Six Unique Places to Camp in Florida State Parks

Tent camping at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Camping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the Real Florida.

Whether you love pitching a tent or prefer the comfort of a cabin, park campgrounds offer a variety of sites and amenities to suit your needs.

While there are many amazing options, here are six Florida State Park campgrounds and cabins that offer unique camping experiences.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach

Rising dunes and emerald waters make Topsail Hill Preserve State Park one of the best places to lounge on Florida’s gulf coast beaches. And with one of the most robust campgrounds in the state, it may just be the best place for campers to enjoy those beaches, too. RV sites, tent campgrounds, bungalows and cabins are all available in the park. 

A camper is positioned in the campsite with bicycles propped against at picnic table.

This campsite is ready for fun at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. 

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, Mayo

The toughest part about paddling along the Suwannee River, passing by towering cypress trees and sandy banks, is pulling your kayak or canoe out of the river after a fun day on the water. But along the Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail, the adventure doesn’t have to end once night falls. Five river camps along the trail offer free sleeping platforms, perfect for paddlers looking to spend days traveling down the river. Each camp offers five campsites, and each is on a first-come, first-served basis. But don’t worry – even if the nearest river camp is full, state parks dot the length of the river, giving you plenty of options for pitching your tent and dreaming of getting back out there.

Holton Creek

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

Known for its open grasslands and abundant wildlife, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park only gets better when the sun goes down. Campers are treated to one of the darkest skies in Florida, allowing better stargazing than almost anywhere else in the state. From sparkling planets to wisps of the Milky Way galaxy, the skies above this preserve always put on a show.

Camping under the stars

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

One of the first eight Florida State Parks, Myakka River State Park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal-era program designed to employ young men during the Great Depression. Constructed in large part by an all-Black corps of CCC members, the park boasts several palm log cabins that showcase their hard work and craftsmanship. Few campsites offer a better way to connect with our parks’ past while enjoying the comfort of a primitive cabin.

A primitive cabin at Myakka River State Park.

A primitive cabin at Myakka River State Park.

Oleta River State Park, North Miami Beach

Between its active nightlife, bustling beaches and soaring cityscape, it’s hard to imagine any place in Miami where the crowds and skyscrapers give way to plants and wildlife. Yet Oleta River State Park stands in the heart of the city, welcoming campers who want a place to stay that’s quieter – and far more scenic – than the average hotel. From the park’s quaint cabins, campers can enjoy paddling along the park’s namesake river or relaxing on one of its natural beaches, all while staying close to the vibrant culture and fun that South Florida has to offer.

One of the small cabins at Oleta River State Park.

One of the small cabins at Oleta River State Park.

This article was published in the Real Florida ℠ Connection, the Florida State Parks e-newsletter. Sign-up to get updates and stories from your state parks the first week of every month.