Florida is a state that is perfect for camping. The weather is camp-friendly all year long, there is an abundance of great sights to explore and a great trip does not have to cost a lot of money. A camping trip can be incredibly memorable, but a finding a really cheap or even free campground makes it all the better.
Up in the beautiful Florida panhandle, the Apalachicola National Forest is a smart choice for a frugal camp trip. November through February is the dry season in this region with average temperatures ranging from 50 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, the temperature rises to between 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the long Florida summer. There are plenty of inexpensive outdoor activities to do here, from water sports to hiking trails.
No matter what time of year it is, the weather is nice enough to make camping an appealing option. The campsites in the Apalachicola National Forest have no cabins or amenity-filled campgrounds, so keep in mind that you won’t have air conditioning if travelling in the summer. The only campsites that have fees are the developed campgrounds (Camel Lake Recreation Area Campground, Hickory Landing Boat Ramp & Hunt Campground, Mack Landing Boat Ramp & Hunt Campground, Whitehead Landing Boat Ramp & Hunt Campground and Wright Lake Recreation Area Campground). This makes it easy to camp without incurring a high cost.
Lake Stone is located on the border of Florida and Alabama. The 100 acre campground can accommodate a variety of RVs and tents. The freshwater lake is not just beautiful, but also offers fun for any age. Favorite activities include canoeing, kayaking and bird watching. Other amenities include a playground, fishing piers and boating ramps.
Besides the low camping costs, travelers love the charming atmosphere of Lake Stone. There are plenty of historical sights, but it does not feel like a tourist trap. The restaurants serve good home-cooking at affordable prices. Travelers can spend an enjoyable day just walking through town without spending a dime.
The Ocala National Forest is located in Central Florida. You can camp for as low as $10 a night, depending on what campground you choose. There are camping options with a full set of amenities as well as simple primitive campgrounds. Most of the camping options allow travelers to stay for up to fourteen days, though some areas allow longer stays during certain seasons.
The Ocala National Forest is a popular choice for outdoorsy people. Bicycling, hunting, fishing and water activities are some of the area’s popular pastimes. Horseback riding is another favorite, as the forest boasts beautiful trails for riders to explore. There are a hundred miles of paved roads meandering through the forest, so it is a wonderful place for a long, scenic drive.
Florida might be known for man-made attractions like theme parks and large resorts, but it is the lesser known natural attractions that make the state so special. A little planning and an adventurous spirit is all it takes for an amazing (and frugal) camping trip in Florida.
About the Author
Joe Schembri of Tampa, FL loves the outdoors and visiting campsites no matter if it’s in a tent, class b camperor even a Jeep. Joe writes for Lazydays RV Center and enjoys sharing his camping experiences. Happy frugal traveling!