The best beach camping in Florida.
With its 1,100-mile coastline and year-round sun, Florida is tailor-made for a beach camping trip.
Beautiful beaches, world-famous theme parks, and tropical islands—you probably think you know all there is to know about Florida. But the Sunshine State is also a five-star destination for outdoor adventurers with natural attractions to rival its theme parks. Campers can cruise wildlife-filled wetlands, snorkel coral reefs, hike through national forests, and exploreRead more...
Beautiful beaches, world-famous theme parks, and tropical islands—you probably think you know all there is to know about Florida. But the Sunshine State is also a five-star destination for outdoor adventurers with natural attractions to rival its theme parks. Campers can cruise wildlife-filled wetlands, snorkel coral reefs, hike through national forests, and explore historic forts. Some of the best RV camping is found in the 175 Florida state parks, and with balmy winter temperatures, tent camping is possible year-round. Avoid heart-of-summer camping if possible, though—the heat can be extreme, and it’s hurricane season along the coast.
Where to Go
Panhandle and Big Bend
White-sand beaches and laid-back beach towns fringe the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s north-western county. Panama City, Destin, and Pensacola are gateways to the Panhandle, where you can pitch your tent right on the beach along the Gulf Islands National Seashore or check into an RV resort at one of the seaside state parks. The Apalachicola National Forest, just outside Tallahassee, is another favorite for campers, with everything from primitive tent sites to RV sites with electric hookups.
Most visitors to North Florida make a beeline for the Atlantic Ocean, where the hubs of Jacksonville, St Augustine, and Daytona Beach are dotted with sandy beaches and historic monuments. Campers looking to escape the beaten track can enjoy backcountry camping along the Canaveral National Seashore or park up by the beach in Anastasia State Park. Inland, the sprawling Lakelands of the Ocala National Forest are camping nirvana, surrounded by state parks and natural springs.
Fun-seeking families probably have Orlando’s theme parks at the top of their Central Florida to-do list, but there are plenty of ways to get back to nature too. There’s great hiking and primitive camping in Seminole State Forest and Kissimmee State Park, both just outside the city. Other popular camping spots include the Jonathan Dickinson State Park in West Palm Beach, Lake Okeechobee, and Cayo Costa State Park, just off the coast of Fort Myers.
The vast Everglades National Park is the star attraction of the Gulf Coast, where boating, biking, and canoeing tours will take you through the UNESCO-listed wetlands. Look out for manatees and American alligators along the way. Over on the Atlantic Coast, the buzzing beach resorts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale draw sun-seekers year-round. Intrepid campers can escape the masses in the Biscayne National Park, where the tent camping sites are reachable only by boat or kayak.
If kayaking around tropical islands, and snorkeling and scuba diving along remote coral cays sounds like your idea of fun, look no further than the Florida Keys. The Overseas Highway runs all the way to Key West, and campers will find RV sites and tent camping grounds peppered around the many islands. Campgrounds in Bahia Honda State Park have boat launches and hammock camping, while the remote Dry Tortugas National Park has backcountry camping far from the crowds.