Ancient trees, warm springs, cave dives, and music festivals await Live Oak campers.
Live Oak is a peaceful North Florida town bound by the spring-fed Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. True to its name, Live Oak is full of old growth oak trees hung with Spanish moss that flows in the breeze. The town is also famous for its music festivals and cave diving, plus its family-friendly springs, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. Set where I-10 meets I-75, Live Oak is in the center of the triangle formed by Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and Gainesville. The town makes a great camping getaway from any of these cities or a rewarding layover on a road trip through the South.
Many of Live Oak’s music festivals occur at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground north of town. If traveling by RV, Live Oak has a good variety of RV parks with picnic tables, hot showers, and full hookups. Additional camping options can be found close by in Lake City.
With almost 33,000 feet of underwater cave systems, the Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park in Live Oak is one of the largest cave diving sites in the US. While scuba diving here is for experts only, anyone can swim and snorkel in the park’s crystal-clear pools or hit the easy, 1.2-mile nature trail. For more local spring action, you can also explore a first-magnitude spring at Lafayette Blue Springs State Park.
To camp out among the oaks, head to Suwannee River State Park, about 20 minutes from downtown Live Oak. The park’s tent camping and RV camping sites feature picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms. You can launch a boat or kayak on the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers, or explore the mountain biking and hiking trails.
Even more springs can be found southeast of Live Oak. The six-mile Ichetucknee River at Ichetucknee Springs State Park is considered one of the most beautiful spring runs in the state. Canoe and kayak rentals are available on-site, and a shuttle service allows boaters and tubers to complete the run. Ginnie Springs and Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park are also in the area, just a bit further down the Santa Fe River.
Live Oak’s subtropical environment makes it a year-round camping destination, although summers run hot and humid. The cooler winter months are a great time for Live Oak camping, when you can spot migratory birds. Campsites in Live Oak book out long in advance on festival weekends, so it’s worth checking a local events calendar to gauge how busy it will be.