Camping season in Florida is here. From the historic Peanut Island to the secluded Ocala National Forest, here are the best of Florida's camping sites.
Temperatures in Florida are comfortable for camping right now, and you don’t want to be left without a campsite to visit this season. Most sites are already booked on the weekends, but if your boss is cool with you taking a few days off, there should be plenty of availability in the middle of the week. Make sure you call before you drive anywhere and make your reservations ahead of time. Here’s a list of the best camping sites to enjoy across the state.
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EXPLORE ISLAND CAMPING AT PEANUT ISLAND - RIVIERA BEACH
Conveniently located in the Lake Worth Lagoon with all the facilities you might want, Peanut Island Campground has tropical campsites that include a tent pad, grill, and a picnic table. Clear beaches, a fishing dock, hiking trail and plenty of room for boating or snorkeling make this campground a gem to many Florida residents. Before visiting, call and check out their website as conditions may change due to weather or renovations. Note: There are comfortable restrooms with hot indoor showers, a picnic pavilion, and a large fire ring.
“Camped there every year for my birthday,” says Palm Beach Gardens resident, Frank Mahle. “It’s like camping on the beach. Roughing it, but still being connected in a sense.”
If you go: Peanut Island Campground, 6500 Peanut Island Rd, Riviera Beach. Call for pricing and reservations: 561-845-4445View this post on Instagram
UNPLUG AND RECHARGE AT THE TREEHOUSE CABIN RETREAT - OLD TOWN
There’s plenty to do at this escape that’s minutes from many natural springs in the area, 30 minutes south of Steinhatchee, 40 minutes northeast of Cedar Key and 40 minutes northwest of Gainesville. Whether you want to unplug from society to reconnect with your soul at this WIFI-free property, cater to the outdoorsman in you by fishing in the nearby Suwannee River, or simply desire to light up the the fire pit and enjoy time with loved ones, the Treehouse Cabin Retreat hosted by Hipcamp is a win for any traveler.
If you go: Treehouse Cabin Retreat
Book your stay at https://www.hipcamp.com/florida/treehouse-cabin-retreat/treehouse-cabin-retreat. Please note: There is a 2-night minimum.View this post on Instagram
GET YOUR COWBOY ON AT WESTGATE RIVER RANCH - RIVER RANCH, FL
Experience a slice of Florida wilderness at the Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo – an authentic Florida dude ranch that’s located just one hour South of Orlando in Polk County, FL. This 1,700-acre large ranch is a one-stop-shop that offers lodging, horseback riding, an award-winning Saturday night rodeo, and many more activities.
Pro-tip: Looking for a unique sleeping experience? Be sure to snag a reservation in the popular Luxe Teepees. The quirky teepees sleep up to four guests and feature a fireplace, porcelain cast iron claw bathtub and shower, a private patio deck, propane grill and air conditioning.
If you go: Westgate River Ranch, 3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, FL 33867. Phone: (863) 692-1321.View this post on Instagram
SKINNY-DIPPING IS LEGAL AT SUNSPORT GARDENS NATURIST RESORT - LOXAHATCHEE
That’s right. If you’re free-spirited, there’s a place in South Florida where clothing is nothing but an inconvenience. Bare it all at the Sunsport Gardens campground in Loxahatchee. This naturist resort is a nudists’ paradise. You can rent the campground that best suits your needs, whether it’s a tent site, an RV, a cabin, or maybe you just want to hang a hammock under a tree. Kayak or canoe on the water, enjoy a hike through the woods, ride your bike around 40-acres, play volleyball, work out at the fitness center or skinny dip in the heated swimming pool or hot tub.
“This campground is the only one of its kind in South Florida. Nudity in common areas is REQUIRED, not optional,” says manager Morley Schloss.
If you go: Sunsport Gardens Naturist Resort. *Nudity expected. 14125 N Rd, Loxahatchee; 561-793-0423.
Email: email@example.com. It is recommended to reserve by phone in advance.View this post on Instagram
HEAR LIONS WHILE YOU CAMP AT LION COUNTRY SAFARI - LOXAHATCHEE
Wake up to the roars of African lions at Lion Country Safari KOA in Loxahatchee. This place is ideal for children and animal lovers. Feeling risky? Rent a primitive site.
Check out their website for a full list of amenities and available activities.
If you go: Lion Country Safari KOA. 2000 Lion Country Safari Rd, Loxahatchee; 561-793-1084. Reservations Only: 1-800-562-9115.View this post on Instagram
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CAMPING AT JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK - HOBE SOUND
Jonathan Dickinson State Park offers so many options for camping and enjoying nature. There's an equestrian campground with seasonal horse-back rides. They have cabins and "primitive" camping sites. The park is huge with so much to do, like biking, hiking, and bird watching, or simply relaxing. There's plenty of space for everyone.
“My favorite part about Johnathon Dickinson State Park was the guided tour of the Loxahatchee River and the remnants of “Trappers Jungle Gardens and Wildlife Zoo,” says South Florida resident, Tracy Devaney. “The excursion is serene and nostalgic of 'Old Florida.'”
If you go: Johnathan Dickinson State Park, 16450 S.E. Federal Highway Hobe Sound, Fl. Phone: 772-546-2771. Reservations must be made with Reserve America at 1-800-326-3521.View this post on Instagram
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GLAMPING AT JOHN PRINCE PARK- LAKE WORTH
Paved roads, tennis courts, a golf learning center and a fitness zone, are just some of the amenities at John Prince Park in Lake Worth. If your idea of camping isn’t very simple at all, this relaxing and beautiful 726-acre park provides plenty of comfort. There are plenty of RV and tent sites in a 48-acre section of the park. According to the Palm Beach County website, people often come here to bird watch and for other animal sightings. You can launch your watercraft from a boat ramp, and the beach is about 10 minutes away — driving distance. Call ahead and visit the website as things could change due to weather or renovations.
If you go: John Prince Park. 4759 South Congress Avenue, Lake Worth; 561-582-7992 or email: pbcgov.com.
Here's your full-day trip adventure to quirky Lake Worth.View this post on Instagram
SWIM YOUR HEART OUT AT RIVER FOREST GROUP CAMP- Ocala National Forest
Don’t be afraid to have a big party at River Forest Group Campground at Ocala National Forest. This campground can handle up to 125 people. The camp is situated along the St. Johns River, surrounded by large live oaks on a flat and a grassy patch down to the river. There’s also a screened group pavilion and a restroom facility.
If you go: River Forest Group Campground inside Ocala National Forest. Reservations are required prior to arrival. Call 1-877-444-6777 or visit https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234597.View this post on Instagram
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HANGOUT AT LAKE SHORE GROUP CAMP - Ocala National Forest
Not as big as the River Forest, but it still allows 50 people to camp out. According to the USDA, this campground is a favorite for scout troops, church, and civic groups, as well as large families. Amenities include accessible boat ramp, tent camping, picnic tables, toilets, drinking water and parking.
If you go: Lake Shore Group Camp at Ocala National Forest: FL-40, Silver Springs; Reservations are required prior to arrival. Call 1-877-444-6777 or visit recreation.gov.
If you decide to stay in Ocala National Forest, you can't leave without going to Alexander Springs. It's so clear; you'll be able to see if a gator is coming for you.
RELATED: Florida woman finds alligator cooling off in her poolView this post on Instagram
SEEK ADVENTURE AT WEKIVA SPRINGS STATE PARK - APOPKA
Wekiva Springs State Park is where I first put eyes on a wild manatee back when I was a kid living in Orlando. This park is less than an hour north of Orlando, so it’s not a bad drive. The water is crystal clear, and there are canoes you can rent and see alligators, ducks, and other animals. There's a path to walk along the springs. When the manatees are in the water, humans aren't allowed with them.
If you go: Wekiva Springs; 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL; 407-884-2009View this post on Instagram
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