Florida Keys camping comes with tropical beaches, palm trees, and dazzling corals.
Whether you’re sipping Sangria as you watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, snorkeling and scuba diving along kaleidoscopic coral reefs, or relaxing on white-sand beaches beneath the Florida sun―Key West ranks high when it comes to vacation destinations. The westernmost city of the Florida Keys is a great choice for campers, too. Check into an RV park or resort, book a beachside cabin, or rent a houseboat and fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves. Along the keys, there’s also beachside tent camping at Bahia Honda State Park and hike-in sites at Long Key State Park.
History buffs and beach lovers will be in their element at Dry Tortugas National Park, a collection of seven coral-ringed islands marooned off the coast of Key West. Hop on a ferry or seaplane to reach the islands, where you can snorkel and scuba dive to your heart’s content, explore the 19th-century Fort Jefferson, and lounge on immaculate beaches. You can even pitch a tent right on the beach and spend the night.
Palm-lined shores, vibrant coral reefs, and world-class fishing draw vacationers to the village of Islamorada, made up of six islands: Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Indian Key, and Lignumvitae Key. Take a hike through the rainforest at Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, explore the Indian Key Historic State Park, or charter a backcountry fishing cruise and try hooking a sailfish, snook, or bonefish.
The drive along the Overseas Highway, which runs all the way from Key West to Key Largo at the mouth of the Florida Keys, is worth a road trip for the views alone. Dive in to snorkel or scuba dive at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, take a cruise along the Port Largo Canal (the same route seen in the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”), and marvel at migrating birds at the Wild Bird Sanctuary.
With its balmy temperatures and warm waters, winter (December through February) is peak season in the Florida Keys. Crowds—and prices—peak over the holidays and during popular events such as Key West Pride (June) and Fantasy Fest (October), so be sure to book well in advance. Hurricane season runs from June through November, so prepare for showers if camping in summer. For the perfect compromise, we recommend a spring (March through May) visit.