7 Must See Camping Spots On The Beach In Florida (With locals Insight & Map)

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RV camping in Florida can be spectacular. Any time of year you can find new adventures and stunning scenery. What time of year you want to come depends on the type of activities you prefer. If you plan to be in the water a lot, aim for a late spring, summer, or early fall visit. Florida is quite hot and humid in the summer, especially when go farther south. If hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities are your goals you may want to consider a late fall, winter or early spring visit. It can get very chilly in the winter, especially the farther north you are, so be prepared. While the weather near Florida beaches is moderated by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, you can depend on lots of sub-tropical rains in the summer and dazzlingly crisp mornings in the winter. 

This article was researched and written by Regina Absher, who is a native Floridian that lives in an RV full time in  St. Petersburg, and edited and posted by me. Here's a map showing all the best beach front camping in Florida.


visit florida

What’s awesome about this place?

Fort Desoto is a Pinellas County park and campground located just south of Terre Verde in St. Petersburg, Florida. It boasts five keys, over 1,236 acres of preserved land, and an incredible six miles of beaches. The campground is situated on a peninsula on St. Jean Key that juts out into Mullet Key Bay. Many campers have been known to launch canoes and kayaks directly from the campsites. Beaches, Madelaine Key, St. Christopher Key, Bone Fortune Key, and Mullet Key are just a bike ride away from the campground.   

The featured structure is a Historic Fort complete with cannons where you can take a stroll through Gun Battery Laidley. A visit to the Quartermaster Museum, located on Mullet Key, exposes you to the rich history of this treasured site. Mullet Key was originally inhabited by the Tocobaga Indians. Military use of the strategic location at the mouth of Tampa Bay began during the Civil War. Construction of the Fort that is present today, began at the turn of the 20th century.

What’s fun to do there?

With six miles of beaches, there is ample opportunity for swimming, snorkeling and water sports. Ft. DeSoto park has a fishing pier, or you can fish anywhere along the coastline, on Mullet Bay or directly from your campsite. Canoes and kayaks are rented at the Soldier Hole protected inlet, head of the marked Mullet Bay Bayou canoeing and kayaking trail. There is 6.8 miles of winding, asphalt trails lined with palm trees. The paved trail is perfect cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding and running.     

For pet owners, there is a dog park and a dog beach. With plenty of picnic areas and food concessions, dining outdoors has unlimited potential. There are miles of hiking trails where you can experience the best of Florida’s seaside flora and fauna.

Where is it located?

This park is located in St. Petersburg, in western-central, Florida just a short drive off of I-275. Here is a google maps link to the campsite.

How far out do you need to book?

Six months out is the limit, so reserve early.

What's At The Camp Site?

The campground offers standard electric, water, and dump station. As well as full RV hook-ups.

Website

https://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm

Address & phone

FORT DE SOTO PARK 2528, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715, Main Phone: (727) 582-2267


Sebastian Inlet State Park Campground

Sebastian Inlet State park

Credit: Florida State Parks

What’s awesome about this place?

Sebastian Inlet is a Florida state park located in Melbourne Beach Florida on the Florida Georgia border, just a short drive from I-95. Adventurous tales of jewels, precious metals, and tragedy frame this vibrant location in the north, east part of Florida. A Spanish fleet was returning home in 1715 when they shipwrecked near this inlet and were lost at sea. The ships were rumored to carry gold, silver, and the “Queen’s Jewels”, branding this stretch of Florida as the Treasure Coast. Salvagers still seek to recover gold, silver, and jewels in the sand dunes and just off-shore. The McLarty Treasure Coast Museum, located in the park, offers tours steeped in local history. One museum not enough? Visit the Sebastian Fishing Museum.

If you are an avid bird watcher, this is the park for you. Want to give bird watching a try? This is the place to embark on a new adventure. The Pelican Island Audubon Society produced a video, accessible online here. The video walks you through a bird watching trip on this very island. Couple the video with a checklist from the Ranger’s station that lists over 180 bird species present on the inlet and you are set for an adventure. Even a beginner can’t help but spot some rare birds.

What’s fun to do there?

The park features three mountain bike trails beginning and ending at the State Park Bayside Marina. The Florida “mountain bike” trails flow over sandy dunes and swampy flatland with a combination of off-road and paved courses. Paved recreational trails provide scenic trips for cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding and long walks.

Bring your boat, put in, and cruise through the Indian River Lagoon directly to the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf Stream is twenty-five to thirty miles east of Sebastian Island. Offshore fishing, scuba diving along rock reefs, and watersports are all popular at this camping spot. Bottle-nosed dolphins, manatees, and the right whale have all been spotted swimming in the waters surrounding the inlet. With two jetties extending into the Atlantic Ocean you can fish right off the beach, on the river or along the inlet.

Wildlife is abundant, and visitors say viewing is excellent at this park. From large animals such as bobcats and alligators to smaller animals such as raccoons and possums, the park flourishes with a vibrant ecosystem. You can learn more about wildlife viewing at this state treasure by calling (321) 724-5424.  

From paddle boarding or snorkeling in the Indian River Lagoon to geo-seeking and hiking, this park is packed with things to get you outdoors. Hiking trails lead you on a guided tour through hammock trails and mangroves, marked with plant identification signs. Guided tours are available to help you get up close and friendly with Florida flora. Sebastian Inlet Park is also touted as having the best surf breaks in the state, including the popular Monster Hole located on Sebastian inlet.    

Some final perks of this park include accommodations for Family Reunions and weddings. Large and small pavilions are available for all occasions. You can call (772) 589-9659 to make reservations. BG’s Surfside Grill is located nearby. They serve simple fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. BG’s is also available for rental, call (321) 724-2112.      

Salt Water fishing license can be obtained online or call (888) 347-4356 if you plan to fish.

Where is it located?

This park is located in Melbourne Beach, in north-eastern Florida just a hop, skip and a jump over the bridge from I-95. Here is a link to google maps

How far out do you need to book?

We recommend that you book four to six months prior to your intended stay.

Website:

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/sebastian-inlet-state-park

Camping:

The campground offers standard electric, water and dump stations, as well as full hookups RV sites.

Address &Phone:

9700 S Hwy A1A, Melbourne Beach, Florida 32951. Main Phone: (321) 984-4852


Anastasia State Park Campground

www.floridastateparks.org

www.floridastateparks.org

7 Must See Camping Spots On The Beach In Florida (With locals Insight & Map) 2

What’s awesome about this place?

Located on the north-east coast of Florida near I-95, this is one of the most coveted camping spots in Florida. The biggest reasons we like this park are its beaches and its extreme proximity to historic St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is considered the oldest continuously occupied European settled city in the United States. This tiny gem of a city boasts a rich art and music scene and vibrant historical spots. Packed with historic buildings, museums, historical re-enactments, guided tours, and frequent festivals, St. Augustine is bursting at the seams with charming and sophisticated Southern culture.

Travel around the city on their colorful, old-fashioned trolley car system as you soak in the history and culture. Visit the Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park or the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Historic George Street is a pedestrian thoroughfare offering historic sites, shops and food. Don’t forget to schedule a tour at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and swing by the Maritime Museum which features shipwreck artifacts. Visiting Anastasia State Park can provide you with a vacation filled with history, long afternoons on the beach and nature at its best.    

What’s fun to do there?

This Florida state park offers 1,600 acres of unspoiled beaches that are a very short walk away from the campground. Tidal marshes, maritime hammocks, and ancient sand dunes pepper the expanse of this stunning park. Osprey, eagles, painted buntings, and warblers have all been spotted on this stretch of coast, the bird watching opportunities abound. Campsites are just a short walk to the beach. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking round out this park’s amenities.

This park allows you to couple the beautiful, nearby vibrant historic district, with the grandeur of unspoiled nature in one vacation, making for a very unique get-away.   

Where’s it located?

Just off of I-95 in historic St. Augustine Florida on the east coast of Florida, about three hours south of Jacksonville.  Here is a map to get there.

Why’s It Awesome?

Beach front camping with all the fun you can have in the surf plus the extraordinary opportunities for seeing historic St. Augustine.

How Far Out Do You Need To Book?

We recommend that you book four to six months prior to your intended stay.

Website:

https://www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia

Camping:

There is an $8.00 entry fee to the park. The campground offers standard electric, water and dump stations.

Address & Phone:

300 Anastasia Park Road, St. Augustine, Florida 32080. Main Phone:(904) 461-2033

Fort Clinch State Park Campground

www.floridastateparks.org

www.floridastateparks.org

What is awesome about this place?

This beautiful scenic park is located on 1,400 acres in Northeastern Florida near popular Amelia Island. Famous for its nature vibe ambiance, Amelia Island is packed full of ways to get outdoors and get your nature on! Start with the local deep-sea fishing opportunities at SemperFi Charters or Fish Amelia Island. Backwater Cat Adventures offers boat tours while you drive your own rented two seat catamaran. Catch a sailing lesson at Windward Sailing. All located less than a two-mile bike ride from the campground.

Fort Clinch is a historic fort dating from the Civil War. This state park offers brings history to life for every camper by offering living history programs, re-enactments of Garrison Fire and battlefield skills. Visit the in-park Museum displaying historic herb gardens, grown and tended using methods that are hundreds of years ago. Get involved with the Campfire Circle Program which offers education on a wide variety of topics throughout the year.

 What’s fun to do there?

Fishing, swimming, snorkeling and other watersports are just outside your door. You can walk a half mile and find yourself at Egan’s Creek Park where you can rent kayaks and fish the waters from the docks. The campground overlooks beaches famous for shelling and shark tooth hunting. Sunbathing and diving through the surf are popular when the weather is warm. Hike through Maritime hammocks or take a stroll on St. Mary’s inlet. Bring your binoculars, wild horses are visible on Cumberland Island north of the park. You can also spy the Amelia Island lighthouse from the campground.

Where Is It Located?

This park is located off of I-95 in north-eastern Florida. Here is a map

Why Is It Awesome?

This park is awesome for its active on-site historic and educational activities including battlefield re-enactments and campfire circles.

How Far Out Do You Need To Book?

We recommend that you book four to six months prior to your intended stay.

Website:

https://www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch

Camping:

There is a $6.00 entry fee for the park. The park offers standard electric, water and dump stations as well as full RV hookups.

Address & Phone:

2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034. Main Phone: (904) 277-7274


Long Key State Park Campground

What’s awesome about this place?

Want to roll out of bed, step out of your RV and be on the beach? Long Key State Park is your next destination. The campsites are directly on the beach with the ocean only one hundred short feet away from the campsites. Wake up to the sound of the surf pounding the coast at this fabulous state park. This 965-acre scenic location is so inviting that Henry Flagler ran an elite destination on this very spot along his Key West Railroad at the turn of the twentieth century. It has catered to some of the best-known saltwater anglers, including author Zane Grey and some US Presidents.

Legendary fishing can be had in the middle keys. Fishing piers are sprinkled around Long Key for easy afternoon fishing. Boat ramps are available just a few miles from the park. Once offshore, you can fish in the offshore reefs and the Gulf Stream. Zane Grey favored the flats of Florida Bay where he caught sailfish, tarpon, kingfish, grouper, hogfish, cobia, pompano, king mackerel, and many more. Didn’t bring your gear? Book a fishing trip with Something Catchy Charters.   

What’s fun to do there?

Hiking and cycling are at their best here. With access to the Overseas Heritage Bike trail which parallels U.S. 1, you can peddle along scenic ocean views for miles. The Golden Orb Nature trial meanders through sub-tropical coastal landscapes for more than a mile. Park rangers offer guided hiking tours through stunning nature trial. Want to take a stroll through the woods? Hike the laid-back Layton Trail.  

Long Key is miles off the coast of Florida. Star-gazers and amateur astronomers alike covet the key for its minimal light pollution. The Florida Keys Astronomy Club gathers on Tuesday nights at the park where you can join in and explore the night sky. With magnificent views and obscured night-skies, gazing at heavenly bodies is a show stopper at this campground.   

Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding are available in the shallow water lagoon. Swim right outside your front door or go snorkeling or scuba diving in the offshore reefs. Wildlife is abundant in the park and includes horseshoe crabs, loggerhead turtles, and green turtles.  Birdwatchers can spot herons, egrets, ibis, white-crowned pigeons, and the roseate spoonbill.

Where is it located? 

This park is located directly on Overseas Highway in Layton Florida on Long Key, smack in the middle of the Florida Keys, a trial of islands on the south coast of Florida. Here's a map

Why is it awesome?

With minimal light pollution, this is the perfect spot for star-gazers and amateur astronomers. The sea fishing is some of the best in the state.  

How far out do you need to book?

We recommend at least six months before your intended trip.

Website:

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/long-key-state-park

Camping:

Entry Fee to the park is $4.50 for one, or two people plus for $5.50. This park offers standard electric, water and dump stations as well as full hookups.

Address & Phone:

67400 Overseas Highway, Layton, Florida 33001. Main Phone: (305) 664-4815


Fort Pickens Campground

credit national park service

credit: Gulf Island National Seashore

What is awesome about this place?

In 1834 historical Fort Pickens was built to defend the Pensacola Bay, located in the panhandle of Florida. Designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is a large five-bastioned structure one mile from the campground, located on the western point of Santa Rosa Island. It was one of the four forts in the south never occupied by the Confederates.

Visit the Fort Pickens Discovery Center. With their wide variety of exhibits and presentations, you will be immersed in the rich history and flora and fauna of the local area. On your way out, stop at the Fort Pickens bookstore for a souvenir or a book about the local culture to read while you lounge on the beach. The beach is just a short walk from the campgrounds.   

Worked up an appetite? Pegleg Pete’s, a pirate-themed, seafood restaurant is located just down the street. With a raw bar and children’s playground, it is the perfect place to spend an evening watching the sunset. Indulge in blue crab claws, Cajun fried catfish or chargrilled Mahi-Mahi, either way, you won’t regret it. Pegleg Pete’s is located at 1010 fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, Florida 32561.

What’s fun to do there?

A day trip or two will have you visiting the National Aviation Museum, Fort Barrancas or the historic Pensacola Lighthouse, all less than a forty-minute drive. The National Aviation museum offers the heart-pounding Magic of Flight simulator. With a seven-story projection screen and digital film, you can take a ride with the Blue Angels. Packed with World War II Aircraft, you can spend an afternoon getting close and friendly with Naval Aviation history. Continue your education of naval history by taking in a tour at Fort Barrancas, a historical naval ship-yard. The Pensacola Lighthouse offers historical exhibits, guided tours and breathtaking views from the top of the lighthouse.        

Back at the campground, you can enjoy hikes through groves of oak trees, maritime hammocks, and miles of shoreline. Make sure you pick up a fishing rod and some bait on your way in. Fort Pickens’ fishing pier allows fishing without obtaining a Florida fishing license.    

Where is it located?

The National park is less than a two hour drive from I-10 in the panhandle of Florida, just south of Pensacola. Here's a link to the google map

Why is it awesome?

This National park offers nature at its best with a ton of opportunities for historical naval trips. With a seafood restaurant within walking distance, life on the beach can’t get any better.  

How far out do you need to book?

We recommend at least six months before your intended trip. Here is a google Map

Website:

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234704

Camping:

The park offers standard electric, water and dump stations.

Address & Phone:

1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulfbreeze, Florida 32563. (850) 934-2622


Henderson Beach State Park Campground

credit: www.floridastateparks.org

credit: www.floridastateparks.org

7 Must See Camping Spots On The Beach In Florida (With locals Insight & Map) 4

What is awesome about this place?

Henderson Beach State Park can be found near Destin, Florida, in the Florida pan handle. Destin is considered the “Luckiest Fishing Village” in the world. Florida governor LeRoy Collins attended the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo where he caught a 19-pound king mackerel in less than 15 minutes. Upon return to Tallahassee, he couldn’t stop gushing about his catch. Soon it became a hot spot where locals were said to live with the fish. Fishing is the favored past-times of the locals. Catch pompano, redfish, flounder, catfish, whiting, cobia and king mackerel right off the beach or any of the many fishing piers.

Henderson Beach State Park was purchased from the Henderson family estate in 1983 and opened to the public in 1991. Part of the Save Our Coast Program, it is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled beaches and coastal habitat. With new features being added regularly, it is a new park with a spacious upscale feel.   

What’s fun to do there?

Enjoy the modern feel and spacious campsites this new campground provides. You can spot dolphins, sea turtles, rabbits, bobcats, and gopher tortoises when hiking through the coastal scrub habitat and scenic shoreline. Stroll past Chapman oaks, live oaks, sea oats, sand pine, wash myrtle, and coastal lupine. Birdwatchers can catch glimpses of wading and migratory birds all over the park. Towhees, mockingbirds, snowy plovers and least terns can be seen throughout the park.

The park offers cycling, rollerblading, and skateboarding on a paved recreational trail. Most captivating of all is swimming in emerald green waters off white sugar-sand beaches. When the yearning for a little outing strikes you, you can book a dolphin watching cruise in the Gulf of Mexico with Screaming Eagle Sports. Feeling adventurous? Try Parasailing with Gilligan’s Watersports.

Where’s it located?

This Florida state park is located approximately 2 hours off of I-10 in the panhandle of Florida.   Here's a map to help you find it.

Why is it awesome?

This park is new, with roomy camping sites, pristine beaches. It is a small park near lots of restaurants, shopping, and spas.   

How far out do you need to book?

We recommend at least six months before your intended trip.

Website:

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/henderson-beach-state-park

Camping:

There is a $6.00 admission fee to the park. This park offers standard electric, water, and dump stations. As well as full RV hook-ups.  

Address & Phone:

17000 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, Florida 32541. Main Phone: (850) 837-7550

Beach Camping At It’s Best

There you have it, the 7 top beaches to camp at in Florida with your RV. Each has a slightly different experience than the next. The commonality between the top beaches to camp at, are the amazing experience that each possesses. We would love to know what you thought of the camping locations. Did it meet your expectations? Did we list them all? If we are missing any feel free to let us know below.  


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