Camping in Florida – Must-Visit Campgrounds in Florida


Generally, camping in Florida has a long history. Paleo-Indians camped here 12,000 years ago, Timucuan natives in the 13th century, and Spaniards arrived in the 16th century. Entertainment is such an integral part of Florida history that it’s only natural that camping grew up right here.

A campground is an area where people can camp overnight, usually made up of several campsites. You will be offered facilities such as washing areas, outbuildings, toilets, and possibly hookups. Some campsites also offer a reception center and a guest house. (A campground may be part of a larger park with other campgrounds.

In Tampa, the modern way of camping started in 1919 when the official organization Tin Can Tourists of the World was formed. A loose association of explorers, adventurers, day trippers, and weekend travelers who liked to pitch their vehicles (often modified Model Ts) with tents, blankets, heaters, spare tires, extra gas, pots and pans, and off went. From across America, they searched for new places, and Florida quickly became one of their favorite vacation spots. It was a deserted place with a temperate climate, citrus groves, exotic nature, and endless beaches.


Types of campgrounds in Florida:

1. Public Campgrounds in Florida:

In general, in public campgrounds in Florida, a camping permit is not required at any of the hunter-designated camping areas, and a first come, first served basis applies. Camping is also permitted at designated hiker-only campsites along the Florida Trail year-round and does not require a camping permit. There are more than 50 public campgrounds in Florida throughout the state.

2. Private Campgrounds in Florida:

A private camping franchise can generate an 80% annual return in three months. This period usually lasts from June to August. Camping is very profitable, but only if you do it correctly. Owning a campground or trailer park is not for everyone. Due to this fact, the private sector is entering the campground business. As a result of it, we are going through a high-quality camping experience in Florida. However, private campgrounds in Florida are expensive, but most sites are worth visiting.

3. State Parks Campgrounds in Florida:

The US state of Florida has 175 state parks and 9 state trails covering more than 800,000 acres and offers recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

Nearly half of the state parks have a locally affiliated 501(c) nonprofit organization, often referred to as “Friends of {park name} State Park, Inc.” In 2015, approximately 29,356 volunteers spent nearly 1.3 million hours improving parks for approximately 31 million visitors. Admission to almost all Florida state parks is mostly low, although there are separate fees for using cabins, marinas, campgrounds, and more. Florida State Parks offer 3,613 family campgrounds, 186 cabins, thousands of picnic tables, 100 miles of beaches, and over 2,000 miles of hiking trails.

4. National Parks Campgrounds in Florida:

Everglade National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides essential habitats for many rare and endangered species, such as the manatee, American alligator, and the elusive Florida panther. You read Everglades National Park. You probably didn’t read Timucuan Ecological and Historic Reserve or De Soto National Memorial. And therein lies a huge opportunity, as there are 11 national parks in Florida, many of which are little-known hidden gems.

Popular campgrounds in Florida

1. KOA Campground:

The Sunshine State is full of opportunities to relax and explore, which makes camping at KOA Camping the perfect option! Where can you enjoy being close to famous sights and at the same time getting in touch with nature? KOA campground has more than 500 locations in North America, including many campgrounds in Florida.

KOA Campground Photos
KOA Campground Photos

Whether you live in Florida or are one of the many snowbirds who flock to the Sunshine State to escape winter, the KOA offers many benefits. You will find that our campsites are convenient and customer-oriented and there is no shortage of activities both on and around the campsites.

We also offer excellent services such as laundry, clean bathrooms with hot water and children’s playgrounds, and much more. Whether you’re embarking on an unforgettable adventure or want to relax and unwind, Florida Camping has it all; we have options you’ll love.

2. Disney Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground:

Disney Fort Wilderness Campground is a themed campground in the Magic Kingdom Resort area of Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. The official opening took place on November 19, 1971. The resort is located near Bay Lake, near Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. It was also formerly home to Disney’s River Country, a closed water park on November 2, 2001.

 Disney Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground  Photos
Disney Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Photos

The campsite has a rustic theme and is set in 750 hectares of pine and cypress forest. Winding, tree-lined roads lead to different areas of the resort. Part of the resort is occupied by campsites, where guests can stay in tents or RVs. The rest of the accommodation area is occupied by permanent trailers resembling log cabins. Dogs can camp on pet rings for an additional $5 per night. Dogs are not allowed in caravans or tents.

3. Ichetucknee Springs State Park:

Known for its warm-weather hoses, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a 2,669-acre wildlife sanctuary that is home to beavers, otters, gar, soft-shell turtles, wild turkeys, garden ducks, and limpkins. The park’s main attraction is the park’s eight major crystal springs, which together form the 6-mile Ichetucknee River.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park Photos
Ichetucknee Springs State Park Photos

Upper State Park is a National Natural Landmark, perhaps the most pristine springtime hiking trail in the state, and the best kayaking or kayaking excursion in the colder months. Three nature trails lead guests through lush forests or the majestic setting of sandy hills with tall long-leaf pines.

4. O’Leno State Park:

O’Leno State Park is a state park in Florida on the Santa Fe River, six miles north of High Springs on US Highway 441. The Civilian Conservation Corps built many park structures in the 1960s and 1930s.

O'Leno State Park Photos
O’Leno State Park Photos

The park has sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river marshes, and sandpits. The Santa Fe River flows through the park, disappearing into a sinkhole and reappearing about 5 miles away at River Rise Preserve State Park, forming a natural land bridge. The historic Bellamy Road once spanned this land bridge.

5. Bahia Honda State Park:

The Bahia Honda State Park is an island in Lower Florida (Overseas Highway) that runs approximately 36 to 38.5 miles through the Key between Ohio Key and Spanish Harbor Key, 12 miles west of Marathon near the west end of the Seven-Mile Bridge.

Bahia Honda State Park photos
Bahia Honda State Park Photos

 The island is virtually uninhabited and home to the 212-acre Bahia Honda State Park. Established in 1961, the park occupies most of the island. The channel at the west end of the island is one of the deepest natural channels in the Florida Keys.

Amenities offered by Florida campgrounds:

Tent and RV camping:

In principle, mobile homes can be parked anywhere on your property that is intended for residential purposes. This includes driveways, parking lots, and even empty spaces. However, there may be restrictions on how long you park your RV on someone else’s property.

Tent camping is usually the cheapest option. Good tents cost $40, and primitive campsites with no hookups are usually cheaper than RV sites. However, the campers show love for both options in Florida.


However, not all campsites offer full hookups. Some only supply water, others water and electricity. Some places offer no connection at all. This is called dry camping, and you must provide energy from solar panels, batteries, or a generator.

Camping in national parks often involves dry camping without electricity, water, or sewage connections; however, about a dozen campgrounds have full or partial hookups. The National Park Service (NPS) offers more than 130 units of camping.

Restrooms and showers:

 Many campgrounds and developed national parks include showers with your campground reservation, while others offer public showers for an additional fee. Some campsites allow you to pay for a shower even if you don’t camp with them.

Fire pits and picnics:

Fishing, boating, swimming, and campfires are only allowed in designated areas. A Florida fishing license may be required. Evenings can be chilly, especially in winter. A 52-degree night is perfect for a warm house. No need to go inside – step into the warm glow of a cozy fire to shake off the chill.

Activities and Attractions:

A perfect picnic can be incomplete without some activities or games to amuse oneself. Campgrounds in Florida offer them frequently. One of the most in-demand amenities is the golf course and the carts. Another facility visitors may love is the swimming pool or hot bathtub station. Adventure lovers are attracted to horse riding, hiking, and dirt biking.

How to reserve a campsite in Florida?

Most state parks are open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to sunset. Visitors can book a campsite or cabin up until 1:00 p.m. on the same day. 11 months in advance by calling toll-free 800-326-3521 or TDD 888-433-0287 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time or by visiting the Florida State Parks Reservations page.

For example, campsite bookings can be made for Friday 4th July through Friday 4th July at 1 pm. Likewise, reservations for November 1, 2022, cannot be made before December 1, 2021.

  • Any campsite or cabin not booked or occupied may be rented to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Reservations are made on a prepaid basis.
  • Prices are subject to change without notice.

Almost all the state parks offer their website or portal to book their site. Talking about the payment method, cash, credit, and debit card payments are more commonly accepted.

Tips for camping in Florida:

What to bring?

  1. Sleeping bag.
  2. Pillow.
  3. Sleeping mat or camp bed if tent camping.
  4. Table and camping chairs.
  5. Mallet, spare pegs, and puller.
  6. Spare batteries, portable chargers, and cables.
  7. Torch and head torch.
  8. Tent repair kit.

Weather considerations:

The weather can ruin your outdoor picnic in any part of the world. In Florida, the weather can be extreme as well. Knowing the weather forecast and carrying the stuff accordingly can save your day. For rainy days, you can carry waterproof equipment and some extra clothes. For winter you can take warm clothes and blankets along with you.

Wildlife and inspection precautions:

Camping is considered not the safest picnic in some parts of the world. If you have planned your camping in a forest, then you should be regarding wildlife precautions. Everyone should avoid going to places where wildlife can harm them.

Leave no trace principles:

When we go camping, hiking, or just enjoying nature, it is essential not to leave any rubbish behind. Introducing waste into an ecosystem can have devastating consequences, e.g., B. small animals getting stuck in jars or other containers or choking birds with plastic.

Final recommendations:

  • Always plan for bad weather.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Plan your activities.
  • There’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.
  • Look out for camping sales.
  • Take a first aid kit.
  • Use a packing list before setting off. •     
  • Don’t pitch under a tree.

Camping in Florida FAQs

What to bring for camping in Florida?

Your essential camping gear lists for camping in Florida should consist of:
1. Sleeping bag.
2. Pillow.
3. Sleeping mat or camp bed if tent camping.
4. Table and camping chairs.
5. Mallet, spare pegs, and puller.
6. Spare batteries, portable chargers, and cables.
7. Torch and head torch.
8. Tent repair kit.

Can you camp on the beach in Florida?

Unfortunately, you cannot camp openly on the beach in Florida. There are several reasons for this, like wildlife protection and safety purpose. Furthermore, many families have permanent shelters on the beach in Florida, so they will not allow tourists to camp in their backyards.
But there are designated beach campgrounds where you can go camping to explore the beach.

Where to camp in Florida?

Dont be confused; there is plenty of campsites and campground in Florida. There are several types of campgrounds in Florida where you can go camping. Popular types are public campgrounds, private campgrounds, state parks, and national parks.

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