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Camping on Florida Beaches: What you need to know.
Do you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Love camping in beautiful destinations? If so, then camping on the miles of coastline and miles of beaches of Florida are just what you need.
There’s nothing quite like camping in a stunning natural setting, with miles of pristine white sand beach and beautiful blue water stretching as far as the eye can see. Beach camping in Florida allows you to explore nature while creating lasting memories that will last a lifetime for your family.
Florida is truly a paradise of outdoor camping opportunities. From camping in the state parks to camping on its many beaches, there’s something for everyone looking to explore the Sunshine State.
If camping on Florida beaches is what you would like to do, there are many places to choose from, but you have to plan ahead. From primitive tent sites to large RV parks, Florida offers it all but many are reserved months in advance.
There are beautiful spots in the sunshine state that offer breathtaking views and plenty of fun activities. Secluded spots or fully equipped camping sites, there are plenty of options available throughout the Sunshine State.
So get ready to make some unforgettable camping memories. It’s time to hit the beaches of Florida and find your camping spot on a Florida beach.
Below are some of the top locations to camp on the beach in Florida both on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean side. As of this writing (2022) Florida did experience back to back hurricanes.
It’s important to check prior to planning camping on the beach especially in the Southwest and East Central portions of the state.
One other side note. As mentioned above, if you plan to camp in any of the Florida State Parks mentioned below, you must plan ahead. These camping areas fill up fast especially during winter.
Northwest Panhandle/West Central Camping Florida Beaches
St. George Island State Park. St. George Island State Park offers some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the United States. The main campground in this state park offers 60 spots with full hookups for electricity and water, bathrooms, and a playground for the kids.
The downside? This campground is not located directly on the beach, but it is a short walk from the campground to the beach. There are two primitive sites on the water with picnic tables and fire pit but no bathrooms. Completely primitive but also beautiful.
Grayton Beach State Park. Located in Santa Rosa Beach, this camping spot has both primitive camping sites and full hookup options for the perfect mix of nature and comfort. Enjoy plenty of outdoor activities like canoeing, hiking and swimming at this stunning beach camping destination.
Henderson Beach State Park. This beautiful state park is located on Grayton Beach with stunning 30 foot sand dunes and turquoise waters of the Gulf Coast. This area is also part of the Emerald Coast.
It offers 60 campsites that are connected to the beach by a boardwalk. Sites in this park can accommodate both RV camping and tent camping with water and electricity. There is no sewer connection. RV’s must empty at the dump station.
Panama City Beach. There are a number of great camping spots in Panama City Beach, each with its own unique character.
St. Andrews State Park: This state park is located on a peninsula, providing panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. The campground offers both beachfront and interior campsites, as well as RV hookups. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, including fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking.
More spots in PCB are:
- Camp Helen State Park: This state park is located between Panama City Beach and Destin, making it a great spot for exploring both areas. The campground offers beachfront campsites as well as sites in the interior portion of the park. There are several hiking trails, fishing pier, and a heated pool.
- Shell Island. Shell Island is a beautiful barrier island that is only accessible by boat. There are several companies that offer ferry service to the island from Panama City Beach, but you need to reserve those ahead of time. Once on Shell Island, you’ll find miles of unspoiled beaches as well as plenty of activities such as fishing, swimming, and kayaking. There are also a few primitive campsites available on the island.
- St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Spend your camping trip in Port St Joe exploring miles of pristine beachfront and camping under a canopy of trees. Easy access to nearby cities for those that like to explore.
Gulf Islands National Seashore. Unwind at this camping destination located off the shores of Pensacola. Activities ranging from hiking to shelling to biking and more can be enjoyed.
There are 2 campgrounds in this beautiful park. One in Mississippi and one in Florida. We are going to chat about the campsites in Florida which is Fort Pickens Campground.
This campground and park is actually one of the top 10 busiest campgrounds in the country. The park offers full hook-up RV sites as well as tent camping.
Primitive camping is directly on the white sand beach. The Florida National Scenic Trail runs right through this park. p.s. Gulf State Park located near Gulf Shores is in Alabama but located close to the border, so I wanted to give it a mention.
South Walton Beaches. With 16 different beach camping spots located along the Emerald Coast, you’re sure to find something that puts a big smile on your face. From primitive camping to full-service sites there are plenty of options for camping along the white sand beaches.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Grayton State Park mentioned above are my top 2 picks. Topsail offers 156 RV sites with water, 30- or 50-amp electric, sewer, laundry facilities and shuffleboard courts.
Bathrooms with showers are heated and cooled. Prefer glamping to camping? You are in luck at this park. Fancing Camps offers luxury camping for those that prefer a more upscale experience.
Santa Rosa Sound. This private campground on the Florida Panhandle offers waterfront sites in a beautiful tropical paradise.
There are 24 waterfront sites with electric and water hookups as well as 88 RV sites not directly on the water but a short walk away. Not the least expensive option in this area but a quick check showed they do have sites available during the busy winter months.
Carrabelle Beach. Carrabelle Beach RV Resort while not directly on the gulf is directly across the road from Carrabelle Beach. It is one of a few private campgrounds in the area.
Beautifully landscaped with palm trees blowing in the Gulf winds, this great place to camp may become your favorite. A low-key, friendly part of Florida, this campground offers easy access to one of the least crowded, dog friendly beaches.
Fort De Soto Park. Located near St. Petersburg, this park offers two miles of pristine white sand beach with plenty of camping options including sites directly on the water. Swimming, kayaking, bird watching, fishing and more are available.
This is a county park with beautiful beach views. Fort De Soto is also a historic site with a 200-year-old fort, cannons and bunkers. Family friendly, there are 236 campsites with water and electric hook-ups. Some sites are pet friendly as well.
Southwest Gulf Camping Florida Beaches
Turtle Beach Campground. This campground is located in Sarasota County on Siesta Key. It offers 39 camp sites for RV campers as well as those that prefer to tent camp.
This campground is one of a few campgrounds in this area that offers direct beach access. Minutes away from Turtle Beach, you will find beautiful crushed shell campsites for both tent campers and RV campers.
Fort Myers Beach. There are a few private campgrounds located on Fort Myers Beach. Red Coconut RV Resort is directly on the Gulf of Mexico.
Red Coconut offers easy access to surrounding cities, nature trails to explore, and borders Matanzas Pass Preserve which is a popular bird watching area. Tent and RV camping available as well as private, fully furnished mobile units.
Cayo Costa State Park. This unspoiled island offers primitive camping only. The sites have a picnic table, ground grill and potable water but no electricity.
Keep in mind this park is only accessible by private boat, and you are responsible for transporting your gear in AND taking everything out including trash. Love to hammock camp? You can do it in this beautiful park.
Keys Camping Florida Beaches
Long Key State Park. This state park is located right off Overseas Highway and a great place to relax and unwind. Full hook-ups overlook are being restored as this park took a hit from a hurricane a few years.
As of this writing there are hike-in, primitive camp sites available. Before hiking to the camping area, be sure to check in at the ranger station. There is no boat ramp in this park, but you can still launch a kayak or canoe as well as hike the nature trails or fish.
Curry Hammock State Park. This beautiful state park is located on the island of Marathon. It is the largest undeveloped parcel of land between Key Largo and Big Pine Key.
Beautiful sunrise or starry night, you will enjoy both on the sandy beach of this island. The park offers 28 campsites with a maximum recreational vehicle’s length of 70 feet.
Picnic area on the southeast end of the park with pavilions as well as snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, geocaching and other activities. Modern amenities include ADA compliant bath-house with hot showers with beautifully maintained landscape to explore.
Key West. Boyd’s Key West Campground is the number one pick of many when visiting Key West. Tent or RV Campers will enjoy beautiful oceanfront views while a short drive will put you on popular Duval Street.
This campground was developed in the 60s and campsites are a bit smaller than other campgrounds. But the view can’t be beat!
Bahia Honda State Park. Head over to the Florida Keys for camping at this beautiful spot with beaches, camping sites, and plenty of activities from swimming to snorkeling. Three campgrounds are available in this state park with Buttonwood Campground offering waterfront sites.
Bayside Campground has 8 primitive camp sites. If you bring a vehicle to your site, it must be able to go under the Bahia Honda bridge with a 6′ 8″ clearance. Hammock and boat camping are also available in this campground.
Dry Tortugas National Park. Dry Tortugas is one of the prettiest national parks in the country. But you definitely have to plan ahead.
Campsites are available only on Garden Key, where Fort Jefferson is located. Campers must bring everything including gear, food, water, ice and charcoal for grilling.
You must also be prepared to carry it all out as well. There are no flush toilets, electricity or water available but there are vault composting toilets on the island.
Southeast Atlantic Camping Florida Beaches
West Palm Beach. John Prince Campground is not located on the Atlantic Ocean but offers waterfront views on Lake Osborne. Tent or RV camping available.
Juno Ocean Walk RV Resort only offers camping for RVs but offers easy access to Juno Beach. You can camp on the sand of Peanut Island which offers 17 camp sites with easy access to Riviera Beach.
Biscayne National Park. This beautiful park offers not one but two campgrounds located on Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key. Boca Chita Key is the most popular of the two and offers waterfront views.
The best way to get to the island campground is by boat as there are no services available on these islands. Toilets are available but no showers, drinking water or camp store or gift shop. Bring everything that you will need during your stay and be prepared to take it all back out as well.
Northeast Atlantic Camping Florida Beaches
Canaveral National Seashore. One of my favorite places on the East Coast. This camping destination offers miles of oceanfront camping as well as other activities such as surfing, sunbathing, shelling, hiking and even horseback riding.
Natural, unspoiled campsites are available for those that have a private boat, kayak or canoe. Reservations as well as a permit are required to camp. No running water, electricity or toilets available.
Anastasia State Park. This beautiful Florida State Park offers 1600 acres of unspoiled, pristine beaches and abundant wildlife. Camping here takes you back to old Florida with its natural beauty intact.
Enjoy fishing or kayaking while camping here near historic St. Augustine. 139 campsites for tent or RV camping are available with electricity and water all a short walking distance from the beach.
Flagler Beach. The best beach campground in this area is located in Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area/State Park. This state park is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway (Intercoastal Waterway).
It offers two campgrounds some with beautiful waterfront views. So much to see and do for nature lovers in this state park. The direct access beach located in this park is a nesting area for sea turtles.
Daytona Beach. There are a few options for camping in Daytona Beach. Coral Sands RV park not only has oceanfront views it is a short drive to Daytona Beach. Another option is Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort also offers oceanfront views from your RV.
For tent campers, Tomoka State Park is your best option. There are 100 campsites with water, electricity, grill, and picnic table. Located in Ormond Beach a quick road trip from Daytona.
Fort Clinch State Park Amelia Island. Thanks to my friend, Toni, I have tent camped on this beach twice. There are two campgrounds in this state park.
One campground on the beach and the other on the Amelia River. The tent sites of the beachside campground are not located on the beach. Actually neither are the RV sites. They are located behind the dunes with easy beach access over a boardwalk.
The parking area is near the bathhouse with showers, toilets, and laundry. Enjoy hiking, biking or take a tour of Fort Clinch, one of the best preserved forts in the United States. Perfect for history and nature lovers. You can read more here: Fort Clinch State Park Camping
Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot to enjoy nature, or your own slice of paradise with amenities, Florida’s many beach camping options have something for everyone.
You can check out other camping options throughout the state here: Camping in Florida
So what are you waiting for? Get ready to make some incredible memories camping on the beaches of Florida!
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise