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.
Awesome park with so much to do. There’s bike trails and hiking trails. You can spend an entire day on the river kayaking, paddle boarding and boating. They have boats and kayaks for rent. There’s 2 camp grounds and we stayed at the river loop. There’s water, 30amp and 2 120 plugs on the pedestal. Only dump station. Bathrooms are very clean. Ocean is a short 6 mile drive.
We stayed middle of July for 4 days. Only saw 3 other campers the whole time. Park is super quiet and there is a ton of wildlife roaming. Dog friendly, they provide poop bags by the dumpsters. Cell service is practically non existent in the park and within 10 miles from the park. Keep an eye on gas, there’s one place about 6 miles from the park and town is about 15 miles away. Cow camp is only open oct-May. Only 30amp hook up and no sewer, but there is a dump station. The spots are pretty level and the pads are crushed shells. Spot 9 is fully concrete. Most of the spots are fully shaded with trees. If you have a tall rv low hanging branches in the camp area might be an issue. Bath house is very clean and at night the lights are on timers. Cracker shack doesn’t have much and only open fri-Sunday. Only a 30 minute drive to legoland.
A great place to kayak! You will be able to see a lot of manatees if you are lucky. The showers are large. The campsites are good and shaded. It is slightly tight in some spots if you have a large camper or RV. But overall very relaxing campground with beautiful springs.
Fort De Soto is a beautiful campground. Many sites are right on the water. The sites are very well maintained and mostly separated from others by trees. The bathhouses are good. I absolutely love the general store, it has everything that you may need. I have camped here over 5 times and will certainly continue going.
Anastasia State park is a wonderfully relaxing state park. The beach is very clean and scenic. But beware because we did encounter a Portuguese Man O' War, but the park ranger was able to safely remove it. I enjoyed riding bikes around the different campgrounds. The bath houses were clean and had a good amount of room. I would have liked the camp site to have a little more privacy, but overall a good stay.
If you want to get away from it all, this is the place! A few notes:
- Cash ONLY.
- There are free range chickens everywhere. While we and the toddler thought this was cool, our dog was losing it a little.
- The water is Tannic (dyed dark from foliage). It felt amazing because there are cool springs feeding it from below, but completely discolored our bathing suits, so be aware.
My group goes to this campground several times a year due to the location to home and for being able to play off road in the surrounding trail system. We ride up on our adventure motorcycles, setup camp then go play all day on the trails. Once done retreat to camp and cool off in the waters of the mine pond. 13 campsites all spaced out nicely so you don’t have to be too close to neighbors unless you wish too. Definitely a fun place to stay.
This park is less than a five minute drive from me and for that reason alone, I've spent a lot of time there. Overall, the park needs a lot of TLC. The roads that are paved are in terrible shape as they are riddled with pot holes. During the rainy season, half of the park is closed off due to the road being flooded. I'm told you can access the other side form a nother entrance, but I've never found it and could never get good directions. There are some amenities available for peaople such as restrooms that are actually pretty decent, a park type are for kids, a gazibo that overlooks a lake, and picnic areas equipped with standard public grills. I have seen some grounds keepers keeping up the property, but aside from keeping it clean, which it is, they can't do much about pot holes or the closed of dangerous areas that get flooded. It has an archery range which is cool, but I believe its a bring your own equipment kind of affair, they don't rent gear out. I could be wrong, but that's what it appeared to be. I would recomend this place if you just want to grill out or generally be in nature for a few hours. Maybe they'll offer more in the future.
We recently stayed at Koreshan Historic State Park because our son and his family moved to the Ostero area and this is very convenient to their house. We had heard of the park and took the chance to drive trough before staying there. The campground is pretty small with a total of 54 sites and only 42 open to RVs with the rest reserved for tent campers. There is one bath house for the entire campground. It is located closer to the front of the camping loop so campers in the sites towards the back will have longer to go. The sites are equipped with electric and water. The sites are narrow and quite close to each other. There is some under story in between but they are so close that it makes little difference. They are sandy sites which I imagine can get quite soft in the dry season. We stayed in July and the rain tends to keep things fairly easy to drive on but it sticks to everything. Be sure to bring leveling blocks for your RV. The sites are very uneven. The park is close to Tamiami Trail so you do hear some traffic noise at night. We stayed in site 28 which is near the back corner of the loop and the traffic noise was minimal. There is a path that runs behind the sites that leads to the bathroom facilities but the trail from our site to that path was overgrown and unusable. This was not the case on all the sites.
The rest of the park is very nice with a newer picnic pavilion and nature trail along the Ostero River. There are canoes and kayaks to rent with a well maintained boat ramp. The nature trail runs from the picnic area through a large stand of bamboo to the historic site from which that park gets it's name. The Koreshan settlement was founded in the very early 1900s by a religious sect from the Chicago area. Many of the original buildings are still in the park and there are daily tours of the buildings and lots of information about the people who settled here.
As I mentioned, this park is close to Tamiami Trail at the end of Corkscrew Rd.. You are minutes from grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants and all kinds of retail shops. The Coconut Point Mall is right down the road. There is a movie theater, restaurants and the typical collection of upscale retailers you would find in a mall. The park's entrance is across an intersection from a good size strip mall with a Publix.
Overall, we liked this park and found it a very convenient place to stay and hang out with our family. Not exactly "getting away from it all" but that's not why we came.
The title says it all. Large campground with plenty of shade trees. A little short on waterfront spaces and boat docking. The only downfall to the campground is most of the waterfront is rented out to permanent residents. Other than that the bathrooms and laundry area are kept nice and clean. They have a little bar and restaurant on the water along with a pool and playground for the kids.
Though quite urban, this is one of my favorite stops in touring Florida on the Atlantic side. The resort is beautiful, sites are paved and level. There is a pool, hot tub, laundry, tennis, bocce, playgrounds, and it’s walking distance to the pier, the beach, a large grocery store and drug store, restaurants and more. There are many park models here and the park residents are friendly and welcoming.
Do not waste your time or money at this park. We arrived close to closing time for the office. We were assigned a lot for our rv. When we arrived at the lot and parked, we discovered someone had melted the 30 amp connection, so no power. The office was closed, so we had to call the emergency number. While the maintenance guy was very nice, it took him 3.5 hours to get the entire panel replaced while we sat in the sweltering heat with my 82 year old mother. At checkout, we told them what happened and they just said ok and could not have cared less. Find another place to spend your money!
Let me start by saying that I live very close to Myakka River Sate Park and it has been a place that four generations of my family have been enjoying for over 40 years. It is very large for a state park. You can spends days hiking the trails and paddling the river and lakes. The wildlife is everywhere! What would you like to see? Deer, wild hogs, alligators, birds of all kinds? You will probably see these and more at just about any time of year.
There is a nice interpretive center, picnic grounds, boat tours, canoe and kayak rentals, and a tram tour through the park. Don't miss the canopy walk. It's a great way to see a part of the park's ecosystem that we normally only see from below. You also get a great view of the park in all directions from the top of the tower. Florida is flat and views like these are hard to come by. There is also a restaurant and store where you can get pretty good food with a view of the lake. My wife wants to make sure you know you can also get ice cream at the restaurant.
There are three camping areas for tents and RVs. The two older areas are called Big Flats and Old Prairie. The sites in these areas are close to each other and there is little or no under story between them. There is water and electric at each site with clean but older bathroom facilities. Both of the campgrounds are also close to the main road with some sites backing up to the road. There is a convenient dump station inside the park but no sewer hookups in these two campgrounds.
The third and newest campground is called Palmetto Ridge. This one was obviously built primarily for large RVs with water, electric and sewer connections at every site. The bathroom facilities are more up to date and very nice. They are also not used as much by the campers because this area is mostly filled with huge motor coaches and fifth wheels that all have their own facilities and do not need to worry about their holding tanks because they have full hookups. The sites are pretty roomy and there is plenty of under story in between to keep you from feeling like you are right on top of your neighbors. There are quite a few pull trough sites in this area. They are improved gravel sites and most are very level. The sewer hookups are a little higher than you would expect. It will take some supports to keep a positive flow. If you know how much it rains here in the Summertime you will know why these must be kept above the flood stage level.
A note about rain: Florida gets a lot of rain in the Summertime. It is not uncommon to get multiple inches of rain in a very short time and this can happen almost any day between June and the end of September. The river and lake do flood and large parts of the park are in their flood plain. the Big Flats campground can be shut down because it is the closest to the lake. This is not a reason to avoid Myakka in the Summertime. We have camped there in June and August and if you find someplace cool to hangout during the day you will be rewarded with very pleasant walks and paddles with lots of wildlife to see in the mornings and evenings. Pro tip: If you are staying in the park, get up really early to see the sunrise from the top of the canopy walk.
There are two other ways to spend the night in Myakka River State Park. There are cabins available to rent and primitive camp sites in the hiking areas. The cabins have recently been rebuilt and I must admit I have not seen the new ones. We did stay in the original cabins before we got our RV and they were very nice for a family getaway. With a kitchen, bathroom and air conditioning they are a very comfortable way to spend some time in the park. The original cabins were built with palm logs by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). The CCC was a program to create jobs and improve public facilities during and after the Great Depression. Some of that construction can still be seen at one of the picnic areas in the park. There is also a monument to the CCC inside the park. Backpackers can spend a few days hiking the trails and camping at the primitive sites. Haven't done that myself since I was a kid back in the 70s but they were great trips. No noise or light pollution. On a cool, clear night the star gazing in fantastic. My wife wants me to make sure you know that she won't be at the primitive campsites but hopes you enjoy yourself and not to forget about the ice cream.
For native Sarasotans, Myakka River State Park is a beloved point of pride. Most people never leave the beach when they come here for a visit and miss what the rest of Florida looks like. It is well worth your time to spend a few nights away from the beach and see what else makes this such a special place. This is a very popular spot and the campsites and cabins book up early especially for the Winter months. Reservations can be made 11 months in advance on the reserve America website.
This is a great place to go! Get your family and your bikes! So much to do, you don’t have to go to any amusement park! Activities are everywhere. For free! Pool games, make movies. Beach, playgrounds. It is expensive to stay.
Florida has many many different camping options. I was looking for something unique and different from what I'd done before and this place popped up on my radar. Definitely Different and Unique for Florida. And the perfect place to review my icemulecoolers.com
Camp Chowenwaw is located in Green Cove Springs, FL adjacent to the St. John's River and on Black Creek. It was a Girl Scout Camp for 70 years and is now owned and operated by Clay County, FL (https://www.claycountygov.com/departments/parks-and-recreation/camp-chowenwaw-park). There are many different styles of camping available here with lots of privacy between the different sections.
I chose to camp in the Treehouse Point for a weekend where there are 9 Treehouses available for camping. A group of us went and had Treehouse #4 and #5. Each screened in non electric Treehouse slept 4 in bunk beds. There were several central fire rings with a picnic table/benches throughout the unit. A shared bathhouse with toilets, sinks, lights, and hot showers was available in the unit also. There was a central dining hall for all of Treehouse Point with electric, lights, fans, inside fireplace, stove, refrigerator, sink area, and porch with outside charcoal grill and picnic table.
Even with sharing the dinning hall with other campers it was great since it was big enough and everyone was friendly. The Treehouses are spread out with some trees in between so they are semi private. The pool is available but doesn't open til 10 am where as we were all ready to go earlier since it was HOT. It was very enjoyable but HOT in July with no electric in the Treehouses. We had no issues with mosquitoes or yellow flies and the frogs serenaded us every night loudly, so that was a cool experience. We had decided not to take kayaks since there was a bit of a walk into our area and we didn't want to leave them in the parking area on our vehicles, which turned out to be a good decision because the kayak launch was under repairs. They are planning on upgrading a lot so it should be great soon. They recently upgraded and replaced the fishing pier and its awesome. We are planning to go again in the Fall when its cooler. I would recommend this place for a unique experience. On a side note: Green Cove Springs has a pool also in a community park on the St. John's River that is spring fed and would be a cool stop.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. A Camp Chowenwaw I tested the icemulecoolers.com. I got the ICEMULE Pro XL (33L which equals 24 cans plus ice) in Camo.
1. What I loved about the ICEMULE was that I could wear it like a backpack and be comfortable and free my hands for something else.
2. I loved that the straps were wide and comfortable.
3. I also loved that the chest cross strap could be moved up and down to make it more comfortable for women to use the chest cross strap.
4. The straps had lots of room to make smaller or larger so it will be great fit for a variety of people and body styles.
5. It kept my ice solid for three days in the FL heat.
6. It has a port to add air to enhance the coolers insulation.
7. It holds A LOT!! I had 9 bottles of Propel water and 2 bags of grapes and 1 whole bag of ice. It wasn't too heavy and there was room for much more.
Only draw back I had was that the camo style is fabric and tends to sweat a lot. The other colors are vinyl and don't seem to sweat.
I'm ready to use my ICEMULE Cooler again. I even want to take it kayaking and get some more accessories for it from their site like a dry bag and a waterproof box.