You could be forgiven for thinking that camping and Florida simply don't work well together, what with all that humid heat and those nasty mosquitoes. But that's precisely where glamping in Florida comes in. Replacing canvas tents with something plusher and more stable, these stays offer dashes of modern comfort along with that release to tropical nature you've been craving.
Where in Florida can I go glamping?
To get just a small idea of the variety of places where you can find appealing glamping sites in Florida, read on to hop from the shimmering sands of the Gulf Coast to the festive streets of historic Kissimmee in search of some favorites.
A glamping spot by white sands in Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Beach makes its home on the stunning barrier isle of Santa Rosa. A glamping trip here is your ticket to a land of soft sands that glow cotton white and some of the loveliest Gulf waters in the state. You might even find somewhere that lets you stay just a few feet from the shoreline.
Pirate history and salty bays on the Matanzas River
The Matanzas River runs a along a big stretch of Florida's Atlantic coast. It wiggles through ancient groves of sabal palms and hardwood hammocks at the Matanzas State Forest, past the historic settlement of St. Augustine where swashbuckling pirates abound, and even down to Flagler Beach with its sea kayakers and chilled pier. The upshot? Glamping here opens up all sorts of wilderness areas.
Family glamping spots in Kissimmee
Bringing the little ones along? Kissimmee could be a doozy of a glamping location. For starters, it's the gateway to the seemingly endless wetlands and waters of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, where scrub jays and storks are waiting to be spotted. And in the other direction, just down the 192? Well, that's Buena Vista – the home of Disney's loop-de-looping roller coasters and fairy-tale castles.
What sort of glamping is available in Florida?
Take a look below to get a feel for what sort of glamping in Florida there is to pick from these days. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the mix of options, which starts with family-friendly retreats by wilderness parks and runs to far-flung getaways for those with the boots in tow.
Disney glamping in Florida
You won't have to skip the heart-thumping rides and mind-boggling draws of theme parts like the Magic Kingdom and Epcot if you opt for glamping in Florida. There are actually intriguing stays that can put you right at the heart of these fun-filled destinations, including pioneer-style cabins that reimagine the wild frontier of the US back in the cowboy era.
Plenty for families
Choosing a glamping vacation in Florida is a sure bet for the whole family, and not only because there are some characterful camping pads in the vicinity of the world-famous Disney theme parks. Even when Mickey Mouse isn't around, glamp trips promise to entertain the little ones with hands-on adventures in the great outdoors, in the form of gator-spotting jaunts and eagle watching, sometimes from the comfort of your private living room.
Draws for adventurers
Get itchy feet whenever you stay still for too long? Glamping in Florida means you'll be sleeping on the doorstep of some of the state's more untamed corners – regions ripe for exploration. Just steps outside the front of your glamping pod or luxury tent, you might be hopping pirate bars in old St. Augustine, whizzing around the Everglades in an airboat, or bouncing over mangrove-fringed lagoons on the hunt for alligators and dolphins.
Things to expect from glamping in Florida
If you're not sure what to expect from Florida's glamping scene, then be sure to read on. Below are a few pointers on the sort of features, the style, and some of the policies that travelers can look forward to when ditching the conventional vacation home for something quirky like this.
Pet-friendly policies are common
The outdoorsy nature of many a glamping in Florida stay means it's super common to get places that will welcome the pooch. You might need to factor in a small extra fee, but that's typically calculated per animal, per stay. Then, it's just about getting Fido comfy in your triangular tepee or Mongolian yurt home.
A retreat with character
It's unusual for glamping sites to be run-of-the-mill sorts of places. They are usually something out of the ordinary, and especially so in vibrant Florida. Down in the sunny south they could channel the reggae vibes of the Caribbean with palm-laced roofs and bold colors. Elsewhere they might be exotic tentalows wedged between mangroves and wide lakes. You really don't know what you're going to get.
A place off the beaten track
Because so many of Florida's most popular vacation haunts are given over to modern condos and stylish villas, it's likely that you'll need to venture a little off-radar to find a glamping stay in the Sunshine State. That means trading the Art Deco mansions of South Beach for the brackish lagoons of the Matanzas estuary. It means swapping the sugar-soft powder of Panama City Beach and Clearwater for getaways further along the barrier isles, perhaps at Pensacola and Sanibel.