Of course, you pay for the privilege of having nothing between your rig and the water but a patch of sand. While the $65 to $150 or more per night for a beachfront campsite may seem extreme, this is one of those experiences that would make a great MasterCard ad. Camping on the ocean, $150. Experiencing gentle sea breezes, swaying palms, sea gulls squawking overhead the the sound of waves lapping at the sandy shore... priceless.
A little less expensive, but still often worth the experience are the campgrounds located "near" the beach — often across the street from the beach. That means you usually have to walk several yards and sometimes cross a busy highway to get to the beach. Campgrounds located on intracoastal waterways — bays and sounds — are an affordable alternative as well.
What to ExpectOften camping experiences don't live up to expectations. While camping on a Florida beach sounds like a wonderful experience (and generally it is) there are situations that may not make it a pleasant experience for some.
- Do NOT expect spacious campsites. These campgrounds are packing campers in... literally. Expect room for your rig; and, if you're lucky, you will be able to extend your slide-outs and awning. I have seen some sites so tight that awnings overlap. If you don't like to camp very close to your neighbor, you will likely not like this camping experience.
- Sewer hook-ups are NOT available on beachfront campsites. In the absence of sewer hook-ups though, some campgrounds offer a "pump-out" service for an additional charge of $7 to $10. This is a great idea and definitely worth the charge.
- NO shade! They don't call this the Sunshine State for nothing. Expect there to be sun... and expect it to be HOT.
- NO PETS are allowed on beachfront campsites. Campgrounds and campsites located on the land-side of the beach often are pet-friendly, so check with your campground when you make reservations.
- SAND is plentiful. Expect it in your rig or tent, expect it in your clothes and bed and maybe even your food.
Beach TipsObviously, if you're going to camp on or near the beach, you are expecting to visit the beach. These must-know tips will be helpful when planning your trip:
- These beach packing tips include items you should add to your camping checklist.
- How to survive summer camping in Florida
- You need these tips on how to beat the Florida heat.
- Pay particular attention to packing your cooler and expect to use more ice than you ever have before!
- Bugs may be more plentiful near the beach. What's Bugging Florida will give you an insight as to what you might expect and some remedies.