The year-round pleasant weather and stunning natural landscapes make Florida an ideal location for camping trips. Florida has over one hundred state parks, each boasting its own natural wonders and local area attractions. The brilliance of camping in Florida is that it is a trip that can be taken during any season throughout the year.
Though the Sunshine State is sometimes perceived as a swampland, Florida actually has many different terrains. Choosing where to camp begins with deciding what the desired atmosphere should be. Florida offers campgrounds on the beach or near lakes and rivers, on prairies or by the Everglades. The top campgrounds below each have different features to offer, but they are all beautiful ecosystems to visit and enjoy.
Fort DeSoto Park
Whether the camping is in a tent, a van or a class A motorhome, the Fort DeSoto State Park Campgrounds are a lovely place to visit. The campsite has all of the modern conveniences that travelers need, such as shower facilities, washers and dryers and electricity hookups. There are picnic tables and grills to make meals easily and there are special campsites for people traveling with pets. These amenities add to the travel experience, but it is the natural splendor and history of Fort DeSoto that makes the trip so special.
Fort DeSoto is one of the most beautiful beaches in the nation, with sparkling, white sand beaches unhindered by hotels or other structures. Nature is the star here with over 290 species of birds, 2200 feet of nature trails and plenty of fishing opportunities. For animal-lovers, there is a dog park and an area of the beach that is dog-friendly. There are many watersport options, from boating to kayaking. History buffs can explore the historic fort or the Quartermaster Museum. Fort DeSoto has everything that a camper would want and so much more.
Hillsborough River State Park
For those that prefer the river to the beach, Hillsborough River State Park is a wonderful place to camp. It boasts 112 campsites that include the electrical hookups and amenities to make camping easy, even for families with young children. There is even a shopping facility where travelers can stock up on food items and other merchandise. There are campfire circles on Saturday evenings led by the park staff. For campers looking for a more adventurous experience, Hillsborough River State Park also offers primitive camping stripped of everyday conveniences and full of excitement.
The Hillsborough River is a prime fishing location for catching catfish or bass. Swimmers that would rather not encounter any sea creatures will be pleased to note that Hillsborough River State Park has a swimming pool right in the middle of beautiful grassy areas and trees. The stunning views of the park are particularly noticeable at the suspension bridge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938. The architecture within Hillsborough River State Park is a perfect marriage with the natural surroundings.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
For campers that would rather stick to dry land, Kissimmee Prairie State Park is an ideal destination. It is 54,000 acres of dry prairie with an abundance of natural beauty to explore. Campers hoping to witness a variety of wildlife will not be disappointed here. There are all sorts of plants, animals and butterflies to view and observe. The surrounding landscape isn’t the only amazing sight to behold. The park is an excellent place for stargazing. In fact, when the weather is clear campers can see Saturn, Jupiter and the International Space Station.
The grasslands of Kissimmee Prairie State Park offer hiking and nature trails surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers. The park offers both full facility and primitive camping facilities. The park is pet-friendly, not only for dogs but for horses as well. There are equestrian trails to traverse as well as paths for biking. Campers can even take a buggy tour led by a ranger to check out some of the more remote sections of the park.
Camping can be a great time for any traveler, from the seasoned outdoorsman to a city-dweller looking to enjoy nature without missing out on everyday luxuries. Florida offers camping in varying ecological settings. Whether it is beachfront, riverside or anywhere in between, a camping trip in Florida is sure to exceed any expectations and leave lasting memories.