Whether you are nestled down in the Keys or soaking up the sun in the panhandle, Florida’s beaches are beautiful, vast and boast the ideal environment for an amazing camping trip – Not to mention that Florida has one of the best state park systems in the entire country. Break out the smores and the sunscreen because here are the best beach camping spots in Florida.
1. Anastasia State Park | St. Augustine
This state park features four miles of beach that have barely changed since Spanish explorers made their landfall in the spot almost 500 year ago. In addition to fantastic activities such as kayaking, fishing, surfing and canoeing, Anastasia State Park also is home to an historic archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to help build the oldest Spanish fortress in America, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Relax in the stunted oak hammocks or adventure through the dunes because this tranquil campground is one of the best in the state of Florida.
2. Cayo Costa State Park | Boca Grande
Cayoa Costa is a barrier island park that is only accessible by passenger ferry or boat which ensures that worrying about crowds is a thing in the past. When you’re not listening to the sound of the waves crashing up against shore in one of the oak-palm hammocks, you can rent a bicycle to get a better look of the splendid island. The nine miles of picturesque beaches found in Cayo Costa State Park are wonderful for shell-seeking, fishing and exciting days full of exploration. Chances are you will come across mangrove swamps which feature some of Florida’s most phenomenal wildlife.
3. Long Key State Part | Long Key
The campsites of Long Key rest right along the Atlantic Ocean, literally. The 60 waterfront campsites allow guests to walk 100 feet out of their campsite and into the water where they can catch bonefish or permit. The park also features many lush natural trails, the most popular that runs though a shallow-water lagoon for canoeing and kayaking. Each individual campsite at Long Key State Park features a grill and picnic table, perfect for cookouts and game nights.
4. St. George Island State Park | St. George Island
Another one of Florida’s best camping sites is St. George Island State Park which over the years has gained the reputation as a wildlife haven due to their wide, open spaces and undeveloped beaches. This serene paradise is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and popular activities include hiking, boating, canoeing and simply swimming in the crystal blue waters. St. George Island State Park features full-facility and primitive campsites for their guests utmost convenience.
5. Sebastian Inlet State Park | Melbourne Beach
Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the most renowned fishing and surfing destinations in Florida. With three miles of gorgeous beachfront scenery offers a tent campground that is a short five-minute walk from the beach. Adjacent to this park you will find the Indian River Lagoon that is popular spot for kayaking and canoeing. While peacefully walking across the sugar sand beaches of the Sebastian Inlet State Park you may even get lucky and come across coins from the wrecked Spanish Treasure Fleet of 1715, hence the nickname “Treasure Coast.”
6. Henderson Beach State Park | Destin
This state park is considered to be one of the most family-friendly. All 60 of their campsites are located just a short walk away from the stunning and dunes and gorgeous waters. When the kids are done taking a dip in the ocean, they can walk on over to the playground. Henderson Beach State Park offers electric hookups at their campgrounds so guests can stay connected even while embarking on adventure at one of Florida’s most amazing beach campgrounds.
7. Fort De Soto Country Park | Tierra Verde
Fort De Soto Country Park is a country-owned property that has 238, full-service campgrounds. Some of the amenities include grills, access to fresh water, electricity, washers, dryers, picnic tables, showers, play areas and a camp store. While it may be hard to pull yourself away from the luxurious campsites, the park has more than 8 miles of waterfront recreation, including a paved bike trail, nature trails, two fishing piers and a trail designated just for canoes.
8. Gamble Rogers Memorial SRA | Flagler Beach
You will be able to swim, sunbathe and collect buckets full of beautiful seashells during your camping trip at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area. If you come between early May and late October, you may even be lucky enough to witness baby sea turtles making their way to the shore while following the moonlight.* The 34-sites at this Florida beach campground overlook the Atlantic coastline and also offer accesses to the Intercoastal Waterway, making it a great choice for boaters.
9. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park | Key Largo
Step into the beat of a Jimmy Buffet song by visiting the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. From snorkeling and scuba diving to riding in a glass-bottom boat that puts all of the stunning marine life on display, there is no shortage of exciting activities at this park. The great aquatic scenery offered by the nearby coral reef and the famous, underwater statue, “Christ in the Abyss,” are sure to provide you with lifelong memories that you will cherish forever.
10. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park | Cape San Blas
Located just southeast of the renowned Panama City Beach, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park will leave you in awe over their breathtaking sand dunes. The nearby trails are great for those who are interesting in taking a hike or a scenic bike ride. The sugar-white sand of this Florida beach campground leads into the luscious waters that allow for snorkeling, diving and fishing.
Florida, or better known as the Sunshine State, offers plenty of spots for camping but these ten are surely the best with their flawless scenery, recreational activities and wonderful amenities. Next time you are planning your summer vacation, be sure to keep these Florida beach camping sites in mind.
* Note: If you are camping on one of the Florida beaches during summer, you may come across a nesting sea turtle, the most common being the air-breathing loggerhead which can weigh more than 400 pounds and grow over 3 feet in length. If you happen to come across one of these nesting turtles, keep your distance and do NOT take any photographs. The light from the flash interferes with their movement as they follow the moonlight. Never interfere with the animal.