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Central Florida Campgrounds

Many Central Florida campgrounds have the advantage of being close to the big Central Florida attractions. So you can camp for a pretty low per-night fee and have plenty of dollars left to enjoy Disney, Sea World, Busch Gardens and more.

The disadvantage? Lots of people have this idea! That makes for noisier and more congested campgrounds. Don't let that stop you though, if you want to be near the attractions. And if you don't? Ahh, there are plenty of Central Florida campgrounds that offer a more peaceful Florida camping experience.

So what's the weather like? Winters are usually fairly cool -- days in the 60's, nights in the 40's on average. Do bring some jackets and other warm clothing though -- frost is not uncommon, and I've even seen days not make it out of the 30's when those cold fronts come through. You'll pretty much get dry weather and blue skies in the winter for your Central Florida camping. You'll also see few, if any, mosquitoes and low humidity. Late November through February can be quite chilly.

Summers are very wet for Central Florida campgrounds - hot and humid, especially around Orlando. Sometimes the ground will actually steam after an afternoon thunderstorm. Speaking of thunderstorms, tent camping is probably not the best idea this time of year -- the lightening can be quite intense. With all the rain, mosquitoes are a huge nuisance -- bring plenty of DEET repellant. Summer weather generally runs from mid-May through mid-September.

The shoulder seasons are from about March through mid-May and from mid-September through the beginning of November. Weather is variable -- you could have days in the 90's and nights in the 70's, or you could get a cold snap and have the nighttime temps go down into the upper 30's. For the most part, through, it's quite pleasant camping weather. If you have a choice, April is a fine month for Central Florida campgrounds -- pretty low humidity, mild days and cool nights. Plus you'll see why Florida means "feast of flowers"!

Reservations for most Central Florida campgrounds can be made through Reserve America through their website or by calling (800) 326-3521. You'll see links in the Reservation section for each park if Reserve America will book for you. Otherwise, call the phone number listed for the campground for more information.

Most campsites are accessible by small to medium RVs and pop-ups. If you have a really big RV (you know who you are), check with the individual campgrounds to verify that they can accommodate you.

One final note: if you need to pick up some camping supplies before you head on out for your adventure, check out Basspro.com. Don't let the name fool you -- they are not just fishing, but have tons of camping and hunting goods too! (My husband likes them so much he asks for gift certificates every year for his birthday.)

So, what are the campgrounds in Central Florida? Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • Alafia River State Park
    • Number of Sites: 30
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $18 per night for up to 4 people.
    • Notes: This park is unusual in that it has horse camping available, with plenty of trails. Other amenities include electricity, water, restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, playground, fishing, hiking trails and a dump station. In season, guided canoe tours are also available.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Blue Spring State Park
    • Number of Sites: 46
    • Cabins: Yes, 6 cabins that sleep 6 each.
    • Rates: Campsites are $20/night for up to 4 people. Cabins are $85 per night.
    • Notes: Here's some good news: the cabins include electricity and air conditioning --you'll need it in the summer months! All camping sites have electricity and water. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, playground, fishing, hiking trails and a dump station. Extras include canoe rentals, tours, swimming and tubing down the springs (great fun!)
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Caladesi Island State Park
    • Number of Sites: 108, boat camping only
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $18.02 per night
    • Notes: This is boat-only camping -- no tent or RV sites are available. Amenities include restrooms, grills, cold-water showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails and canoe/kayak rentals.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Canaveral National Seashore
    • Number of Sites: Variable.
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $10 per night for up to 6 people, $20 per night for 7 or more people. A backcountry permit is required.
    • Notes: These are primitive campsites. No water, electricity or restroom facilities. You must pack it in and pack it out.
    • Reservations: Call (386) 428-3384 extension 10 for more information and reservations, which are required.
  • Clearwater Lake Recreational Area
    • Number of Sites: 41
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $15.54 per night for up to 5 people
    • Notes: Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, hiking trails, swimming and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Highlands Hammock State Park
    • Number of Sites: 138, of which 16 have no electricity.
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $18 per night.
    • Notes: Horse camping is available -- there are 6 sites. There are lots of amenities, which include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, hiking and biking trails, swimming and dump station. In addition, bike rentals, a snack bar and a restaurant are on site.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Hillsborough River State Park
    • Number of Sites: 114, of which 33 allow pets.
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $20 per night
    • Notes: Pets allowed at one of the camping areas. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, hiking and biking trails, playground, swimming and dump station. Extras include bike rentals, canoe rentals and a campground store.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Hontoon Island State Park
    • Number of Sites: 12 - tent only, no electricity
    • Cabins: Yes, 6 cabins that sleep either 4 or 6. One electrical outlet per cabin.
    • Rates: 6-person cabin is $30 per night. 4-person cabin is $25 per night. Tent site is $12 per night.
    • Notes: There is no water to cabins and tents, and electricity only in cabins. Camping is fairly primitive. Amenities include restrooms, hot showers, fishing, hiking trails, picnic area and canoe rentals.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
    • Number of Sites: 35
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $12 per night
    • Notes: There are 15 horse camping sites available. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, hiking trails, bike trails, laundry facility and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Lake Griffin State Park
    • Number of Sites: 40
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $15 per night
    • Notes: Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, canoe rentals, playground, vending machines and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Lake Kissimmee State Park
    • Number of Sites: 60
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $17 per night
    • Notes: Campsites include water and electricity. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, bike trails, playground, vending machines and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Lake Louisa State Park
    • Number of Sites: 60.
    • Cabins: Yes, 20 which sleeps 6 each. Air conditioning, water and bathroom in each.
    • Rates: Cabins are $110 per night. Campsites are $21 per night.
    • Notes: Campsites include water and electricity; primitive tent sites are also available. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, bike trails, horse trails, playground, vending machines and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Lake Manatee State Park
    • Number of Sites: 60
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $18 per night.
    • Notes: Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, bike trails, horse trails, playground, vending machines and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Little Manatee River State Park
    • Number of Sites: 34, of which 4 are horse sites.
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $18 per night, both horse and regular campsites. Primitive tent sites are also available.
    • Notes: Amenities include restrooms, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, hiking trails, bike trails, horse trails, playground, laundry facilities, canoe rentals and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Oscar Scherer State Park
    • Number of Sites: 104
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $22 per night
    • Notes: Pets accepted at some campsites. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, bike trails, playground, canoe rentals, swimming, vending machines and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Sebastian Inlet State Park
  • Silver River State Park
    • Number of Sites: 59
    • Cabins: Yes, 10 which sleeps 6 each. Cabins have electricity and air conditioning, no water or bathroom facilities.
    • Rates: Cabins are $100 per night. Campsites are $21 per night.
    • Notes: This park is next to the Silver Springs and Wild Waters attraction. Primitive camping is also available. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, hiking trails, bike trails and dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • Wekiwa Springs State Park

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