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South Florida Campgrounds

The South Florida campgrounds are pretty busy places, especially in the winter when we have our most glorious camping weather. From about November through the middle of April, the days tend to be mild (60's or 70's) and nights cool (50's and 60's). Blue sky, sunshine, dry weather and lack of flying insects all make this the very best time of year for South Florida camping.

And what about the rest of the year? From June through September you will likely see rain, and will definitely get heat, humidity and lots of flying insects. You'll notice that Everglades National Park offers free camping from June through August -- and there is a reason why! Unless you stay at a South Florida campground that has oceanfront sites (and are lucky enough to snag a reservation), you will get eaten up by mosquitoes. Unless of course you bring lots of DEET to slather yourself in.

The shoulder seasons for South Florida camping are the middle of April, May and October. You can get mild or hot weather, rain or dry skies -- it's hard to predict. My suggestion is that you try for April or the beginning of May -- it's most likely to be dry, which means fewer flying insects.

Reservations for most South 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.

For some campgrounds you'll see a link to another page with more information about the park and amenities -- there is some great information available, so you probably want to check them out.

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 South Florida? Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • Bahia Honda State Park
    • Number of Sites: 80
    • Cabins: Yes, sleeps 6, linens provided.
    • Rates: $26/night for campsites, $120/night for cabins
    • Notes: Located in the Florida Keys. For detailed information about the park and services click here.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Big Cypress National Preserve
    • Number of Sites: Variable
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $16/night for Monument Lake, otherwise free.
    • Notes: The vast majority of the campsites at Big Cypress are primitive -- no water or restrooms. The exception is the Monument Lake campground, which has restrooms and an outside cold shower. Water is available, but not at the individual campsites. There are no electrical hookups, but there is a dump station.
    • Reservations: Contact the National Park Service at (239) 695-1201 for additional camping information.
    Biscayne National Park
    • Number of Sites: Variable - first come, first served. Tents only.
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $10/night campsite; $15/night for boat dockage, but it includes a campsite.
    • Notes: Located between Miami and the Florida Keys. For detailed information about the park and services click here.
    • Reservations: No reservations available. First come, first served.
    Cayo Costa State Park
    • Number of Sites: 25 primitive tent sites
    • Cabins: Yes, 12 rustic, each cabin sleeps 6 -- bring all supplies
    • Rates: $13/night tent, $20/night cabin. Boat tie-up to the dock is free with either a tent or cabin reservation. Otherwise you will be charged $13 per night.
    • Notes: This park is only accessible by boat. You can use your own or take the ferry, which costs $25/person. No hot-water showers or electricity, but there is a restroom and cold-water showers. There is drinking water available, but you probably want to bring your own -- the well water doesn't taste very good.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Collier-Seminole State Park
    • Number of Sites: 137, of which 91 have electricity (all have water)
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $13/night for up to 4 people; $2/night extra for each person over 4 in the party. In addition, $2/night for electricity (where available).
    • Notes: Near the Florida Everglades. Amenities include restrooms, shower, grills, picnic tables, playground, dump station, boat ramp, hiking trails and canoe rentals. Primitive backcountry camping is available for $3 per adult, $2 per child.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Curry Hammock State Park
    • Number of Sites: 28
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $26 per night.
    • Notes: Amenities include restrooms, shower, grills, picnic tables, playground, dump station, hiking trails. For more information about Curry Hammock click here.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Dry Tortugas National Park
    • Number of Sites: 10, tent only
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $3 per person, per night
    • Notes: Located in the Florida Keys, this is primitive camping only. Campsites have picnic tables and grills. Saltwater flush toilets and saltwater sinks are available. No electricity. You must arrange your own transportation by boat or plane -- you cannot drive to the park.
    • Reservations: Reservations are not available for regular sites -- it is first-come, first served. One group site is available for reservation; call (305) 242-7700 for information.
    Everglades National Park
    • Number of Sites: 382 of which 40 are tent and walk-up only
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: Variable, depending on time of year. Free from June through August.
    • Notes: No electrical, water or sewer hookups, but dump stations and fresh water are available. The Flamingo campground also has cold-water showers. Picnic tables and grills are available. ***As of February 2006, the Flamingo campgrounds are closed due to hurricane damage. Check with the park service for when the campgrounds will once again be open.***
    • Reservations: Call (800) 365-2267 for reservation information, which can be made up to 5 months in advance.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    • Number of Sites: 47
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $24 to $26 per night for up to 4 people, plus $2/night for electricity.
    • Notes: Located in the Florida Keys. For detailed information about the park and services click here.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Jonathan Dickinson State Park
    • Number of Sites: 135
    • Cabins: Yes, but rented through park concession.
    • Rates: $22/night for up to 4 people for the campsites. Cabins range from $85 per night to $95 per night.
    • Notes: Located in Southeast Florida. For detailed information about the park and services click here.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Koreshan State Historic Site
    • Number of Sites: 60, of which 12 are tent-only.
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $22/night for up to 4 people
    • Notes: Amenities include showers, restrooms, grills, picnic tables, water, playground, hiking trails, boat ramp, dump station and laundry facilities.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Long Key State Park
    • Number of Sites: 60, 10 of which are tent only
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $26/night for up to 4 people; $3/person/night after 4 people.
    • Notes: Located in the Florida Keys. For detailed information about the park and services click here.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Myakka River State Park
    • Number of Sites: 76 -- 48 of these have water and electricity, 28 have water only.
    • Cabins: Yes, 5 cabins that sleep 6 each
    • Rates: $60/night for cabins, $22/night for campsites of up to 4 people.
    • Notes: Amenities include showers, restrooms, grills, picnic tables, water, playground, hiking trails, boat ramp (shallow-water boats only), dump station and laundry facilities.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Oleta River State Park
    • Number of Sites:Cabins only
    • Cabins: Yes, 14 somewhat primitive cabins
    • Rates: $45/nightNotes: Cabins have electricity but no linens.
    • Notes: Amenities include showers, restrooms, grills, picnic tables, water, beach, hiking/biking trails, fishing, canoe rentals, bike rentals.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    Ortona South - Lake Okeechobee and Waterway
    • Number of Sites: 51
    • Cabins: No
    • Rates: $20/night for up to 4 people.
    • Notes: This is a Federal area, so there are monetary penalties if you cancel your reservation. Amenities include showers, restrooms, water, fishing, dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
    St Lucie South - Lake Okeechobee and Waterway
    • Number of Sites: 12, of which 3 are tent-only. Also 8 boat-only sites.
    • Cabins: 1 group shelter.
    • Rates: $16/night for tent-only sites; $35/night for the group shelter; $20/night for all other sites (including boats)
    • Notes: This is a Federal area, so there are monetary penalties if you cancel your reservation. Amenities include showers, restrooms, water, boat ramp, dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
  • W.P. Franklin N - Lake Okeechobee and Waterway
    • Number of Sites: 30 camping sites plus 8 boat sites
    • Cabins: None
    • Rates: $16/night
    • Notes: This is a Federal area, so there are monetary penalties if you cancel your reservation. If you reserve a boat site, you must sleep on the boat (although you can use the other park facilities). Amenities include showers, restrooms, water, boat ramp, dump station.
    • Reservations: Reserve America handles all reservations
 

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