Best Camping in Florida: Top 10 Places to Go

In Florida, various camping experiences are available due to the topography, animals, and general climate. You can set up camp on the sand and paddle out in your canoe at daybreak, or you can stay in the marshy wetlands of ancient Florida and look for gators and other wildlife.

best camping in florida

There will be many cautions about hot, sticky, mosquito-filled nights in marshy settings if you look for the best camping in Florida. And although while picking the wrong location at the wrong time will ensure you get this same experience, there are lots of great places to camp when the time is right.

Camping, hiking, motorcycling, and taking in the state's natural beauty without leaving no footprints are all excellent activities in Florida. Camping in Florida gives enthusiasts of the great outdoors access to the entirety of the wild variety since the sunshine state takes outdoor activities seriously. Florida is the ideal place to camp, with more than 12 million acres of public areas and 1,300 miles of coastline. The top ten spots to camp in Florida are included here, along with some recommendations for camping essentials and Florida camping tips.

Top 10 Places to Camp in Florida

Many other outdoor attractions are exclusive to Florida, such as a national park where you can see the best views from the lake and a prehistoric swimming hole where you may camp close to Springs. Campgrounds in Florida will keep you occupied wherever you feel like pitching a tent.

camping in florida

Camping in Florida will be enjoyable and unforgettable for those with a sense of adventure. It is a welcome change from the mundane weekend DIY tasks around the house or at work. The Sunshine State provides the top RV parks at cost-effective rates that guarantee fun and enjoyment for every family member and quality time spent with friends and loved ones. Check out this list of Florida's most significant camping spots, and start planning your trip immediately!

1. Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park

Location:13208 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

Phone:941-361-6511

Website: Myakka River State Park  

When to Visit: Early Spring, late Fall, Winter

Best Campsites:Old Prairie Campground, Palmetto Ridge Campground

Activities:Bicycling, birding, boat tour, camping, fishing, hiking

Myakka River State Park, one of Florida's largest and oldest parks, is centered on its namesake river, which meanders through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, and pinelands. Today, many of the original structures are still in use. In 1985, the Florida legislature designated the Myakka River as a Wild and Scenic River. It is the only river in Florida that has been granted this unique distinction.

While hikers and cyclists explore miles of trails and backroads, boating, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are popular water sports. 38.9-mile loop trails are open to hikers, and if you'd prefer to cruise on the lake, there are daily boat cruises available so you can concentrate on your photos. There are over 90 campsites in the park, and each one contains a water source, an electrical outlet, a fire ring, and a restroom. While you're there, climb up into the canopy of Myakka's palm trees for magnificent views of the park.

“First-time visit! Saw deer on the road, vultures, and lots of gators! We kayaked the river and saw many gators on the banks and swimming. Amenities, outpost, gift shop, and food truck. Also, scenic boat rides are available. A must-see!”

2. Blackwater River State Park

Blackwater River State Park

Location:7720 Deaton Bridge Road, Milton FL 32564

Phone:850-983-5363

Website: Blackwater River State Park   

When to Visit: Fall

Best Campsites: Longleaf Pines, Bear Lake Campground

Activities:Camping, birding, hiking, padding, swimming, picnicking

For fans of Game of Thrones, you must visit Blackwater River State Park. Despite its name, this river has a tint of golden brown that flows through Blackwater State Forest and the nearby park. The forest is rarer than a tropical rainforest since it is one of the last significant contiguous longleaf pine/wiregrass habitats in the world. Blackwater River is a popular spot for canoeists and kayakers and provides chances for a variety of outdoor activities. This park is well-liked for activities including swimming, fishing, camping, and paddling since the river is one of the nation's purest sand-bottom rivers.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Blackwater River offers peace and an extraordinary range of activities. Camping at one of the park's 30 campsites is necessary to take advantage of everything it offers. You can camp along the shorelines of the white sand beaches at one of the 27 accessible plots, 26 of which fit RVs, or you can float, canoe, tube, or kayak down the river's dark tannic waters. A stunning contrast is created as the shoreline's white sand beach gently touches the inky black waters. The Blackwater River is a notable geographical feature, but it's not the only one. The park forest is home to one of the biggest and oldest Atlantic white cedars.

We camped five nights here and loved every minute! It's the cleanest, most friendly campground you'd ever want to stay in. The rangers there are helpful and knowledgeable, especially Aimee. She bent over backward to make our stay perfect!

3. Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest

Location:325 John Knox Road, Suite F-210, Tallahassee, FL 32303

Phone:850-523-8500

Website: Ocala National Forest  

When to Visit: Fall

Best Campsites: Salt Springs, Juniper Springs, Clearwater Lake Campground

Activities:Hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, hunting

The Ocala is a distinctive and fascinating forest that offers a pleasant temperature for outdoor recreation all year. While a summer canoe excursion down a palm-lined creek is a terrific way to spend an August day, the mild winters are delicate for family camping. This central Florida oasis has more than 600 lakes, hundreds of miles of trails, and 14 developed campgrounds with dedicated campsites for both tents and RVs.

A range of recreational options on the forest site depends heavily on water. There are large springs, winding streams, and lakes where you may go water skiing and fishing. When limestone bedrock crumbled, the top layer collapsed and filled with water, creating many picturesque lakes. All four seasons are suitable for camping on the Ocala. Visitors praise the camping facilities in the Ocala National Forest for their cleanliness and visual beauty, and they provide simple access to pursuits like swimming, paddling, wildlife photography, and mountain biking. The wilderness areas of Alexander Springs and Juniper Prairie, among others, are tucked along the Florida National Scenic Trail and offer scattered campsites for hikers.

“Wow! Ocala National Forest RV (and tents) campground. RV sites have FHU. The campground pads are asphalt, level, and clean. Roads are paved.”

4. Long Key State Park

Long Key State Park

Location: 67400 Overseas Highway, Long Key, FL 33001

Phone:305-664-4815

Website: Long Key State Park   

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites:Coconut Cay, Fiesta Key RV Resort

Activities:Birding, camping, fishing, hiking, paddling, snorkeling

Henry Flagler's Long Key Fishing Camp in the Middle Keys previously stood on the island that now houses Long Key State Park, a 965-acre park in Monroe County. It offers plenty of chances to locate your ideal camping location with stunning natural views. Rinse off in the cold waves of the Atlantic to stay cool with the ocean wind. Today, tourists can canoe across a network of lagoons or hike two land trails to explore this island. A panoramic view of the island and its abundance of plant and animal life is available from the observation tower at the end of the Golden Orb Trail, which takes visitors through five different ecological ecosystems.

The park's hike-in, tent-only campsites are situated along the Atlantic Ocean in the Florida Keys. There are no water hookups or electricity, but each tent site has a picnic table, grill, and hammock stand. Campers can use restrooms with chilly outdoor showers. Well-behaved pets are permitted in the campground. Call the park for more information. You can make reservations up to 11 months in advance. Plan ahead of time because the locations fill up rapidly.

“We had an enjoyable time hiking the 1.25-mile Golden Orb Trail through different habitats. It was an easy hike, with no hills, gradual slopes, and inclines. The trail was smooth and sandy. A good place to spot wildlife.”

5. Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park

Location:300 Anastasia Park Road, St. Augustine, FL 32080

Phone:904-461-2033

Website: Anastasia State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Camping, hiking, biking, surfing, swimming, shelling

Activities:Both tourists and wildlife find refuge in Anastasia State Park. Along Salt Run, various wading birds, including the vibrant roseate spoonbill, forage for food. Osprey and eagles rule the skies, and painted buntings and warblers frequently fly through the hammock woodlands. Anastasia State Park is ranked No. 6 and is well-known for its variety of fun recreational pursuits. At Anastasia State Park, you may go camping, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming, and sailing.

Four miles of breathtaking seaside views and 1600 acres of land continue to entice visitors from near and far. Visitors can take their time and enjoy the beach's bright and lovely vistas, float with the waves, or curl up with an excellent book on the soft, sandy coastline. The campground at Anastasia State Park is steeped in history. The park, in northeast Florida, enables campers to take a loop trip along The Ancient Dunes Nature Trail that takes them back in time. However, you need not fear because 80 of the 123 campsites will transport you to the present day with RV-friendly connections.

“Tiny State Park, but beautifully laid out to give you the visual illusion of a much larger state park. Many of the sites are large, with the exception of those on the curves of each loop. They are best for a tent or van camper.”

6. Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park

Location:19158 SW 81st Pl Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432

Phone:352-465-8555

Website: Rainbow Springs State Park  

When to Visit: May to September

Best Campsites:Rainbow Springs State Park Loop

Activities:Camping, fishing, hiking, paddling, tubing, swimming

Three miles north of Dunnellon, on 1,459 acres, is Rainbow Springs State Park, a Florida state park that provides:

  • - Camping.
  • - Tubing in the Rainbow River.
  • - Several outdoor and water-based activities.

More than 10,000 years ago, people began coming to Rainbow Springs, which has lush, mossy hammocks and artificial waterfalls. After touring and trekking through the grounds, you may cool yourself in the pristine, aqua-blue waters, which are a pleasure to behold.

This state park in north-central Florida (about 45 miles south of Gainesville) is home to one of the largest natural springs in the region, as well as an aquatic preserve. To enjoy the park's numerous annual visitors, who describe it as "serene" and "a treasure," the park has created attractions and activities like a river tubing trail, artificial waterfalls, and hiking trails. Bring your snorkeling equipment if you want to immerse yourself in Florida history while camping at Rainbow Springs State Park. Camp nearby to take advantage of the springs for a few days straight. A campsite store, bathrooms and showers, a laundry area, and a playground for children are available as amenities.

“I have kayaked on it dozens of times now, and it is stunning and awe-inspiring every time. If you like nature and kayaking, this is the spot. The water is amazingly clear and cool. This was a perfect way to stay cool on a hot summer day.”

7. Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park

Location: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Phone:305-872-2353

Website: Bahia Honda State Park  

When to Visit: March to May, December

Best Campsites:Buttonwood Campground, Sandsqur Campground, Bayside Campground

Activities:Climbing, camping, hiking, rafting, cave exploration

Located on the renowned Overseas Highway about 130 miles south of Miami on the way to Key West, this park boasts a picture-perfect tropical scenery with pure white sand beaches, turquoise sea views, and a variety of birds and fauna. According to visitors, the Florida Keys' most excellent beaches are found in this park, and the quiet, clear water is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Snorkeling is an exciting activity thanks to the clear seas and underwater scenery. You may learn about the local animals and their habitat at the Sand and Sea Nature Center.

An on-site operator offers daily snorkeling cruises to offshore islands for a closer look at some of the most stunning coral reefs in the world. This operator also provides kayak rentals and a snack bar. Overnight visitors have access to three campgrounds with 80 campsites and three waterfront rental cabins that come completely furnished. The campgrounds at Buttonwood and Sandspur both have RV power hookups and access to centralized restrooms and dump stations. The more distant Bayside campground, which is on the park's north side, does not permit RVs but does allow hammock camping.

“Calusa beach is great for swimming in crystal clear waters, but the best view is on Loggerhead beach. It may be the most beautiful water you will see from land in the continental USA.”

8. Collier-Seminole State Park

Collier-Seminole State Park

Location:20200 Tamiami Trail E, Naples, FL 34114

Phone:239-394-3397

Website: Collier-Seminole State Park  

When to Visit: December to March

Best Campsites:Naples, Kirkland Hammock Campsite

Activities:Camping, bicycling, birding, boating, hiking, picnicking

One of the world's most extensive mangrove swamps, the vast mangrove swamp of South Florida, is partially contained within the 7,271-acre Collier-Seminole State Park. This rare fusion of temperate and tropical native plant communities is home to a diverse range of fauna, including numerous species in danger of extinction. The environment and wildlife at Collier-Seminole State Park are typical of Florida's Everglades. The park contains one of Florida's three original royal palm stands, uncommon elsewhere and coexisting with vast patches of mangrove swamp.

For a chance to see some of these lovely creatures, go for a trek, a bike ride, or a canoe trip down the Blackwater River on one of the park's four nature paths. The campground at the park includes 104 sites, and each one is equipped with electricity, water, a grill, and a picnic table. Additionally, on-site are a centralized bathing facility, laundry facility, and dump station, all of which were praised by visitors for being spotless.

“Very quiet and beautiful area. The campground is very well maintained. Lots of interesting history in the park and immediate areas.”

9. Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Location:16450 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Phone:772-546-2771

Website: Jonathan Dickinson State Park   

When to Visit: Early morning, any time of the year

Best Campsites: The River Campground, Pine Grove

Activities:Camping, hiking, bicycling, boar tour, camping primitive, fishing

This particular recreation area on Florida's Atlantic coast, situated about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach, encompasses 10,000+ acres of diverse terrain divided into 16 zones. It includes the Loxahatchee River, the state's first river to receive federal Wild and Scenic designation, and the sand pine scrub, the preferred habitat for scrub jays. This park is a singular location to explore on land or by boat because of its rare habitats, including the pure Loxahatchee River, upland lakes, scrub woodlands, and coastal sand hills.

A secret World War II training facility, the tale of the shipwrecked Quaker merchant who gave the park its name, and Trapper Nelson, the fabled Wild Man of the Loxahatchee, are among the historical attractions. The park has two campgrounds that can be reserved. The River Campground is roughly four miles from the park's entrance, while Pine Grove is on the park's east side. Both campgrounds provide access to water, power, a grill, and a table, but only Pine Grove has sewer hookups. There are five campsites where you can bring an equine camping partner.

“We live next door to the park, so we are there frequently. There is so much to do - the observation tower is awesome, canoeing, kayaking, mountain bike trails, hiking. Or just sit by the water and enjoy the view!”

10. Cayo Costa State Park

Cayo Costa State Park

Location:4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island, Cayo Costa FL 33922

Phone:941-964-0375

Website: Cayo Costa State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites:Cayo Costa State Park Campground, Sea Isle Resort

Activities:  Hiking, biking, camping, boating, paddling, snorkeling, swimming

Cayo Costa State Park locates on a barrier island with miles of gorgeous beaches, acres of pine forests, oak palm hammocks, and extensive mangrove swamps. It is situated on the Cayo Costa, north of North Captiva Island and west of Cape Coral. Images of wind-shaped trees, dunes, beaches, and the freedom to explore are conjured up when one thinks of an uninhabited Gulf Coast island. It is particularly relevant to Cayo Costa Island.

This former fishing area of the Calusa Indians is only reachable by boat or kayak. It offers 9 miles of unspoiled shoreline for swimming, snorkeling, shelling, fishing, bird viewing, and exploration, in addition to various hiking and biking paths through the island's interior. Manatees, porpoises, and sea turtles may be seen offshore in addition to the abundance of shorebirds. Florida's coast is as it should be! There are cabins and camping spots for overnight visits, and ferries sail from numerous mainland places to the island.

“Good experience getting there. The ferry was a bit pricey, but it was seamless. Punctual and helpful. The tram on the island was great for getting to our site. The cabin was adequate. Ask for one with an enclosure.”

Camping in Florida Essentials

More than 50 full-service, kid-friendly campsites, and a sizable state park system are available in Florida. Camping in Florida is a beautiful opportunity to spend time with the family and take natural beauty. Numerous camping activities are available, ranging from subtropical forests to beaches, from northern springs to coral reefs. A portable solar generator is a necessary tool to pack when going camping. A portable solar generator is a great way to guarantee power wherever you need it, even if there is no nearby power grid.

Jackery solar generator for camping in Florida

The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a fantastic option for camping, fishing, or other outdoor excursions. It includes 4 SolarSaga 100s (simplified versions of 2 SolarSaga 100X) and 1 SolarSaga 100 in the included bundles. The bundle, designed especially for these activities, is ideal whether you're camping for a weekend or extended time. The Explorer 1500 has a sizable 1534Wh capacity and 1800 operating watts (3600 peak watts). It also has 3 AC Pure Sine Wave outlets, 1 PD 60W USB-C port, 1 Quick Charge 3.0 port, 1 USB-A port, and one 12V car port. It can run up to 85% of the equipment in your RV, including microwaves, refrigerators, lights, power tools, household appliances, and other major power users.

Additionally, you can select the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro if you're outside. It is ideal for individuals who want the most excellent solar generator because it has an upgraded solar panel and battery. Four units of ground-breaking SolarSaga 200W solar panels, which are three times faster than Solar Generator 1000, allow for a complete charge in 1.8 hours. You can enjoy limitless green power wherever you go with a quick and easy 60-second setup. It just requires 1.8 hours to complete an entire wall charge. It offers consistent power for necessities like phones, iPad, computers, and drones through its two USB-C and 100W PD connectors. It contains numerous ports, including three 1000W AC output connectors, two USB A connections, and a DC vehicle port.

Series

Bundles

Capability (wh)

Input & Output Ports

Dimension

Outdoorsy

Jackery Solar Generator 1500

Explorer 1500 + SolarSaga 100W

1534Wh

3*AC Pure Sine Wave AC outlets, 1*PD 60W USB-C Port, 1*Quick Charge 3.0 Port, 1*USB-A Port, 1*12V car port

14"L x 10.4"W x 12.7"H

Mini Cooler(60W) 21H, Ice Shaver (700W) 120Mins, Toaster(650W) 130Mins, Microwave Oven(1000W) 68Mins, Electrical Grill(900W) 75Mins, Blender(500W) 130Mins, Coffee Maker(500W) 130Mins, Pressure Cooker(1000W) 90Mins

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

Explorer 1000 Pro + SolarSaga 80W/200W

1002Wh

2* USB-C, 2* 100W PD ports, 3* 1000W AC output ports, 2* USB A, 1* DC car port

12.5"L x 6.1"W x 9.2"H

Refrigerator(520W) 1.6H, CPAP(10W) 80Times, Coffee Maker(550W) 1.5H, Microwave Oven(700W) 1.2H, TV(60W) 13H, Tower Fan(45W) 17H, Laptop(65W) 9Times, Electric Blanket(55W) 14H, Kettle(850W) 1H

Except for the portable solar generator, check out this camping must-haves guide for more information. Camping in Florida is available at the county, city, state parks, national parks, state forests, state recreation areas, and private campgrounds. You should therefore be ready for camping initially.

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood;

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 1500, Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

- Camp Cooking Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food

- Camping Clothes: water-proof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Cleaning Essentials: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shower kit, suncream, towel

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

>> Download Camping Essentials Checklist PDF

Camping in Florida Tips

You should know these camping in Florida tips whether you reside there or are just visiting. In particular, if you are camping with children, remember some unique camping tips and tricks before setting out on your journey.

  • There are two main seasons in Florida: rainy and dry. Every season will throw something at you, so be ready for it. The days are often in the 70s from December through May, while the nights can get down to the 30s. Bring a ton of additional blankets to ensure everyone is warm at night.
  • The stunning natural springs in our Florida state parks are a favorite destination for tourists. When camping in the sweltering summer heat, the water is always chilly. And the vistas, panoramas, and unmatched natural splendor of the springs will mesmerize you.
  • If you don't live in Florida, you might not be accustomed to the state's powerful UV rays and insects. It would be best if you become ready for both. Sunscreen should always take, even on cloudy days. While camping in Florida, insects can be a significant nuisance. 

Final Thoughts

The concept of camping is wholly redefined in Florida. Imagine miles of uncrowded beaches, breathtaking ocean views, and pristine water. The possibilities for camping in Florida range from peaceful beachfronts to turquoise springs and Civil War forts. Plan a trip to enjoy the best camping in Florida if you're looking for your next outdoor experience.

A portable generator can charge large amounts of power and improve outdoor living. The Jackery portable solar generator converts solar energy into electrical power and then stores it for later use. As a backup power source in case your electricity goes out for RVs and campers. For camping in Florida, a solar generator offers you a dependable and eco-friendly power supply.

Related Posts