Stop 1: Three Sisters Springs, FL
This was a very intense day as we planned to see different animals and also make several stops. Three Sisters Springs is a small state park where manatees come during the winter seeking for a warmer water. To get into the park you need to take a shuttle from this location: 915 N Suncoast Blvd Crystal River, FL 34429 (no need to go to the visitor center which is ~5 min drive). In the park there are 2 pathways, it will be enough to spend there 30 min to catch the next shuttle to take you back. Park has a lot of volunteers who will tell you different facts about the park and manatees. You can also take kayaking or snorkeling tour to get closer to the animals, but you are not allowed to come too close. Animals are resting there, don't disturb them.
Stop 2: Homosassa Springs, FL
Nice place to see hippos, gators and some birds. From the visitor center you will take either a boat or a tram to access the park. If you take a boat you can see gators and some birds on your way.
Stop 3: Tampa, FL
Tampa has a nice riverwalk park. A good place to stop after a long drive for a short walk and coffee. Tampa is Florida's major business center, it has several museums (art, science) and amusement parks. The city was built by Spanish and Cuban workers in the 20th century.
Stop 4: St. Petersburg, FL
We were so lucky to see Escher exhibition at the Dali Museum! I would recommend this museum and walk in the area around it. There are also Museum of Fine Artsand Mahaffey Orchestra Theater. The town also has plans to build a massive pier with different entertainments, but it will be completed around 2018.
Stop 5: Venice Beach, FL
We arrived there when it was already dark, but we enjoyed their main street with lots of life, restaurants and shops. We walked to the beach where they had a free concert. Very nice buildings as well, looks like a nice place to retire :) Apparently the town is known for its beaches and warm climate.
Stop 6: Naples, FL
We picked this stop to sleep and be close to the Everglades National Park.