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Panhandle Florida Campgrounds

The Panhandle Florida campgrounds are, for the most part, the least visited in the Florida State Park system. The advantage is that there probably won't be as much of an issue getting a campsite. And because there usually aren't as many people in the campgrounds, it's a quieter, more peaceful experience.

The disadvantage is the Florida Panhandle has the most variable weather of all the areas of the Sunshine State. It can get mighty chilly in the winter - tent camping can get uncomfortable during the really cold snaps, unless you are well-prepared. It's not all that uncommon for night temperatures to dip into the teens.

The summers are generally hot and humid, with frequent thundershowers. Insects are at their worst in the summer. However, those fantastic beaches call, and they are some of the prettiest ones in Florida! And Summer is the best time to enjoy them. There are quite a few of the Florida Panhandle campgrounds that have beach access.

Spring and Fall can be variable. For the most part the weather is fairly mild, but you can get cold snaps, especially at the beginning of Spring and the end of Fall. It's generally drier in Spring, when we are ending our Winter dry season. Drier weather means fewer mosquitoes and other flying insects (a very good thing)!

This is also the part of Florida that gets a little bit of a leaf season in late Fall. Yes, leaves can turn colors in Florida! No, it's not the spectacular display you'd see farther north in the country. But hey, it is here!

Spring is glorious. The trees are green, the flowers bloom and the skies are crystal-blue. For my money, it's the best time of year to visit the Florida Panhandle campgrounds!

Tent campers -- The interior parts of the Florida Panhandle are thunderstorm and lightening-prone in the Summer. This means that it's not the best camping weather for you. Think about reserving a cabin if you have your heart set on Summer, or decide on a different time of year.

Reservations for most Panhandle 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, clothes 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 the Florida Panhandle? Here they are, in alphabetical order:

    • Big Lagoon State Park
      • Number of Sites: 49
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $16 per night. All sites have electricity and water.
      • Notes: Located near Pensacola. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, canoeing, canoe rental, boat ramp, hiking trails, biking, swimming, vending machines and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Blackwater River State Park
      • Number of Sites: 30
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $12 per night. All sites have electricity and water.
      • Notes: Located pretty much in the middle of nowhere -- no cities or towns nearby. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, hiking trails, biking, playground and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Falling Waters State Park
      • Number of Sites: 24 Some sites are tent only.
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $15 per night. All sites include water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Chipley, a very small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, hiking trails, biking, swimming, playground and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Florida Caverns State Park
      • Number of Sites: 38 Some are tent only.
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $17 per night. Most sites have electricity and water, tent sites have water only. There are also 3 equestrian sites.
      • Notes: Located near Marianna. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, canoe rentals, canoeing, cave tours, hiking trails, biking, swimming, playground, golf course, vending machines and a dump station. Information on the caves and tour at Florida Caverns.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
      • Number of Sites: 42
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $12 per night. All sites have water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Niceville, a very small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, hiking trails, biking, kayaking, playground and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Grayton Beach State Park
      • Number of Sites: 37
      • Cabins: Yes, 28
      • Rates: Cabins are $110 per night, include electricity, water a fireplace and air conditioning. Campsites are $19 per night and all have electricity and water.
      • Notes: Located next to the town of Grayton Beach. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, beach, swimming, canoe rental, canoeing, hiking trails, biking, playground and a dump station. More information on Grayton Beach State Park.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Gulf Islands National Seashore
      • Number of Sites: Variable
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $20 per night, includes water and electricity. Special Note: call the park service to verify that the campground is open -- the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 damaged some of the areas. Do not just "show up" at the campground.
      • Notes: Located near Pensacola. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, fishing, beach, swimming, diving, snorkeling, hiking trails and a dump station.
      • Reservations: For reservations call the National Park Reservation System at 800-365-2267. You can also try their online reservation service, although it's a little cumbersome.

    • Henderson Beach State Park
      • Number of Sites: 60
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $21 per night. All sites have water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Destin. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, beach, swimming, hiking trails, biking, playground, laundry room and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Ochlockonee River State Park
      • Number of Sites: 30, 2 are tent-only
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $15 per night. All sites have electricity and water.
      • Notes: Located near Sopchoppy, a small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, fishing, canoe rental, canoeing, hiking trails, biking, swimming, playground and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • St Andrews State Park
      • Number of Sites: 176
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $24 per night. All sites have water and electricity. Some are waterfront.
      • Notes: Located near Panama City. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, fishing, canoeing, hiking trails, bike rental, biking, beach, swimming, playground, store and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • St. George Island State Park
      • Number of Sites: 60
      • Cabins: None
      • Rates: $19 per night. All sites have electricity and water.
      • Notes: Located near Apalachicola, a small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, fishing, canoeing, hiking trails, beach, biking, swimming, playground, vending machine (soda only) and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
      • Number of Sites: 119
      • Cabins: Yes, 8 each of which sleeps 7.
      • Rates: Cabins are $90 per night, include air conditioning and electricity. Camping sites are $20 per night and include water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Port St. Joe, a small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, canoe rentals, canoeing, hiking trails, beach, biking, swimming, playground, snorkeling and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Three Rivers State Park
      • Number of Sites: 30
      • Cabins: Yes, 1
      • Rates: Cabin is $55 per night and includes water and air conditioning. Campsites are $12 per night and include water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Sneads, a very small town. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, boat ramp, canoeing, hiking trails and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Topsail Hill State Park
      • Number of Sites: 168
      • Cabins: Yes, 16 each of which sleeps 4.
      • Rates: Cabins are weekly rentals at $629 per week and include air conditioning, water and electric. Campsites are $38 per night and include water, sewer and electricity.
      • Notes: Located near Pensacola. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, fishing, beach, hiking trails, biking, swimming, playground, snorkeling, laundry facility and a dump station.
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

    • Torreya State Park
      • Number of Sites: 30, of which some are tent-only.
      • Cabins: 1 Yurt which sleeps 4
      • Rates: Yurt is $30 per night and includes electricity, water and air conditioning. Campsites are $12 per night and include water and electricity.
      • Notes: Located pretty much in the middle of nowhere -- no towns nearby. Amenities include restrooms, grills, hot showers, picnic areas, hiking trails, playground and a vending machine (soda only).
      • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations

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