Do you want to go camping in a place that offers incredible beaches, beautiful lakes, primitive camping, upscale glamping, tourism destinations, shopping, and endless recreation?
These things and more make camping in Florida one of the best experiences in the world.
It’s no wonder that Florida is one of the most popular camping and RV destinations. With so much to do and so many different options, there is literally something for everyone.
If you have ever thought about trying out some different camping spots in Florida, we’ve put together our list of what we think are the best tent camping, beach camping, RV spots and even free camping spots in the entire state. You can even rent an RV and take that family trip you’ve always dreamed about!
Have a favorite camping spot that we missed? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!
Tent Camping In Florida
If you’re looking for even more great places to go camping in Florida,
For those tent campers interested in freshwater cave diving in crystal clear waters, Ginnie Springs offers both wilderness and electric/water campsites. Most wilderness sites have a picnic table and grill, and some even have river or spring views. Onsite dive training, rental diving equipment, and a dive store are all offered. Diving is open to novice divers and certified divers in both Ginnie Springs and the Devil Springs system with a completed registration waiver in the Dive Center. Certified cave divers have 30,000 feet of passageways to explore in the Devil Spring System.
Flamingo Campground in the Everglades National Park offers walk-in and drive-up tent campsites on the shores of Florida Bay (which is located at the southern tip of mainland Florida). Amenities include solar-heated showers, picnic tables, and grills. Birdwatchers wintering in Florida will love the park’s more than 300 avian species, as well as other wildlife, such as manatee and crocodile in the marina area. Paddlers will enjoy the park’s many acres of mangrove forests, canals, and canoeing trails.
The Pink Jeep and Gator Head Campgrounds in this preserve both offer backcountry tent camping in Florida. Both locations have nine sites each and are accessible on foot, bike or off-road vehicle (with ORV permit). This is truly primitive a camping experience with no water, but vault toilets are available. Enjoy the preserve’s vast swamplands home to both temperate and tropical ecosystems, as well as abundant wildlife, including the Florida panther.
Hopkins Prairie Campground is a perfect site for backpackers and tent campers alike. This location along the Florida Trail in the Ocala National Forest is shaded under a hammock of oaks surrounded by winding grasslands. It offers water by hand pump, vault toilets, and parking. Enjoy fishing in the prairie’s scattered ponds and shallows, as well as Lake George to the east. Stop in Salt Springs to the north for gas, supplies, and outdoor outfitting.
Manatee Springs is perfect for tent camping in Northern Florida’s hardwood wetlands. Enjoy the park’s millions of gallons of clear water for boating, scuba diving, and fishing. It offers eleven tent-only sites available in the Magnolia 1 camping area. Primitive group camping is also available with drinking water, portable toilets, fire circle, and outdoor showers. Winter visitors have the chance to view the migration of the West Indian manatee to the springs.
Wright Lake Recreation Area offers eighteen campsites in the Apalachicola National Forest. Amenities include grills, tent pads, fire rings and picnic tables. Wright Lake offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking on the Wright Lake Loop Trail. Be sure to keep an eye out for the trail’s pitcher plant bogs and the red-cockaded woodpecker that makes its home there.
Hillsborough River State Park offers an exciting blend of nature, history, and outdoor recreation. Visitors can enjoy hiking and biking under hammocks of live oaks, sabal palms, and hickory along more than seven miles of trails, such as the Wetlands Restoration Trail. They can also journey back in time at the Fort Foster State Historic Site, a reconstructed fort that stood during the Second Seminole War. Hillsborough River also offers fishing for bream, catfish, and bass, canoeing, and rafting on the river’s Class II rapids.
Fort Pickens offers tent-only camping in Loops B and D on the Gulf Islands National Seashore just down from Pensacola Beach. Visitors can spend the day exploring the beach, dunes, and historic Fort Pickens, a military fort that stayed in operation through World War II, but now offers tours and a massive canon. Group tent-only camping is also offered. All sites have picnic tables, fire rings or grills. Water stations located throughout Loops B and D.
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Free Camping Spots in Florida
Sometimes saving a few dollars and finding a free camping spot is the way to go. If you want even more info on free camping in Florida, check out our guide on Free Camping in the US.
Potts Preserve offers walk-in, primitive camping in the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 8500-acre preserve does require a reservation, but it is free with a maximum 14-day stay. Potts Preserve has nine miles of multi-use trails, with designated trails for bicycling. Other activities include bird-watching, as well as boating and paddling from a public boat ramp. All campsites offer picnic tables and fire rings and/or grills.
Little Lake Bryant Primitive Camp offers free camping in Florida with a 4-day maximum stay in the Ocala National Forest. There are six primitive, lakeside tent sites under live oaks with available parking and a boat ramp. Fishing in the lake is free as well, although a permit is required. No facilities, but the towns of Forest Corners and Moss Bluffs are nearby for gas, groceries, and restaurants.
Hatbill Park is a free campsite within a public, 15-acre county park, offering both tent and RV camping west of Orlando near the Space Coast in Mims, FL. It allows weekend stays with a free permit. Amenities include port-o-let restrooms and a public boat ramp on the St. Johns River. This site is open-field camping with no tree-cover perfect for camping in cooler months. Visitors report a fast and easy permitting process.
Wood Lake Recreation Area offers free primitive tent camping in the Apalachicola National Forest of the central Florida Panhandle, southwest of Tallahassee. It offers picnic tables, restrooms, and drinking water, as well as parking and a boat ramps onto the Ochlockonee River. Small motorboats, canoes, and kayaks welcome at all boat launches. The site is also used as a hunting camp for small game hunting during general gun season.
Two designated campgrounds within this Southern Florida WMA offer free permit/site reservations. The Kowechobe Camp offers open-field camping with trailer access, while the Hammock Campground is shaded under large oaks for primitive camping with a vault toilet. Activities include biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Birdwatchers will love views of sandhill cranes, kestrels, and crested caracaras along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
Escribano Point offers free Wildlife Management Area camping near Pensacola in Northwest Florida with a free permit/reservation. Primitive tent-only camping in the Bayou Campground along a meandering tidal creek, and tent or small RV camping in the Bayside Campground on the shore of shallow Blackwater Bay. All sites offer fire rings, picnic tables, and portable restrooms. A group campsite is also available.
Located in the Choctawhatchee River Water Management Area in Ponce De Leon, FL. Free RV (sites 1 through 8) or tent (sites 9 through 16) camping by reservation in the Panhandle. Two sheltered picnic pavilions with charcoal grills, boat launch to Seven Runs Creek on site, as well as each a picnic table, fire ring, and grill at each campsite.
Jones Hungryland Wildlife Managment Area offers free primitive, tent-only camping located on the eastern South Florida coast near Jupiter. Key features include the West Jupiter Wetlands Trail, a two-mile-long trail for biking, hiking, and riding, as well as the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail for wildlife viewing. Some species in the WMA are bobcats, alligators, river otters, herons, and even bald eagles. FWC permits are attainable online.
Camping In The Florida Keys
Fiesta Key RV Resort is a 28-acre island of tropical waterfront camping on the Gulf of Mexico. Both RV and tent camping is available as well as a slew of amenities, including Wi-Fi, spa, swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, dog park, boat ramps and onsite marina, and onsite store and restaurant. Nearby attractions are Long Key State Park and the Dolphin Research Center.
Boyd’s Keywest Campground is the Southernmost campground in the continental U.S. Enjoy one of Key West’s many annual tournaments and festivals while camping right at the city limits. Oceanfront RV camping with full hookups and other copious amenities, including free wi-fi and cable TV. With over 200 campsites, Boyd’s also accommodates RV Rallies April 1st through December 1st. Other onsite activities include a freshwater pool with tiki hut and big screen TV, picnic pavilion, game room, and boat ramps and docks.
For something a bit different in RV camping in Florida, you can check out Bluewater Key RV Resort. It offers larger individually-owned, landscaped lots for rent within the resort, averaging 35 feet wide by 80 feet deep with tiki huts on a coral archipelago. Both bay-front and canal-side sites, all offering private docks. The resort itself offers both a dog and people park, laundry facility, clubhouse, freshwater pool, community dock with rentable boat slips, curbside trash pickup, free basic wi-fi, and HD cable TV.
The Buttonwood, Bayside, and Sandspur campsites within Bahia Honda State Park offer a variety of camping experiences within a tropical paradise. Tent, RV, and even two sites designated for hammock camping are available. Boat camping is also available from overnight rental boat slips with water, electric and full use of park facilities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, aquatic and avian wildlife viewing, and an in-park concession and restaurant. Be sure to see the Interpretive Exhibit outside the park’s Nature Center.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers RV camping in one of 47 full-facility campsites surrounded by an aquatic wonderland of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The park offers snorkeling, scuba, and glass-bottom boat tours to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. There is also swimming in three designated areas, as well as picnic areas with grills throughout the park. Hit Canon Beach and snorkel out to see the remains of an early Spanish shipwreck 100 feet offshore.
Recreational vehicles of all sizes are welcome at this Marathon, FL park. Gravel lots with picnic tables, onsite laundry facility, swimming pool, clubhouse, two boat basins, and stunning Gulf Views. All sites equipped with water, sewer, electric, and cable. Free wi-fi hotspot available in the clubhouse. Centrally-located along the Overseas Highway, making it a restful hub from which to enjoy everything the Keys have to offer.
Bring your RV, Pop Up, Travel Trailer or tent as both RV and tent sites are available in this Key Largo park on Blackwater Sound. Adjacent to both the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. Offers protected docking facilities on the bay. RV’s up to 40 feet in length welcome. It offers both open, grassy and shaded campsites, electric hookup, and picnic tables. Free wi-fi, laundry facilities, and bathhouses with hot and cold showers are also offered.
Long Key State Recreation Area has sixty campsites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for tent and RV camping in Long Key State Park. All sites are equipped with electric and water hookups, as well as picnic tables and grills. The recreation area offers three restrooms with hot showers and dump station. Activities include shallow water canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Nature hiking is located on the Golden Orb Trail.
RV Camping in Florida
RV camping is massively popular in Flordia, in fact, Florida is the biggest state for RVing in the US. If you don’t have an RV, don’t worry, you can always rent one. Check out our guide on Renting a Camper or RV where we show you all the ins and outs of renting a motorhome or travel trailer or head to our Camper Rental page and see hundreds of campers for rent.
If you plan on purchasing an RV in the near future, make sure to check out our RV Buyer’s Guide for more info on purchasing your own RV.
This park’s limestone caves offer something a bit different when camping in Florida. It is the only park in Florida with dry caves that offer tours to the public. RV campsites have access to water and electrical hook-ups. Campers can also participate in one of the park’s daily guided tours through the caves, spend the day swimming in the Blue Hole swimming area, paddle on the Chipola River, or hike the park’s scenic trails.
This Kissimmee park is just a short drive from all the attractions Orlando has to offer, while still providing a tranquil natural environment away from the crowds. Fish in one of the park’s ponds or nearby Lake Tohopekaliga, or play a game of tennis, volleyball, shuffleboard or horseshoes. Bathhouses located throughout the resort.
When it comes to luxury, Cypress Trail in Ft. Myers offers some of the best RV camping in Florida. Visitors can expect to find spacious lots, a large swimming pool with an attached lap pool and adjacent hot tub. There are also two lakes for paddling, an activities room, and numerous ball courts. There is even a dog park with a splash pool!
Large, landscaped lots accommodate any size recreational vehicle in this resort in Punta Gorda. Each lot has its own paved drive and patio, as well as full hook-ups. Outdoor activities offered at the resort include Bocce ball, tennis, horseshoes, shuffleboard and swimming at the resort’s pool.
St. Lucie Campground offers waterfront RV sites on the St. Lucie Canal, a part of the Okeechobee Waterway. Campers can hike the St. Lucie North Nature Trail or visit the nearby Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Amenities include accessible restroom and shower facilities, dump station, and hook-ups for electric and water.
With its abundance of rare plant and animal species, Oscar Scherer state park is one of the best campgrounds in Florida for nature and wildlife lovers. More than 100 fully-equipped sites for RV camping, as well as restroom, hot shower, nd laundry facilities. Birders should keep an eye out for the rare Florida scrub-jay that makes this park its home.
This park offers a unique combination of state park and RV resort. Topsail Hill is like getting the best of both worlds. It offers more than 3 miles of sandy beaches, as well as coastal dune lakes with freshwater fishing. Resort amenities include cable TV, camp concession, laundry facility, and outdoor playground.
Located on the Wekiva River in Central Florida, The Falls offers large sites, frequent planned activities, and even a natural sulfur spring. There are 800 full hook-up sites, with every amenity imaginable. The resort also offers a water park with pools and slides.
Beach Camping in Florida
This undeveloped barrier island near Jacksonville boasts five miles of white sand beaches, rolling dunes, maritime forests and salt marshes. Head down the four-mile Dune Ridge Trail loop to visit each of these features all on one trail. The campgrounds are full-facility and welcome both tent and RV campers alike.
Garden Key Campground in Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the best places to camp in Florida for those looking to truly get away from it all. Hop aboard the Yankee Freedom Ferry in Key West and tent-camp just outside the red stone walls of historic Fort Jefferson 70 miles from the modern world. Explore the fort, snorkel off South Swim Beach, or simply relax on the beach. All campsites offer picnic tables and grills. Restroom facilities also available onsite.
This Flagler Beach recreation area offers beachside camping in Florida, among the dunes on the Atlantic Ocean and riverfront camping on the Intracoastal Waterway. Both sites allow RV and tent camping with restroom and shower facilities. Wildlife and nature enthusiasts should venture down the Joe Kenner Nature Trail through the coastal hammock, home to a diverse community of flora and fauna.
Located an hour south of Tallahassee on Apalachicola Bay, Carrabelle Beach RV Resort blends white sand beaches with modern amenities and recreation. There is free wi-fi throughout the resort, an onsite convenience store, full hook-up sites, and level concrete pads. Bask on the beach or spend the day enjoying the resort’s swimming pool, playground, dog park, clubhouse or fitness center.
This island park, accessible only by water, offers primitive and boat camping on Florida’s Southern Gulf Coast. Each site in the primitive camping area offers picnic tables, grill, drinking water, restroom and cold shower facilities. Boat campers can stay overnight at the park’s dock. Hammock sites are available, but only in designated areas. Activities include fishing, snorkeling, paddling, and picnicking under one of the park’s pavilions.
Take a boat out and spend the night camping out on either Elliot Key or Boca Chita Key. There is an overnight docking fee for overnight stays on both islands. Elliot Key’s campground offers picnic tables, grills, cold water showers, and restrooms, while Boca Chita offers only restrooms. Climb to the top of Boca Chita’s lighthouse’s observation deck for stunning views of the bay, ocean, and Miami skyline.
This Gulf Coast park southwest of Panama City is a thin strip of land with a heavily-forested interior surrounded by white sand beaches on two sides. Visitors can enjoy the waters of St. Joseph Bay or the Gulf of Mexico from one of two primary campgrounds. Primitive, tent-only camping is also available in the peninsula’s Wilderness Preserve.
At Henderson Beach State Park you can find campsites located on the dune systems in Destin. They offer some of the best camping in Florida for beach-goers with more than 6,000 feet of shoreline of sugar-white sand and emerald green water. All sites have water, electric, picnic tables, and grills. Larger groups can gather under one of six picnic pavilions.
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- About the Author
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Hey there, I’m Ryan, the face behind Beyond The Tent.
With decades of camping experiences, my journey into the wilderness began on the rustic trails of a farm in southern Minnesota, where my childhood was filled with explorations and camping by a picturesque river.
My family’s adventures across the United States, from the majestic Colorado mountains to the serene national parks and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota have given me a broad perspective. With each journey, whether in state parks or private encampments, and through the homely comfort of our camping trailers, we’ve amassed a trove of stories, experiences, and invaluable camping wisdom.