Explore limestone caves and coastal dunes while camping at Fort Walton Beach.
Florida’s panhandle is home to Fort Walton Beach, which is flanked by Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay. Campers can swim, boat, fish, mountain bike, and explore one-of-a-kind natural occurrences close by—find cave systems, sinkholes, and stalactites at Florida Caverns State Park and a rare coastal dune lake in Deer Lake State Park. Camping options range from high-end RV resorts with all the amenities to primitive backcountry camping. Equestrian campers can also find access to designated trails and stables for their horses at Florida Caverns State Park. And furnished rental cabins await campers just across the Alabama state border in Little River State Forest.
About 100 miles northeast of Fort Walton Beach, rainwater eroded bedrock for eons, creating the limestone cave system of Florida Caverns State Park. Open year-round (but closing each day at sunset), the park offers guided cave tours among sinkholes, stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones—just show up early, since tour tickets are first-come, first-served and sell out fast. Hipcampers can also enjoy bicycling, hiking, and boating on Chipola River. Stay nearby at pet-friendly tent and RV campsites with 50-amp hookups.
Northwest of Fort Walton Beach, just across the border to Alabama, sits Little River State Forest. Hipcampers will find 2,100 acres of longleaf pine and a man-made dam and spillway that created Little River Lake—perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating (rentals available in the park). Little River State Forest has RV and tent campsites with electric and water hookups and primitive, backcountry camping anywhere in the park. Ride a horse through gorgeous pine forests, slide down the spillway, or look for quail and bobcats during the day, then retire to a furnished cabin at night.
Deer Lake is a rare landscape formation of coastal dune lakes. In Deer Lake State Park, campers explore growths of Gulf Coast lupine, spoonflower, and pitcher plants all while witnessing the migration of birds and butterflies. Three dollars per vehicle in the honor box allows campers to stroll the boardwalk across the dunes to find the perfect picnic, swimming, or fishing spot in warm Gulf waters. There’s no camping in the park, but campsite options nearby include pet-friendly RV campsites with potable water on pull-in and back-in concrete pads, dirt pads, and grassy fields.
Summers at Fort Walton Beach last from May to the end of September, with the temperature averaging 85°F. Expect cloudy skies, increased rainfall, and high humidity. During spring and fall, temperatures usually stay around 65°F and drop no lower than 45°F. Many campers may prefer to camp from September to October or April to May to avoid the humidity, but lots of campsites and resorts are open year-round.