview at Amazon.com