Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
Read full bio
If you’ve ever dreamed of spending a starry night against the salty breeze of one of Florida’s award-winning beaches, then you’re in luck. Florida’s stunning coastline boasts over 900 campgrounds with more than 100,000 campsites. Offering a range of diverse activities, you’re sure to find a spot perfect for you and your loved ones to fully experience waking up on one of Florida’s pristine beaches. Check out some of the best places in the Sunshine State to dig your toes in the sand and let the sounds of the rolling surf of the Atlantic or Gulf waters lull you to sleep.
Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
Bahia Honda is one of Florida’s most popular state parks with the locals for a reason. You’ll find lush coconut palms, white sand, clear tropical waters, and 80 campsites – a perfect combination for enjoying an overnight idyllic getaway on what feels like a 5-star resort.
Looking for a quiet stretch of sand? Located on the east end of the barrier island that wraps around Apalachicola Bay, St. George Island State Park boasts 9 miles of pristine white sandy beaches that are typically uncrowded, making it ideal for all types of outdoor activities such as camping. St. George boasts 60 campsites that are nestled near a canopy of pines and rolling dunes less than a quarter-mile from the beach.
Located between Panama City Beach and Destin sits Grayton Beach State Park, one of Florida’s most scenic beaches. If you set up camp at one of their private campsites overlooking the lake, you’ll be able to explore the emerald green waters and breathtaking nature trails before catching one of their famous sunsets. It’s noted as one of the prettiest camping areas along the Gulf Coast.
Water sports enthusiasts will rejoice at the amount of water-related activities at St. Andrews State Park, where you can swim, snorkel, dive, kayak, and go canoeing. Set up camp at one of the 176 campsites for a chance to explore the pristine beach and emerald green waters.
Consistently referred to as the Gulf Coast paradise, Cayo Costa Island State Park offers adventure and complete isolation with 9 miles of pristine beach surrounded by Gulf water on all sides only accessible by boat or ferry. Right behind a set of small dunes, you’ll find a camping area, centrally located as you roam around the 2,426 acres of spectacular nature.
*Due to Hurricane Ian, the park is currently closed.
Located in the Florida Keys, the park’s primitive tent campsites sit along the Atlantic Ocean. The 60 campsites set in Long Key State Park are the only in the state where you can walk a mere 100 feet and be in the ocean. You’ll find gorgeous blue Florida Keys waters and diverse offshore coral reefs, a perfect spot for exploring one of their many nature trails by foot or floating through the shallow-water lagoon on a kayak.
Anastasia State Park offers 139 full-service campsites located within a gorgeous maritime hammock only a short walk away from its 4 miles of white sandy beaches. Nature lovers will keep busy with the world-class bird watching, hiking, and swimming through the diverse ecosystems.
Arguably the most family-friendly campground on the list, Fort De Soto County Park has 238 noteworthy campsites stacked with amenities such as picnic tables, grills, electricity, and modern restrooms. Grab the kids and explore the 7 miles of waterfront recreation by canoeing, biking, or hiking the nature trails that are suitable for campers of all ages.
Located north of Fernandina Beach on Florida’s Amelia Island, Fort Clinch State Park has 68 campsites with a campground that overlooks the beach. This northernmost barrier island has 3 miles of beach, a 0.5-mile-long fishing pier and 6 miles of wildlife trails, which gives campers plenty of activities to fill their day.
Fort Pickens is located in Florida’s protected Gulf Islands National Seashore and holds 200 campsites on the west end of Santa Rosa Island. Camping here gives you access to blue-green waters, white sandy beaches, and historical forts that date back to the early 1800s.
Little Talbot Island State Park
Beach campers are sure to be impressed with Little Talbot Island State Park, one of Florida’s most scenic and undeveloped barrier islands in the Northeast. Situated in a shady maritime hammock forest, the short 0.5 mile walk to the campground is worth being able to explore 5 miles of pristine beach and undisturbed salt marshes.
Known as a surfing mecca, Sebastian Inlet has a campsite that spans both sides of the inlet where you can watch the pros catch some of the best waves in the state. The park’s campground is an easy walking distance to the beach, close enough to participate in one of the many activities offered in the area such as canoeing, kayaking, or fishing.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area - Flagler Beach
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach is one of the best places in Florida to camp near the beach. There are 34 sites on the primary dune of the beach, with some sites offering picture-perfect views of the Atlantic Ocean. Dune walkovers offer easy access to the shore.
One of the few campgrounds in the Sunshine State with direct beach access, Turtle Beach Campground was established as a Gulf Beach Campground in 1921. This Sarasota gem is an oasis for beach lovers, with the campground a quick, free trolley away from the pearly white sands of Siesta Beach. It’s an intimate campground with 39 RV and tent sites, and if you visit between May and October, you might see loggerhead and green turtles on the shores of Turtle Beach.