5 Florida National and State Parks for Camping
By Kevin Mims
Whether you’re looking to rough it or camp in style, Florida has you covered. Primitive sites, tent sites and big-rig friendly RV sites offering spectacular views, easy access to award-winning trails and out-of-this-world natural features dot the entire state.
Put these five locations at the top of your must-try list for camping in Florida:
1. Everglades National Park
Want to see an extraordinary array of wildlife and sample a variety of ecosystems? It doesn’t get any better than this 1.5 million-acre subtropical and tropical habitat, which is home to a mile-long list of different plant and animal species. Just make sure to set up camp in the winter months when there are fewer bugs. Both front-country and back-country campgrounds are located throughout the park.
2. Gulf Islands National Seashore
If you’re looking to primitive camp on an undeveloped, blindingly white beach, this is the spot for you. Get off the grid at your own private paradise at the eastern end of Perdido Key. Or head to the Fort Pickens Campground (RVs and tents) for a more modern site with water and electric hookups.
3. Fort Clinch State Park
History buffs and nature lovers alike flock to Fort Clinch for its outdoor activities and daily reenactments of garrison life. Bring mountain bikes – the off-road trails here are some of the best in the state. And why not hunt for shark’s teeth along the beach that’s close to the Amelia River Campground area?
4. Ocala National Forest
For an unforgettable springs-hopping adventure, set up camp at one of the forest’s recreation areas where multiple freshwater springs are within an easy drive of one another. Take your pick – Juniper, Alexander, Salt and Silver Glen springs are all incredible places to cool off.
5. Bahia Honda State Park
The Florida Keys
For many, the best way to experience the Florida Keys is on a camping trip. Visit Bahia Honda State Park for excellent tent and RV camping in Florida accompanied by stunning views of the crystalline blue water. Simply put, this is paradise, and you won’t be eager to break camp and resume your normal routine.
Photos by Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA