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Ultimate Guide to Beach Camping in Florida

We often have been asked whether we like beaches or mountains. Despite what we like more, beaches hold a special place in our lives and hearts!

Beaches and mountains cater to different emotions; however, if we want to experience tranquility and be calm from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we should visit a beach!

Beach Camping in Florida

Florida is an exotic destination with pristine beaches that attract millions of tourists annually. Some of the most exciting beach activities here are fishing, water sports, and sunbathing! You should add Florida beach camping to your itinerary.

This sunshine state attracts many locals and tourists, and this beach camping in Florida is famous for its warm and inviting climate. For chilling at the beach, all you have to do is pick a tent with side windows to let the breeze brush your hair and soak in the sun!

Which are the top spots in Florida for beach camping?

The beach campsites in Florida are nestled in a slightly sheltered area behind the dunes. Some campgrounds in Florida are for primitive camping. Some even require a ferry or a boat.

One should be careful, especially around vulnerable vegetation and animals. Following are the top spots in Florida for beach camping:

Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens is an American seashore that offers recreation opportunities and also preserves natural and historic resources. It has a stellar seashore that features offshore barrier islands with nature trails, sparking sand beaches, and barrier islands.

Fort Pickens Beach
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Around 200 campsites are located on the west end of the Santa Rosa Island. This is a great beach camping site with several miles of beach and a historic fort for exploring. Around 200 campsites are located on the west end of the Santa Rosa Island.

St Andrews State Park

This beach campsite has St. Andrews Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other! This will be your perfect destination if you want to drench yourself into sparking turquoise water and white sand! This slice of paradise is like a heaven on earth! It is a year-round attraction for all the tourists!

St Andrews State Park
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Moreover, this beach campsite is a major attraction for all dog lovers as it is dog-friendly and allows dogs at the site. One can sunbathe, build sandcastles, and even go hiking! This is one of the best places for scuba diving, as there is colorful underwater life to discover!

Fort De Soto Park

Situated south of Florida, Fort De Soto Park is operated by Pinellas County on the offshore islands. Most beach campsites are located on the calm backwater, and the beach is a very short distance away.

Fort De Soto Park
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If you want to be in the lap of nature and experience wildlife and vegetation, Fort De Soto Park is your go-to spot! This place features various ecosystems, such as hammocks and mangroves!

Cayo Costa State Park

Accessible only by boat, Cayo Costa State Park is located on a barrier island at the south entrance of Charlotte Harbor. This is a secluded and untouched camping ground with over 9 miles of pristine beaches. This place is home to unique vegetation and breathtaking beaches!

Cayo Costa State Park
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This island lured in visitors every year as it is a great place for camping, shelling, fishing and swimming. You can carry out many activities as there are tent campsites, hiking trails and an old village to explore. One cannot stumble upon any roads or bridges while on this island, however, there is a boat service available!

Tiger key in the ten thousand islands

Managed by the National Park Service, Tiger Key is an uninhabited island. A sandy beach with seaweeds, campsite and green vegetation, this is the northernmost Gulf Island. If anyone wished to camp on tiger key, they will need their own boat for reaching this deserted island.

Tiger key in the ten thousand islands
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However, one must obtain the camping permit from the Gulf Coast Ranger Station and plan their visit in advance. Winter season has conducive weather, and it is the best time to camp here!

Dry Tortugas National Park

Located 109 km west of Key West, the Dry Tortugas National Park is well known for its abundant sea life, sunken treasures and is a breeding ground for birds. This beach campsite is accessible only by a seaplane or a boat!

Dry Tortugas National Park
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There is a huge range of activities one can carry out here, such as bird watching, snorkeling, camping, scuba diving, and kayaking. One can see a baffling stark contrast in its vegetation as there are patches that have thin growths or mangroves and other vegetation whereas there are patches with no plant life at all!

Essential tips

The beach campsites in Florida offer a spectrum of activities. However, one should be mindful of the rules and regulations to be followed. All the visitors should strictly abide by all the rules. Before making a plan to go beach camping, following are some essential tips one should know ahead of time:

  • Book the beach site well in advance: Every beach campsite in Florida has a different set of rules and restrictions. It is mandatory to go through these rules and then book the beach site well in advance. This saves you from a lot of hassle.
  • Tent size: There is a cardinal rule that should be followed if you are camping in Florida, and that is you should get a tent at least double the capacity you need. Thus, you will not feel claustrophobic.
  • Sunscreen: Having a sunscreen is essential to save yourself from the scorching sun! The UV rays penetrate through your skin fast, and hence, it is important to have a moisture barrier that will protect your skin!
  • Keep yourself hydrated: To avoid the discomfort of dehydration, it is important to keep on drinking water at stipulated intervals. It will also help your body regulate its temperature.

Final words

All in all, beach camping in Florida is something you should have on your travel bucket list! The incredible coastline in Florida offers many beachfront campsites, and most beaches are located in sheltered areas.

You should choose the season and your choice of shelter properly as both play a big role in choosing the beach campsite.

Some campgrounds even place length of stay limits for protecting the quality of the visitor camping experience!

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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