Situated on the far southeastern tip of America, Florida is a wonderful place to live and visit and a superb locale for campers and nature enthusiasts, offering miles of beaches and a myriad of wooded and very secluded wilderness areas.
The state of Florida is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the states of Alabama and Georgia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Straits of Florida and Cuba to the south via the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is the 22nd-largest U.S. state in terms of total area and the third-most populous state in the union, effectively making it the 8th most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous city/municipality in the state and is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida’s most populous urban area, while the city of Tallahassee serves as the state capital and political hub for the state.
Florida has a number of unique geographical regions that collectively make it a fun place to explore for campers. The state is basically a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida, and it has the longest coastline of any state in America, measuring, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km). It is also the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south, and campers and hikers may occasionally encounter species unique to the region, such as the American alligator, American crocodile, Florida panther, and manatee, all of which call Florida’s Everglades National Park home.
While camping in Florida provides hours of fun and entertainment, visitors can also take advantage of its many amusement parks (Disney World among them), orange crops, and the Kennedy Space Center. It is also internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports.
To illustrate the draw of Florida as an outdoor camping destination, below we have profiled five of the state’s most popular and well-visited camping spots, including the attractions, amenities, characteristics and activities that have made each of them so adored by Florida’s camping population.
Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground
The word “camping” often conjures up thoughts of tents, pitched precariously on uneven ground, and cooking on a rickety camp stove, all while being surrounded by lofty trees where you can string up a camping hammock, and rugged backcountry. And while many campers thoroughly enjoy this type of primitive adventure, others prefer their accommodations a bit more modern and comfortable, making for a somewhat more luxurious experience—an experience like the one offered at Florida’s Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground.
Located in the city of Fort Pierce, Florida, in a locale that truly defines state of the art camping, the Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground offers a myriad of coveted amenities, outdoor activities and family-friendly facilities and events.
The Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground is situated between the cities of Vero Beach and Port Lucie. The park is independently owned and is the only Florida RV Resort located within one-mile of both Interstate I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. Its location provides easy access and convenience with the tranquility of a small lake—a lake that accommodates activities such as swimming and non-motorized boating. The facility consists primarily of even concrete parking pads, and boasts 30 / 50 AMP electric on all sites, free wireless internet, free cable TV, and free and easy access to a large and inviting swimming pool & hot-tub.
The modern designed clubhouse at the Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground has a billiard table, and a ping-pong table for indoor recreational enjoyment, as well as a full self-service laundry room, restrooms, and hot showers available to all guests. When not enjoying the clubhouse or other facilities, guests can participate in a number of outdoor activities, including hiking, bird watching, a 9-hole putting course for golfers and more. All of the sites at the Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For the comfort and peace of mind of all its guests, the Treasure Coast RV Park and Campground is entirely fenced and gated for privacy and security.
Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is a 1,600 acre Florida State Park located on a pristine peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island, across the Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine, Florida. This lush park boasts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and plants in a picturesque setting of beaches, tidal salt marsh, and marine and upland hammock.
There are a number of activities to pursue when camping at Anastasia State Park. The bird watching trails are simply amazing, giving guests an opportunity to see many different varieties of colorful species. Other fun pursuits include fishing, sun bathing, jogging, surfing, swimming, sail-boarding, hiking, kayaking and just enjoying a nice, sunny picnic on one of the park’s many grassy expanses.
The wonderful amenities at Anastasia State Park are known for their tendency to draw repeat visitors year after year. The campground itself accommodates both tent and RV camping, and electrical, water and sewage hookups are provided for the latter. All campgrounds include tent pads, picnic tables, trash receptacles, fire rings and a nice BBQ area with full-size grills. A wonderful and vibrant nature trail encircles the camping area and provides plenty of opportunities for exercise as well as enjoying sunsets and daybreaks. A camp store is located near the front of Anastasia State Park, one that sells everything from charcoal and ice to groceries, bait, tackle and souvenirs.
All of the campsites at Anastasia State Park are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so come early—prime campsites tend to fill up quickly, especially during the summer months and early fall.
Fort Wilderness Campground at Disneyworld
What could be better than camping amid the magic of the outdoors just a stone’s throw away from the Magic Kingdom of Disneyworld? That’s exactly what you can do at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, a place that evokes the timeless beauty of the American frontier, with deer, rabbits, ducks and armadillos roaming the resort’s 750 acres of pine and cypress forest. The Fort Wilderness Campground is ideal for discovering charming woodland trails, spectacular pool areas and non-stop entertainment, all while enjoying the majesty of this picturesque backcountry retreat.
Perfect for family groups and large parties, the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers four types of campsites, guaranteed to accommodate everything from tents to 45-foot and longer RVs, with a maximum of 10 guests allowed per site. Each of these wonderful campsites is equipped with privacy-enhancing landscaping, water, cable television and electrical hook-ups, a picnic table and a charcoal grill. Most campsites also include a sewer hook-up, fire pit and some even permit pets.
Kids will adore the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground as they make a splash into the Meadow Swimming Pool from the corkscrew waterslide, while their parents relax in the whirlpool spa. Young buckaroos can cool off and explore the fort-themed water play area, complete with their own toddler-friendly slides.
Other activities at the Disney-themed Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground include archery, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and more.
Furry friends are welcome to join your family’s camping adventure at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground as long as their owners follow the posted rules for pets, such as “All pets must be kept on a handheld leash that is 8 feet or shorter or confined in the interior of the owner’s climate-controlled personal recreational vehicle.”
Families can enjoy everything Walt Disney World has to offer on a small budget when they opt to camp at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Whether you prefer RV camping, tent camping or a more modern cabin experience, this gem of a campground has everything you need for a wonderful summertime adventure.
Bear Island Campground
For those who prefer a more primitive and adventurous camping experience, the Bear Island Campground is definitely the place to be. Here campers will find 40 rustic campsites, about half of which are open year-round by reservation. The other campgrounds are open from April 1 until the end of August each year. There is no running water at the Bear Island Campground, but vault toilets are provided. Access to the Bear Island Campground is at the end of a 20-mile secondary gravel road. Located nearby are the Gator Head (9 sites) and Pink Jeep (9 sites) Campgrounds, both of which are very popular among guests. The maximum length of stay for any camping activity within the national preserve is 180 days in a 12-month period. Fees are $10 per night or $5 with a Senior Access Pass.
Bear Island is perhaps the most remote and rustic campground you will find in the Florida Camping Guidebook. But that is only fitting, for the Big Cypress National Preserve, where the park is located, is a remote and rugged place. Vast tracts of cypress trees, pine woods, hardwood forests, and grassy prairies intermingle in reaction to the timeless battle between water and land. Your adventure in the Big Cypress is limited only to how daring you are. A system of marked trails emanates from Bear Island Campground, offering a glimpse into a strange and beautiful ecosystem.
Because of the rustic and rugged terrain, all campfires on Bear Island must be attended at all times for the sake of safety. Small campfires are allowed at designated camping sites. All fires shall be completely extinguished prior to the user leaving the campsite. Only dead wood lying on the ground may be collected as fuel for campfires within the Preserve—no live trees or attached limbs. Also, food items must be stored safely away in a vehicle or a solid camping unit, stored in a sealed plastic or metal container, or shall be suspended at least 10 feet above the ground. This restriction does not apply to food that is being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption.
Turtle Beach Campground
Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, on the Siesta Key, the Turtle Beach Campground is one of the favored camping destinations in the Florida Keys region of the state. The award-winning campground features white, sandy beaches that can be explored for miles upon miles, and the sheer warmth and beauty of the ocean in this region of the state has to be experienced to fully appreciate.
Swimming, fishing, and shelling are just a few of the great activities to pursue when camping at the Turtle Beach Campground, where awesome sunsets and long, sunny days are the norm. Nearby campers will find the world famous Siesta Key Public Beach, as well as the Little Sarasota Bay, where they can surf, kayak and sailboard all in a single day.
All of the RV camp sites at the Turtle Beach Campground are within 700 feet of the Gulf of Mexico. For campers this means plenty of quiet relaxation in the sun and even more opportunities to explore the warmth of the shores. Sun bathe or read on a quiet day while enjoying the sea breezes that waft under the giant shade trees, and forget about all your worries.
If you merely want to take a day trip to the Turtle Beach Campground, the park is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00am – 6:00pm, and Sunday from 10:00am – 5:00pm. All campers must reserve their sites in advance, and can camp a maximum of 30 days in a 45 day period. Residents of Sarasota County, Florida can reserve their site up to 180 days in advance, while non-residents may reserve up to 90 days in advance. For an additional charge, campers may rent 50 AMP Electric Service, Air Conditioning – Electric Heat – Hot Water and Cable Television.
To get to the Turtle Beach Campground, simply take I-75 to Exit 205, follow Rte 72 (Clark Road) West 8 miles, and take Midnight Pass Rd South 2-1/2 miles. The park is on the right-hand side, with an address of 8862 Midnight Pass Rd. Sarasota, FL 34242.
image licensed from: Deposit Photos