The 7 Absolute Best Camping Near Miami

Written by Alan Lemus
Published: March 15, 2023
© Mia2you/
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What makes Miami unique? Many answers are correct, depending on who you ask.

The coastal city is Florida‘s second most populated city, behind Jacksonville, with 442,241 people according to the 2020 census. It’s known for its stunning beaches, skyline, tropical climate, vibrant nightlife, Everglades National Park, Art Deco architecture, Miami tower, and predominantly Hispanic population. More than 300 high-rise buildings, 58 taller than 491 feet, provide the city with the third-largest skyline in the United States. Miami is really a Magic City.

The Miami metropolitan area has a population of 6.1 million, ranking ninth among all US metropolitan areas. With neighborhoods like Downtown Miami, Little Havana, Coconut Groove, and Key Biscayne, Miami has a mash-up of experiences. It is a significant hub in business, arts, culture, international trade, and tourism.

The city’s year-round sunshine and favorable weather make it a well-liked beach vacation destination and a hotspot for different fun activities. Miami undoubtedly has luxurious hotels and resorts where people indulge in five-star treatment. But it also has a ton of camping alternatives for those who wish to spend the night under the stars. The best of both worlds? Right here in The 305. Let’s check out the seven absolute best camping near Miami for an unforgettable outdoor experience!

Miami has the third-largest skyline in the United States.

©Demetrius Theune/

7 Best Camping Sites Near Miami

Miami is near two national parks, Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Thus, camping near the city places you in the heart of South Florida’s outdoor experience. Finding a blend of tent and RV spaces at nearby parks is common. You can decide to come prepared for the city’s tropical climate or visit in the winter to avoid the scorching heat. However, the campgrounds are in high demand in wintertime. So, let’s explore together some of the best camping near Miami!

1. Everglades National Park

The Everglades, America’s largest subtropical wilderness, span 1.5 million acres of mangrove forests, freshwater prairies, saltwater marshes, hardwood hammocks, sawgrass prairies, and other lush habitats. It hosts hundreds of bird, animal, and plant species.

This wild sanctuary, called the River of Grass, is close to Miami but remote. The International Biosphere Reserve, which is also the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states, can be reached just over an hour from Downtown Miami.

There’s more than enough dry space amidst the slow-moving waters of the Everglades for campers. Two drive-in campsites, Long Pine Key and Flamingo, are accessible from the park’s Homestead entry for those using tents or RVs. This camping style is called front country camping.

Flamingo Campground

Flamingo has 40 walk-to/boat-to sites and 274 tent-only sites. The campground has two dump stations, solar-heated showers, grills, picnic tables, and an amphitheater for Ranger programs throughout the year. 41 of the 65 RV-only sites in the T Loop section offer power hookups. It’s open year-round, but the peak camping season (which is the optimum period for reservations) runs from November to April. 

 Long Pine Key Campground

This is the other drive-to camping alternative in the park. Unlike the Flamingo, this campsite is only open from November to April. It contains 108 camps, some RV-only and tent-only, while others are accessible by boat or foot. It has restrooms, a dump station, and a water filling station but no electric hookups. RV and tent sites can be reserved. However, some spaces are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Backcountry/ Wilderness Camping

Daring campers can stay around beach sites, and chickees, that is roofed raised platforms with open sides. The backcountry campsites are accessible by hiking or canoe, motorboat, or kayak. However, you need to obtain a wilderness camping permit from the Flamingo or Gulf Coast Visitor Centers on the day of the reservation or 24 hours prior. 


The Everglades has something for those who’d rather do away with the rustic camping style. It’s possible to glamp at any of the two sites in the Flamingo campground. The first option is to rent a houseboat at the Flamingo Marina. The boats are equipped with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a full galley kitchen, so campers reside onboard the boats while exploring the park. Renting an eco-tent with a seating area, a queen or two double beds, fans, and a power supply is another attractive glamping option. Florida Bay can be seen from the eco-tents.

Everglades National Park Florida
Everglades National Park, Florida.


2. Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park and Campground

The expansive 270-acre woodland of the Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park is adjacent to the Zoo of Miami in Southwest Miami-Dade, seemingly hidden but easy to find. It’s perfect for biking, hiking, jogging, and equestrian riding. Rock pinelands, wildflowers, palmettos, lychee, avocado, and mango trees are all present throughout the park.

The park, dedicated to Miami Herald’s columnist Larry Thompson and his wife Penny Thompson, also has 240 campsites suited for camping enthusiasts. Definitely one of the best camping options near Miami! In addition, the couple championed the advocacy for additional parks and tree and flower planting in Miami-Dade county.

There are 240 different RV campsites with available power and water amenities and spaces specifically for tent camping. In addition, there’s room for more adventure; campers can take a dip or fish in the nearby freshwater lake, explore the hiking trails, or ride horseback. You can also choose to stroll along the seasonal beach. Nine picnic shelters, each with the capacity to accommodate 100 people, are available for rent at varying rates. The shelters have running water, a 6-foot-long BBQ grill, andseven7 large picnic tables.

WiFi connection and an onsite camp store are available in the camps. Other amenities include showers, laundry facilities, and restrooms. Verify regular operating times and amenity availability, and make bookings before your visit. 

Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park, Florida
Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park, Florida.

©Enrique Trujillo/

3. Bahia Honda State Park

The scenic, palm-lined tropical destination is a dream come true for outdoor lovers. Besides being a haven for birds and marine animals, the gorgeous sunsets, sea breezes, clear waters, and sandy beaches at the Bahia Honda add to its perfection. From birding, and snorkeling to picnicking and camping, this getaway spot two hours south of Miami offers a delectable list of experiences. Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the park’s unspoiled serenity and provides various options. The park recommends bringing an RV or pop-up camper because the campsites are gravel.

Buttonwood campground

This is the largest camping area in Bahia Honda and has the first 48 sites. Large RVs and small tents are both welcome at Buttonwood Campground. It includes amenities such as electricity, water, a bathhouse with restrooms and hot showers, a dump station, picnic tables, and grills.

Sandspur Campground

You can find this campground site from the 49th to the 72nd. A range of camping equipment and tents are allowed at Sandspur Campground. However, the maximum length of a camping vehicle, from hitch to bumper, should be 23 feet. Bigger camping vehicles cannot maneuver the steep twists on this loop. Sandspur has water, electricity, grills, and picnic tables like the Buttonwood campsite. The bathhouse is being renovated, but there are air-conditioned temporary mobile restrooms and showers on site.

Bayside Campground

This has just 8 sites—73 to 80— all non-electric. Nonetheless, there is a grill, a picnic table, and water at Bayside campsites. While a small bathroom is nearby, campers must go half a mile to Buttonwood Campground to enjoy the hot showers in the bathhouse. The new Bahia Honda Bridge has a 6-foot overhead clearance; vehicles can only reach this campground if they go under it. Hammock camping is also available at the park. It entails docking your boat and spending the night inside for a price.

Bahia Honda State Park, Florida
Bahia Honda State Park, Florida.

©Simon Dannhauer/

4. Biscayne National Park

Located south of Miami, the Biscayne National Park hosts coral reefs and many endangered and threatened species, such as manatees, sea turtles, and Florida semaphore cactus. In addition, more than 600 native birds, migratory habitats, and neotropical water birds can be found at the park. It’s made up of a number of islands and has mangrove forests along its edges. It also contains the northernmost part of the Florida Reef, the third-largest coral reef system in the world and the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. Interestingly, Biscayne National park is 95% underwater, and the islands are only accessible by boat. A full of adventurous activities around the park may ignite the desire to stay overnight. Not to worry if staying on an isolated island is right up your alley; the park has two campsites — Boca Chita Key and Elliott Key. 

Boca Chita Key

Boca Chita is the more popular and rustic one of the two campgrounds. Dogs aren’t permitted here, and there are no showers, sinks, and drinking water. It only features picnic tables, restrooms, and barbecues. 

Elliott Key

This is the largest island in the Biscayne National Park. At a 2.5-foot low tide, you can dock your boat on one of the 33 designated boat slips. Grills, sink-equipped restrooms, picnic tables, and cold showers are also available for use. However, there are minimal drinking water supplies.

Boca Chita Lighthouse at Biscayne Park, Florida
Iconic Boca Chita Lighthouse at Biscayne National Park, Florida.

©Kelly vanDellen/

5. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp, established in 1963, is the first and most well-known underwater park in the United States. It attracts many visitors year-round with its unique array of marine life. There are numerous options for diving, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, and fishing on its 70 nautical square miles of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters. Dive 25 feet below sea level to see Christ of the Abyss, an 8.5-foot-tall imitation of the bronze cast of Jesus Christ in the Mediterranean Sea, submerged off the coast of Key Largo, in addition to Florida’s colorful coral reefs and tropical fish.

Tents and RVs are allowed for camping on the land. Such a great camping option near Miami! You can also set up a campfire.

Fish and corals in John Pennekamp Marine Park
John Pennekamp, established in 1963, is the first and most well-known underwater park in the United States.

©Matt Kieffer from London, United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

6. Curry Hammock State Park

The 1000-acre Curry Hammock State Park between Key Largo and Key West is a sight. Camping here is the perfect getaway from the bustle of the city, and immerse yourself in nature. Not only does it offer access to the beachfront, but it also has vast sandy land for tents and gravel sections for RVs.

With 28 campsites and a view of the Atlantic Ocean on the side, camping at the Curry Hammock State Park is sure to be one of the best camping experience near Miami. In addition, it has areas for leisurely pursuits such as biking, canoeing, snorkeling, and hiking. Add Saturday stargazing sessions and local delicacies to the mix.

Curry Hammock is pet-friendly; you can reserve a site up to 11 months in advance. The park, however, doesn’t allow motorized boats.

Curry Hammock State Park, Florida
Curry Hammock State Park, Florida.

©stannate, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

7. Hollywood KOA

Hollywood KOA is in a prime location along the US 441 corridor between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, giving you access to Florida’s renowned beaches, warm breezes, and beautiful blue sky.

This urban campground offers enjoyable get-togethers, a wealth of nearby attractions, and a space in the sun or shade of a palm tree for you to relax. It features three 65-foot-long tent sites, six cottages, and 41 RV sites. The camp accommodation options include complete connections, bathrooms, laundry, restrooms, grills, WiFi, a sun deck, and fire pits. Firewood is available for sale.

Pets are welcome, but their company attracts a fee, and tent sites are off-limits to them. It can be challenging to navigate this campground, according to previous campers. Larger rigs might have to remain elsewhere, but smaller setups should be fine.

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South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida. Haulover Park.
South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida. Haulover Park.
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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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