Just like there are many reasons to visit Florida for your vacation, there are also many reasons to try camping while you’re here. A true vacation in the Sunshine State means disconnecting from the busy world, and reconnecting with wildlife and the outdoors. For most, this means enjoying and communing with nature and wildlife overnight in a tent, cabin or recreational vehicle. With this in mind, we’ve put together some of the best camping experiences Florida has to offer.
Florida State Parks
Over 50 of Florida’s 175 State Parks have camping facilities with plenty of options for you to enjoy. We’ve hand-picked three that we think are fantastic experiences.
Rainbow Springs State Park
This lush tropical paradise is Florida’s fourth largest freshwater spring and headwaters of the Rainbow River. The park is located in the remote Central West area of Florida, along the Gulf Coast north of Tampa. The campground includes 60 sites for RVs and tents within three camping areas, including a day-use facility with springs, nature trails, and a tube rental facility.
Blue Spring State Park
The refreshing 72-degree waters of Blue Spring State Park greet visitors at this haven for manatees. Try your hand at scuba diving, kayaking or canoeing, hiking, fishing and swimming. The campground hosts 51 single family campsites with water and electric hookups for tents and RVs, and six cabins. Each site includes a table, fire ring and grate.
St. Andrews State Park
Outdoor recreation in this Florida Panhandle area park includes boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, hiking, biking, picnicking and wildlife viewing. St. Andrews State Park Campground has 165 campsites (147 have water & electric) and is located between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs (up to 45 feet).
For more info on camping in the state parks, go to their Camping page or download their Camping & Cabins Guide.
National Parks in Florida
The Sunshine State contains four U.S. National Parks, each of which include unique camping experiences. Included below are two that we know you won’t want to miss.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. The only way to camp in the true Everglades is with Flamingo Adventures. Located at the southernmost tip of the Florida peninsula within the park, Flamingo provides beautiful campgrounds, an abundance of recreational activities, and phenomenal views of the largest subtropical wilderness in the nation.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Off the tip of the Florida Keys lies a remote island where camping opportunities provide a truly unique experience, and the best way to get there is aboard the Yankee Freedom Ferry. This incredible park contains seven islands, and the central attraction is the historic Fort Jefferson, once used as a prison during the Civil War. Campers sleep under the stars, on an island 70 miles from civilization, with warm tropical breezes blowing through palm trees, and the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves playing in the background. Camping at the Dry Tortugas is very popular – reservations sell out 9-12 months in advance – so plan ahead!
KOA Campgrounds in Florida
KOA (Kampgrounds of America) has been famous for great camping experiences throughout the country for over 60 years. We’ve chosen five of our favorite locations to highlight in Florida.
Orlando / Kissimmee KOA Holiday
Explore all the incredible attractions Central Florida has to offer at this Orlando KOA Campsite. Located just minutes from world-famous theme parks, you can enjoy all the camping comforts you love while being near Orlando’s top attractions! After a long day of adventure, kick back and relax at this beautiful KOA.
Orlando / Southwest KOA Holiday
Camp in the heart of Central Florida at this Southwest Orlando KOA located in Davenport, less than 25 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort. Stay in one of our furnished Deluxe Cabins, or if you want a more rustic feel you can stay in one of our Camping Cabins or our newly developed Deluxe Tent sites.
Naples / Marco Island KOA Holiday
Stroll along the iconic Naples Pier, relax on beautiful sandy beaches, and visit unique attractions at our Naples and Marco Island KOA. This oasis is located just a few miles from downtown, surrounded by the Rookery Bay Research Reserve. You can even float down our marked canoe trail into the Gulf of Mexico right from the campground.
St. Petersburg / Madeira Beach KOA Holiday
Camp minutes from the Gulf Coast’s sugar white beaches, bordered by the lush mangrove-lined bayou and Pinellas Trail. This St. Petersburg KOA Campground offers spacious RV sites. Or you can try glamping in one of our Deluxe Cabins. Or for something more rustic, stay in one of our Camping Cabins or pitch a tent on a Tent site. There’s something for everyone!
Sugarloaf Key / Key West KOA Holiday
Are you planning to go camping near Key West? Stay at our new Sugarloaf Key/Key West KOA! We’re excited to open our campground to the entire community with new and improved features to make camping in the Florida Keys an incredible experience for everyone.
If you’ve chosen to use a recreational vehicle for your camping adventure, there are many great resources for RVs online and in print.
RVers Guide to Florida
Whether you’re thinking of purchasing an RV, looking for a great place to camp, searching for an RV service and repair location near you, or just want to check out the latest recreational designs and accessories, the RVers Guide is ideal. This magazine contains members of the Florida RV Trade Association who take part in various RV shows throughout the state.
If you’re not ready to commit to purchasing, you may want to consider whether to rent a recreational vehicle. RVshare is an RV rental site that makes the whole process simple and fun.
If you’re a big fan of the RV experience, you may be ready to buy one. RV Universe is the quick and easy online destination for finding and buying new and used recreational vehicles. With a full range of RVs and trailers to choose from – including motorhomes, fifth-wheel trailers, truck campers, pop-up trailers, and toy haulers – RV Universe caters to everyone enjoying the camping life.
Back to Civilization
If you feel like you’ve succeeded in reconnecting with wildlife and the outdoors on your Florida camping trip, try to bring the experience back with you by sharing it with others and planning your next camping excursion.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there are always new experiences to try in Florida. If you’d like to stay informed about new attractions, events and travel tips, enter your email below to subscribe to Enjoy Florida Online.