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Florida In Fall - The Best Places For Camping

October 21, 2021

Everglades National Park, Miami credit Matthew Dillon via Flickr

The Sunshine State has always been a beloved beach vacation destination for Americans, but many people seem to forget that there’s more to Florida than theme parks and beaches! Camping is a huge travel trend right now with first-time campers at an all-time high according to the North American Camping Report. Florida’s combination of sunny weather and natural beauty make it the perfect destination for your camping trip this fall!

Holidu, the search engine for vacation rentals, decided to find out which places in Florida are the best for camping during this season. We evaluated 200+ Florida towns with a population above 20,000 using the average monthly searches on Google for these towns with the terms ‘camping in’ and ‘campgrounds’ and 2) the average amount of sun hours during fall in those cities. If you want to get away this fall, why not visit one of these top-rated areas for camping in Florida? These camping hotspots were found using the Google search volume and the historical weather data for each town and the data has highlighted that:

• Coastal camping reigns supreme: all cities in the top 10 are located on the coast
• Florida’s west coast is the most popular with campers
• Tampa Bay Area is the best place for camping with 4 cities in the top 10

Top 10 best areas for camping in Florida

1. Top Rated: Key West | Camping score: 10
Key West takes the cake in this ranking with a whopping 8,900 searches per month for camping. That’s not too surprising given the fact that the Florida Keys are not only one of the most beloved destinations in the country, they are also an area that holds immense natural beauty and is the perfect destination for a camping getaway. From the mangrove forests to the Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West offers plenty of ways to immerse yourself in nature. Thanks to the 11.5 sun hours per day, even in fall, you won’t need to give up all of your favorite water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Top 3 things campers can’t miss:
1. Explore the mangrove forests by kayak
2. Discover the coral reefs while snorkeling
3. Visit the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

2. Well-deserved second place: Clearwater | Camping score: 9.67

Coming in second place, the next camping hotspot is Clearwater. Clearwater is located on the same peninsula as St. Petersburg with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Old Tampa Bay to the east. This camping destination is a prime camping spot for any nature lover. Clearwater is home to several nature parks and reserves, such as the Moccasin Lake Nature Park or the Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve, a great place to start your tour of Tampa Bay, whether you decide to go out on the water or hike along the shore. Bird watchers and fishers will also love Clearwater for the diverse wildlife you can observe in the area.

Top 3 things campers can’t miss:
1. Discover Tampa Bay by kayak or boat
2. Get to know Florida’s marine life at the Sand Key Park
3. See birds of prey up close at the Moccasin Lake Nature Park

3. Close third: Naples | Camping score: 9.52
Beautiful Naples to the south takes third place! This town has the most sun hours of every place in the ranking, coming in at almost a full 12 hours of sun per day during the fall. Combine this with its proximity to several big natural parks like the Everglades and it’s no wonder why Naples is the third most popular camping spot. Discover the unique ecosystem of Florida during your camping trip: manatees, dolphins and several indigenous bird species are waiting for you! The parks around Naples also offer many trails for hiking, biking and even for BMX-ing and off-road driving for all different ages and skill levels.

Top 3 things campers can’t miss:
1. Get up close and personal with manatees
2. Visit the magical Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
3. Explore the mangrove forests of Collier-Seminole State Park

4. Surprising fourth: Miami | Camping score: 9.44
It might seem surprising to see a big city such as Miami in fourth place in this ranking, but the truth is that Miami is one of the best places for camping in the Sunshine State.
You only have to drive a couple of miles to the south and you’re in the middle of the Everglades! Other notable parks in the area are the East Coast Buffer Preserve, the Biscayne National Park and the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area. Take advantage of Miami’s 11.5 sun hours per day in fall to explore its beautiful parks. Whether you love hiking, biking, horse riding or kayaking, the parks around Miami have awesome trails for you to explore!

Top 3 things campers can’t miss:
1. Discover the Everglades by airboat
2. Go hummingbird spotting at the Castellow Hammock Preserve
3. Explore the reef at the Biscayne National Park

5. Tampa | Camping score: 9.44
The third most populated city of Florida, Tampa, comes in fifth place for our list of camping hotspots. While Tampa, just like Miami, might not be a place you’d associate with camping, there are plenty of campgrounds and recreational areas in the outskirts of the city. The parks in and around Tampa, like the Rocky Creek Trails Nature Preserve or the Morris Bridge Road Preserve, have trails for all levels, not just for hiking and biking, but also for off-roading, horse riding and more! Tampa is also a prime spot for canoeing and kayaking, with plenty of waterways and rivers for you to explore.

Top 3 things campers can’t miss:
1. Conquer the class II rapids at the Hillsborough River State Park
2. Visit Morris Bridge Road Preserve for off-road biking and birdwatching
3. Explore Tampa Bay’s waterways by kayak

Over 200 Florida towns and cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants were considered for this study.
The starting point of the ranking was the average number of monthly searches on Google for the terms "camping in [town]" and "campgrounds [town]." After gathering that data, the average amount of sun hours in the fall months (September-November) was calculated using historical weather data from World Weather Online. These two data points were normalized (adjusted to a common scale) in order to determine which destinations were the best places for camping. In case of a tie, the search volume of the respective destinations decided which town was ranked higher.

About Holidu
Holidu’s mission is to finally make the search and booking of vacation rentals easy. Its search engine for vacation rentals allows travelers to book the ideal accommodation for the lowest prices. The company also helps vacation rental owners multiply their bookings with less work through its software and service solution under the Bookiply Brand. Brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers founded Holidu in 2014.

The high-growth startup is headquartered in Munich and has local offices in the most attractive travel destinations in Europe and the US.

For more information on Holidu, visit: For more information on Bookiply, visit:

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