Are you looking for the best camping in Florida? If so, then this article is for you. Florida has some of the best camping spots in the country, from pristine beaches to lush forests and stunning state parks.
In this ultimate guide to camping in Florida, we’ll take you through the best places to pitch your tent, RV, or cabin. We’ll also give you tips on what to pack, when to go, and what to do while you’re there. So, let’s dive in!
Types of Camping in Florida
When it comes to camping in Florida, there are three main types: RV camping, tent camping, and cabin camping. Each has its benefits, and your choice will depend on your preferences.
1. RV Camping
RV camping is the most popular type of camping in Florida. It’s perfect for those who want to bring all the comforts of home with them on their camping trip. Many RV parks offer full hookups to access electricity, water, and sewer. This type of camping is perfect for families or groups of friends who want to enjoy the outdoors while having all the amenities they need.
2. Tent Camping
Tent camping is the classic form of camping. It’s perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in nature truly. Florida has various tent camping options, from primitive campsites to more developed campgrounds with amenities like showers and restrooms. Tent camping is ideal for solo travelers or couples who want a more rustic experience.
3. Cabin Camping
Cabin camping is an excellent option for those who want to experience the outdoors but still want some of the comforts of home. Many cabins in Florida come with air conditioning, heating, and even Wi-Fi. This type of camping is perfect for those who want to have fun in the great outdoors.
top 12 Best Places for Camping in Florida – Detailed Guide
Now that you know the types of camping available in Florida, let’s look at some of the best places to go camping in the Sunshine State.
1. State Parks
Florida has some of the most beautiful state parks in the country, and they’re perfect for camping. Following are some of the best state parks for camping in Florida.
2. Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is located in the Florida Keys and is one of Florida’s most popular state parks. It offers RV and tent camping and has the best beaches in the state. The park also has a marina, boat rentals, and a concession stand.
3. Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach State Park is located in the panhandle of Florida and is known for its beautiful white sand beaches. The park offers RV and tent camping, including showers, restrooms, and a camp store. The park also has a variety of hiking trails.
4. Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is located in St. Augustine and is an excellent option for those who want to be close to the city while enjoying the great outdoors. The park offers RV and tent camping and has a variety of amenities like showers, restrooms, and a camp store. The park is also home to a beautiful beach.
5. National Parks
Florida has three national parks, which makes Florida the best camping in Florida, each with unique camping options.
6. Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is located in South Florida and has unique camping experiences. The park features both primitive and developed campsites and is an excellent option for those who want to experience the wilderness of the Everglades.
7. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is in South Florida and is known for its stunning coral reefs. The park offers boat-in camping on a few of the islands in the park, including Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key. These campsites are primitive, so be prepared to bring your supplies.
8. Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is situated about 70 miles off the coast of Key West and is only accessible by boat or seaplane. The park offers primitive camping on the island, and visitors must bring their supplies, including water. However, the stunning views and unique experience make it worthwhile.
9. Private Campgrounds
Florida is home to many private campgrounds offering various camping options. Here are some of the best private campgrounds in Florida.
10. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is located in Orlando and is an excellent option for families. The campground offers RV, tent camping, cabins, and amenities like a pool, arcade, and restaurants. The campground also has daily activities for kids, like sing-alongs and movies under the stars.
11. KOA Campgrounds
KOA Campgrounds are in Florida and offer various camping options, including RV and tent camping, cabins, and glamping. Many of the campgrounds have amenities like pools, playgrounds, and dog parks.
12. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located in Live Oak and is known for its live music events. The park offers RV and tent camping, cabins, and amenities like a pool, disc golf course, and restaurant. The park also has a variety of activities, including kayaking and fishing.
Best Time for Camping in Florida
Florida is known for its warm weather, but it’s important to remember that it also has a hurricane season. The best time to go camping in Florida is during the winter when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. However, if you want to go camping during the summer, watch the weather and be prepared for potential storms.
Essential Camping Gear for Florida
No matter what type of camping you choose, there are some essential items that you should bring with you. Here are some must-have items for camping in Florida.
Bring a sturdy tent that can withstand storms and windy conditions if you’re tent camping.
2. Sleeping bags
Florida nights can be cool, especially during the winter months. Bring a warm sleeping bag or blanket to keep you comfortable.
3. Cooking equipment
Bring a portable stove and cooking utensils if you plan on cooking during your camping trip.
4. Bug spray and sunscreen
Florida is known for mosquitoes and sun, so bring plenty of bug spray and sunscreen to protect yourself.
5. Water bottles and hydration systems
Staying hydrated is essential in Florida’s warm climate, so bring plenty of water bottles or hydration systems.
Preparing for Camping in Florida
Before you head out on your camping trip, the following are a few things you should do to prepare.
1. Booking a campsite
Make sure to book your campsite in advance, especially during peak season. Many camps in Florida fill up quickly, so it’s essential to reserve your spot early.
2. Rules and regulations
Make sure you learn the rules and regulations of the campground or park you’re staying at. This will help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable camping experience.
3. Safety precautions
Florida has a variety of potential hazards, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and wildlife. Bring a first-aid kit and familiarize yourself with the safety procedures in an emergency.
4. Tips for camping with kids
If you’re camping with kids, bring plenty of activities to keep them entertained, like board games, frisbees, and balls. Planning activities specifically for them, like nature scavenger hunts or campfire stories, is also a good idea.
Fun Activities while Camping in Florida
There are plenty of fun activities to do while camping in Florida. Here are some of the best things to do.
1. Beach activities
Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, so take advantage of them. You can swim, sunbathe, play beach volleyball, or even try your hand at surfing.
2. Hiking trails
Florida has a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. The best hiking trails include the Florida Trail, the Apalachicola National Forest, and the Big Cypress National Preserve.
3. Kayaking and canoeing
Florida has many rivers, lakes, and springs, making it an excellent destination for kayaking and canoeing. Some of the best places to paddle include the Suwannee River, the Ichetucknee River, and Rainbow Springs.
4. Wildlife watching
Florida has various wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and birds. Bring binoculars and a camera to capture all the fantastic wildlife sightings.
Florida has some of the clearest skies in the country, making it an excellent destination for stargazing. The best places to visit stars include Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park.
Best Food for Camping in Florida
Florida is known for its seafood and local produce, making it a great destination for foodies. Here are some of the best foods to eat while camping in Florida.
1. Seafood dishes
Some of the best seafood dishes in Florida include shrimp and grits, conch fritters, and grouper sandwiches.
2. Local produce and fruits
Florida is known for its oranges, key limes, and strawberries. Visit a local farmer’s market to try some of the freshest produce.
3. Grilling tips and recipes
Grilling is a popular activity while camping in Florida. Some of the best foods to grill include burgers, hot dogs, and fresh seafood. Bring plenty of charcoal and lighter fluid to get your grill going.
Unique Experiences while Camping in Florida
Florida is known for its unique experiences, and camping is no exception. Here are some of the fantastic experiences to have while camping in Florida.
1. Mermaid shows
If you are camping in the Florida Keys, check out the weekly mermaid shows at the Theater of the Sea. These shows feature live mermaids and are a unique experience for the whole family.
2. Airboat rides
Airboat rides are a popular activity in the Everglades. These high-speed boat rides take you through the swamps and marshes of the Everglades and are a great way to see wildlife up close.
3. Alligator wrestling
If you’re feeling brave, you can try alligator wrestling. Many parks and attractions offer alligator shows, where you can watch trained professionals handle these powerful animals.
Safety Considerations while Camping in Florida
Florida has a variety of potential hazards, so it’s essential to take safety precautions while camping. The following are some things to keep in mind.
Florida is known for its thunderstorms and hurricanes, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for potential storms.
Wildlife safety tips
Florida is home to alligators, snakes, and other potentially dangerous wildlife. Make sure to keep a safe distance and never approach or feed wildlife.
Camping with pets
Many campgrounds in Florida allow pets, but check the rules and regulations before bringing your furry friend. Keeping your pet on a leash and cleaning up afterward is also vital.
Make sure to have a list of emergency contacts, including the phone number for the campground office and local emergency services.
Sustainable Camping Practices in Florida
Camping is about enjoying the great outdoors, so practicing sustainable camping is important. Here are some tips for sustainable camping in Florida.
Leave No Trace principles.
Ensure to follow the Leave No Trace principles, which include packing out all your trash and respecting wildlife and other campers.
Eco-friendly camping gear
Consider investing in eco-friendly camping gear, like solar-powered lanterns or reusable water bottles. This will help reduce your impact on the environment.
Local conservation efforts
Many parks and campgrounds in Florida have conservation programs in place. Consider volunteering or donating to support these efforts.
Best Camping in Florida for Families
Florida is a great destination for families; many campgrounds cater to kids. Here are some of the best campgrounds for families in Florida.
Some of the best family-friendly campgrounds in Florida include Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Camp Gulf, and Jellystone Park.
Activities for kids
Many campgrounds in Florida have activities specifically for kids, like arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and movies under the stars.
Safety tips for camping with kids
When camping with kids, keep a close eye on them and establish clear rules and boundaries. It’s also important to bring plenty of activities and snacks to entertain them.
Best Camping in Florida for Couples
Camping is a great activity for couples, and Florida has many romantic campgrounds. Here are some of the best campgrounds for teams in Florida.
Some of the most romantic campgrounds in Florida include Myakka River State Park, Hontoon Island State Park, and Anastasia State Park.
Activities for couples
Couples can enjoy the best camping in Florida activities like stargazing, hiking, and kayaking while camping in Florida. It’s also an excellent opportunity to disconnect from technology and spend quality time together.
Tips for planning a romantic camping trip
Bring plenty of candles, blankets, and other romantic touches to make your camping trip memorable. Planning a particular activity or surprise for your significant other is also a good idea.
Best Camping in Florida for Solo Travelers
Camping is an excellent activity for solo travelers, and Florida has many campgrounds that cater specifically to solo travelers. Here are some of the best campgrounds for solo travelers in Florida.
Some of the best solo-friendly campgrounds in Florida include Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge, O’leno State Park, and Highlands Hammock State Park.
Activities for solo travelers
Solo travelers can enjoy activities like hiking, kayaking, and wildlife watching while camping in Florida. It’s also an excellent opportunity to meet other solo travelers and make new friends.
Safety tips for camping alone
When camping alone, it’s essential to keep safety in mind. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the campground, and let someone know where you’ll be staying and when you plan to return.
Best Camping in Florida for Group Trips
Camping is a great activity for groups, and Florida has many campgrounds that can accommodate large groups. Here are some of the best campgrounds for group trips in Florida.
Some of the best group-friendly campgrounds in Florida include Fort De Soto Park, Juniper Springs Recreation Area, and Lake Louisa State Park.
Activities for groups
While camping in Florida, groups can enjoy group hikes, meals, and campfire games. It’s also an excellent opportunity to bond with friends and make new memories.
Tips for planning a group camping trip
Make sure to communicate logistics and expectations clearly with everyone in your group. It’s also a good idea to assign tasks, like meal planning and cleaning, to different group members.
The best camping in Florida is an exciting adventure that offers something for everyone. Various campgrounds and activities provide endless opportunities to explore the state’s natural beauty and unique attractions.
Whether camping with family, friends, or solo, planning and practicing safety and sustainable camping is important; with the right gear and mindset, camping in Florida can be a truly unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, grab your tent, and prepare for an adventure in the Sunshine State!
Do I need a permit to camp in Florida?
Many campgrounds in Florida require a permit or reservation in advance. Ensure to check the rules and regulations of the campground before planning your trip.
Can I bring my pet camping in Florida?
Many campgrounds in Florida allow pets, but check the rules and regulations before bringing your furry friend.
What is the perfect time of year to go camping in Florida?
The best time to go camping in Florida is during winter when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. However, if you want to go camping during the summer, watch the weather and be prepared for potential storms.
What should I bring camping in Florida?
Essential items to bring camping in Florida include a sturdy tent, warm sleeping bags, cooking equipment, bug spray and sunscreen, and water bottles or hydration systems.