Some RV resorts have organized family activities and themed weekends, while others highlight how Florida’s RV parks can be used as base camps for exploring nearby attractions
Everyone knows Florida is a famous destination for snowbirds during the wintertime.
What’s not as well known is the fact that Florida’s campgrounds, RV parks and resorts increasingly provide organized activities, themed weekends and suggestions on nearby attractions and experiences for local residents during the summer months.
“We’re trying to get the word out that Florida’s RV parks are open for business year round and that many of these parks make great destinations in themselves in addition to serving as base camps for weekend getaways,” said Bobby Cornwell, president and CEO of the Florida RV Park and Campground Association, which hosts CampFlorida.com, the travel planning website.
Several online resources are available to provide families with ideas on things to see and do in Florida during the summer months.
VisitFlorida.com, the state’s tourism website, offers many suggestions on great places to go snorkeling and to see other kinds of wildlife, from dolphins to alligators. Many companies also offer airboat tours through Florida’s waterways, which are thrilling experiences for people of all ages.
CampFlorida.com, for its part, lists more than 500 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, many of which can serve as terrific base camps for activity-filled weekend escapes and other summer adventures.
“All you have to do is figure out the kind of activity you’d like to do and visit CampFlorida.com to see which campground, RV park or resort is located near the activity of interest to you,” Cornwell said, adding that many of Florida’s campgrounds and RV parks have rental accommodations for those who don’t have an RV.
Even if all you want to do is go the beach, CampFlorida.com can help you find the campground that’s right for you.
Florida is blessed with over 800 miles of sandy coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. While only a handful of campgrounds are right on the beach, such as Camping on the Gulf in Miramar Beach or Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort in Flagler Beach. However, many others, such as Perdido Key RV Resort & Marina and Pensacola Beach RV Resort in Pensacola, Indian Mound RV & Fish Camp in Oak Hill or Upriver RV Resort in North Fort Myers or Yacht Haven Park & Marina in Ft. Lauderdale, are just a few steps or a few blocks away from either the beach or from intercoastal waterways that offer tremendous opportunities for kayaking, boating and fishing. Other coastal RV resorts offer mature, moss-laden oak trees and secluded locations to simply relax, such as Presnell's Bayside Marina & RV Resort in Port St. Joe.
Many of Florida’s RV Resorts Offer Summer Activities
While Florida’s RV resorts are a favorite snowbird destination, many of the state’s RV resorts also offer activities in summer, which are designed to appeal to Florida residents.
Many campgrounds are destinations in themselves, with great places to camp, and glamping, and onsite water activities.
Examples include Twin Lakes Camp Resort in DeFuniak Springs, which complements its RV and tent sites with luxuriously furnished glamping tents, cabin suites and lake houses.
Ginnie Springs in High Springs offers campsites as well as classes in scuba diving. Visitors can also rent canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards to try out on the Santa Fe River.
Other parks offer onsite water parks, such as Splash RV Resort & Waterpark in Milton, while others, such as Canopy Oaks RV Resort in Lake Wales and Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale, offer organized family activities and themed weekends throughout the summer months.
Many RV resorts have summer activities posted on their websites, including suggestions on nearby attractions, which makes it easy for Floridians to plan their weekend escapes.
For example, Madison RV & Golf Resort in Madison highlights several nearby attractions, including the Treasures of Madison County Museum, the Four Freedoms Trail, and the Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga.
Several RV resorts in Palmetto, near Tampa, have a variety of organized activities as well as suggestions on things to see and do throughout the summer months. They include:
— Fisherman's Cove RV Resort: This park partners with guides who can lead private fishing and nature tours through the Terra Ceia State Park Preserve and other nearby locations. The resort is surrounded by 24,900 contiguous acres of serene aquatic preserve as well as county and state parks such as Robinson Preserve, Emerson Point and Terra Ceia State Park. As such, the resort can serve as a base camp for hiking, biking, boating, fishing and kayaking trips. The beaches at Fort Desoto Park, across the bay, are also popular for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and taking ferry rides to secluded islands. Fort DeSoto also has a designated dog beach. The resort has produced a video to highlight its onsite and nearby activities.
— The Surf RV Resort: This resort’s Father’s Day weekend activities include ax throwing, clay shooting at a sporting clay course, and poolside bourbon tasting, as well as a Sunday meal with ManMosas and beer. The weekend of July 7-9 includes a helicopter tour of Tampa Bay followed by a trip to Jungle Gardens. Onsite resort activities include a “Flamingo Pink Pool Party” with live music, pink tropical drinks and delicious appetizers. The weekend of July 21-23 has a “Havana Nights” theme with the music, food and culture of Cuba, including a walking tour of historic Ybor City, lunch at the famous Columbia restaurant, Salsa dancing at the park and tasty mojitos.
— The Tides Signature RV Resort: This resort has an extensive summer activity program, which features Friday night Happy Hours with live music twice a month; gourmet food truck selections and complimentary cocktails; exercise classes three times per week; and weekly 8-ball and cornhole tournaments; monthly guided eco-tours on kayaks; Mexican Train play on Tuesdays and cards/euchre on Thursdays. In addition, the resort is planning a "Cheeseburger in paradise" Jimmy Buffett themed 4th of July party with music with a build-your-own-cheeseburger bar; and for Labor day, a live country band and guest "Appy" hour with appetizers, line dancing and beer.
“More and more Florida RV parks are developing extensive summer activity schedules,” Cornwell said, adding, “It behooves Florida residents to visit CampFlorida.com and check out the activity listings of RV parks and resorts across the state.”
About the Florida RV Park and Campground Association
Information about the latest trends involving campgrounds, RV parks and resorts is available from the Florida RV Park and Campground Association, which markets privately owned and operated parks in Florida through CampFlorida.com, the travel planning website. The association also publishes a free printed camping guide, which can be ordered though CampFlorida.com.
Florida RV Park and Campground Association