Florida Camping Guide: From Rustic to RV

Updated July 27, 2021
Kids inside camping tent

If you love traveling to or exploring the state of Florida, then this helpful Florida camping guide can make your travels far more enjoyable and stress free. Using these guides, you can plan your entire Florida camping vacation in just a few minutes, leaving you with the chance to spend the rest of your day relaxing on the beach and swimming in the surf.

Types of Florida Camping Guides

There are many different campgrounds in Florida, including rustic campgrounds, recreational vehicle (RV) campgrounds, and even resort campgrounds for families who want as many luxuries as possible. Everyone has their own preference as to which style of camping they like most, and while some Florida camping guides are tailored for specific types of camping, most offer a selection of campgrounds and camping activities for all preferences.

Rustic Camping in Florida

While Florida is well known for entertainment attractions throughout the State, most people don't realize that it's also filled with some of the most relaxing and rustic campgrounds in the country. The majority of those are located in the State and National parks on the many islands and beaches in the area. A few examples of some of the more rustic Florida campgrounds include the following:

Couple rowing canoe on still lake

Blackwater River State Forest

This massive, protected forest is home to the largest longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem in the world. Located in the panhandle, Blackwater River State Forest has multiple campgrounds, with a few primitive camping sites at Camp Paquette and Karick Lake Recreation Area. While the number of sites differ from campground to campground, the state rates per night are relatively consistent, costing anywhere between $8 to a little more than $20 per night, depending on if you're camping in a tent or RV.

The sites aren't identical, but most of them have the same amenities. Take Bear Lake Recreation Area, for example; there are about 40 campsites, with both electric and nonelectric sites available. While staying at Blackwater, you can go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, birding, and wildlife watching to name only a few activities.

Three Rivers State Park

This state park, located in Sneads, Florida, is at the junction of the Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers, bridging the gap between Florida and Georgia. The park offers lakeside camping with 30 campsites for both tent and RVs, and even has one cabin with a fireplace. Available at all of these campsites are water, electricity, picnic tables, and fire rings. There's also a dump station nearby for campers to use.

Right at the campground is a fishing pier and a boat ramp, for easy fishing adventures. Don't look for swimming pools and arcades here; instead you'll find fishing, canoeing, and a wonderful nature trail. When planning your stay at Three Rivers State Park, expect to pay a $6.70 reservation fee and then $16 per night.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

This park is located in Hobe Sound, Florida, in the southeast region of the state, and is one of the state's largest parks totaling 11,500 acres. There are two family campgrounds on the park, which combined offer 135 campsites, many with water, electric, and a grill for $26 per night plus a $6.70 reservation fee. They each have showers, a washer and dryer, and sewer hookups to make your stay a comfortable one.

While the amenities are few, the opportunities to connect with nature are many. Boat tours, biking trails, fishing, and nature trails are available throughout the park. And if you're interested in some of the more wild stories of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, take some time to tour the infamous "Wildman of Loxahatchee" Trapper Nelson's 1930s pioneer homestead.

RV and Resort Camping in Florida

Some families love the experience of tent or RV camping where they can build a campfire, roast marshmallows, and sleep under the stars, but sometimes they really don't want to "rough it." For those families, the solution is to choose a full-featured campground that typically offer additional amenities such as one or more pools, entertainment areas with arcades, or even stage shows, as well as Wi-Fi and television access. Some people don't consider this "real camping," while others consider it to be the best of both worlds. The following campgrounds are a small sampling of some of the best luxury campgrounds in Florida.

Senior couple sitting near water with motorhome in camping

Seasons in the Sun RV Resort

Located in Titusville/Mims, Florida, this resort is devoted to 55-plus RV campers, and provides all the luxuries RVers are looking for with not only water, sewer, and electric hookups, but also Wi-Fi, phone, and cable TV. The park has a large clubhouse with a library and kitchen, and the campground offers spas, swimming pools, tennis courts, and more.

Essentially taking the best aspects of retirement communities and combining them with the fun of summer vacations, Seasons in the Sun RV Resort will give you the most relaxing vacation you've ever had. For more information or questions about their rates, you can call the staff at 321-233-3119 or email them at info@SeasonsInTheSunRV.com.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Many people who visit Disney World in Florida don't consider camping as part of their stay and are drawn to the many conventional resorts that are posted around and inside the park itself. However, Disney's relatively new Fort Wilderness Resort combines two things that most families love; Disney World and camping. This campground at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, evokes the rustic feeling of traditional camping with the curated conveniences of modern life.

The campground provides space for both tenting and RVs, and unlike most other campgrounds in Florida, kids get to enjoy Disney-themed decorations and visiting Disney characters. Unfortunately, like most things associated with the Disney brand, you're going to be pay a lot of money for a camping experience at Fort Wilderness Resort; rates range between $130 to $200 a night.

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park

This campground chain near Madison, Florida, is a well-known favorite for kids, as there are Yogi Bear's Jellystone Parks across the United states. This Yogi Bear's Jellystone includes both tent and RV campsites that have water, electric, and sewer hookups as well as 30- and 50-amp services. The campground also offers a full-size pool, fishing ponds, and even lake swimming with a water slide.

While rustic camping is an experience that most families should experience at least once, the resort camping you'll find at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park -- with amenities that include camp stores and food service options -- is also a wonderful and relaxing experience where you can enjoy some of the comforts of a hotel, but at a much more bearable cost.

Beachfront Camping in Florida

Although there are traditional camping options you can enjoy throughout the Sunshine state, most people head to Florida to enjoy its thousands of miles of sandy coastlines. Here are a couple of the best campgrounds that offer campsites directly on the beach:

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area

Located in Flagler Beach between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area offers two separate campground loops for visitors. With 34 campsites on the Atlantic Ocean side and 34 on the river side, you get to customize your experience at this 145-acre park. Campsites allow both tent and RV camping, and the campgrounds located on the dunes give you the chance to get the beachfront experience without beach crowding. All sites have water, electricity, a picnic table, and a fire ring. There's also a free, communal dump site at the location.

Keep in mind that reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance, so you want to secure spots as early as possible. There is a $6.70 reservation fee as well as a $28 standard charge per night to rent a site. While there, be sure to go geocaching, fishing, paddling, looking for seashells, hiking, and cycling, as these are just a few of the things awaiting you at Gamble Rogers.

Henderson Beach State Park

Located in Destin, Florida, Henderson Beach State Park is well-known for its massive white sandy beaches, which you can see up close and personal if you camp at one of their 60 available sites. All campsites can accommodate tents and RVs, and all save for two have both 30-and 50-amp electric hookups. Additionally, there are picnic tables, clothesline posts, and ground grills at every campsite. There is a nearby coin-operated laundry facility, centrally heated and cooled restrooms, and a dump site, as well.

While staying at Henderson Beach, you can go fishing -- as the state park's website claims it's the "luckiest fishing village in the world" -- geocaching, cycling, and swimming. Similarly, there are restaurants and shops nearby, so you can enjoy the perks of civilization with the quietude of beachfront life simultaneously. If you'd like to reserve a spot at Henderson Beach State Park, there is a nonrefundable $6.70 reservation fee and a subsequent rate of $30 per night.

Camp Gulf

A private campground located just outside of Destin in Miramar Beach, Camp Gulf puts you as close to the waves as possible at their beachfront campsites. With bathhouses, swimming pools, laundry facilities, cabins, RV sites, and beach houses for rent, Camp Gulf is a family's vacation paradise.

Due to its unbelievable views and many amenities, this luxury campground is quite expensive. Beachfront campsites fees were $126 a night in the 2021 season, meaning that you'll want to scrimp and save before planning your trip here. However, thanks to all the activities and attractions located on the grounds -- including water slides, basketball courts, and an activity center, to name a few -- Camp Gulf will pay for itself in no time.

Emerald Beach RV Park

Located in Navarre, Emerald Beach RV Park has 71 campsites, with six sites located directly on the beach. This RV-specific campground has 30- and 50-amp hookups, a 24-hour laundry facility, showers and bathhouses, a swimming pool, and so much more. Given that this is an RV campground, sites are prepped to suit your RVing needs.

Perhaps the best aspect of Emerald Beach is its location just off a private white sand beach that rests at the edge of the Santa Rosa Sound. If you'd like a quiet beachfront getaway to take your RV to this summer, Emerald Beach is a great choice for you. Current rates per night for sites at Emerald Beach are contingent on the size of RV that you have, and can range from $78.40 to $112 during peak season.

Get Free Florida Camping Guides

Florida offers a wide variety of campgrounds to visit, and these free camping guides can help you find a site that's right for you.

  • Good Sam's is one of the more popular RV print guides, but the website is also a valuable resource. While both print and online guides require a fee, you can access many of the online features through the free online Diamond Club membership.
  • Camp Florida offers a very easy-to-use and highly searchable directory.
  • Florida State Parks is the place to go for info on all Florida State Parks, with a very convenient drop-down list at the top of the main page.
  • Just visit KOA and click anywhere on the Florida map where you're interested in going camping.
  • Go Camping America is a popular site for researching campgrounds, with an easy search utility for all campgrounds in Florida.

Experience the Sunshine State in a New Way

No matter what flavor of camping you prefer, Florida has just about any style of camping you could imagine. Take a trip to Florida and experience the Sunshine State from a whole new perspective by staying at one of its many impressive campgrounds.

Florida Camping Guide: From Rustic to RV