Families and individuals who enjoy camping, no matter what time of the year, have many options in the Tampa Bay area and, indeed, up and down the entire Gulf Coast of Florida. Those who enjoy "roughing it" as opposed to booking accommodations in a hotel or resort will find that there are myriad RV parks and public and commercial campgrounds in the area, suitable for those who prefer to travel and stay in their recreational vehicle and/or enjoy being close to nature while on vacation.
Camping is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the Florida landscape and many campgrounds and RV parks provide close proximity to the beaches of the Gulf Coast and are within easy driving distance of the area’s top attractions, such as Busch Gardens Tampa.
For die-hard RVers and those who love to be outdoors, camping is the only way to go. Camping has many advantages, the most obvious being that it helps vacationers save money while still enjoying a fun time in the Tampa area. Camping in Tampa ranges from just a few dollars a night at state-owned campsites with few amenities – usually located in state parks - to as much as $70 or $80 for a hook-up at a full service commercial campground with amenities such as a swimming pool, hot tubs, tennis courts, a lake, huge clubhouses, and a fishing dock. Some campgrounds also offer tents and cabins, which vary in price according to size and location.
Camping is also great for long-term stays and most Tampa area commercial campgrounds eagerly welcome those who want to live at their facility for an entire season. These campgrounds or RV parks become a home-away-from-home for seasonal travelers and often, the same extended-stay tenants come back year after year, forming a community with others who make Florida their winter (or summer) home.
By far, among the most pristine places to camp in the Tampa area are the state and county parks. There are several within reasonable driving distance of the metro area and all provide the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful and sometimes wild subtropical ecosystem of Florida’s Gulf Coast region. Parks to consider on your next camping trip to the Tampa Bay region include:
The Tampa area is chock full of commercial campgrounds and RV parks, some run by well-known companies like KOA but many that are privately owned and operated. Locations vary, from the beach areas to quite far inland.
A majority of the commercial campgrounds welcome extended stays and some have sites that boast permanent owners who live there year-round or during the winter months. Some of these campgrounds are quite elaborate while others are very basic. The price you pay per night will largely depend on the amenities and location of the campground or RV park.
Because Tampa is such a popular winter resort, advance reservations are suggested at most of the RV parks and campgrounds in order to insure your space when you arrive.