Florida being fortunate to have warm, humid summertime and moderately cold winters makes an excellent location for camping. The state boasts of some of the best marine, freshwater environs and semitropical coastal upland locations that provide excellent opportunities to fishing, hiking, camping, boating and wildlife enthusiasts.
Florida’s Federal & State parks are blessed with many heritage and cultural legacies.
You are sure to feel the closeness with nature while coming in contact with various animal and plant species witnessed at no other place in the world. Such exhilarating experience is made possible by the rich and bio diverse character of Florida’s national parks, seashores and forests that make a treat whether you are camping in a normal summer tent or in the properly ventilated 3-season version.
State Parks :
Florida’s 723,000 acres of park land spread over 159 parks is effectively administered by the State Division of Recreation and Parks. Most of these parks are great locations for camping in Florida. You can also practice swimming and scuba diving at America’s first underwater park named the John Pennekamp Coral Reef, situated on the northern side of Key Largo.
If woods are your calling, you can head southeast of Tampa towards the wooded trails of Alafia River State Park. Swimming or chasing wildlife in southwest of Pensacola (The Pine Flatwoods in the Big Lagoon) or in the Curry Hammock islands in between Long Key and Little Crawl Key, may not be a bad option either.
National Forests :
Camping at the Ocala (Silver Springs), Apalachicola (Tallahassee) or the Osceola (Lake City) National forests can be an experience of the lifetime. These forests span over 1.2 million acre land and feature some of the best slash, loblolly pine, sand and longleaf forests along with few swamps, bogs and savannahs.
Most of these camping locations can be booked on a 1st-come, 1st-serve basis except for a few exceptionally well-developed camping grounds that may need advance reservations. The best way to experience camping in Florida is to head to any of these national forests (except where prohibited) and pitch your tent anywhere you like. The whole experience will leave you touched by nature. However, you must ensure that you avoid camping here while the hunting season is on. More information regarding this can be had online
The Seashores and The National Parks :
The more urban way of camping in Florida is to head for the National parks and the seashores. Camping is allowed in National Park System’s 7 units.
Here, you will also be able to gather important information like operating hours, habitat details, recreational facilities, fee and permit instructions. These 7 units are listed as follows:
* Timucuan Preserve at Jacksonville
* Biscayne National Park at Key Biscayne
* Dry Tortugas National Park at Key West
* Big Cypress National Preserve at Ochopee
* Gulf Islands National Seashore at Gulf Breeze
* Canaveral National Seashore at The Titusville
* Everglades National Park in Miami
Camping in Florida provides you with a wide array of experiences. From recreation to wildlife and hiking to habitats, all are within your reach. While the National Park - Everglades being America’s widest semitropical wilderness area hosts creatures like Florida Panther, Manatees and American Crocodiles, the adjacently located Big Cypress Preserve is known for camping, wildlife and hiking adventures. If aquatic is the way you like to be, hire a boat or a seaplane for the islands at the National Park - Dry Tortugas to witness some of the best coral reefs.
Gulf Island seashores are favorite destinations for fishing, swimming, boating and snorkeling. Once you’ve had your fill of these, you can venture into the old coastal forts like the Fort McRee, Fort Barrancas and the Fort Pickens. This visit can be followed up by a space age experience at Kennedy Space Center.
An unexpected shower is a normal thing to happen in this "Sunshine State". Thus, make sure you have everything like bathing suit, sunglasses, swimming fins, masks and sunscreen packed with your camping gear. Most importantly, don’t forget your imagination as you will have plenty of opportunities to pack moments into timeless memories!