The 5 Best Places to Camp in Florida this Summer

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: August 24, 2022
© iStock.com/Patrick Jennings
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Florida has so many wonderful national and state parks so there are lots of options for hiking, biking, fishing, swimming and beach going. If you want to enjoy all that Florida has to offer by spending a few nights camping, here are 5 of the best places to camp in Florida this summer!

Quiet, colorful sunrise over the Florida Everglades
Come to Florida this summer for some of the best camping around.

©jo Crebbin/Shutterstock.com

1. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Top 10 Animals That Have Shells - armadillo
Watch for armadillos scurrying around in the Fort Wilderness Campground. This is one of the best places to camp in Florida this summer because it is so close to everything Orlando has to offer!

©Klaus Balzano/Shutterstock.com

For a central location to all that Orlando has to offer, check out the Fort Wilderness Campground. The large, 750-acre campground has full hookup campsites with water/electric/sewage as well as some with just water/electric. The largest sites have a concrete pad that is 18 feet by 60 feet, so plenty of room. Even the tent sites are large at 10 feet by 25 feet and they are all nestled in among the pine and cypress forest. Keep your eye out for deer, rabbits and even armadillos that live in the park. The campground really is a resort with restaurants, pools, beaches and entertainment all available right in the park.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
LocationJust outside of Orlando
Nearest CityLake Buena Vista, FL
RV/Tent Sites800 RV/Tent Sites
Cabins400
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers, restaurants, stores,
swimming pools, beaches
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestResort-like camping close to all that Orlando
has to offer!

2. Bahia Honda State Park RV Campground (Florida Keys)

Bahia Honda State Park
Look at the beautiful turquoise waters of Bahia Honda State Park. Bring your snorkel gear for camping right on the waterfront.

©Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for something a little more remote, try the palm tree lined beaches of Bahia Honda State Park. Bring your snorkeling gear because you can snorkel right off the beach. Be sure to hike to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge where you can watch sea turtles and rays swimming below. There are three areas of the campground that include larger sites for RV’s with electric/water hookups and there is a more primitive area with 8 tent sites. All of the sites have picnic tables and grills.

Bahia Honda State Park RV Campground
LocationOn the Florida Keys
Nearest CityKey West, FL
Buttonwood Campground48 sites, accommodate large RV’s and tents, some
waterfront sites, electric/water, picnic table, grill,
restrooms, hot showers
Sandspur Campground24 sites, accommodates smaller RV’s
(23 feet and less) tents, electric/water,
picnic table, grill, restrooms, hot showers
Bayside Campground8 non-electric sites, picnic table, grill, water,
restroom, ½ mile to nearest hot showers
Hammock Camping2 sites (Site 45 at Buttonwood and 73 at Bayside)
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Grill at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestBeachside camping in the Keys!

3. Myakka River State Park

Florida man catches a gator
Some of the best wildlife viewing is at Myakka River State Park. You can see alligators, softshell turtles, osprey, eagles and hawks.

©iStock.com/LagunaticPhoto

The Myakka River was Florida’s first designated wild and scenic river, located SE of Sarasota, FL. The park includes a 100 foot long wildlife viewing bridge that gives you the feel of living in the tree tops of an oak/palm hammock. The Myakka Canopy Walkway is 25 feet off the ground and was built as a research project to improve the wildlife viewing including watching for eagles, vultures and hawks. Another area of the park has the Birdwalk which is a long boardwalk leading out to a deck for wildlife viewing around the lake. Watch for alligators, softshell turtles, herons, and osprey. There are three campgrounds to choose from as well as six primitive campgrounds along the hiking trails. The main campgrounds sites have electric and water with a few having sewer hookups as well. There are restrooms and hot showers available.

Myakka River State Park
LocationSW Florida, near Sarasota
Nearest CitySarasota, FL
Old Prairie CampgroundLocated near the park entrance, playground, gift shop
Big Flats CampgroundLocated near the Upper Myakka Lake, Myakka Outpost,
a fishing deck and Wi-Fi.
Palmetto RidgeLocated near the park entrance, playground, gift shop,
RV sites have electric/water/sewer
Primitive Campsites6 different campgrounds with 3 sites each, fire pit and
some have water but it is not potable
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers, laundry, playground, gift shop
Pet FriendlyYes (not the Primitive Sites)
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSome of the best wildlife viewing in the state!

4. Cayo Costa State Park

A porpoise swimming and looking at the camera
Can you imagine having your morning coffee at your campsite while watching porpoises swim by? Definitely one of the best places to camp in Florida this summer!

©Takayuki Ohama/Shutterstock.com

Do you want to camp on a secluded island? For a peaceful adventure load up your kayak and head out to Cayo Costa State Park. This island is in the Gulf just east of the Fort Meyers area. You can only access the island by boat or kayak, or by taking one of the ferries. Once on the island, you can rent kayaks and bikes to get around the many trails. The campground is about a mile from the docks but there is a tram service to transport your camping gear from 10am-4pm. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit and access to water. There are restrooms with flush toilets and cold showers. Imagine waking up to have a cup of coffee right on the beach to watch manatee, porpoise and sea turtles. Now that is one of the best places to camp in Florida this summer!

Cayo Costa State Park
LocationAn island off the west coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico
Nearest CityFort Meyers, FL
RV Sites0
Tent Sites30
Cabins12 (no electricity or water, three bunk beds, table, outdoor grill, 5 have a screened porch)
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, tram to the campground 10am-4pm
Pet FriendlyPets are allowed, but not on the beach
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestCamping on a secluded island with 9 miles of beach!

5. Canaveral National Seashore

European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)
If you want to camp right on the beach, make your reservations for the Canaveral National Seashore campsites.

©iStock.com/Edda Dupree

If you want to camp on the Atlantic Ocean, right on the beach, then Canaveral National Seashore is the best place to camp in Florida this summer. There are two large sites on the beach and there are 14 backcountry sites on Mosquito Lagoon Island. The backcountry sites are all boat/kayak/canoe-in only. You can rent canoes to make the trip if you are staying at sites 1-5 on the island. Note that these sites are very primitive and do not have any facilities, including no toilets. The two main campsites do have restrooms and are walking distance from the parking lot. Bring your fishing pole because there is great fishing in the Atlantic and in the lagoon. Be ready to catch some good sized bluefish, pompano and whiting.

Canaveral National Seashore
LocationAn hour east of Orlando, on the Atlantic Ocean
Nearest CityCape Canaveral
Main Campsite2 sites, one for 6 max, one for 15 max
Mosquito Lagoon Backcountry Sites14 tent only, canoe/kayak/boat-in only
Picnic TableNo
Fire Pit at each siteNo, fires in metal containers only
AmenitiesRestrooms at the 2 main sites only
Pet FriendlyNo, pets are not allowed in the park
ReservationsYes, permits required
What makes it one of the bestCamping right on the sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean!


The Featured Image

Lake Talquin Florida
lake Talquin offers a relaxed, undeveloped experience and is known for superior black bass and crappie fishing
© iStock.com/Patrick Jennings

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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