With some of the world’s most gorgeous natural scenery, Florida is home to many great places to go camping. Whether you’d like to be steps away from the ocean or tucked away in a secluded sanctuary, you’ll find that the sunshine state has more than its share of campgrounds.
Dry Tortugas National Park & Fort Jefferson
Just 70 miles from Key West, the Dry Tortugas is one of Florida’s hidden gems, a cluster of tiny islands that sits in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. For camping enthusiasts, this eco-treasure offers a one-of-a-kind experience. To get to the Tortugas, you’ll need to pack all your gear and book a seat aboard the Yankee Freedom III, the park’s official ferry. After a relaxing and scenic ride, you’ll step off the boat onto a white sandy beach and be treated to a view of the imposing Fort Jefferson, a Civil War fortress that has stood for more than 200 years. Camping here is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, miles away from civilization and totally primitive (which means you’ll have to bring your own water and everything else you need). Once you set up your campsite, sleep under the stars as the waves gently roll into shore and see a myriad of animals and exotic birds that make the area their home. The warm, crystal waters that surround the island offer exceptional snorkeling and are easy for people of all ages to enjoy. You can also tour the island in a kayak, take a tour of the fort, see cannon demonstrations and learn about the fascinating history of this structure that once held prisoners of war.
Home to some of the only air-filled caves in Florida, this special park offers a totally unique camping experience. You’ll have a chance to take a tour of the caves that are dazzling with limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. Located in the Panhandle, the state park is near the Chipola River, which offers a freshwater spring for fishing, canoeing and boating. Within the park, there are 35 campsites with electric and water hookups available for RV and tent camping. There are various trails that you can explore by bicycle, on foot or even by horseback.
Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island
If you like history and camping, you’ll be in luck at this state park located on Amelia Island, just over the sand dunes from the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy historical reenactments at the Civil War fort on site and take a tour to learn about this historic period of America’s history. Within the park, there are 62 campsites in two separate campgrounds, including one oceanfront area. There are bike and hiking trails, the beach and several entrances to the Great Florida Birding Trail. There are also picnic areas and a playground for the kids.
Ever camped in an Airstream Trailer? If not, now you can at Sugarloaf Key just minutes away from all the excitement of Key West. These cool units are available for rent if you don’t own one, and offer a fun camping experience for people of all ages. The trailers are fully equipped and the campground overlooks the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy various amenities and activities and the convenience of the onsite café. The site also accommodates tents, has restrooms and showers and is a great place for fishing or just hanging on the beach. The restaurants, pubs, museums, attractions and shopping of Key West are just a short drive away. The campground even offers a free shuttle!
Hillsborough River State Park
Generations of campers have enjoyed outdoor adventures in Hillsborough River State Park located in Crystal Springs, Florida. The scenic river is a sight to behold as it flows over natural limestone formations and creates whitewater waves. The camping here is exceptional, with your choice of fully equipped or primitive sites and special sites for youth groups. The 112 fully equipped campsites offer water, a fire ring and a picnic table. Each area has hot showers, laundry facilities and allows leashed pets. There are also several playgrounds & pavilions as well as a café, gift ship and swimming pool within the park. The primitive sites offer a fire ring, and campers on these sites can pick up a map from the ranger to see where all the hiking and biking trails are. If you want to get into the water, canoeing and kayaking are also permitted.