Yes, for most people, vacationing in Florida includes a nice, comfortable (and more importantly air-conditioned) hotel room. But while there is plenty of urban jungle to deal with, the area also offers some of the finest camping in the state.
Here is a ranking of the top five camping areas in the Central Florida area. We’ll start closest to the major attractions and work out from there.
1. Disney’s Fort Wilderness, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
OK, so you just can’t bear to be in the theme park Mecca without actually being on site? Fortunately for you, Disney does not even let the camping business go unnoticed. And the camping site at Fort Wilderness includes some benefits many camping areas do not. While there is the requisite lake and fishing opportunities, there is also a pool, horseback riding, arcade and host of other activities. It may be you are so busy in the campground you never make it to the theme parks!
If you do make the theme parks, you also have some additional benefits. Extra Magic Hours are available to all resort guests staying on property.
But beware if you choose to camp here. The rates can be as much as some of the lower priced motels and hotels in the area.
Rates range from $42 to $81 for an electric and water campsite. Adding sewer to that runs the rates up to $47 to $94.
Can’t bear to be without cable television? They have those sites available to (including water, electric and sewer) for between $56 and $99. The rate variance depends on what time of the year you visit.
Call 407-939-6244 for more information.
2. Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, Orlando, FL.
If you are looking for variety, look no further! Trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding are all here. For those who have a passion for fishing, Turkey Lake is known as one of the better lakes in the area for all kinds of fish, including largemouth bass. And the location is hard to beat. You could almost throw a stone and hit Universal Studios. And if you have a passion for tennis, Orlando’s premier tennis facility, Lake Cane Tennis Center, is just around the corner.
This prime Orlando camping location, the only actually run by the city that makes this list, has plenty of options.
Full hookups with sewer, run $18. It is only $15 for sites with just water and electric.
Primitive tent sites go for $7.
And for those who actually like solid walls, there are even cabins available for $35 per night, plus a $110 deposit. They sleep up to 10.
Call 407-299-5581 for more information.
3. Moss Park, Orlando, FL.
This county facility is one of the most overlooked treasures in the area at least by out of towners. Locals have been attracted to the area for years. Located 15 miles southeast of Orlando between Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane, it truly is a world apart from its metropolitan surroundings. Both lakes offer excellent fishing and the atmosphere around the canal connecting the two lakes is often very interesting.
Since the opening of the Central Florida Greeneway, it is a quick drive to most theme parks.
$23 per night
$17.25 for seniors
$18 per night
$13.50 for seniors
The sites only allow a maximum of six people.
For bigger groups, there is an option for multi-family sites. These accommodate up to 18 people.
Rates for multi-family:
$69 for non-residents
$54 for residents.
Call 407-273-2327 for more information.
4. Wekiva Springs State Park, Apopka, FL.
Located within an hour of most of the major theme parks, this site nestled away in northwest Orange County offers a truly unique camping experience. The clear spring water is 72 degrees year round. Outside the swimming area, you can rent a canoe, and explore the way the Spanish did centuries ago, or take your fishing pole and try your luck. A good-sized fishing lake is also on the property.
Primitive campsites and hookups for water and electric are available. Some of the primitive sites can only be accessed by canoe!
$20 per night for full service
$4 for primitive sites.
For more information, call 800-326-3521.
5. Kelly Park, Apopka, FL.
Located in the same area as Wekiva Springs, Kelly Park surrounds another well-known spring, Rock Springs. For those who like tubing, this is the place to be. Vendors are readily available outside the parks gates to rent you as many as you would like. They can accommodate all sorts of groups. It can make for a fun, if not chilly, day. But it is a great way to beat the summer heat. In the summer, this park can fill quickly.
The campsites are full-service, whether they are used or not.
$23 per night for non residents
$17.25 for non-resident seniors
$18 per night
$13.50 per night for seniors.
Call 407-889-4179 for more information.