South Florida camping guide

A campsite at Jonathan Dickinson State Park near Jupiter.

Winter is a perfect time to pack up the tent and spend some time camping in South Florida’s great outdoors. From beachfront campgrounds in the Florida Keys to tree-shaded sites in the middle of Broward’s suburban jungle, here are 12 of the area’s best camping spots.

Bahia Honda State Park
This beautiful park features the only natural sandy beach in the Florida Keys. There are three different campgrounds in the park with some sites reserved for tent camping and others for RVs. Electricity, flush toilets and hot showers are available. The coveted oceanfront sites go quickly, so make reservations early.

Biscayne National Park
Over 95 percent of this park is underwater, but camping is available on Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key. Both of these islands are only accessible by boat, but the park does offer transportation for an additional fee. Freshwater is not available on Boca Chita Key, so campers must bring their own. Elliot Key has drinking water, cold showers and restrooms.

C.B. Smith Park
This 320-acre park in Pembroke Pines includes a large lakefront campground with 60 RV sites and 12 tent sites. Showers and restrooms are available.

DuPuis Management Area
Primitive camping is available at this former ranch near Lake Okeechobee. Now operated by the South Florida Water Management District, this recreation area offers hiking, fishing, bicycling and horseback riding trails. Drinking water is not available at the campground, so campers should bring their own.

Easterlin Park
Camping is only one of the activities available at this park located near Powerline Road and Oakland Park Boulevard in Broward County. There is also fishing, basketball, volleyball, nature trails and a playground. The campground offers RV and tent sites as well as a shower and restroom facility.

Everglades National Park
Two large campgrounds are available to visitors to the River of Grass. The Flamingo campground is located on Florida Bay and offers some bayfront sites. For a more traditional Everglades experience, try the Long Pine Key campground near the main entrance. Both sites have restrooms and water. Backcountry beach and chickee camping is also available in many places throughout the park.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Tent and RV camping are offered at this state park on Key Largo known for its beautiful coral reefs. Restrooms with hot showers are available. There are only 47 sites, so reservations are recommended well in advance.

John Prince Park
This large campground in Lake Worth has 265 sites for tents and RVs, including 46 sites located right on beautiful Lake Osborne. Each site has water and electricity, and hot showers and restrooms are available.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Two campgrounds are located within this state park near Jupiter. Tree-shaded Pine Grove Campground, with 90 sites, is located near the ranger station in the east part of the park. The River Campground is about four miles from the park entrance, near the Loxahatchee River. It has 45 sites. Both campgrounds have restrooms with hot showers.

Long Key State Park
This beautiful Florida Keys state park has 60 campsites running along the rocky shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. Each campsite has water and electricity, and restrooms with hot showers are available. Noise can be a problem as the campground is near the highway, but the oceanfront setting more than makes up for this drawback. Long Key is a very popular campground, so make reservations up to 11 months in advance.

Quiet Waters Park
Cable water skiing and the Splash Adventure water playground are the draws at this Broward County park on Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach. The park also has a small campground that includes “Rent-a-Tent” sites with pre-setup tents and equipment -- perfect for a first-time camping trip.

T.Y. Park
RV and tent camping is available at this park’s Whispering Pines campground in Hollywood. The park itself offers biking, boating, various sports activities and the Castaway Island water playground. The campground is on a large lakefront with 48 RV sites (includes water & electric, picnic table, grill) and 12 tent sties (includes picnic table & grill). Showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities are available.