8 Best Places to Go Camping in Florida

The words “Florida vacation” often bring to mind images of beachfront condos or theme parks. But there’s more to explore in the Sunshine State than the typical vacation destinations.

Florida also has abundant opportunities for campers of all types including RVing snowbirds and backcountry paddlers. There are more than 900 campgrounds in Florida including state parks, county parks, and private campgrounds. Here are some of the best places to go camping in Florida.

Fort DeSoto County Park

Fort DeSoto County Park is a huge park on the Gulf Coast that covers more than 1,000 acres and includes five interconnected islands to explore. (The islands are accessible via bridges and causeways—no need for a boat!) The park is home to an award-winning white sand beach and offers wildlife viewing, hiking trails, kayaking opportunities, and a campground with water views. History buffs might also enjoy touring the remains of Fort DeSoto itself, first constructed in 1899. The park’s campground welcomes RVers and tent campers alike plus has special pet-friendly campsites.

Where: Tierra Verde, FL

Sites: 238

Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, water, electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, play area, camp store

Reservations accepted? Yes

Silver Springs State Park

The natural springs that give this park its name were Florida’s very first tourist attraction back in the 1870s. Today visitors can kayak the spring-fed Silver River or take a glass-bottomed boat tour to see fish, historical artifacts, and movie props left over from when the park was a Hollywood filming location. Wildlife abounds at this park, including a  large—and increasingly problematic—population of rhesus macaques that were set loose in the park in the 1930s! Each site at the park’s campground has water and electric hookups and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long.

Where: Ocala, FL

Sites: 59 plus group camp

Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, fire rings, water and electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, dump station

Reservations accepted? Yes

Photo Credit: Florida State Parks

Cayo Costa State Park

This Gulf Coast island is the perfect destination for campers looking for a rustic tropical adventure. (It’s also one of the state’s largest barrier islands.) Cayo Costa State Park is accessible only by ferry or personal watercraft. There are nine miles of unspoiled beaches with plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and biking. Boaters are allowed to stay overnight at the state park’s dock or visitors can camp at one the park’s primitive sites. (Neither the dock nor the campsites have electricity.)

Where: Cayo Costa, FL

Sites: 30 tent sites plus boat camping

Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, drinking water access, flush toilets, showers

Reservations accepted? Yes

Fort Pickens Campground

Gulf Islands National Seashore protects miles of pristine white-quartz beaches and barrier islands along the Florida and Mississippi coasts. Though there is backcountry camping, the Florida segment of the national seashore has one main campground. Fort Pickens Campground offers more than 200 campsites in five distinct loops. (If cool shade is what you’re after, Loop A is worth a look. It’s filled with live oaks and other trees.) Each of the campground loops has beach access and restroom/shower facilities. For a camping adventure that’s off-the-grid, there are designated places within the national seashore (in both Florida and Mississippi) for boat-in and hike-in camping.

Where: Pensacola, FL

Sites: 211 plus group camp

Amenities: (Depending on loop) Picnic tables, fire rings, water, electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, laundry, dump station

Reservations accepted? Yes

camping in florida by the ocean with a pelican watching

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Sebastian Inlet State Park is home to one of Florida’s top surfing destinations. Come here to ride the waves or simply watch from the sun-drenched beaches. There are plenty of strolling and shelling opportunities here—you might even spot a sea turtle nest—plus a calm lagoon that’s perfect for paddlers. You can also fish from one of the park’s jetties or visit two museums for a step back in time. Tents and RVs are welcome at the park’s campground where all sites have water and electrical hookups. Pets are allowed in the campground but prohibited from the beaches.

Where: Melbourne, FL

Sites: 51

Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, water, electrical hookups, restrooms

Reservations accepted? Yes

Bahia Honda State Park

The Florida Keys have no shortage of sand and surf but the three beaches at Bahia Honda State Park are consistently rated among Florida’s best. (And since they’re far from city lights, they’re also the perfect spot for oceanside stargazing.) The park’s campground has 80 sites (a mix of electric and non-electric) that can accommodate a variety of campers and rigs. Visitors who arrive at the park by boat are allowed to rent a boat slip for overnight camping that includes access to water, electricity, and park facilities including trash disposal and showers.

Where: Bahia Honda Key, FL

Sites: 80 plus boat camping

Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, water, electric hookups, flush toilets, showers

Reservations accepted? Yes

Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park along the Gulf Coast is nearly 2,000 acres of sugar-sand beaches, dunes, salt marsh, and coastal forest. The park also has a rare coastal dune lake. There are plenty of opportunities for fishing, paddling, and hiking in this seaside paradise. The park’s campground has 59 sites, each with water and electrical hookups. (Some sites also have sewer hookups.) There are also 30 cabins available to rent, including two accessible cabins. The cabins are located about a mile from the beach in a pine forest.

Where: Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Sites: 59 plus 30 cabins

Amenities: Picnic tables, water, electric hookups, restroom facilities

Reservations accepted? Yes

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Not all camping is about “getting away from it all.” And it’s hard to compile a list of Florida camping destinations without including at least one theme park. If you’re Disney-bound but also want to camp, consider Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. It covers more than 700 acres of pine and cypress forests and has nearly 800 campsites plus cabins. Since it’s a Disney property, there is also a staggering amount of amenities and activities including two swimming pools, playgrounds, arcade, restaurants, and a dinner theater!

Where: Lake Buena Vista, FL

Sites: 799 plus cabins

Amenities: Too many to list!

Reservations accepted? Yes