For the ultimate in flexibility, there is nothing to beat camping; either with a tent or with an RV (recreational vehicle). These days more and more Florida campgrounds also offer cabins.
There are more than 900 campgrounds (campsites) and RV parks across Florida including many within the various Florida State Parks.
Because of Florida’s amazing climate, most Florida campgrounds and RV parks are open throughout the year. You can stay for a day or a whole season though October through April tend to be the busiest.
If you do hire an RV, make sure you understand how everything works and remember that you will typically get around 8–10 mpg so though you will not have to unpack every evening, you will need to fill up more often!
Florida State Campgrounds
Over 50 of Florida’s State Parks provide camping/RV sites and many also offer cabins. Some Parks have “Primitive Campsites” where it is very much “back to nature”; typically there are no bathroom facilities or at best portable toilets.
Many State Parks give you access to hiking, biking, canoeing, horse riding and fishing amongst beautiful surroundings. Some even have beach and ocean view camping facilities.
Florida Campground Amenities and Cabins
Facilities vary between campgrounds but most offer full hookup with 20/30/50 Amp service, water, electricity and sewerage as well as paved parking, picnic areas and many now have cable TV, wireless internet (wifi) access, swimming pools, hot-tubs and spas.
Some sites also have fire pits, BBQ grills, patio furniture, laundry and bath facilities, children’s play areas, dog parks, fishing and bike, boat and golf cart rentals. You may even find on-site kitchens, pavilions, cafes and bars.
Today more and more Florida campgrounds are offering cabins for those who want to “rough it in comfort”.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
A common question is “are there any campgrounds near Walt Disney World?” Disney solved that problem and you can actually camp at Walt Disney World with all the benefits that brings including Extra Magic Hours.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is set in 750 acres of pine and cypress forest and offers accommodation from simple tent to large RV pitches. They also have a number of Wilderness Cabins sleeping up to six people.
The campground is located close to the Magic Kingdom, next to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort hotel.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
People also ask about campgrounds near Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Well there are no campgrounds at the other central Florida attractions like Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens but there are campgrounds close by.
One of the largest chains of campgrounds in America is KOA and there are three KOA campgrounds in the immediate Orlando/Kissimmee area with others further afield. In total there are around 24 KOA campgrounds in Florida.
KOA has three types of campground:
- KOA Journey — typically close to the major highways and interstates, they are convenient for travellers looking to break their journey
- KOA Holiday — perfect for exploring the local area or just relaxing
- KOA Resort — offer the most amenities like resort style swimming pools, cafes, premium tent sites and deluxe cabins
Florida Campgrounds on the Beach
Florida with its miles and miles of coastline with sandy beaches, also has some fantastic campgrounds right on the ocean.
As you would expect, pitches with an ocean view come at a premium so expect to pay a bit more for a beachfront site.
Some of Florida’s State and County Parks offer beach campsites including:
- Anastasia State Park
- Bahia Honda State Park
- Big Lagoon State Park
- Biscayne National Park
- Canaveral National Seashore
- Cayo Costa Island State Park
- Curry Hammock State Park
- Fort Clinch State Park
- Fort De Soto Park
- Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area
- Grayton Beach State Park
- Henderson Beach State Park
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Little Talbot Island State Park
- Long Key State Park
- Sebastian Inlet State Park
- St. Andrews State Park
- St. George Island State Park
55 Plus Campgrounds in Florida
Some campgrounds cater exclusively for seniors (55+) who are looking for peace and quiet and plenty of activities.
They tend to have rules surrounding access for children and most have well equipped amenities like a clubhouse and social activities. Some sites have minimum stay requirements.
Some also have manufactured homes (mobile homes) on-site, catering to retired full-time residents.
These types of campgrounds appeal to both retirees and snowbirds.
Florida Campground Rates
When checking the price of campgrounds, note that unlike hotels and motels, they typically charge based on two people. You will often have to pay extra if there are more than two adults though children usually go free.
Prices also vary depending upon the location, time of year and length of stay. If you have an RV then you also need to consider the length of the RV and whether it has slideouts (sliders).
To give you an idea, if you are staying overnight at one of the Florida State Parks then typical prices are as follows (per night):
- primitive camping per person — $5
- camping — $16 to $42
- cabins — $30 to $180
Expect to pay $40 to $70 per night for two people at one of the independent campgrounds for an average sized RV out of season. In high season you could be looking at over $200 per night for a beach front site. Prices per night can drop significantly for longer stays of a month or more.
At Disney’s Fort Wilderness, a tent campsite starts at around $60 per night and a cabin sleeping six at around $360 per night though you can sometimes get discounts.
All prices quoted exclude local sales tax.
If you are not a confident driver when reversing, look for campgrounds with pull-through sites as opposed to back-in sites though it will probably cost more.
No matter what your interest, you will find a nearby campground in Florida. For example, if you are interested in watching a rocket launch, there is the Jetty Park Campground located at Port Canaveral, just across the water from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Station.
One of the easiest ways to find and reserve your space at one of Florida’s campgrounds is to use a site like Reserve America which has access to over 500 campgrounds in Florida.
Another useful resource is the free campground directory published by Visit Florida. See our comprehensive list of free Florida travel destination brochures for more details.