Ready to get outside and enjoy nature? If you’ve had enough of being inside, a great way to get the family out is to go camping. Florida is known for its theme parks, but did you know that there are some excellent places to go camping? Here are some of the best places for RV and tent camping in Florida.
Note: Be sure to check individual sites to see if they are open. Florida State Parks began re-opening their camping sites on May 21, 2020 on a limited basis. Cabin rentals at Florida State Park are closed through May 31, 2020.
Florida State Parks
The Florida State Park system contains 175 locations to visit and see history and nature. While all the state parks don’t have a place to camp, many of them do. You can camp in forests or on the beach from the panhandle all the way down into the Florida Keys.
RV and tent camping is allowed at Florida State Parks. RV sizes limits vary and the maximum length for each slip is indicated when making a reservation. There are also some parks that allow primitive camping.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Located in Hobe Sound about 40 minutes north of West Palm Beach, Jonathan Dickinson State Park is located on 10,500 acres and offers boating, kayaking and fishing along the Loxahatchee River. In addition to water sports there’s hiking, tours, bike trails and equestrian activities.
Park admission is $6 per vehicle (up to 8 people). RV and tent camping is $26 per night (includes water and electricity). Dickinson State Park also offers cabins for rent starting at $85/night.
Hillsborough River State Park
Originally established in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Hillsborough River State Park has river rapids, picnic pavilions, a suspension bridge, bird watching trails and Fort Foster which was represents the area during the Second Seminole War. There’s also rentals for kayaks and bikes along with a half-acre swimming pool and deck area. Located in Thonotosassa, the park is about 30 minutes from downtown Tampa.
Park admission is $6 per vehicle (up to 8 people). RV and tent camping is $24 per night (includes water and electricity). Primitive camping is also available for $5 per person/night.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park
Only 145 acres, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park is located between the Intercoastal Waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. This location allows for some camping spots with excellent views of the waterways. Activities available include biking, bird watching, ocean swimming, fishing and kayaking/canoeing.
Park admission is $5 per vehicle (up to 8 people). Exact change is required at this park. RV and tent camping is $28 per night (includes water and electricity).
Bahia Honda State Park
Home to 80 campsites and 6 cabins, Bahia Honda State Park’s location in the Florida Keys makes it a very popular site. Paddling, fishing, bird watching, hiking, snorkeling and just relaxing are some favorite activities of visitors. Some of the camping sites overlook the water and boat camping is also available. There are some height restrictions for access to some campsites so be sure to pay attention when placing reservations.
Park admission is $8.50 per vehicle (up to 8 people). There is also a 50¢ per person county surcharge. RV and tent camping is $36 per night (includes water and electricity). Boat camping is $2/ft with a $30 minimum. Cabin rentals begin at $120/night and include kitchen appliances, central heat and air, living room and bathroom.
RV Parks are exactly what they sound like – they only allow RVs to park there. No tent camping allowed. These parks’ amenities vary so be sure to check to make sure they have what you’re looking for.
Located in Key West, Bluewater Key has a boat dock, dog park, pool, restrooms/showers and laundry. The RV sites have driveways, tiki huts to sit and relax in (some have tvs, fridges and sinks) and wood deck areas. Bluewater Key does not allow truck campers, soft sided pop out trailers, VW campers or semi-tractor trailer tows. The maximum RV length is 24′. During the Fall and Winter seasons, there is a 7 night minimum stay requirement.
Ocala North RV Park
Situated in Ocala’s horse country, this RV park is open to long-term, seasonal and short-term visitors. There are amenities such as a heated pool, shuffleboard courts, free cable tv and free wi-fi. Ocala North RV Park is also located close to Silver Springs State Park and its famous glass bottomed boats.
Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort
With a 6,200 square foot clubhouse, fitness room, infinity pool, fire pits and billiards room, Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort is luxury RV living. The large sized lots have brick paver pads, electric, water, sewer, cable and high-speed internet available. Located in Jupiter (20 miles north of West Palm Beach), it provides easy access to the beaches and luxury parts of the area.
Santa Rosa Waterfront RV Resort
Private beach. Free wi-fi. Fishing pier. Heated pool. Playground. Fitness room. Dog park. Watersports. Need anything else? If so, Santa Rosa Waterfront RV Resort probably has it! Located in the panhandle between Destin and Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Waterfront RV Resort has over a quarter mile of waterfront on the Gulf of Mexico. There’s also golf, dining and shopping nearby. Santa Rosa doesn’t allow pop-up campers.
Campgrounds (RV and Tent Camping)
Varying slightly from RV parks because they allow both RV parking and tent camping, campgrounds sometimes have amenities included in their fees.
Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge
With RV sites that have boat slips and rusting camping sites, Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge offers a little something for everyone. About 17 miles south of Marathon in the Florida Keys, provides plenty to do from hiking, arts & crafts, block parties, water aerobics and even a fishing tournament. There’s even an onsite playground and camp store for anything you might need. Free wi-fi is available.
Fort Pickens Campground
Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fort Pickens Campground is located on Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola. On a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay, it offers excellent and relaxing views. There a pier located nearby and swimming and beach combing is the activity enjoyed most at this park. It is also located next to Fort Pickens. With more than 130 RV sites and 40 non-electric tent sites, there are also toilets, showers, and a dump station. There are no boat ramps located at this site.
Lion Country Safari KOA
Ever thought you’d be able to camp in Florida and hear lions roar when you wake up? Well you can at Lion Country Safari KOA in West Palm Beach. Located outside of West Palm Beach, it’s a drive-thru safari park that has giraffes, lions and other exotic animals. There’s also a walkabout amusement park section. The camping section is located right next to the park and has RV sites with hookups, tent sites and cabins (cabins don’t have bathrooms and you have to bring your own bedding). The grounds have showers/restrooms, a laundry, a pool, dog park and basketball & shuffleboard courts.
Another unique way to go RV’ing is to become a member of Harvest Hosts. For a yearly membership fee of $79, RVs that are completely self-sufficient (have their own water, tanks for sewage and interior toilet) can stay for one night at thousands of wineries, breweries, museums and farms around the United States and Canada.
Since the membership only guarantees one-night stay, this program is more for people who don’t mind traveling daily. However, the great thing about RV camping with Harvest Hosts is that you can call the day before to see if you can camp there for the night. The hosts aren’t hotels or campgrounds, so they don’t have a reservation book. This program is perfect to anyone who loves to be spontaneous and enjoys wineries or farms.
Florida isn’t exactly known for all of its wineries but there are Harvest Host locations in the state, mostly at farms but also at some wineries, breweries and museums. Most are located in central Florida with the farthest one south near West Palm Beach and the farthest west in Tallahassee.
If you’re someone who loves camping with just the land surrounding you, check out Harvest Hosts. Use our link and Harvest Hosts will give you 15% off your new membership!
There are plenty of places to go camping in Florida and you can find whatever your family is looking for – where’s the first place you’ll head to?
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