Sun, surf, sand dunes, and a national seashore—New Smyrna Beach camping has it all.
Sunseekers and surfers congregate at New Smyrna Beach, where small-town charm meets miles of sandy beaches. Once you’ve browsed the downtown galleries and distilleries, head shoreside to take a surf class, stroll the boardwalk through the Smyrna Dunes, and swim, sunbathe, or stand-up paddleboard along 17 miles of white-sand beach. Campers will find plenty of options along the coast around New Smyrna Beach and neighboring Daytona Beach—check into a beachfront cabin or a family-friendly RV resort, pitch your tent in Tiger Bay State Forest, or snag a spot at the riverside campground in Tomoka State Park.
Just south of New Smyrna Beach, more than 24 miles of undeveloped white-sand beaches stretch along the Canaveral National Seashore. Explore the wild sand dunes and lagoons, go fishing and boating around the barrier island, then escape to a kayak-in tent campsite on a natural island.
Miles of Atlantic Coast beaches roll out north of New Smyrna Beach, where the beach towns of Port Orange, Daytona Beach, and Ormond Beach are dotted with campsites, glampsites, and cabins. Further north, there’s great hiking, birding, and RV camping in Bulow Creek State Park, while Palm Coast has beachside camping, ocean-view golf courses, and dolphin and manatee-watching cruises.
Home to four of Florida’s natural springs (Juniper, Alexander, Silver Glen, and Salt Springs), plus hundreds of lakes, the Ocala National Forest provides endless options for swimming, fishing, paddling, and hiking—all just a 1.5-hour drive from the coast. With 14 campgrounds to choose from, you can camp by the lakeside or in the woods, rent a Civilian Conservation Corps cabin, or venture off-road to enjoy dispersed camping in the wilderness.
A visit to Florida wouldn’t be complete without a day at one of Orlando’s world-famous theme parks, and The City Beautiful lies just an hour’s drive from New Smyrna Beach. Ringed by lakes and state parks, campers have a surprising number of options, and if you tire of amusement rides and Disney characters, you won’t have to travel far to go paddling, cycling, or ziplining instead.
The sun shines year-round in central Florida, making it the ideal spot for some winter sun and a perennial favorite among spring breakers. March through May provide the best weather for camping, while summer temperatures can soar over 90°F with high humidity and frequent showers, so avoid July and August if possible, especially if tent camping. Surfers take note—the winter months bring the biggest waves.