Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned camper, Florida is a camper’s paradise. Here are five excellent ways that we love to camp in Florida.
Glamping, or “glamorous camping,” provides a perfect introductory experience to the great outdoors. If you’ve been wanting to try camping, but are unsure about assembling gear or cooking food over a fire, give glamping a try. Instead of spending your time setting up and maintaining camp, you can focus all your attention on enjoying the environment, relaxing, fishing, etc. Staff members cater to your needs, and provide you with delicious meals and comfortable accommodations.
Glamping makes a great couples get-away experience, a real treat for those who can use some pampering. Obviously, all of this comfort comes at a price, so glamping may not be something you do every month, but once a year it would make fantastic retreat.
Want to preview glamping now? Check out our glamping experience here, and get inspired.
Car camping is Camping 101, the place where most of us begin our camping adventures. With your own vehicle at your disposal, you can load up as many of the comforts of home as you can haul and pack, and have them right at your campsite for easy access. Air mattresses, your French press coffee maker, laundry baskets, a television, your kid’s favorite toys—if you can bring it in your car, you can have it at your camp. As you might imagine, car camping is perfect for families with young children.
Many state parks in Florida are set up for camping like this, and include convenient washroom facilities, which may make novice campers even more comfortable giving camping a try. Depending on the time of year and the popularity of the park, car camping may or may not provide the privacy you are seeking, but the advantages of convenience can outweigh this concern. And hey, you may meet some new camping friends over s’mores!
Spoil Island Camping
For those seeking outdoor solitude and who love to be surrounded by water, you cannot beat Spoil Island Camping. Created by the dredging of the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s east coast to create the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, the 137 Spoil Islands provide a uniquely Floridian land- and seascape to explore.
Island camping means boat camping, which requires some work and planning. Everything you bring must be moved from house, to car, to boat, to beach, then back again. Because you are limited by the amount you can pack on a boat, Spoil Island camping is more primitive than traditional car camping. All the planning and effort is worth it though, as once you arrive, you can enjoy the feeling of having your own, private island. What’s more, there’s almost always a nice breeze, the fishing is terrific, and there are many different places to go out on the water and explore.
Islands are claimed on a first-come basis, so make sure to have some back-up island choices with you when you go, and some overall flexibility—you really can’t lose, no matter which island you pick. Larger islands can accommodate more than one camping party, but remember that privacy is the goal of many who camp here, so be courteous if you arrive second to a site.
For those who love to paddle, canoe camping is a treat. A true exercise in minimalism, as you must pack everything you need within your canoe, canoe camping provides a perfect venue for spending quality time with a loved one. Together, you decide which conveniences stay and which go (making trade-offs between the coffee maker and the favorite camping chair, for example), your float plan, and how you will work together to make camp each evening and break it down and reload it each morning.
The Suwannee River is a perfect place for a canoe camping adventure, providing a truly out-of-body river experience. Floating along, it is sometimes difficult to know where to look, there is so much beauty to take in. This is raw, native Florida, and the flora and wildlife you’ll encounter will create memories for a lifetime.
For inspiration, check out our epic father/son canoe adventure on the Suwannee here.
If you want to be one with nature, bringing only what you can carry on your back, and living simply among the trees and under the stars, backpack camping is for you.
Best suited to seasoned camping veterans, who know which supplies are critical to bring and how to manage emergency situations away from modern conveniences, backpack camping can be a remarkable outdoors experience. Getting things as small and as light as possible is the name of the game, and learning how to do this well will make you feel like a camping superstar.
The Ocala National Forest is a great place to backpack camp. Jump on the Florida trail and let your own pace and interests be your guide each day.
From posh to primitive, camping in Florida has something for everyone. Now get out there a Do Florida, friends!