Camping in Florida: Best Florida Campgrounds
Camping in Northern Florida |Camping in Florida Panhandle | Camping in Central Florida | Camping in South Florida | Camping in the Florida Keys | Florida Camping Tips | Florida Essential Camping Items | Free Camping in Florida
Camping is quite popular in Florida, due to its beautiful natural scenery, warm weather, and abundance of state and national parks.
Florida is home to many different types of camping experiences, ranging from primitive camping in state parks to luxurious camping in private RV resorts.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida’s state parks alone had over 13 million visitors in 2020.
Many of these visitors enjoy the state parks for their camping activities. Additionally, Florida’s national parks, such as the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, also attract large numbers of visitors for camping and other outdoor activities.
Florida is a beautiful state to visit for anyone who enjoys being outdoors.
Camping in Florida is a popular leisure activity for both locals and tourists. 🏕
Its popularity is continuing to grow as more people are starting to live a more nomadic lifestyle and leaving the stuffy office life behind.
Whether you are looking to be on the road and camp in Florida for long periods of time or just looking for a weekend getaway in the outdoors, we have picked out the best camping spots in Florida for you.
The Best Places to Camp in Florida
I think most of us agree that waking up with a view is one of the best ways to start a day and a vacation.
When you choose to camp you get to create your own beautiful landscape to surround yourself with.
Beyond the stunning sandy shores, Florida has so many backdrops you can choose to enjoy your adventure in.
So park your RV/Van or pitch your tent, Florida camping is waiting for you.
With many freshwater lakes, mangroves, beaches, and of course the vast and serene everglades you will find plenty of wildlife to wake up to.
Below we will discuss the best places in Florida for camping and break it down for you by area. So whether you are traveling the whole state or looking for a specific area you will know where to go and what weather to expect.
Besides breaking down the best spots to camp per area, the weather per region. We have also mentioned the top camping gear in Florida that we recommend, as well as the best activities and highlights of each region.
Best Places to Camp in Northern Florida
1. Anastasia State Park
With over 1,600 acres Anastasia State Park has it all. Beaches, fishing, sand dunes, picnic tables, shelling, and of course beach camping.
These are just some of the many things to do an explore just steps away from your traveling homestead.
All 139 campsites are equipped with water and electricity along with built-in grills, picnic table and fire rings.
Located South of Jacksonville and just North of St Augustine you will be able to explore the city life and amenities with an escape when returning home for the night.
Visit America’s oldest city. St. Augustine is full of things to do and just a hop skip and jump away.
2. Suwannee River State Park
This campsite is just shy of the Georgia border with Florida. This is the perfect place if you are not looking to be near the beaches in Florida. Suwannee River State Park is a beautiful area covered in Cyprus trees and southern magnolia.
The river is the perfect place to kayak or canoe enjoying the wildlife this park has to offer.
Here you are liking to see turtles, herons, hawks and many other types of birds. It is great for any nature lover or bird watcher.
Weather to Expect in North Florida
- Summer months (June to August): high temperatures ranging from the low 80s to low 90s (°F), with high humidity and occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
- Winter months (December to February): daytime temperatures in the 60s to low 70s (°F), with cool nights in the 40s to 50s (°F). The weather is generally mild, with occasional cool fronts bringing lower temperatures.
Best Camping in Florida Panhandle
3. Topsail Hill Preserve State Parks
This might be some of the best rv camping in Florida.
With over 150 rv sites that have full 30 or 50-amp hookups, laundry facilities, and shower facilities with hot water you might consider this an RV resort if you prefer a little more luxury when you camp.
There are also 32 cabins/bungalows that are available for rent if you start off with tent camping in mind and chose a little more of a glamping experience.
For all you tent campers there are 22 sites on elevated pads with in-ground fire rings and of course a grill and picnic table. These elevated pads are great during the rainy season.
There are over 15 miles of marked hiking trails but my favorite one is hands down the paved path to the sandy beaches.
4. Grayton Beach State Park
This is a great place to set up camp. Know as one of the top beach destinations in the country you will only be steps away from the famous sugar sand.
With a 2,000-acre state park, there is plenty of activity you can find. With lush vegetation around you, privacy is not an issue and will make you feel secluded in your campsite.
If you feel a little more adventurous pack out to one of the many cabins or pitch a tent for the night. This will add some charm and take you back to the roots of camping.
5. Big Lagoon State Park
An incredible escape in the panhandle with pine flatwoods and saltwater marshes. Paddle or hike your way around this beautiful State park.
The big ticket is the many trails that you navigate via the boardwalks to dirt paths.
These trails offer great views of the shallow bays and woodlands.
They are also dog friendly which is a huge plus. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
Weather in the Panhandle
Summer months (June to August): The Florida Panhandle experiences hot and humid weather with high temperatures ranging from the low 80s to the high 90s (°F). Afternoon thunderstorms are also common during this time. So be sure to plan for some rainy-day activities while you camp.
Winter months (December to February): The weather in the Florida Panhandle is generally mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from the 60s to low 70s (°F) and cool nights in the 40s to 50s (°F). Occasional cool fronts can bring lower temperatures.
Best Places to Camp in Central Florida
6. Turtle Beach Campground
This is one of the few campgrounds with direct beach access. The campground has 39 RV and camping sites.
They have a kayak launch, restrooms and hot showers and coin laundry machines available to guests.
Take the free trolley over to Siesta Key or into town when you are ready to explore the local scenery.
7. Ocala National Forest
Ocala is in the heart of Florida’s horse country.
There are several campgrounds that are great for tent camping and hammock camping but only a few in the area with full RV camping hookups.
With many hiking trails, mountain biking trails or even horseback riding trails you will be sure to fill all your days with fun and adventure.
Ocala National Forest is a dream come true for any camper.
Be sure to take a day trip from here to Crystal River, where you can kayak with Manatees.
8. Hillsborough River State Park
Offering both RV and tent camping right on the Hillsborough river you will be sure to enjoy these gorgeous campgrounds.
Be sure to ask for some of the most sought-after waterfront rv sites. Each site has a fire ring and picnic tables and is equipped with water.
Each loop in the park offers restrooms with hot showers and there is a dump station on-site for your convenience.
This is a great area full of lush scenic landscapes with plenty of nature trails to keep you busy during your stay.
Central Florida Weather
- Summer months (June to August): high temperatures ranging from the mid 80s to mid 90s (°F), with high humidity and frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
- Winter months (December to February): daytime temperatures in the 60s to low 70s (°F), with cool nights in the 40s to 50s (°F). The weather is generally mild, with occasional cool fronts are possible.
Best Camping in South Florida
9. Yacht Haven Park and Marina
Located in the city limits of Fort Lauderdale this is an oasis inside the city. You will enjoy waterfront sites on the South fork of the new river.
Hop on a paddleboard or kayak and enjoy a relaxing time going up and down all the surrounding channels.
With a beautiful pool and tiki bar on site you will be sure to enjoy your days relaxing in the Florida sun.
When the sun does finally set be sure to use their concierge service to get remarkable suggestions for dining, activities, and attractions in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm.
This is a must-see on your list of RV parks in Florida and there are plenty of cheap things to do in Fort Lauderdale to keep you entertained.
10. Everglades National Park
Can you guess how many endangered or threatened animals are found in the Florida Everglades?
Over 30 animals including small and large tooth sawfish, loggerhead sea turtles, and the West Indian Manatee call the everglades home.
The Everglades is also the third-largest national park in the contiguous United States. It covers over 1.5 million acres of South Florida.
This is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators coexist! How cool is that.
It is also the perfect spot to come and enjoy an airboat ride. It is also one of the best parks to visit in South Florida.
With traditional camping available and the means to get there, you can also get to some very remote camping that can only be accessed by kayaks and canoes. So if you are looking to camp with no neighbors, this is your spot.
11. Biscayne National Park
Within Biscayne National Park Camping, you have two different camping options, both can only be reached by boat. This makes for a more remote camping experience, but also limits who can camp in the park.
11a. Boca Chita Key
This is the most popular camping spot in Biscayne National Park, it is where the lighthouse is. Here you will find restrooms and hiking. However, this campsite has no drinking water or electricity or showers, so be prepared for a more primitive campsite.
11b. Elliot Key
This campsite is also only accessed by boats, but it is a little larger than boca chita key. Here you will find cold showers, as well as drinking water.
However, it is encouraged to bring your own drinking water as well in case theirs goes down. They also have grills and picnic tables to use while you are camping.
South Florida Weather
- Summer months (June to August): high temperatures in the low 90s to low 100s (°F), with high humidity and occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
- Winter months (December to February): daytime temperatures in the 70s (°F), with cool nights in the 50s to 60s (°F). The weather is generally mild, with occasional cool fronts bringing lower temperatures.
Best Places to Camp The Florida Keys
12. Bahia Honda State Park
Take a break from your computer background and get a real-life view of it in the Florida keys.
Crystal-clear waters here are some of the best in Florida. It’s soft salty breeze with the palm trees swaying will make you want to pinch yourself.
With full hook-up sites (water and electricity) to more primitive camping (no electricity hook-ups) you will be sure to enjoy your new temporary home.
All sites come with picnic tables and fire pits.
For those with their sea legs, there are boat slips available for boat camping.
13. Dry Tortugas National Park
Of the coast of Key West, comprised of 7 islands is Dry Tortugas National Park.
The protected coral reef offers incredibly clear and unspoiled water with an abundance of sea life. Perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.
Also, home to the 19th-century Fort Jefferson for any history buffs that like to learn while they are on vacation.
A bare-bones camping experience under the stars. Outside the walls of Fort Jefferson, only accessible by boat or seaplane is some very remote camping in Florida.
No electric hookups, No laundry facilities but you will find some unspoiled waterfront tent camping.
These primitive tent sites will allow you to explore the crystal-clear water of the Florida Keys.
Snorkel with many of the local tropical fish that call these waters home or find the soft sand for a relaxing day in the sun.
This is a true gem to add into your Florida camping adventure.
14. John Pennecamp Coral Reef Camp
Another great spot in the Florida Keys that you might want to consider camping at in .
Here you can spend your nights sleeping under the stars and your days exploring the coral reefs. Not a bad way to spend a vacation.
The campsites are primitive and there is no electricity access. But they do have restrooms, a water hook-up, picnic tables and fire pits.
They never allow more than 24 people on their campsite, so you have to make reservations beforehand, but you can ensure it won’t be overcrowded.
Florida Keys Weather
- Summer months (June to August): high temperatures in the low 90s (°F), with high humidity and occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
- Winter months (December to February): daytime temperatures in the 70s (°F), with cool nights in the 60s (°F). The weather is generally mild, with occasional cool fronts bringing lower temperatures.
Tips for Camping in Florida
Florida is known as the sunshine state, due to it’s phenomenal weather and year-round summer climate. However, you have to be prepared for the rain. Although, it is known as the sunshine state Florida tends to see a lot of rain from May – December.
Even in the dry season, you should be prepared for rain at some point while you are camping in Florida.
1. Invest in a Waterproof Tent – If you are tent camping, be sure to invest in a good waterproof tent to ensure you will stay dry.
You are also going to want to ensure that your tent has good ventilation. Even though it rains often, you are going to want to enjoy the breeze. This is help keep you cool and prevents your tent from getting musky.
2. Know before you go – It is always a good idea to double-check the rules of your campground before you go. Some campsites in Florida are adults only, some will have bathrooms with hot showers and some will not. Some Florida state parks with have picnic tables, and kitchens, while others will not.
Be prepared for what your campsite offers.
3. Bring Plenty of Bug Spray – There is nothing worse than ruining your camping trip by forgetting your bug spray at home and getting destroyed by mosquitos. Be sure to bring plenty of bug spray, bug bands and even citronella candles. You can never be too prepared.
4. Bring a Headlamp or Flashlight – It will get dark at night and those late-night bathroom calls can be a lot easier if you have a headlamp or flashlight to help guide you. Don’t fully rely on your phone’s flashlight to guide you. Come prepared with some extra light.
5. Know Your Wildlife – Before you head out on any camping adventure it is a good idea to know the wildlife that you may run into on your trip. Knowing your surrounding and what you might run into will help you in case something might happen.
6. Don’t forget the Sunscreen – Here are the best sunscreens for Florida
Can you camp on the beach in Florida?
Yes, there are several campsites in Florida that are located on the beach. If you are looking for beach camping in Florida check out these popular campsites.
- North Beach Camp Resort ( Northern Florida)
- Turtle Beach Campground (Central West Coast Florida)
- Sebastian Inlet State Park ( Central East Coast Florida)
- Clubhouse Beach (South Florida)
- Sigsbee Campground (Florida Keys)
These are the best beach camping spots in Florida that we have found laid out by region.
Are There Free Camping Spots in Florida?
Yes, there are free camping spots in Florida that you can take advantage of with a little extra planning.
Most of the free spots require advanced bookings to reserve your spot, but if you plan ahead and are ok with primitive camping you will be able to find free camping.
Here is a list of our favorite FREE CAMPING SPOTS in Florida
Florida River Island ( Panhandle)
Canoe Creek Hunter Camp (Central Florida)
Serenova Tract ( West Coast Florida)
DuPuis Campground (South Florida)
Beware that most free camping in Florida is more primitive camping. There most likely won’t be bathrooms or amenities to use. But they are great spots if you are looking to save some money on your holiday.
Packing essentials for camping in Florida
Florida is a great state to take advantage of the outdoors and camping. However, it can be a very wet state. There are a few things that you are going to want to ensure you bring with you camping in Florida.
- Waterproof Tent and Gear – It rains in Florida, so come prepared with waterproof tent and gear.
- Headlamp – I said this before, but these come in so handy. We love them for when we are starting a fire, using the bathroom or pretty much any activity at night. They come in so handy.
- Bug Spray – You are going to NEED this.
- Utilities Knife – These come in more handy than you would think
- Solar Phone Charger – If you are wanting to keep your phone charged while camping in Florida these guys are life changers.
Camping in Florida is always a great option whether you are looking for beach camping, tent sites, RV camping or even hammock camping there is a spot in Florida for you.
Hopefully, after reading this article we have convinced you to come camp in Florida. Now pack your bags and great ready for the outdoors of Florida.