Florida Beach Camping: Exploring Our State Inexpensively

If you love the beach during the day, why not try beach camping, it's the perfect time of year.  Follow this handy guide for the best beach camping in the state.

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It should not be a surprise to any resident of the Villages of Citrus Hills that there are tons of great things to do and places to see all across the state of Florida. That was probably a big factor in your decision to move here. 

One of the best ways to travel around the state visiting these sites without costing too much is to visit the hundreds of great campgrounds located in our state and county parks. 

Florida has an amazing collection of beachfront campgrounds that allow visitors to experience sleeping right next to the ocean, without having to pay high prices for a beachfront suite. 

Whether you are an experienced camper with your own elaborate RV setup or you just purchased your first tent last week, there are quite a few great beach camping destinations around Florida that will allow you to see the entire state for pennies on the dollar. 

Let’s start along the southern Gulf Coast and then work clockwise around the state: 

Cayo Costa Island State Park 

This beautiful island park is located in Boca Grande and is a little more than three hours from the Villages of Citrus Hills. The island is only accessible by boat, so this won’t be a good option for RV campers, but there are 30 tent campsites that are located just steps from the island’s beach. Remarkable shelling is found on Cayo Costa.  There are also rustic cabins available to rent, but they have no electricity or running water.  

Fort de Soto County Park 

 Located just south of Tampa, Fort de Soto County Park is a just over two hours away from the Villages of Citrus Hills, which makes it a great option for your first Florida beach camping experience. The park has more than 200 campsites that accommodate both tents and RVs. There is also electricity and running water available.  

The park is comprised of five islands that are all connected, which means there is plenty of waterfront access to go around. Many of the campsites are located on calm backwaters, and the beaches here have received quite a few prestigious awards. There are also two great fishing piers!

 St. George Island State Park 

When you are ready to begin exploring the Panhandle region, St. George Island State Park is a great place to start. This park is located southwest of Tallahassee, just over four hours from Citrus Hills. Fishing and shelling are known to be excellent here, so don’t forget to bring your tackle box. 

Both RV and tent campers are welcome at the park’s 60-site full service campground, which is located about a quarter mile from its beautiful, white sand beach. Each of these campsites has electricity and water available. There is also a primitive campground located at the end of a 2.5 mile nature trail for campers looking to “rough it." 

Fort Clinch State Park 

 Moving over to the Atlantic Coast, Fort Clinch State Park offers a great combination of history and beauty near popular Amelia Island. This park is located just north of Jacksonville, and is a three-hour drive from the Villages of Citrus Hills.  

There is plenty of history to explore here at this well-preserved 19th century fort. There is also full service camping access for RVs and tents that includes electricity and water. There are 40 sites located under Spanish moss-covered oak trees along the Amelia River, and another 21 sites located right on the beach.  

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area

Located two and a half hours away from the Villages of Citrus Hills, the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area is another great option if you are just getting your feet wet with beach camping. The park is north of Daytona Beach and is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.  

There are 34 full service campsites that all offer electricity and water access. The location of these campsites on the dunes gives them some outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean and allows campers to sleep just steps from the water. 

Sebastian Inlet State Park

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As you explore further south along the Atlantic Coast, you will want to make a trip to Sebastian Inlet State Park, which is located approximately three hours from Citrus Hills just north of Vero Beach. The park is located right along A1A and is one of the most popular surfing spots in all of Florida.  

There are 51 full service campsites with electricity and water hookups, as well as additional primitive campsites. The park also features a Wi-Fi hotspot near the marina. 

Long Key State Park 

 While the six-hour drive from the Villages of Citrus Hills to Long Key State Park is not a short trip, the scenery here makes it well worth it. The water here is absolutely gorgeous, with many of the full service campsites offering great views of the Atlantic Ocean. The park is also home to some of the best fishing in the Keys.  

Regardless of your experience level or how far you are looking to travel, there are plenty of options to explore the beaches of Florida through camping trips. The best part is that many of these campgrounds cost less to visit for a week than most oceanfront hotels cost for a single night!