Florida fish camps and Mom & Pop motels are among the finest places to experience authentic Old Florida.
Fish camps are sometimes overlooked as lodging choices, but many of them do have guest rooms or cabins.
This makes them great places to get away for a few days or weeks and experience natural Florida.
Fish camps, along with Mom & Pop motels, are typically family owned and give you an experience of being part of the family with all of the benefits of local knowledge.
There are fish camps and Mom & Pop motels in all eight geographic regions of Florida with a wide variety of fishing and lodging choices.
Quite often, fishing is optional at a fish camp.
Even if you don't fish, you can chill out, rent boats and explore the area on the water or on the back roads in a true Old Florida getaway.
Florida was first settled along its Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and not long after the settlers began to arrive and set up communities on the state's many rivers and lakes. Florida fish camps are quite often representative of that kind of Old Florida.
Most of them do not have lodging accommodations, and when they do they are often spartan and not plush by most standards.
Mom & Pop motels are often on the quieter back roads of Florida and sometimes on the water. The families that own them are knowledgeable about local things to do and since they live there usually keep a clean place.
Fish camps and Mom & Pops are usually quite a bit cheaper than their fancier counterparts among the chain motels and hotels on the busier highways.
If you choose a fish camp without lodging, they are still great places for day trips to launch your own boat or rent one of theirs. Many fish camps also offer fishing guides and conduct ecotours along the water bodies they inhabit.
Waterfront property in Florida is ever increasing in value and this puts the pressure on fish camps. Many have sold out in recent years and what remains in their place is not Old Florida, but New Florida with its high rise condominiums and waterfront restaurants.
Many waterfront restaurants in Florida carry the moniker "fish camp" and we list them from time to time anyway. Just be advised they may not be the real deal.
Enjoy a Florida fish camp and Mom & Pop motel while you still can. Here's a list of some of them across Florida.