June 16, 2020
Campgrounds in Florida enjoy the state's temperate climate that allows camping all year round. We only get snow every decade or so, and even then it's very light.
The weather in summer, however, is so hot and humid only hardy souls and people lucky enough to have air conditioned RVs take advantage of the many campgrounds.
Even when it's not super hot, air conditioning is a great way to stay inside and escape the mosquitoes and gnats.
Our top choice for camping in Florida is one of the wonderful state parks. Of these 175 parks, about 50 of them have campgrounds. The campsites are usually carved out of the natural pine and palmetto and give you a lot more privacy than you get in most private campgrounds in Florida.
These sites usually have electricity, water, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Some parks have full service RV sites. Most of the parks have other amenities like kayaking, biking, hiking, interpretative exhibits, swimming, special events, and other fun family friendly activities.
Many of them have miles of hiking and biking trails. Some of Florida's best fishing is in the rivers, lakes, and ponds of the state parks. Several of the parks have beautiful white sand beaches.
Florida state parks almost always have clean restrooms and showers, and most of the parks are pet friendly. They are great places to experience the outdoors in safety and comfort, and the first places we look when we want to go camping.
Reservations for campsites at these parks can only be made through contact with Reserve America.
Many of these state parks are near Florida tourist destination cities like Orlando, St. Augustine, Miami, Fort Myers, and others.
Learn more about all 175 Florida State Park, including addresses and telephone numbers here: Florida State Parks
Another way you can enjoy campgrounds in Florida - even if you don't have a tent or RV - is by staying in a Florida State Park Camping Cabin. Many of them are relatively new.
Most cabins can be rented for one night during the week, but your stay usually has to be extended on weekends and holidays to a two day minimum. Other than RV camping in big motor homes or trailers, some of the best camping without any fuss is in these cabins.
Cabins can typically accommodate either four or six visitors, and provide a nice alternative to more conventional lodging choices in nearby towns.
Reservations for camping cabins at these parks can only be made through Reserve America.
Florida has 67 counties and more than 400 towns and cities. Some of these communities have campgrounds. Some are very basic and provide nothing more than a site with no service; others are full service.
Quite a few of these local and county parks are just as nice and clean as a Florida state park. The photo above is of Trimble Park not far from Orlando and Mount Dora.
Learn more about Local and County Parks.
There are 11 National Parks in Florida, but we know of only three that have campgrounds:
Two of these parks are on the Florida mainland and allow camping: Everglades National Park and Gulf Islands National Seashore. Dry Tortugas National Park also allows camping but is on a remote island west of Key West accessible only by boat or private plane.
Another place that allows camping is Big Cypress National Preserve west of Everglades National Park.
Learn about Big Cypress National Preserve Camping.
Learn about Dry Tortugas National Park Camping.
Learn about Everglades National Park Camping.
Learn about Gulf Islands National Seashore Camping.
Florida has 3 National Forests: Apalachicola, Osceola, and Ocala. Most of these forests have campgrounds. The camp sites range from primitive trail hiking campgrounds to full service RV sites.
Here are links to the campgrounds in the Florida National Forests.
There are 37 state forests covering 1.1 million acres. Camping opportunities are plentiful throughout the state with more than 80 campgrounds offering primitive to improved campsite experiences. From camping along waterways to hiking meandering trails through the forest, there are campgrounds in Florida for every taste in the state forests.
Reserve America has a List of 92 Campgrounds in Florida State Forests.
Who knows how many private campgrounds there are in Florida. These include RV parks, some mobile home parks, fish camps, and just about any variety of ownership and level of comfort and amenities that you can imagine.
Many of these campgrounds in Florida become permanent homes for people who buy park models. A park model is designed to be permanently affixed to the property. These campgrounds over time become trailer parks with a percentage of sites reserved for transient campers.
Some full time RV residents prefer private campgrounds because some of them have a larger amenity package. This might include a general store, mailbox facilities, and a swimming pool. They typically cost more than their publicly owned counterparts.
Learn more about Florida Private Campgrounds
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the navigable waterways of the United States, including those in Florida. The Corp has developed and maintained many campgrounds along these routes.
The Florida campgrounds are along the Okeechobee Waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean near Stuart to the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers. The campgrounds are located with one near the east end, one near the west end, and one close to the center.
The three that we know about are:
St. Lucie South Campground in Stuart (772-287-1382)
Ortona South Campground near Moore Haven (863-675-8400)
W.P. Franklin Campground North in Alva (239-694-8770)
Learn more about Army Corps of Engineer Campgrounds in Florida
Elk and Moose Lodges, American Legion, and Others. These fraternal organizations sometimes allow members and non-members alike to camp on their properties. Here's one site that tells you about that: Snowbird RV Trails.
Farms, Vineyards. There are a few farms and vineyards in Florida that will let you camp on their property. Here is a membership site that will tell you about them: Harvest Hosts.
Private Homes. There are thousands of people who will let you camp on their private property, sometimes free, other times for a modest fee. Here is a site that lists many of them. Hipcamp.
U.S. Military Campgrounds. Some military bases in Florida have campgrounds or areas where camping is allowed. These campgrounds are typically reserved for active duty or retired members of the United States armed forces. Here is a source of info: U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Site
Our own camping rig is a 2011 Timeout Deluxe camper trailer pulled by a 1998 Honda CRV. We have named it "Florida Roamer" because it wanders around that state. It is a step up from my tent camping days. It was getting to be a literal pain getting up and down and in and out from sleeping on the floor of a tent.
Learn more about the camper at Florida Roamer.