The 10 Best Camping Sites in Florida For Families

Nov 23, 2020

The 10 Best Camping Sites in Florida For Families
By Sydney Kleckner

The 10 Best Camping Sites in Florida For Families

“My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, it is air-conditioned and has exceptional location.” – Fennel Hudson

Hear that ringing? Nature’s calling! The Florida outdoors are widespread lands filled with diverse wildlife and the potential for endless adventures. And while Florida is known for its picturesque beaches near Disney and adventurous things to do in Florida, what most visitors don’t know is that the Sunshine State is a camper’s paradise! From the panhandle, down to the Florida Keys, there are a bunch of destinations for visitors to explore and camp happy throughout the Florida peninsula. Whether you’re just passing through the state or are looking for the perfect outdoor oasis for your staycation with the kids, there’s a Florida camping adventure out there for everyone!

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Best Camping Sites in Florida

Everybody knows life’s better by the campfire, even in Florida! But here’s the thing…camping in Florida is a completely different experience from camping in any other state! Even expert campers can agree that Florida’s geography and wildlife lend it to be an entirely unique camping adventure. Like comparing apples to oranges, no campground is the same and since Florida’s flora and fauna are different throughout the state, it can be tricky to navigate if you’ve never camped under its glowing stars before! We did some digging and put together a list of the 10 Best Camping Sites in Florida For Families to inspire your next escape into nature!

1 | Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo Platform Camping | If you love the “sit by the campfire and relax in the great outdoors” side of camping, then the Platform Camping at Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo is the perfect way for you to get your camp on! Since their six-person platform camping tents are set-up and ready for you to enjoy, all you need to do is unpack and jump straight to the camping fun! The platform tent campgrounds are just seconds from the adventure and excitement of Florida’s favorite dude ranch, offering family-friendly activities like airboat rides, horseback riding, trap and skeet shooting, and so much more! Each tent comes with its own picnic table, BBQ grill, fire pit, and for those who aren’t ready to say goodbye to their phones, an electrical outlet. And since not everybody is comfortable camping without modern plumbing, there is a communal bathroom set with showers, sinks, toilets, and a drinking water source. Just because you’re camping, doesn’t mean you have to get all down and dirty!

WHO: (863) 692-1321 | WHERE: 3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, FL 33867

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2 | Jetty Park Campground | Imagine stepping out of your tent and witnessing cruise ships and submarines channeling in and out of the ocean, and mesmerizing rocket launches from the Canaveral Air Force Station. Nestled inside Port Canaveral, Jetty Park Campground offers this and so much more! The campground is just steps from the scenic Atlantic Ocean and its marine life, which leaves for a beach camping experience like no other! Campers can choose between a site with water or a site with water and power, which offers a fan to cool you off from the heat. Fire rings and wood are available for rent, and there is a marketplace store close by for all things any camper would need, including bait and fishing gear! The Jetty Park campground has a fishing pier, and is within walking distance to the Exploration Tower, just in case you need a quick break indoors. Camping is $27 per night and campers can even boat into their campsite! Now that’s what we call arriving in style.

WHO: 321-783-7111 | WHERE: 9035 Campground Cir, Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920

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3 | Wekiwa Springs State Park | Located on sloping hills of longleaf pine in a Sandhill habitat, the 60 campsites located in the Wekiwa Springs State Park are an incredible way to experience Florida’s wild side. Campers have the option to stay on the main grid or can canoe/kayak to one of the campsites accessible only by water! And if you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to camp with your beloved Secretariat, Wekiwa Springs offers a choice to camp equestrian! The only way in and out of the campsite is by horse (or walking of course) and is a perfect way to bond with your favorite four-legged friend. Each site has water access and electrical hookups, as well as a fire pit and picnic table, and is $24 per night to camp. Whether it’s under the canopies of moss laced trees or on the edge of the gentle, natural springs, the natural beauty of the campgrounds is perfect for making lasting memories!

WHO: (407) 553-4383 | WHERE: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka FL 32712

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4 | Bahia Honda State Park | Never heard of tropical camping? Now you have! Connected to Key West by a railroad system created in the early 1900s, Bahia Honda Key is the tropical destination of your dreams! The remote island’s Bahia Honda State Park is lined with swaying palms, white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear water. Known for its scenic sunsets and stargazing, camping at the state park is unlike any other experience in the state. As a camper, you will be surrounded by the island’s native plants and shorebirds, as well as the Sand and Sea Nature Center. And if you’ve ever wanted to go on a snorkeling adventure, now is your time! The park offers kayaks and snorkeling gear to be rented, and campers can even go on a snorkeling excursion to the nearby coral reefs! Camping is $36 per night and includes both water and electricity. So, who said you can’t camp and enjoy a tropical getaway at the same time? Only in Florida.

WHO: (305) 872-2353 | WHERE: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key FL 33043

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5 | Fort Wilderness at Disney | Looking for a new way for your family to enjoy your favorite Florida theme park? Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is an incredible way to mix-up your family’s Disney vacation without straying too far from all the action of the theme parks. When you camp at Fort Wilderness, magic will surround you as you lay under the stars and enjoy Florida’s enchanting landscape. For $56 per night, campers have instant access to the 750 acres of cypress and pine forest and can discover all that the campgrounds offer, including trails perfect for hikers of all levels, swimming areas, and exciting activities, like archery! And if that’s not enough, campers have plenty of opportunities to make friends with the wildlife, like ducks, deer, armadillos, and rabbits. Who doesn’t want to meet Bambi and Thumper in real life?

WHO: (407) 824-2900 | WHERE: 4510 North Fort Wilderness Trail, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

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6 | Lake Louisa State Park | Need a break from your busy schedule? Located only 30 minutes from the beautiful city of Orlando, Lake Louisa State Park offers a sneak peek into the calmer side of Central Florida. Campers get the best of both worlds when they camp at Lake Louisa! Camping is $36 per night, so whether you want to escape into nature for the weekend or find a quiet lodging option to retreat to after enjoying a day in the city, there are several camping options that will fit every camper’s needs. If primitive camping isn’t your thing, they even have glamping tents that will add a little comfort and luxury to your Florida camping! The state park also offers several opportunities for adventure, including bike and equestrian trails, canoe and kayak rentals, and if you’re looking for some educational activities for the kids, they even offer geo-seeking and an interactive exhibit! Lakeside camping is peak Florida entertainment for the entire family, especially when the lake is so close to the tourist destination of the world!

WHO: (352) 394-3969 | WHERE: 7305 U.S. Hwy 27, Clermont FL 34714

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7 | Rainbow Springs State Park | If camping was a color, it’d be the whole rainbow! It’s a wonderful assortment of various activities and adventures, creating the most colorful memories you can think of. If you don’t believe us, you should visit Rainbow Springs State Park! Located along the Rainbow River, the aquatic reserve offers several water activities like snorkeling, tubing, and for those who don’t know, is considered one of the best kayaking in Florida! And if you’re looking to sneak away from the kids for an outdoor date night, the state park also has an amphitheater perfect for movie night. From vibrant gardens to rushing man-made waterfalls, your family will find that the state park is nothing short of beautiful. All campsites are hike-in only, so definitely pack your best hiking boots, and offer both water and electricity. Wherever you camp in Florida will be filled with wonder, but you’ll finally find what lies at the end of a rainbow when you visit these springs.

WHO: (352) 465-8555 | WHERE: 19158 S.W. 81st Place Rd, Dunnellon FL 34432

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8 | Fort De Soto Campground | Known for its history dating back 1,000 years, the Fort De Soto County Park is known for its Florida cultural relevance and invites all visitors to learn about the peninsula’s beginnings. Located near the St. Petersburg coast and named after the Spanish conquistadors who explored Florida in the 1500s, the park now welcomes more than 2.7 million visitors annually and was labeled as America’s Top Beach in 2009. Starting at $36 per night, campers can feed their wanderlust in the wooded and secluded campground. From the self-guided tours exploring the historic military structures to the 7 miles of sapphire blue water beaches, the Fort De Soto Campground is the perfect camping retreat for any history lover who’s trying to get in touch with nature.

WHO: (727) 582-2100 | WHERE: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715

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9 | Anastasia State Park | If you’re looking for more of a quaint campsite, Anastasia State Park is the campground for you! Known for its serene beach and sand dunes, each campsite offers privacy perfect for your family’s next outdoor getaway. By providing canoe/kayak rentals and playgrounds for the little ones, the state park is a dream Florida beach vacation and camping adventure wrapped in one. For $28 per night, your family can enjoy soaking up the Florida sun and sitting by the campfire all in the same day. Abundant in maritime hammocks and tidal marshes, the campground is home to various wading birds and wildlife, including the endangered Anastasia Island Beach Mouse! Campers also flock to the state park to enjoy the live concerts offered right outside the campgrounds! From the sounds of the waves tumbling into the sand to the melodies of local music, camping at Anastasia State Park will have you waking up in-tune with the Florida songbirds.

WHO: 904-461-2033 | WHERE: 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080

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10 | Myakka River State Park | Spanning a whopping 37,000 acres, Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s largest state parks and is home to the wild and scenic, Myakka River. For only $5 per night, campers can expect to find peace and tranquility, and endless opportunities for exploring its wildflower prairies and expansive pinelands! Complete with hiking trails leading to Florida highland and marshes, your family will be greeted by an array of diverse nature and wildlife, including ospreys, alligators, snook, and various birds. Suspended over the Myakka River, the Canopy Walkway offers campers a picture-perfect view over the entire state park and is an incredible way to enjoy all the beauty Florida has to offer.

WHO: (941) 361-6511 | WHERE: 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota FL 34241

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Check out our Trusty Florida Camping Map!


Last Tips

From our state parks to our relaxed beaches, there isn’t a spot in the state that isn’t perfect for camping. Campers can find sites that are beachside, deep in the woods, or both! But when you’re camping in Florida, there are a few things you want to pack and prepare for:

Bugs- From palmetto bus to pesky mosquitoes, campers can expect a few not-so-welcomed visitors during their stay. The best way to counteract these visits is to pack an abundance of spray-on and candle insect repellent.

Heat- It will come to no surprise that camping in the Sunshine State can get, well, hot! Packing lots or water and a portable fan is a great way to ensure your family will not get overheated and that your camping adventure is as comfortable as possible.

Wildlife- Alligators, boars, and bears…oh my! Florida is home to a vast array of wildlife, some which are welcoming and others that come with their own rules for interaction. Before arriving to your campsite, be sure to research the wildlife that is local to the campgrounds. Luckily, you can always contact the state park ranger/campground attendant for information and safety tips.

Whether you’re looking for a digital detox getaway or to cross off ‘Florida camping’ from your family’s bucket list, this list of the 10 Best Camping Sites in Florida For Families has everything you’ll need when planning your next Florida vacation. From platform camping at a Florida dude ranch to scenic beachside campsites, Florida camping is filled with endless surprises and memorable moments to be shared! And everybody knows the best part about camping is—S’mores!


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* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.