Travel & Selling Tips / Florida under the stars
This summer, get adventurous and enjoy family fun camping underneath the stars in one of Florida’s numerous campgrounds
The Sunshine State is the perfect destination for memorable thrill or chill experiences. This summer, get adventurous and enjoy family fun camping underneath the stars in one of Florida’s numerous campgrounds. As an added bonus, Florida also offers an assortment of glamping options for those who enjoy nature but prefer to end the day in high thread count sheets instead of a sleeping bag.
The 524-acre Bahia Honda State Park located in the lower Keys has completed a full $2.96 million restoration of its scenic, mile-long Sandspur Beach, which has been closed since September 2017. Bahia Honda’s beaches include Calusa Beach, adjacent to the Bahia Honda Bridge, and Sandspur. Overnight visitors can soon enjoy Sandspur Beach area campsites, which is located on Bahia Honda State Park’s northside. In the park, six cabins can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. Park amenities include pavilions, restrooms, grills and picnic tables, with additional offerings available such as food, souvenir and beachwear shops, kayak rentals and daily snorkel trips to the reef at Looe Key.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK:
On the heels of celebrating its 75th anniversary, Everglades National Park is continuing its construction of the new Flamingo Lodge & Restaurant from modified and enhanced shipping containers to be connected by a boardwalk. The new facilities will be located in the park’s Flamingo area on mainland Monroe County, approximately a 40-minute drive from the park’s entrance. The 24-unit lodge is to offer one- and two-bedroom suites, each with kitchenettes and a balcony fronting Florida Bay. Eight of the units will feature two bedrooms and a pullout sofa. The new indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is slated to have seating indoors for 60 diners, as well as outdoor seating for 40. In addition, there are 20 furnished Eco Tents at Flamingo Campground, complete with queen beds, furniture and a shared central bath shower facility. A new Flamingo Visitor Center is also scheduled to open this year.
Timberline Glamping Co. announced the grand opening of its first-of-six-franchise location within the Hillsborough River State Park. The company provides glamping experiences complete with luxury, comfort and style. The owners are committed to providing guests with unique, one-of-a-kind experiences and growing their community connection. Timberline Glamping Co. highly values interconnected communities and finding ways to incorporate local business offerings at each location.
Spend time outdoors in Clay County exploring the 35 miles of trails throughout the county’s local and state parks, conservation areas and Florida trailways throughout Northeast Florida. For those interested in sleeping under the stars, Clay County offers a variety of exclusive campsites for families, couples and those ready for adventure, including Gold Head State Park, known as one of Florida’s First State Parks, and Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park located in Keystone Heights, which is home to 73 campsites. Here, overnight accommodations are available for RVs, tents and cabins. The Bayard Conservation Area features 10,371 acres of conservation land with seven miles of river frontage along the St. Johns River. A variety of wildlife calls the area home, including gopher tortoises, bald eagles, blue herons, deer and turkeys. The area’s riverside campsite offers campers waterfront property along the St. Johns River with fantastic views of the cypress trees.
Campers looking to enjoy the comfort of air conditioning, Pensacola Beach RV Resort allows them to park their RV and enjoy unforgettable views of the Santa Rosa Sound on Pensacola Beach. Guests checking in at the resort clubhouse will find a Tiki Shop and rooftop lounge area, as well. The RV grounds also provide endless opportunities to soak up the Florida sunshine, boasting complimentary chairs and umbrellas for beach-lounging along the sugar-white sands, plus private pools, a fishing dock and playgrounds.
For a more traditional camping experience, visitors can camp on the grounds of historic Fort Pickens. Each campsite offers a designated fire pit, picnic table and a paved pad to park on, and campers can explore the impressive fort during their stay, which is only one mile from the campgrounds. Many hiking trails through the sand dunes also provide beautiful views and hours of exploration.
Martin County’s Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a perennial favorite for lovers of the great outdoors. It also happens to be the largest park in South Florida, located right in Hobe Sound. The park offers two amazing, family-friendly RV campgrounds: Pine Grove Campground and River Campground. Here, visitors can hike up and down the scenic trails while taking in all 16 of the park’s distinct natural communities. Rare environments, such as coastal sand hills, upland lakes and scrub forests, as well as the pristine Loxahatchee River, make this park a unique spot to explore on land or by water all year long. Visitors can also enjoy fishing; paved and off-road biking; equestrian and hiking trails; boating, canoeing and kayaking along the river; and more.
Looking for something different in Martin County? Camp in adventure platform tents at Phillips Park. Located in Stuart along the Okeechobee Waterway, Phipps Park is a 55-acre conservation and campground area. The park offers 24 spacious RV sites with electric, water and a dump station. The beautiful waterfront boardwalks and pathways let visitors get an intimate look at Florida’s native species. Additionally, Martin County’s beautiful beaches are only a short drive from the campsite, as are various shopping destinations, locally owned eateries and lively downtown districts.
FLORIDA SPORTS COAST:
Whether looking for a traditional experience getting back into nature or a more secluded campsite, Pasco County has something for everyone. For a true primitive camping experience, campers can make their way to Anclote Key Preserve State Park. Located three miles off the coast of New Port Richey, the park is accessible only by private boat or ferry service. Nature lovers can spend the day on the beach or exploring the forest located in the park to spot some of the native wildlife. Visitors can often catch a glimpse of eagles nesting and ospreys searching the water for fish. If primitive camping isn’t what the group is up for, Starkey Wilderness Park has cabins fit for every kind of camper. With such a diverse range of activities, there’s no shortage of things to do at Starkey Wilderness Park. From birding and hiking, to horseback riding and bicycling, groups can truly immerse themselves in nature.
Experience the ultimate outdoor adventure when you camp at Hanna Park. Sitting on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Hanna Park offers freshwater lakes, sunny beaches and campsites. The park has 1.5 miles of wide sandy beaches, which is perfect for a great afternoon of fun. Their 60-acre freshwater lake is ideal for canoeing, fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding. A perfect spot for kids can be found near the lake, a quarter-acre water playground with fountains and water squirting devices fun for all ages. Hanna Park offers nearly 300 campsites, all of which are in the wooded area of the park and are all easily accessible by paved roads. Visitors are allowed to camp in tents, RVs or even one of the park’s six cabins. Amenities include: electric and water hookups, coin laundry, on-site general store and restrooms. Picnic areas and cookout facilities make it easy to enjoy a meal and relax during your trip.
LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK:
Get ready to glamp in style at Lake Louisa State Park. These gorgeous accommodations will give you a waterfront view while staying in sustainable style. Opt for luxury-style or eco-friendly, and then kickstart your adventure in the state park just steps away from where you’re staying.
Tropical Palms Resort considers itself a home base for experiencing all-things Kissimmee. Cute and colourful, this RV resort offers mini-golf, bocce ball, fishing, shuffleboard and more — spanning across 69 secluded acres. Guests are only a short walk from attractions, such as Old Town Kissimmee and Fun Spot, and six kilometers from Walt Disney World Resort. Visitors can book stays at the Tropical Palms Resort ranging from a weekend, a month, an entire season or beyond, and will never run out of things to do. There are family movie nights, live music, a craft center and even a volleyball court. The resort is also pet-friendly, so all four-legged friends will be welcomed with open arms (and wagging tails).
The Sunshine State offers visitors access to unique camping and glamping accommodations. To plan your next camping or glamping trip, visit VISITFLORIDA.com.