The fall season brings cooler temperatures and lower humidity to the Sunshine State, which means it is the perfect time to go on an overnight camping adventure. Florida’s stunning coastline and gorgeous natural landscapes can be enjoyed at a quieter pace with days spent indulging in outdoor adventures before grilling your dinner, gazing up at the twinkling stars and falling asleep to the sounds of rolling surf. With pleasant weather and scenic vistas, here are the best places to go camping in Florida in fall.
St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach
One of the most beautiful parks in the entire Sunshine State, St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach is nestled on one of Florida’s stunning barrier islands. With a landscape of soft, white beaches nestled amongst lush native flora, you can set up camp at one of the 176 sites for a chance to spend a weekend paddling around the Grand Lagoon, fishing off the pier, and hiking through the picturesque trails that wind through the park.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Micanopy
Boasting untouched wilderness landscapes, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy is a designated National Natural Landmark. You can marvel at the wild horses and bison that roam the area, and enjoy an afternoon of hiking, biking and horseback riding through the scenic trails. A perfect place to take the kids, the campsites here are shaded and include a picnic table and grill to indulge in before you spend a night under the stars.
Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa
If you’re looking for a picturesque weekend escape in fall, head to Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa near Tampa. Here you’ll find an impressive collection of Class II rapids that provide the perfect backdrop for a riverside picnic. A great spot to set up camp, you’ll be spoiled for choice with outdoor recreation available, as it is the perfect spot to bring your bikes, hiking gear, and kayaks.
Myakka River State Park, Sarasota
Get an authentic Florida experience at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, where you’ll find three campgrounds with 90 campsites. Here you can explore over 50 square miles of wilderness preserve where it’s possible to spot some of Florida’s most diverse wildlife in an array of ecosystems.
Blue Springs State Park, Orange City
Boasting 51 campsites within walking distance to the spring, Blue Springs State Park in Orange City is a perfect place to spot Florida’s famous gentle giant manatees roaming its waters in the winter. Walk along the pedestrian-friendly boardwalk to admire the beautiful creatures as they graze along the grass flats and soak in the tranquil ambiance around you for a weekend of laid-back camping.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe
Home to the beloved loggerhead turtles, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Port St. Joe is a dream destination for nature lovers. With 10 miles of white sandy beach, the park’s campsites offer easy access to both the Gulf and St. Joseph Bay waters where you can go kayaking or canoeing. Relax on the pristine snow-white sand and soak up the combination of tranquil aqua-blue waters and colorful sunset views.
Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
One of Florida’s most beautiful state parks, Grayton Beach State Park is located between Panama City Beach and Destin. With sugar white sands and turquoise waters, its lush pine forest provides the perfect backdrop for its variety of charming cabins and campsites. Dine on fresh oysters at one of the local seafood restaurants or spend your afternoon exploring the area’s natural landscapes on a bike or kayak.
St. George Island State Park, St. George Island
Located on the east end of the barrier island that wraps around Apalachicola Bay you’ll find nine miles of pristine white sandy beaches at St. George Island State Park. A nature lover’s paradise with plenty of birdlife and scenic trails to explore, you can set up for an overnight adventure at the campsites that are nestled near a canopy of pines and rolling dunes less than a quarter mile from the beach.
Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
A combination of beach, forest and estuary, the campsites at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine are tucked away under the shade of lush hardwoods and palmettos, where you’ll find easy access to the four-mile-long beach that is popular with surfers. Ride your bike on the beach, take a scenic walk through the trails, or spend your day out on the water paddleboarding, kayaking and boating.
Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
A historic park that dates back 10,000 years, Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon features the fourth largest spring in Florida. A great place to visit in the fall when the weather cools down, you’ll have your pick of outdoor activities to choose from before settling into the campsite area. Paddle through the moss-draped trees to spot river otters, hiking the nature trails through shady gardens or admire the cascading waterfall views against fall foliage.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Flagler Beach
A beautiful beachside community located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach is home to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, a 144-acre park that boasts both beachfront and riverside camping. Let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep after a day of fishing, paddling and hiking through the nature trail.
Lake Kissimmee State Park, Kissimmee
If you’re looking for a unique place to go camping, discover the rich history in Lake Kissimmee State Park. Here you can see Florida’s cowboy roots firsthand at an 1800s-era cow camp with live demonstrations. You’ll also be able to see authentic examples of life when cattle ranching was four-mile-long, in addition to enjoying the miles of hiking and equestrian trails.
Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna
The only guided tour of dry caves in Florida, head to Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna for a camping adventure the entire family will enjoy. Admire the damp caves loaded with limestone stalagmites and stalactites dripping from its ceilings, go hiking the scenic trails or paddle the Chipola River before retiring to your campsite.