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.
March escape to Florida. Great camp ground! Includes parking at Fort Desoto beaches. Seven miles of beach, great bike trails. Bikes and kayaks to rent. Nice bathhouses. Large lush mostly level gravel sites. Trees and shrubs provide shade and privacy from neighboring sites. No fire ring. Favorite sites 200-230 3-30 all waterfront. Lots of other great waterfront sites available. Interior sites hard to back into.
Clean restroom, great host, and good fishing.
Great COE campground. Spacious sites, with level cement pads.Best sites are 21 to 26 back up to small canal with a lock. Fun to watch boats navigate thru. Fishing on canal.
Also like sites 17 to 20. Beautiful landscaping. Friendly, informative hosts. Lots of birds, eagles, hawks and a family of otters!
Two negatives- gate closes 7 to 7. You have to get out, unlock a hard to read padlock, open gate, drive thru and then close. Hard to do in the dark
Second negative- the bathhouses are clean but no shelf by the single sink and the two showers are set up oddly where you have to pass thru one to hey to the other.
All in all a great place.
We went camping here with two small kids, one of the sites closest to the springs, just a short walk. The campsite was much bigger than I expected. There were other people near by, but very quiet night. The bathrooms were pretty clean and within decent walking distance. Check in was a breeze. We would definitely return!
Two reasons why I rated this campground a 4 were the nasty women’s showers and the uneven dirt spaces. If it had rained, we would have had a serious problem getting out of our space! Otherwise, the campground was very beautiful and the staff was very friendly!
I was apparently the first person to reserve a site online after it was reopened. Open sites, hot showers, and clean toilets. Re-opened in November of 2018. Small fire pits in every sites, guys who run it will share leftover fire wood they collect, but none for purchase. No shade, on a corner of two forest service roads. Cell service depends on what service you use, AT&T was non existent. I didn’t get to use much of the site, it rained for 12 straight hours when I stayed. But site drained well, and Forest Service guys were super nice and helpful.
I stayed here while on a bicycle tour because there was no other choice nearby, and Perry FL is where I ended up that day. Unless you are in an RV, do NOT tent camp here. For 28 dollars I got a weed-covered, sandy little plot next to the highway with glaringly bright street lights overhead. The plot was so small I could hear the guy snoring in the tent next to mine, despite the blaring traffic noise. The only good things here were the friendly managers and the clean bathroom.
We stayed here for 7 days. Nice free area with a gate that is locked to keep those without reservations out. Ptetty far from the main road so you dont hear a lot of traffic. Plenty of room for tent or RV camping. No hookups or dumpsites. There is a pump well for non potable water and a port a potty on site. Miles of trails and plenty of space to explore.
We stayed here for a few nights but our reservations were cut short due to flooding. Small enclosed area for tent and RV camping. Shaded pavillion and a few fire rings. Port a Potry was however atrocious. Good thing there is a Circle K just down the raod a few miles. Downside is that locals drive thru the turnaroind at all hours of the night and the roads are in bad repair.
We did not camp in the Sebastian Inlet State Park campground, but instead chose the primitive experience through BG Marina. There are 10 campsites at the marina that are great if you want a place to launch your boat and camp out between fishing trips. Each has a picnic table and fire pit. They are also well shaded. However, the sites are very close together and not private at all- it can get a little loud if crowded. There are clean bathrooms, access to water, but no showers.
I can't say enough great things about this camping experience! You can rent canoes from the Visitors Center for $25 a night and canoe out to campsites 1-5. Or you can launch your own canoe and embark to campsites 6-14. Either way, all sites are super private and on the water. Sites have a fire ring and picnic table. Many can accommodate large groups. Fantastic swimming and fishing opportunities. You can also do the Shipyard Island Canoe trail which begins directly across from the visitors center.
Great spot to explore. We were really happy with the size of our site and the trail on the forest to explore. This is a popular spot for hunters as there were a lot of them in the primitive sites. We tried riding our bikes a ways but the roads are pretty sandy so it was tough in some spots. They have lots of trees for shade and you can even hang you hammock or slack line on them if you use flat rope. We went to swim with the manatees in Crystal River and explore the springs at Rainbow falls while we were here. About a 30 min drive to both.
We loved this campground! It’s a bit crowded but there’s plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs being that it’s steps away from the beach. They are also extremely dog friendly which is a huge plus for us because our pup loves to swim. No playground but there’s a park along the beach nearby in Port St Joe. There’s also a popular restaurant right around the corner that has live music and seafood. Great place to relax without a crowd! We will definitely be back!
This park is nice for a short bike ride or hike along it’s nature trail. Don’t forget the kids helmets because it’s a law in Florida for them to wear them and the park ranger will remind you of it. The park is also on a river you can kayak or put a canoe in. They even provide rentals. The campground is well maintained and has three good size shower houses. The RV sites are pretty close together especially in the back. There is a nice playground by the river and a few historic markers to explore. The location is about 30mins to the beach depending on traffic. We visit Naples and Marcos island which were both nice but crowded. The park is also a short distance to the northern part of Everglades National Park. You can easily hitch a ride on an airboat tour there. We visited in December and the mosquitoes were definitely thirty that time of year! The ones that got in ate us alive while we slept in our camper. I still have nightmares but with out a breeze that’s just florida. Overall, great little park to explore just sleep under a mosquito net.
Great quiet park right on the river.
The weekends frequently have live bands that entertain with various genres including country, r&r as well as metal this weekend. There is a restaurant that has a pool table in it.We like the pizza from the menu.
Privately owned resort with gated entry-code only. Quiet and relaxing with nicely land scape sites. Full Hook-up at all the sites. Big rig easy access. We have stayed here twice and enjoyed our stay. They have everything covered- great store, pool, showers you will envy, laundry mat, and fishing peers. A little pricey, but it’s worth the splurge. You will appreciate what they offer.
What a unique experience camping on a deserted island! As advertised, you must bring your water. We took the yankee freedom ferry (I think tickets are about $150/person regardless if you stay 1, 2, or 3 nights) which does not allow compressed fuel. We flew there so we didn't bother with a cooler but most people did (we ate MRE's and PB&J). Each site has a bbq, picnic table, and a pole to hang up your trash. We had no problem with a campsite but we camped going into a holiday weekend and on Friday night there was a group of people in the "overflow" (I think they were fishers that came in late on a private boat). You do need some type of hard plastic to put your food in (we grabbed a bin from target for 8$ when we landed). Our trash was not hung up high enough and the rats did get into it on the first night (If you come on the yankee freedom they will take your trash everyday). If you take the yankee freedom, the maximum number of nights you can stay is 3. We stayed for 2 nights and almost everyone we talked to agreed that 2 nights is probably perfect (by day 3 you may begin to get a little bored but 1 night just isn't enough). We met some amazing people and even had an imaginary "campfire" on our second night (no fires allowed) with people from all over the US. The composting toilets are clean but are only open when the Yankee Freedom isn’t docked (otherwise, everyone on the island uses the Yankee Freedom lavatories during the day). The campsites themselves are pretty small and none truly offer a view of the ocean from your campsite. I think all except for 1 have some shade during the middle of the day. If you take the Yankee Freedom, you can use their snorkel gear (or bring your own). The first of the day visitors begin arriving at 8:30am on sea plane. The yankee freedom is docked from about 10:30am-3:00pm everyday. You get one lunch with your yankee freedom ticket but I believe you can buy lunch from them the other days if you’d like. The last sea plane leaves at 5:30pm and then it’s just you, the other campers, and a few rangers left. Several times, private boats would start their engine and leave in the very early morning (4 or 5am) which woke us (and the other campers) up (I didn’t mind looking at the stars and waiting for the sunrise). Overall, it’s an amazing experience that I’d love to do again someday.
This seemed like the only option around for staying on the east side of everglades. It's a very large campground. We had no problem getting a site (apparently they are first come first serve but I've read reviews that there is a way to reserve sites) during "peak season". Some of the sites are fairly close to one another but we got one on the perimeter which was really nice and a little more private. The showers are huge plus (beware water only gets luke cold at best- no hot or warm water in the winter) and having flushing toilets are always nice. Tables and fire rings at each campground. I believe I read that you needed to bring your own wood but I think you could buy some. The campground is in a pretty ideal location. Close to a couple great trails (Anhinga and Long Pine Key). We were able to break up our 2 days in the everglades by splitting it with an day in Biscayne bay- driving too and from the campground to Biscayne NP was very reasonable from this "home base". The only down side to the campground is how close sites are to one another (again perimeter sites seem a little better). Additionally, walking around and seeing people sitting in their RVs watching TV kind of takes away from the camping experience (especially a NP). It's also pretty pricey for camping in a tent. Lastly, their staff is terrible. They're not bright (they'll have trouble figuring out which sites are open and then tell you sites that are obviously taken are actually open). They also lack any customer service skills and can be rude at times.
Amazing campground (as long as you're cool with pit toilets and without showers). Great picnic tables and fire rings. We're tent campers and loved this place. There's only 7 tent sites and they're on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's (I think there's about 10 RV sites). It's far enough from the road that's it's quiet (about a mile on gravel from the state route to the campsites). Stars are great. Bathrooms are clean. Bring your own firewood. We didn't see any hikers or OHVers (their website says this campground is commonly used by them). There was an alligator swimming in the lake at dusk. Don't make the mistake like we did and wear sandals though, the chiggers/no see ums are terrible.
My husband and I lucked out to get an absolutely gorgeous day to tent camp at this campground. The next day was back to Florida’s hot and humidity. This campground is in one of natire’s most wonderful places, big cypress national preserve. This campground has tent and rv sites. No electric sites. We went on a Sunday and the whole campground was full, it’s a popular spot, would recommend making reservations in advance. There are vault toilets over on the rv sites and flush toilets by the tent sites. There are campground hosts, fire pits in the tent area, and a lake that does have alligators, because this is Florida. The nite sky was perfect so many stars to see. Little to no noise pollution. Make sure to bring your insect repellent, I got eaten alive once the sun started setting. No trails at the campground but there are trails within big cypress. Tent campsites were level and not right on top of one another. There were a few trees for shade as well.
Stayed here two nights in the middle of January 2019. Free campsite maintained by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. To camp, you need to obtain a permit ahead of time on the website. https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/hampton-tract . You get your approval almost immediately. You need that because it will have your gate code. Without the code, you cannot get back to the campground. The road leading in is gravel, sand and dirt, but we have no trouble at all. The gate is locked with several combination padlocks. The permit will tell you which lock to use and give you the combination to open it. The campground is about a mile from the gate on the left.
We were the only campers there both nights we stayed. A few hunters/walkers were there in the morning of our second day, but they didn’t bother us. It was incredibly quiet and there are no lights in the campground, so it was nice and dark too. We had 2-3 bars of AT&T and Verizon, but the internet was almost unusable most of time we were there. There would be small pieces of time that it could be used, then other times it was horribly slow or non-existent. We had to cut our stay short because of that since I work from the road. The downside to this campground is there is no hookups, no potable water on-site, no dump on-site and no dumpsters. The campground is very wooded which is normally great, but we have solar for our electricity and there were probably only 1-2 areas we could get any use out of it. One was right by the pit toilet which is where we setup. There are not really designated spots, but some areas have outdoor grills. We had no trouble leveling and the entire campground seemed level. There were several spigots, but all were non-potable water and there was a trough for water for horses.
There are lots of walking, biking, equestrian trails in the area. There are maps at the entrance. We road our bikes down to the lakes and that was about a 3-mile bike ride from the campground. There was also a nice trail we walked right by the campground. We saw beautiful trees, a gator, lots of birds and a deer while walking one early evening.
We didn’t need to go into town at all, but Lakeland was not too far, and I assume you could get whatever you need there. Overall, we would not stay here again due to the internet issues. If you don’t need to worry about connectivity, this is a great free spot.