Interstates are long highways. For example, I 75 runs from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan down to Hialeah, Florida. That length covers 6 states. Fortunately, all these states provide rest areas so you can relax for free, get snacks, and recharge. Florida has between 9 to 13 of them.
Where you rest depends on your situation. Florida has between 9 to 13 rest areas depending on which list you believe. Right now 2 are closed with one re-opening this month and the other in October of 2022.
For up-to-date news, use this link.
To learn more about Florida’s I 75 rest areas, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about plus links to help you find out more information as well as maps to let you find them easier.
The link above is to the Florida Department of Transportation. They are the agency that is in charge of the rest stops in this state. That means they have the official list of rest stops and that is the one that we will be using for this section.
Other lists may contain more locations but we cannot guarantee if their information is accurate or not. The FDOT’s list is updated all the time. We will be starting at the southernmost rest area and work our way north.
This rest stop is closest to both Fort Lauderdale and Miami and it will either be your first pit stop or your last depending on the direction you are going. The only amenity it does not have is an ATM as it is a full-service facility.
You will find that like the I 95 rest areas, nighttime outdoor lights and security will be on-site at these rest stops to improve safety. This rest area is not an exception to that practice.
The best landmark that can be given here is that it is 11 miles west of the toll plaza. We will say more about this rest area in its special section at the end of the article.
There is one rest stop for each direction and they are located in the Big Cyprus National Preserve about 34 miles east of the Naples toll Plaza. The buildings for each rest area are not the same design adding a little flavor to the scenery.
Like the Broward County rest area, these two stops have family restrooms for your added comfort. Vending machines are there as are the standard Florida State nighttime security measures.
One thing that should be noted is that the official site uses county names while other lists may use a different label. For example, this rest area is also called Immokalee, and Broward County is called Weston.
A beautifully designed building awaits you at this rest stop. it has a more modern influence which enhances the surrounding area’s look. This rest stop is 1/2 a mile south of Fort Meyers at exit 131.
While the previous two had separate rest stops for both directions of traffic, this location serves both directions at one location. Everything is here except for an ATM but you are close enough to the city to get extra cash quickly.
The other name for this rest stop is Fort Meyers and the trick to getting to this rest area is that you have to leave the highway at the Daniels Parkway and go to the entrance between I 75 and treeline Ave. There is another entrance on Treeline Ave and both entrances take you on Goldenwood Drive to the rest area’s entrance.
This is the location of one of the closed rest areas. Both are located at exit 240 and are 2 miles south of state road 674. It is the southbound rest area that is closed but according to the official FDOT list, it is supposed to re-open June 2021.
When open, they are full-service rest areas and there are family restrooms, full facilities, security. The other name for this pair of rest stops is Ruskin and they are rather plain Jane types of rest stops. There is no scenic view, hiking, or other activities except for a pet area, picnic tables, and a place to stretch your legs.
If you travel 40 more miles north from the Hillsborough rest areas, you will find this pair of rest stops. The buildings here are quite large and dominate the landscape. From the images we saw, there is plenty of parking available and you have all the amenities the other rest areas have. No ATM and no family restrooms.
Located at exit 279, these rest stops are 1 mile south of state road 54. The other name you will find this pair of rest areas listed under is Wesley Chapel. This rest area location is also just north of Tampa after you get past all the by-pass highways.
This is the other location that has closed the southbound rest area for construction. It may be a recent closure as it is not scheduled to re-open until October 2022. The northbound rest stop is located 6 miles north of state road 50 and US 98 at exit 301 while the closed location is found at exit 309 1 mile south of county road 476B.
When open they are full-service facilities with family restrooms, vending machines, security, and other amenities. The buildings look more like modern post offices than a rest stop building. The images show that they are kept up well and their other name is Bushnell.
Also known as Ocala rest areas, there are separate facilities for both directions of traffic. The southbound rest area is located 3 miles south of state road 200 near exit 350, while the northbound one is 4 miles north of state road 484 and near exit 341.
The images show a wide-open rest area with a few trees for shade. There seem to be lots of parking at these locations. The buildings are simple in design and also remind us of city post offices. They are full-service facilities with family restrooms and nighttime security, vending machines, pet areas, and places to sit and relax.
Its more commonly known name is Micanopy and it is a full-service facility as well. The only amenity missing that we can see are ATMs but that is understandable.
The buildings are very nicely designed and the landscaping alone makes stopping here worth it. You may feel like you are on a plantation or ranch. On your map, you should find them 1 mile south of state road 121 near exit 382
Otherwise known as Lake City, the best landmarks to give is that they are 2 miles south of US 41 & 441 near exit 414. This is either the last stop heading north or the second stop heading south. There is a southbound welcome center almost 2 miles south of the Florida-Georgia state line at mile marker 470.
This rest area does come with ATM service as well as everything else the other rest stops have including family restrooms and security. The green roofs and tan building color help the structures fit into the environment better.
It is a welcome center where you can stop freshen up and get information about the state you are entering. It is not on the official list so we are not sure which agency oversees its maintenance, security, and so on.
This stop is located about 1.7 miles south of the state line just before state road 143 and it is called Jennings as that is the town it is near. We are also not sure of what amenities are at this stop except for restrooms, picnic area, and drinking water.
Or otherwise known as Truck Comfort Weigh Stations. While there are limited facilities here, these rest stops are for truckers and they may not look as nice as the ones for other travelers.
We will only list their mile markers and county names while starting from the southern tip going north.
In this section we will again start from the southernmost point and work our way north. we will only provide links to the maps of the different rest stops and add in the contact numbers for each.
Keep in mind the only people who can help you when you have lost something, etc., is the FDOT and you should use the contact numbers.
Broward County - 1-239-479-7700
Collier County - 1-239-479-7700
Lee County - 1-239-479-7700
Hillsborough County - 1-813-443-4858
Pasco County - 1-813-443-4858
Sumter County - 1-352-622-6279
Marion County - 1-352-622-6279
Alachua County - 1-386-758-7660
Columbia County - 1-386-758-7660
Hamilton County Welcome Center -
Except for the welcome center, all of the rest areas mentioned in the above list are open to northbound traffic. Construction projects and other maintenance issues may close different rest stops without any notice.
You should check the official FDOT site to get updates on the I 75 rest stops before you travel. They may also re-open without any notice.
The above information applies to the southbound traffic rest areas. Except that the Hamilton County or Jennings welcome center only services southbound traffic. Also, at the time of this writing, the Hillsborough and Sumter Counties rest stops are still closed until further notice.
All the other rest stops for southbound traffic are open and ready to meet your basic travel needs. Don’t forget to read our article on the rules of rest stops and the time limits many states impose to see Florida’s current regulations.
This bi-directional rest stop is given its own space because it is located in an interesting spot. It is right next to alligator alley and that is a very important detail if you have pets and small children.
There is a fenced pet area but you should take extra caution when stopping there and roaming about. On the lighter side, there is also information on the everglades at this stop. This link to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will provide you with even more info on this area.
There are not a lot of rest areas along this interstate in Florida. But they are well equipped, have great security and some reviewers have said that the security people are armed.
Just be careful as you are in a state that has unique wildlife roaming-free that are not found in other states. Watch your small children and pets carefully when you stop.