Despite being home to some of the most popular beaches in America, Florida has more freshwater springs than anywhere else in the world. While tourists flood the coastlines, you can head inland to one of Central Florida’s dozen spring systems to find a beautiful, serene spot that is perfect for camping in Florida.
One of the largest, clearest spots is Ginnie Springs, located 35 miles northwest of Gainesville. The year-round 72-degree water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, scuba, and cave diving. The seven-spring system is a magnet for divers who love the underwater cave system, while the gentle current of the Santa Fe River attracts day tubers and kayakers. Pack a snorkel when you go camping in Florida to be rewarded with glimpses of bass, mullet, catfish, turtles, and other natural critters.
Plus, with over one hundred campsites, visitors to Ginnie Springs can also enjoy accessible camping spots complete with electric hookups. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Florida experience, wilderness sites are also scattered throughout Ginnie Springs’ 200 acres, many of which are right on the riverfront or a spring. You will truly be one with nature as you wake up next to your own crystal-clear spring, waiting for you to dive in.
Another nearby spring system perfect for camping is Rainbow Springs State Park, located 60 miles straight south of Ginnie Springs. Rainbow Springs is the fourth largest freshwater spring in Florida and feeds into the Rainbow River, giving the spring a gentle current that is great for tubing or canoeing.The Rainbow River campground has 60 sites ready for both RVers and tent campers, complete with electrical service.
There is no better way to get in touch with nature or experience camping in Florida than with the natural water systems of the state. These refreshing sites are a unique Floridian attraction that will make your next camping experience stand out above the rest. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find more unique spots for all your camping in Florida needs.
Ranked as an International Dark Sky campsite, this is one of the few in Florida that have this recognition. We came during a cloudy weekend and didn’t see much in the way of stars, but the campground itself is well maintained and peaceful. There are three sections for campers here: a family campground, an astronomy pad, and an equestrian site. We stayed in the equestrian area (you don’t need to have a horse to do so). Site 24 is right next to a new shower and bathroom house they added not too long ago. The facility is clean, and has two bathroom/hot shower combo stalls. There are more in the family campsite area. Hiking trails run through the area. The campground is far removed from civilization, so make sure you come prepared. The campground office sells ice, but that’s about it. Staff is very helpful and friendly, and they run tours on swamp buggy style OHVs out of the area as well.
Hanna Park is a great camping spot. The sites are generously sized and level. It's a short walk to an extraordinary beach that's never too crowded. At worst (4th of July?), walk a few yards from a dune crossover.
The park also has the best mountain bike trails in the area. Weekend mornings locals fill the parking lot at the entrance to ride, and the trails are empty pretty much the rest of the week. There are also hiking/running trails through the same woods to keep everyone separate.
Another biggie is the park has a gated entrance so you don't have problems with theft like some parks. The location is nestled between Mayport Navy base and Atlantic Beach, a tony beach town with several grocery stores, great restaurants and night life.
Stayed here in August and can't wait to go back. The campground is very clean and has a gated entrance. The sites are large and have plenty of shade. The beach is a half mile walk or bike ride from the sites. If you don't want to walk you can take the tram that runs every 30 minutes. There is a Walmart nearby along with t hff e camp store right by the sites. Only a short 20 minute ride to all the attractions and restaurants in Destin.
Clean, organized, and very reserved. I stayed on the furthest tent site. It is accessible with you car. They have their own beautiful spring, and the camping site is right at the river. It even has a rope to swing from the river bank into the water. We could hear the large fishes jumping out of the water and managed to see a few.
They offer a service of Dropping you off up the river with a canoe, so that you don't have to paddle too hard to go back to camp. If you can, stop along the little entrances and find amazing little springs along the way.
The owners are always in the main cabin, and always happy to help you out. I haven't been there in more than a year, but cannot wait to go again!
Very helpful (had some trouble with my camper, two employees came over and helped me to resolve the problem. Rented a boat and actually caught enough fish for dinner; a beautiful trip down the river to the Gulf. Enjoyed the Tiki Bar.
I find myself torn between four and five stars on this campground. It turned out being everything we expected and more. As an camper with northern roots, I have found it hard to camp in Florida. This campground helped me relieve those worries.
I will start by saying that this campground is south of St. Pete and north of Ana Maria Island. We drove down from Orlando and it took us under two hours. We hit some traffic on 275 and the Parkway, but it is expected. There are two tolls (1.00 and .75) before you hit the park. One thing we learned and a good pointer is that if you intend on going into the park (which you probably will), you should go in and register BEFORE you go to the beach, even if before check in time. By paying for your site, they provide you a beach pass for two vehicles, which saves $5 each on parking.
The check in process was very simple. We arrived about an hour early and got everything set up. We were told to stop back between 12:30 and 1 (Advise that check in is at 1pm, so getting in early is not a guaranteed or expected result). The parking lot is a bit awkward, as the camper/trailer line blocks views and actual spots for cars..but it is trivial.
We had rented site 28 (mostly because it was one of the only ones available and best of the litter). There are three loops, and we were in the 1-86 loop. There are no pets and no RV's allowed, which was perfect for us. Most of the outer side of the loop has some sort of water. Water does not mean access. It seemed that the higher numbers (40+) had less access to water and more of a mangrove area. Depths of sites also varied widely. We must have done the camping gods some good, because we hit the site karma. Our site was nice and deep, with a weird little island (former tree/stump) in the middle. This actually made us divide the tent area up into two sides, which worked out well. The site has plenty of options for both clothes lines and hammocks. We opted to put the "kitchen" towards the back of the site with the water view, and fire bin (rented for $3 from the campground office). We had neighbors on both sides and across (this places always sells out) and it was still fairly secluded. They did a great job at keeping a lot of natural growth to maintain privacy and a true tropical feel. There was plenty of shade, but also plenty of sunshine when you wanted it. This site also gets direct sunlight after about 9am (based on mid october), so plan accordingly. It gets toasty :) We have an inflatable raft that we took out in the water. We were greeted by dolphins, sting rays and manatees.
The bath house is pretty central and literally across the road from our site. We had expected a much further walk based on the map, but it was just a 1 minute walk. They were ample, but nothing to write home about. They clean them daily, so they are not bad. The showers leave a lot to be desired with water pressure and privacy. They share a common area with stalls and cheap liners that offer little privacy. Again, it is camping so this isn't a complaint, but a warning. Also, bring your own toilet paper.
There is a playground with good swings and also a sturdy playground that offered plenty of opportunity for my four year old to blow off some steam. The ground is all recycled rubber, which I love as a parent.
The campground store is nice and good for essentials if you don't want to take the 15/20 minute drive to publix or 7 minute drive to 7-11. Firewood is a bit overpriced at $9 per bundle and the fire buckets are cheap at $3 per night. They also have basic food and camping supplies. Note that there is no alcohol allowed in the park, including the campground. All I can say is that you should use common sense. This is a family friendly place. They also rent bikes and kayaks.
The site was just a 10 minute drive to north beach, which is our favorite. There is plenty to do in the area. Overall, I love this place and look forward to coming back many times in the future. Note that they do start booking 6 months out and open up 10% of the sites for the weekend each friday at 7am if you want to try and get lucky.
Find this a great convenient place for relaxing few days off. The park is always kept clean. I noticed on this trip several picnic tables have been replaced which happened to be my one complaint in the past. Playground area was being update with all new equipment. I stay at site 2 this time. Even number sites tend to be the best as power sewer and electric would be on left side. Odd number sites you are going to need extra length power cords, hose and sewer connection. With a class A little easier as you just pull in rather then back in. You may then need to move table etc…. Has excellent laundry facilities. The bath house at times could use more cleaning, however this is caused more by the user clogging up toilets or leaving soap, shampoo bottles, razors around and not wiping sink counters down when down. Rates are within line at 25.00 night. No senior rates…. Wifi is free but the signal is week if at all. Hopefully improving this would be next. Canoes are available to rent. The park is locked up at night with a gate code for campers to come and go after hours.
Our family has been going to Topsail since the first year we started RV’ing. This is not your typical state park. It feels more like a resort. It is landscaped beautifully. Has plenty of shade & separation between the sites. Not to mention full hookups! The park has a private beach with a tram that runs every hour during off season to every half hour during the peak season. You can walk or bike down to the beach (it’s about a mile) if you don’t want to take the tram. All of the bath houses are cleaned daily including the restrooms at the beach. The park also offers trails to bike or hike, a swimming pool, shuffle board, a lake & lagoon to fish or kayak. We highly recommend this park. But make reservations far in advance to ensure you can reserve a spot.
It is a beautiful place. The campground is very quiet, the bathrooms very clean. Two reasons for loss of a star is 1: difficulty maneuvering. Most of the sites are good size but there is no easy way to get in some of them especially when it is packed as it was this holiday weekend. It was made more difficult when they added the wooden posts with site numbers in less than ideal places. 2: lack of direction to the sites. We arrived after dark and followed the numbers around only to find ourselves stuck in the tent section pulling an RV. Our site was back almost at the entrance. Neither of these things will stop us from returning. We enjoyed the trails and kayaking on the lake. Very peaceful.
My mother had a trailer there for a long time until her death. I am going to try to be the snowbird and stay a few months. With an active population and a transient one, many travelers and residents enjoy this old park. A big contingent from Canada also has a section they call their slice of Quebec. The RV section is mingled around some non mobiles, and the clubhouse and pool areas are nice and friendly as my mothers decades of ownership there will attest. Visiting several times I enjoy the atmosphere and friendly neighbors. There is also laundry and other services I will use this winter.
5 Star Experience
Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, FL. Visited mid-Sept 2019 middle of the week. Although the campground was mostly booked we found space, with no crowds at the spring or the river. Rent a tub and float down, with no crowds it's a 4 min walk up and a 15 min float down. The manatee's are on the move with their calfs. The love bugs are brutal this time of year, but the campground is separated enough from the river area to feel safe from gators with your dogs. Great short trail from campground to main area which included shop, food, tables and of course wood walkways by the river. Walkways wide enough for wheelchairs. Dogs allowed all over park except the wood trail up to the spring head. New bathrooms, 2 bars on the cell service and I did see laundry available.
Went during the summer, half of the park was under water from unusually high levels of rains but the park itself is very quiet and out of the way. Perfect if you want to get away as cell phones don’t always work out there. They have a couple of tours you can take as well. The treetop walk was a really amazing view of the surrounding area. The dear were right out by the road not paying any attention to the people going by.
There is a lot to do there and the family pool had crystal clear water. Place is very clean and staff were not only friendly but really helpful, with the exception of one older lady at the front desk who was pretty nasty about me not knowing the correct check in procedure even though I had never been there before. Other then her it was a really great place to spend a relaxing weekend.
A few too many rules for me but overall a good experience. It isn’t terribly pet friendly but we were able to quickly tour the fort within the allotted 30 minutes we could leave our dog alone. Stayed in the river loop and the drive in was beautiful with overhanging trees and Spanish moss. Bathrooms were clean and well maintained. Site size was good enough for us and hammocks are permitted. Cannot speak to the Atlantic loop as dogs are not allowed. The beach along the river was a nice walk and accessible from our campsite. People often find shark teeth but we weren’t as lucky.
Must reserve online, rangers are only able to book same day reservations.
Very cool little place for primitive camping. All the sites are cut out so that you have some privacy from the neighboring sites. There are a couple of sites that you can't reserve, first come first serve, pay in cash at the iron ranger. Site 1 is that way and you could paddle into it. 14 and 16 can be reserved and also@ paddled into. Most sites have water and there is a bathroom/showers with really hot water.