Looking for a great winter escape? Try these 11 Florida Beach Campgrounds on the Gulf Coast. You'll find RVing paradise.
But if you want to score a spot at them, realize you will have lots of competition and the best time to plan your winter Florida beach campground getaway is in the summer. For the next year.
Florida beach campgrounds are in great demand and you need reservations to snag that perfect spot.
But don't give up. There are always cancellations and if you're diligent about calling and willing to make do with whatever openings you can find, you'll discover that where there's a will, there's a way.
Jennifer and I love the Gulf Coast. So we put together this list of our favorite Florida Beach Campgrounds on the Gulf coast.
Florida is one of the states with the most coastline. There’s a lot of ground to cover and picking 11 of the best Florida beach campgrounds in the entire state would be unfair. So, for this post, we’ve narrowed it down to the western shores of the Gulf Coast.
We published this list of 15 of the best Florida Beach Campgrounds elsewhere on the blog. So in this article, we want to concentrate on the Gulf Coast.
Stretching from the Emerald Coast and Pensacola in the Panhandle all the way south to Naples and the Gulf beyond, this coastline is one of many contrasts and ripe for exploration.
There are also plenty of developed Florida beach campgrounds. Crystal-clear ocean waters beckon RV exploration and many of the highly-rated campgrounds we’ll mention here are right along these waters.
We’ve put together 11 of the best Florida beach campgrounds, with handy information on each one. Check them out, and then plan accordingly so you can roll up to your own slice of paradise!
And be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for a handy FAQ on beach camping.
And you can use our nifty interactive MAP to get instant information on all the campgrounds we mention in this post! Give it a try – just click on any of the location points and then click Details. You’ll see the address, the phone number, the website link, the Ratings, and more!
A word about the weather to expect at these Florida Beach Campgrounds
Up in the Panhandle, where several of these campgrounds are located, it is considerably cooler than it is in the southern part of the Florida peninsula.
Nights can dip into the 40s in January. Daytime highs range from the 50s to low 70s. But the sun shines brightly most days, even if a bit cool.
The further south you go the warmer it gets. 🙂 Man, all this sunny beach talk makes me hungry for our favorite Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Kabobs Recipe (w/ Easy Marinade)!
We have an accompanying video on these 11 Gulfcoast Florida beach campgrounds
Go to our YouTube RVLifestyle Channel and you'll find it. We show lots of images of each of the 11 Florida beach campgrounds we describe. Or watch it right here!
Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!
Ready for our list? Keep reading!
Best Florida Beach Campgrounds on the Gulf
- Pensacola Beach RV Resort. This is a full-hookup campsite and resort with 72 spacious spots available. Each site has a level concrete pad for your RV and a grassy area for your fur babies. There’s even a tiki bar on the beach with lounge chairs! Enjoy picnic tables, flush toilets, showers, laundry, a pool, and a playground. Even WiFi! Rates vary from $70-$130 per night.
- Navarre Beach Campground. There’s a nice little beach at the end of this campground, with pier access if you bring a boat. There’s a local seafood market about a mile away and a nearby Turtle Conservation Center that’s fun for the entire family. Sites have full hookups and picnic tables, and the campgrounds’ amenities include flush toilets and showers, laundry, a dump station, WiFi, cable TV, pool, and playground. Nightly rates at $64-95.
- Destin West RV Resort. Located right on the beach on Okaloosa Island, it’s a great place to kick back and let the ocean waves fill your ears as you drift off. All sites have full hookups, with picnic tables and there’s potable water, flush toilets, showers, laundry, a playground, WiFI, cable TV, and a pool. A full-service RV park with nightly rates at $114-139.
- Henderson Beach State Park. Located near Destin, FL, the beach here is amazing! With a short walk to the beach from most camp spots, it is located in the quieter area of Henderson Beach. There is good privacy in between campsites, and convenient shopping a short drive away. Most spots have electric-water hookups, with picnic tables, grills, flush toilets, and showers. There is a playground for the kids, as well. Nightly rates are $30, with a $6 fee to enter the park.
- Camp Gulf. This one is in Mirimar and a very popular private campground. If you want to splurge, this is the place to be! What you’ll get is crystal-clear ocean waters lapping up against white sugar sand. It is the full experience of living on one of the best beaches in Florida. Note: they don’t allow pets on the front row sites that are right on the beach. For those special front row beachfront sites, be prepared to pay about $200 per night. For many, it’s worth it! It includes private restrooms and showers, a community room, two swimming pools, and a full-service camp store.
- Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Located near Santa Rosa Beach, the campgrounds are very nicely landscaped and they do a great job of keeping the place clean. Mature trees separate the sites, contributing to a certain privacy. Great hiking trails and biking paths. All sites have electric-water hookups, and amenities include picnic tables, grills, flush toilets and showers, laundry, and a pool. There’s even WiFi and cable TV! Nightly rates are $42, with a $6 fee to enter the park.
- Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park. Located off Choctawhatchee Bay near Niceville, there are beautiful water views and nice trails here. Sites are separated by trees and/or shrubs, so there is good privacy, with great shopping nearby. Many of the sites have a water view. All sites have electric-water hookups, with picnic tables and grills. There are flush toilets and showers, laundry and a playground. Great nightly rates at $16-20, plus a $6 park entrance fee.
- St. George Island State Park. Gorgeous white sand beaches await you here, just ¼ mile from the campsite. Enjoy kayaking in the bay, and the surrounding state park with a great trail system. If you like beaches, this is the park for you! Most sites have electric-water hookups, all 50 amp. There are picnic tables, flush toilets and showers, and dump station. Nightly rates are $24, plus the $6 park entrance fee.
- Sunset Isle RV & Yacht Club. This place is clean and more importantly (according to some) quiet! It is located near Carrabelle; it has 27 sites, all of them with full hookups, and the campground has such amenities as picnic tables, grills, flush toilets and showers, a pool, and dump station. There’s even WiFi and Cable TV! Nightly rates run at about $50-$60 per night on average.
- Ho-Hum RV Park. Located near Carrabelle, its near the water and many sites have great views of the bay, with a fishing pier. Pets are allowed, but since this is dubbed an “adults only” park, and is not family-friendly. All sites have full hookups with picnic tables, and there’s flush toilets, showers, laundry, WiFi and cable TV. Nightly rates are $29-$39.
- Fort De Soto Park Campground. Close to St. Petersburg, this is a highly-rated campground with some waterfront sites, and all sites have electric-water hookups. Kayak on the water, or rent a bike from the camp store. You will find picnic tables, grills, flush toilets and showers, laundry and a playground. Nightly rates are $40-$45.
There are seemingly endless options to explore the beauty of the Gulf Coast with this list of the best beach campgrounds in Florida.
Here's a separate video we did about an off-the-beaten-path region of Florida's Gulf Coast known as the Forgotten Coast:
Want more information about other Florida Beach campgrounds?
Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!
We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter.
That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys.
Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.
Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content!
FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers
What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?
The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.
Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?
One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities.
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.
Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?
Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.
But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?
Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.
Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?
While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.
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