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Florida is a camper's dream, especially if you're escaping the cold of a Midwest or northern winter. Whether you need a spot for your RV, your tent, or plan to rent a cabin, you can find a spot to suit you.
According to hiking and camping website YesHiking.com, these are the 5 best-camping sites in Florida.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is on the east coast of Florida just off of highway 95. You'll enjoy the chance to learn about local wildlife and coastal repair, thanks to the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center within the park. This wilderness offers many chances to enjoy a wide variety of plant and animal life from both walking paths and waterways.
You can rent a kayak or another solo boat and paddle the Loxahatchee River. There are 10 cabins for rent and 112 sites for RVs or tents. There's a trail for cyclists and for horses alike. If you're a hiker, be aware that the horses in this park are visiting with their owners; please be respectful and approach with care.
The Crooked River Campground is in the Withlacoochee State Forest, straight west of Orlando. Be aware that this park is rustic; tent campers and boondocking RVs will find water but no electrical hookups. Bring in your own drinking water or be prepared to filter and boil; potable water is not drinkable water.
There are many boat ramps and places to launch a kayak so you can study wildlife and mangrove trees up close and personal. If you love wildflowers, book a stay here in the autumn. Be prepared to enjoy a wide variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, gopher tortoise, and white-tail deer. Bring your binoculars and be prepared to pack a picnic so you can stop and enjoy the wildlife on one of the many quiet hiking trails.
You'll find two drive-in campgrounds in the Everglades National Park. From the Homestead entrance of the park, you can book a stay at the Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground. Both have room for tents and RVs. Be aware that there is no other front-country camping along the park, so book your stay accordingly. Once parked, you can enjoy this region via kayak or airboat.
You can also find spots for wilderness camping further inside the park. Be aware that you will need to either hike or paddle in. All of these campgrounds are leave no trace and pack in-pack out. You will also need a permit. However, with the right preparation, you can enjoy extreme privacy in this one-of-a-kind national park.
Anastasia State Park is located just south of Jacksonville on the Atlantic Coast. This region is a haven for the many wading birds that feed along the coast. There are 130 campsites available for rent in this park, and they're a short walk from the beach so you can enjoy the sounds of the sea.
There are a swimming beach and many places to stroll, hike, collect shells or fish. You'll also find places to paddle and even enjoy some surfing. You can go as rustic as you like on your camping trip in this park. While there are shopping and restaurants along the beach, you'll also find trails and paddling options where you can get away and enjoy the wild world.
You will have to cross some water to get to Cayo Costa State Park, but it will be worth it! This island offer miles of beaches for walking, swimming, and wildlife watching. You can rent cabins or pitch a tent at one of the many sites on the island, but be aware that there are no restaurants or places to buy food or water.
You will have to do some serious prep work for your camping trip to Cayo Costa. There are ferry rides to the island and fee parking on the mainland. Bring in all the food and water you'll need and make sure you have bug spray and sunscreen. If you bring your dog, make sure the leash is no longer than 6 feet and be ready to stay in a tent; no dogs in cabins.