Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#TravelTuesday 16// Great Camping near Orlando and Central Florida

Happy #TravelTueday!! 
I know, you're thinking, "but it's Wednesday?!" 
Yes, this month's link up is going live a day late, but... life y'all! I just couldn't get my ish together enough this week to have it up yesterday. Thanks for being patient with me! 
So excited to see where you have been adventuring though, so don't forget to leave your link below so that we can all adventure together! 

This month I am sharing some of my favorite camping spots in and around Central Florida. They are no more than a 2.5 hour drive from Orlando, so there's less drive time and more play time!! So, in no particular order... 

1.) A Quick Getaway- Moss Park (in Orlando)

Moss Park is actually an Orange County Park, but it is one of our favorite places to go when we just need a quick getaway. We have gone for one night when we just need to shut the world away for a bit. We have spent full weekends there for Babe’s triathlons. It’s a beautiful, quiet park, with the camping tucked back away from the public access part of the park. There is a beautiful lake, both for boating and other water activities (the campground has it’s own boat dock if you have a boat to bring), as well as a roped off spot for swimming. There is also great hiking, both in Moss park and at the adjacent Split Oak Mitigation Park through an access trail. It’s only $18 per night if you are an Orange County resident ($23 otherwise) and only about 20 minutes from our house, often with open spaces, even last minute. For those from out of state or further away in Florida, looking for a great place to camp that is close to all the theme parks, it’s a great alternative to some of the pricey spots out closer to all the craziness. It’s quieter and beautiful and not a bad drive into the parks at all (about 30 minutes). (Moss Park YouTube Review

2.) Relaxing, Cool-Off Getaway- Rainbow Springs State Park (1 hr 40 min from Orlando)

Rainbow Springs State Park is one of our favorite spots when we want a more relaxing weekend! Known for its river tubing, it is a great place to go when you really just want to kick your feet back. It can be really hard to get a spot in the summer, so this is definitely a spot you need to plan ahead for (we booked 6 months in advance), but it is totally worth it as a spot to beat the Florida heat! There is a tram that runs from the campground to the river pull out, but you do have to pay $15 to use that service (also includes a tube). To find out how we tubed for free, as well as more in-depth details of the park and amenities, check out our full post on Rainbow Springs State Park

3.) A Day with the “Dinosaurs” Getaway/ *Best spot for camping with kids- Highlands Hammock State Park (a little less than 2 hours from Orlando)
Highlands Hammock State Park was such a fun spot! Though the campground was very crowded when we went, and we found the spots to be a little too close together, the park is simply stunning. The trees there are thousands of years old and huge, some you can even stand inside of. I felt like I was walking through a scene in Jurassic Park! The trails are all really unique and very neat. We loved the catwalk trail, with the cut off boardwalk that ran through the swamp. The park also included a tram ride through ranger only park land, a museum all about the creation of the state park system, and a craft morning for kids (select weekends).

4.) A Historical City Getaway- Faver-Dykes State Park (1.5 hrs from Orlando)
We had been trying to find a spot to stay near St. Augustine, so that we could go explore the city and the history and eat all the yummy foods.  Anastasia State Park (just 5 minutes from St. Augustine) can be really hard to get into. Luckily, Faver-Dykers isn’t that much further; an easy 20 minute drive. It’s not only a convenient spot to get close enough to spend the day exploring St. Augustine (check out this post to see how we spent our 10 hours in the city), but the park itself is also great. It’s right off the interstate, but tucked far enough away that you would never know. There is a gorgeous river to spend the day paddle boarding on and a few fun trails to explore! The wifi is patchy, but that just makes it all the better in my opinion, because you can truly unplug. The spots are spacious and wooded and very well kept! (Faver-Dykes State Park YouTube Review

5.) A Beachside Getaway- Fort De Soto County Park (2 hours from Orlando)
Fort De Soto was actually the first place we ever took Flo, and we loved it so much, we were back just a year later to enjoy it with friends. The spots are great; most of them right on the water. From your spot it’s a super quick car (or bike) ride to the beach. They also have the old forts to explore, as well as a museum that discusses the history of the forts and the park. Babe and I love exploring old forts and ruins and learning more about the history of Florida (well, he loves reading all the signs and learning all the facts; I love exploring all the nooks and crannies and pretending like I was living in the forts back when they were actively used). There is also a ferry that you can take to Egmont Key, an island accessible only by boat, for a day of more fort exploring fun, a more private beach experience, and the possibility of wading with the stingrays!

6.) The Perfect Paddle Getaway- Manatee Springs State Park (2 hrs 15 mins from Orlando)
Manatee Springs State Park, though the furthest on the list, is a great spot to do a little river paddling. Manatee Springs has an outdoor outfitter that you can rent canoes or kayaks from right there in the park. Anderson's Outdoor Adventures will provide you with an rental equipment (or you can bring your own) and they will then take you up river by van so that you are paddling back to the park with the current. It's a ten mile paddle back to Manatee Springs from where they drop you off so it is still a good full morning of paddling, you just don't have to fight the currents! If you leave early enough in the morning you can be back in time to get some super yummy BBQ that they make right there on property. We each got a meal, but they are so big you could definitely split one between 2 people. They also have the MOST AMAZING SWEET TEA that I have ever had (and I like to think that I have had some good ones)!! There is also a swimming/ snorkeling spot in the park, as well as a system of underwater trails for anyone who is scuba certified. 

Honorable Mentions
Though we prefer to stay at state or county parks, because of cheaper rates and having everything right there (hiking, outdoor activities...) these two Thousand Trails resorts get honorable mentions. Even though the price per night is a bit more they were super clean, had full sewer hoookups and great resort amenities! 
* Crystal River RV Resort- right on the water with the ability to rent pontoons and in close to proximity to being able to swim with the manatees!! 
* Clover Leaf RV Resort- We stayed here and then drove over to Weeki Wachee for a day with the mermaids!! 


These are just some of our favorite, easily accessible spots, from here in Orlando. There are still so many to explore and we can't wait to do just that! What are your favorite spots for a weekend in the woods?! Any good camping near you we need to check out? 

What adventures have you been up to? 
Try a new restaurant in your own backyard? 
Taken a day trip in your home state? Journeyed to far off lands? 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 

~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. April's fave was from Anne of In Residence, because her trip to Malta looked absolutely stunning and has me itching to visit! 


31 comments:

  1. That raft thingy looks amazing! I could go for any of the beachy options listed here... And thanks for the shoutout - it really was a stunning place to visit :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never would have considered camping in Florida. But makes for consistently nice weather!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, though often way to hot for tent camping, which is partially why we got the RV. Gotta love that AC!

      Delete
  3. Travel Tuesday on a Wednesday is very laid back, I like it. Meanwhile, I've never been to Orlando (yet) but I think camping there would be interesting. Probably because I'd be afraid of alligators and the like

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, thanks!! Gotta give myself grace when I can. And the gators aren't so bad, just be cautious :)

      Delete
  4. It's great that you have such wonderful camping options here. I would love to camp out sometimes. Will consider this option as well when I do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are definitely some good spots, plus if you are not into tent camping a lot of places have cabins available.

      Delete
  5. You captured some great spots! I'm not much of a camper, but I love the beachside getaway one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the spots have cabins (right on the beach), which are nice if you are wanting a little more comfort than full on roughing it :)

      Delete
  6. I'm always up for a distillery visit! These all look like great spots. When I think of Orlando the only thing that comes to mind is theme parks so it's good to know that there are so many camp spots nearby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep :) There are a lot of great non-park options to try for sure.

      Delete
  7. Looks like some cool places to camp. I think all of my camping experience is in Canada and a little in the Pacific Northwest of the USA so this would be a different experience for me. The water would definitely be a lot warmer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I am itching to get out to camp some in Canada!! Give me all the beautiful mountain views!!

      Delete
  8. Looks like some great places to camp! Have to be honest that when I think of getting to Orlando it's mainly for the theme parks, but would have to reconsider that now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's usually the first thing people think of, but there is a lot more to explore!

      Delete
  9. We loved browsing through this article. How was the visit to the distillery?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great!! They did an awesome job of both the distilling process, some of the history and then the tasting was so good! They actually made small mixed drinks with what you were sampling so that you didn't just have to sip straight gin, which I very much appreciated!

      Delete
  10. What a great list of places to camp near Orlando! My cousin is coming next month and maybe we will go for camping.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This place is pitch perfect for camping! Great idea and truly motivational post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Did you see any manatees at the park? They are so cute! And count me in for the sweet tea, I'm an addict lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We actually didn't on that trip; sadly, it was too late in the season. But we did on our trip to Crystal River. You can actually legally swim with them there, so we REALLY enjoyed that!!

      Delete
  13. I'm not a big fan of camping, but those places all look pretty amazing. The Manatee Springs paddling one sounds like a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a little less like camping now with the RV and a little more like taking home luxuries with us wherever we go lol; it's been a great way to get outdoors more, but still stay nice, cool, clean and comfy :)

      Delete
  14. I am a huge fan of camping. Will keep this list in mind if I ever visit Orlando or Florida. Stunning photos.

    ReplyDelete
  15. All of these look great especially the one near beach and the Highlands Hammock State Park . I too love camping in the mountains where i can see millions of stars and cool breeze pass through my face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes :) I love being away from the city lights with nothing but stars overhead!

      Delete
  16. Even I have a lounger like that. Florida is such a beautiful place. I wish I had gone down to Florida during my stint at NY. The picture with the boardwalk is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully you will be able to make a trip here soon :)

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by for a bit!
I love comments, they make me smile :) Hope you are having a wonderful day!