Southwest Florida’s campgrounds span beaches, state forests, and national parks.
Southwest Florida follows the Gulf of Mexico and blends with the Everglades—but the scenery doesn’t stop there. The region includes state parks, state forests, and a whole lot of beaches. Hikers will love the trails at Picayune Strand State Forest, which come just before Big Cypress. Meanwhile, the coastal tranquility of Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve offers campers the ultimate opportunity to unwind. Just like Southwest Florida’s landscapes, campsites come with variety. Park your RV, unlock your cabin, or take out your tent—campgrounds in Southwest Florida are ready for check-in.
If you’re looking to hike or cross a national park off your list, you can’t miss the Everglades. The park occupies mainland Florida’s southernmost region, but is easily accessible from the state’s West Coast. Throughout the park, campers can discover more than 30 species of orchids—not to mention various plants, ecosystems, and birds. Lace up your hiking boots, but don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
Characterized by live oaks, Florida’s trademark palm trees, and a river of the same name, Myakka River State Park offers a change of pace and scenery from the Everglades. If you’re a birdwatcher, meander along the birdwalk and keep your eyes peeled for soaring osprey and sunbathing gators. And don’t discount the river itself. You can fish, kayak, and canoe in the Myakka River—and embrace the wonders of Florida’s wetlands.
If you’d rather keep close to the coast, Southwest Florida’s beaches follow the Gulf of Mexico and range in both style and scenery. Try the beaches near Naples for a camping getaway that offers access to golf courses, boutiques, and museums. Or, embrace the island life altogether and explore Marco Island, Sanibel Island, or Gasparilla Island. Pitch your tent, park your RV, and settle into your campsite. The water is calling.
The best time to visit Southwest Florida depends on the nature of your trip. If you want to hike, especially in the Everglades, come during the dry season, from December to March. Not only will the weather cooperate, but you’ll also camp within the window for prime wildlife spotting. If you’d rather improve your chances to see sea turtles, however, camp during the nesting period between May and October.