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Tent Camping In Southwest Florida

Cayo Costa Island State Park

Camping Southwest Florida: Part 2: Exploring Cayo Costa State Park Beaches & Trails

Since there are no roads or bridges to this island, the Tropic Star ferries passengers to Cayo Costa State Park daily, leaving from Bokeelia on Pine Island. La Costa Island is a fairly large and mostly undeveloped island between North Captiva and Boca Grande. The camping area is right behind the small dunes and just steps from a fantastic crescent-shaped beach. Bring lots of batteries for your camera because you won’t be able to stop taking pictures. Several six-person cabins are also available. None of the sites have electricity or water. Showers and flush toilets are available, as is drinking water. You may find that you have the beach practically all to yourself.

Miami Everglades Rv Resort

Image from Miami Everglades RV Resort

Surrounded by mango, avocado, and palm trees, this RV resort boasts tropical floral nurseries and even farms. The resort is conveniently located 30 miles south of downtown Miami for access to city entertainment. Nature isnt far either, with Everglades National Park just 10 miles south and Key Largo 30 miles south.

Some highlights in the resort include movie nights, a pool and hot tub, water aerobics, pickleball, jam sessions and much more.

There are different deposits and payment schedules depending on the length of your stay, but stays operate on daily, monthly or annual policies.

Miami Everglades RV Resort is in the Miami area but it doesnt feel like Miami at all. They have a really nice big pool, shuffleboard, putt putt golf, arcade and walking trail. Its off the beaten path but worth the drive. The front office staff was so helpful. We arrived after an afternoon storm had blown their power. They still checked us in with now problem. We stopped here for 2 nights while exploring The Everglades on our way to Key West. Close to Miami Everglades is a fruit stand called Robert Is Here. Dont miss it!The Dyrt camper Jennifer A.

Flamingo Campground Everglades National Park

Flamingo Campground in the Everglades National Park offers walk-in and drive-up tent campsites on the shores of Florida Bay . Amenities include solar-heated showers, picnic tables, and grills. Birdwatchers wintering in Florida will love the parks more than 300 avian species, as well as other wildlife, such as manatee and crocodile in the marina area. Paddlers will enjoy the parks many acres of mangrove forests, canals, and canoeing trails.

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South Florida Water Management District

Finally, weve arrived at the South Florida Water Management District, which covers parts of the Atlantic and Gulf coastline. Here, campers will find access to places like Miami, Fort Myers and Naples, and of course, the Everglades.

Hickory Hammock Campground has a five-star rating from Campendium users, and most comment on how the campsites are remote but still have easy access. Again, when its free, its hard to beat! This campground sits in the middle of the state and is fairly popular for those with horses.

The South Florida Water Management District says special vehicle and other land use permits are required for a limited number of locations. Unlike most of the other districts, few places in this district require camping permits in advance. For a full list of sites and their regulations, head here.

While Florida isnt known for its free camping, the states water management districts options offer opportunities for those willing to venture a bit off the beaten path. Now, enjoy that warm weather!

About the Author: Alex Murphy is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast with a journalism background. Hes a fan of getting outside for hiking, climbing and kayaking and bringing others along for the adventure. He currently lives in Austin, TX.

Where To Go Rv Camping Near Crystal River Florida

Checklist for tent camping in Florida

RV Campgrounds are a great option for traveling with children and pets. Here are a few amenity-rich RV parks and campgrounds throughout Citrus County to consider for your trip:Crystal Isles RV Resort: Close to the Gulf beaches, this RV Resort offers plenty of amenities, including a pool, waterfront sites, on-site laundry, and boat rentals.

Rousseau RV Resort: On beautiful Lake Rousseau, the sites at this RV Resort are shaded by ancient live oaks. Guests will enjoy the waterfront views, swimming pool, and access to both salt and freshwater for plenty of fishing.

Natures Resort: Situated on the Homosassa River, this 97-acre resort offers RV sites and also cabin rentals. Theres a swimming pool, game room, and access to the Gulf for fishing and boating.

Riverside Lodge RV Resort: Right on the Withlacoochee River, this RV Resort offers RV sites, tent camping sites, and cabin and cottage rentals. Guests who rent a cabin can enjoy free canoe and kayak rentals to get out on the water. Theres also a pool for your family to enjoy.

Chassahowitzka River Campground: This riverside campground offers 53 full hookup RV sites and 28 primitive tent camping sites along with a boat launch, boat rentals, and general store. Camp here if you are looking for scenic views, wildlife, and some of the best paddling in Florida.

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Paradise By The Sea Rv Resort: Oceanside California

Paradise By The Sea in Oceanside, California. Photo via TripAdvisor.

As the name suggests, Paradise by the Sea Resort is a coastal heaven for RVers. The parks a short walk from the beach in Oceanside, an hour north of San Diego, and a quick drive to attractions like Legoland, Disneyland, and Knotts Berry Farm.

They offer 91 full hookup sites with 72-channel cable TV and complimentary WiFi. Guests are welcome to use their heated pool and spa, as well as the newly remodeled restrooms, games in the recreation room, and laundry facilities. They also provide trash service three days a week and recycling once a week, and a full-service mail and package room.

Top 10 Campgrounds And Rv Parksfort Myers Florida

Fort Myers, Florida is one of the sunniest places in the United States. This city is on Floridas southwest coast, and the temperature in Fort Myers hardly ever drops below 70 degrees during the day. No matter what time of year you visit, campgrounds in Fort Myers, Florida are great places to stay while you visit Florida RV adventure destinations like Everglades National Park or Miami. Whether you like camping near the beach or farther inland, youre sure to find a great place to park your RV among these 10 options for RV camping in Fort Myers.

  • Wi-Fi: Yes

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Blackwater River State Park Holt

When it comes to immersive nature in Florida the Everglades get most of the attention, but Blackwater River State Park is the sleeper hit. Located 35 miles northeast of Pensacola, the park boasts some of the states most unique ecosystems, including one of the largest longleaf pine forests in the world, and one of the purest sand-bottom rivers. The parks campground is small, capped at 30 tent and RV sites to preserve the solitude. While it feels primitive, sites are equipped with electric and water hookups. Take the through the woods to the river for kayaking, fishing, or sunbathing on a sandbar.

Us Army Corps Of Engineers Campgrounds

Free Camping With Reservation Southwest Florida Dinner Island WMA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the navigable waterways of the United States, including those in Florida.

The Corp has developed and maintained many campgrounds along these routes.

The Florida campgrounds are along the Okeechobee Waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean near Stuart to the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers.

The campgrounds are located with one near the east end, one near the west end, and one close to the center.

The three that we know about are:

St. Lucie South Campground, Stuart Ortona South Campground, Moore Haven W.P. Franklin Campground North, Alva

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Cayo Costa State Park

This island park, accessible only by water, offers primitive and boat camping on Floridas Southern Gulf Coast. Each site in the primitive camping area offers picnic tables, grill, drinking water, restroom and cold shower facilities. Boat campers can stay overnight at the parks dock. Hammock sites are available, but only in designated areas. Activities include fishing, snorkeling, paddling, and picnicking under one of the parks pavilions.

Private Campgrounds And Rv Resorts

North Fort Myers

Sunseekers RV Park – Age 55+, RV sites located at 19701 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.

Seminole Campground – 129 wooded campsites located at 8991 Triplett Road, North Fort Myers.

Raintree RV Resort – Age 55+, RV sites and mobile homes located at 19250 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.

South Fort Myers

Siesta Bay RV Resort – Age 55+, RV sites and mobile homes located at 1933 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers.

McGregor RV & MH Park – 60 RV sites located at 16650 McGregor Blvd. #103, Fort Myers.

Groves RV Resort – RV sites and mobile homes located at 16175 John Morris Road, Fort Myers.

Periwinkle Park – Camping and RV sites located at 1119 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island.

Fort Myers Beach RV Resort – 285 campsites located at 16299 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers.

Fort Myers Beach

Indian Creek RV Park – Age 55+, RV sites and mobile homes located at 17340 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers Beach.

San Carlos RV Park & Islands – RV sites with boat docks located at 18701 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers Beach.

Red Coconut RV Park – RV sites and mobile homes located at 3001 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach.

Ebb Tide RV Park – 148 campsites located at 1725 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach.

Gulf Waters RV Resort – 318 RV sites located at 11291 Summerlin Sq Drive, Fort Myers Beach.

Estero Area

Woodsmoke Camping Resort – 300 campsites located at 19551 US HWY 41, Fort Myers.

Calusa Cove RV & MH Resort – 22 sites located at 19421 Santa Elena Dr, Fort Myers. .

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Fabulous Free Camping In Florida

If there is one thing that living on the road has taught me, its to take the road less traveled. And oh my, how this really rings true when it comes to finding fabulous, free camping in Florida.

Robert Frost said it best, Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

I have found that most adventures worth doing, seeing or experiencing usually require determination, a little chance and in the case of fabulous camping, a lot of research. Because if it was easy, everyone would do it.

So, naturally when people tell me theres no Wild Camping I read between the lines and found they just didnt look hard enough.

Luckily, it didnt take too much digging to come across a state wide program with incredibly fabulous free wild camping. Check it out:

Pretty fantastic right!?! Ok, now to the information you need to get yourself to these spectacular boondocking sites.

The Florida Water Management is broken up into five different zones:

You will notice they use the language: equestrian, group and primitive camping. The camping that can accommodate RVs is the equestrian areas. But the best way to make sure is to call. There is a phone number for each of the regions and I was always able to get someone on the phone. They were extremely nice and helpful so dont hesitate to call and ask questions and verify you can camp there in an RV.

Beach Camping In Florida

Camping in Florida
Florida beach camping opportunities fall into two categories: State or County parks, and private campgrounds.Private campgrounds tend to cater to RV campers, since that is where the money is. After all, they are running a for-profit business. They also tend to maximize the amount of “campsites” they can cram into a given area, which means more trees get chopped down.

State and County parks, on the other hand, do not have to maximize profits, so they are more likely to reserve areas for tent campers and to leave plenty of trees and vegetation, which greatly improves the whole experience. This page focuses mostly on State and County Park campgrounds.

With over 1800 miles of coastline, most of which is sandy beaches, you’d think that finding a good beach campground would be easy. But no, it isn’t. Camping directly on the beach sand is often not possible. Campsites are usually behind the dunes. Why?

Because having a bunch of tents and camping gear out on the beach interferes with bird nesting in late winter and early spring and summer. It also interferes with turtle nesting from May through October. There are a few places where you can camp right on the beach, and I’ll tell you about those below.

A good camping guidebook is indispensable. I have two books in my collection that I strongly recommend. They are:

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Fort De Soto Tampa Bay

For prime beach camping, head about 10 miles south of St. Petersburg to Fort De Soto Campground, a Gulf oasis for waterfront wonders on St. Christopher Key and St. Jean Key. Its part of Fort De Soto County Park, established to protect barrier islands that once served as military camps during the Civil War. Nowadays, its a place of tranquility, with 238 tent and RV sites shrouded by maritime forest, including some so close to the water you can practically fish right from your tent. While removed from the hustle of nearby cities, the campground offers Wi-Fi and amenities, including playgrounds, kayak rentals, and a camp store. With its accessible paved trails and a dog park, its equally welcoming for pet-owners and those in wheelchairs.

Pensacola Beach Rv Resort Pensacola

Mixology isnt a typical campground feature, but at Pensacola Beach RV Resort, cocktails connect the campground to its past. The resort is located on what was formerly Sheas Tiki House Motel. Though hurricanes destroyed the property, new owners revived the tiki legacy when they opened the resort in 2012, augmenting their RV sites with a tiki shop, swimming pool , playgrounds, and the Sneaky Tiki Bar, a tropical watering hole located right on the sand, open March 1 through November 1. Along with about 70 RV sites, the campground offers tiki-themed accommodations for rent, like the Tiki Hut trailer and the Tiki Room, with a queen bed, bathroom, kitchenette, and private patio.

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Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

Experience the wild west at this south Florida RV park and rodeo, just an hour south of Orlando. The resort showcases the western heritage of Old Florida, a state once dominated by cowboys and cattle ranchers. The ranch sits on 1,700 acres of land overlooking the shining Kissimmee River. The resort went through a multi-million dollar renovation in 2013, so you wont be roughing it during your days at Westgate. Guests can acquaint themselves with horseback rides and the award-winning Saturday night rodeo. Dont forget to check out the nearby Trap and Skeet Range with big sky views.

There are 15 RV sites available at the ranch, all with access to bathroom facilities and showers. Enjoy lunch with your friends or loved one at the picnic table that sit on every site. The resort conveniently carries firewood, charcoal and other camping supplies in the General Store.

Westgate River Ranch Resort is an awesome destination with camping, skeet shooting range, rodeo, petting zoo, mini golf, swamp buggy rides, swimming, dining, lodge and much more. We were there several years ago and had a blast. The camping area is wooded with hookups. They recently renovated the whole place and I cant imagine it being better than it was. The boys loved the rodeo that was held on the weekend. They even got to participate in chasing the calf to win a prize. Would love to come back and visit again since I am a cowgirl at heart! The Dyrt camper Christy C.

Dead River Landing Recreation Area

Free Camping in Florida! Southwest Water Management Camping

Located in the Choctawhatchee River Water Management Area in Ponce De Leon, FL. Free RV or tent camping by reservation in the Panhandle. Two sheltered picnic pavilions with charcoal grills, boat launch to Seven Runs Creek on site, as well as each a picnic table, fire ring, and grill at each campsite.

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Camping Reservations Are Required

  • Reservations are based on availability and on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A new reservation is required for each camping trip.
  • Reservations may be made up to 30 days prior to the requested camping date.
  • Camping is limited to seven consecutive days and 30 total days per calendar year.
  • Groups of 20 or more vehicles or 50 or more people must submit a request in writing for a special recreational use reservation. Include in your letter where you want to camp, how many vehicles, trailers and horses will be arriving and the dates and times of your arrival and departure. A limited number of weekends will be set aside for groups so get your requests in early. Please allow 30 days to process group reservations.
  • Reservations will include gate combinations for vehicle access where allowed.
  • Personal automobiles are permitted into equestrian and primitive campsites. Vehicles may be driven from gate to campsite ONLY.
  • Reservations must be displayed on dashboard at campsite.

Fort Desotos Tent Campground

While most RV sites in Fort DeSotos massive campground are on the water, only the tent campground is on an actual beach. The waterfront RV sites are on seawalls, and these RV sites are still pretty nice! You can paddle, ride a bike or drive within the park to one of the most outstanding beaches in the nation, Fort DeSotos famous North Beach. Overall, the campground has 238 sites on three connected islands including the tent campground. Tent sites are $33.50 in-season and $30 off season. RV sites are $38.50 in season and $37 off-season. Reservations are recommended, but some walkup sites are available. Fort DeSoto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, FL 33715 . Reservations up to 6 months in advance online or call 582-2267.

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