Imagine the smell of the salty sea, the sound of waves crashing on the shore, and the sight of the beautiful sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. If this sounds like the ideal vacation to you, then camping in the Destin area of Florida is the perfect choice.
Located in the Florida panhandle, one of the most beautiful oceanside locations in the United States, Destin is a top tourist destination in Florida. This is due to the white sandy beaches and spectacular RV parks ideal for gateways. The region offers some of the best and most diverse campgrounds and RV parks, each with its unique charm and a wide array of amenities.
Whether you prefer the serenity of a state park, the luxurious feel of a beachfront resort, or the familiarity of a neighborhood atmosphere, you’ll find it all in Destin. Visitors can enjoy a multitude of activities, from swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and boating in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico to bird-watching, picnicking, or canoeing.
The glittering turquoise sea overlooking the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico offers unbeatable weather and water adventures for your next travel experience. The vast fishing activities make Destin a number one tourist destination. And if you don’t want to catch your dinner, you can still enjoy a wide assortment of fresh seafood delicacies at most of the local dining spots.
This blog post will introduce you to five of the most spectacular campgrounds in Destin, Florida, detailing their key features, whether they are pet-friendly, and why they might just be the ideal choice for your next camping adventure. So sit back, grab your camping checklist, and get ready to explore the beauty of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
1. Henderson Beach State Park Campground
You can’t get a better view of the Gulf of Mexico than the one you get at Henderson Beach State Park. Located on the beautiful shores of Destin, Florida, the park offers an ultimate camping destination for you and your loved ones. Picture biking along scenic trails or picnicking in the great outdoors; this destination is ideal if you plan a camping trip for special occasions such as weddings, reunions, and romantic gateways.
As with most state parks, you can enjoy a whole host of outdoor activities, including water sports, bird watching amidst the park’s amazing flora and fauna, and going on exhilarating dune walks.
Henderson Beach State Park Campground Overview
- Prime view of the Gulf of Mexico
- Affordable with rates starting at $30 per night
- 60 campsites that can accommodate either tents or RVs, with a mixture of back-in and pull-through sites.
- The sites have water, electricity (30 and 50-amp), picnic tables, ground grills, and clothesline posts.
- Activities include water sports, bird watching, dune walks, biking and canoeing for the aventurous
- Amenities include disability access, campfire circles, picnic area, children’s playground, free parking
- Additional facilities: shower blocks, clean and climate-controlled restrooms with laundry
- Pet-friendly (though pets aren’t allowed on the beach)
- Beautiful sand beaches stretching over a mile with a three-quarter-mile trail through the dunes
Why You’ll Love Henderson Beach State Park
It’s affordable, with great amenities and facilities. Location-wise, you can’t beat this campground. The gorgeous sugar-white sand beaches stretch over a mile with a three-quarter-mile trail through the dunes for amazing sunset dune walks. This park is a top choice for camping or RVing with family and friends.
2. Emerald Beach RV Park
A few miles away from Destin, you’ll find the Emerald Beach RV Park, located in Navarre, Florida. This beachfront RV resort offers beachfront access to the clear waters of Santa Rosa Sound. This campground boasts beautifully manicured grounds with extensive amenities for a comfortable camping experience.
Emerald Beach RV Park Overview
- Over 70 sites, including 6 water-front premium sites that include a private deck
- Rates start at $75 per night which is reasonable considering the location
- Full Hookups (30/50amp)
- Free BASIC WI-FI
- 300ft pier. Guests can fish off the pier without a license
- 24-hour Laundry
- Pets allowed, but must be leashed at all times
- Heated Pool
- Shower and bathroom facilities
- Propane and ice are available
- Ice cream, camping supplies, and pool toys are available in the office
Why You’ll Love Emerald Beach RV Park
This campground is a perfect choice for long-term RVers looking to have a neighborhood atmosphere rather than a campground vibe. The beachfront access and amenities make this a top pick on our list and one you should definitely experience.
3. Destin RV Beach Resort
Located just across the street from the beach, the Destin RV Beach Resort offers world-class accommodations to RV camping fanatics who love beachside sites. This RV resort offers a great beachfront location with many amenities and the possibility to partake in activities like dune walks, biking, or canoeing.
Destin RV Resort Overview
- Studio condos and 36 cement pads with private patios and full hookups (30/50 amp)
- Rates start at $95 per night: a bit high given its location
- Free Wi-Fi
- Private beach access
- Entertainment zones with bike and golf cart rentals
- A heated swimming pool
- Immaculate shower stations and restrooms
- A general store
This site is also adjacent to cafes, grocery stores, bars, and restaurants, providing all you need for picnicking or simply relaxing in your RV while bird watching or appreciating the stunning surroundings.
Why You’ll Love Destin RV Beach Resort
One of the outstanding aspects of Destin Beach RV Resort is the private beach access, where you can enjoy the warm gulf waters and possibly catch a sunset watching over the horizon. Restaurants and bars are within a short drive, and the on-site general store ensures you’ll never run short of supplies and comfort.
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4. Destin West RV Resort
The Destin West RV Resort offers you and your loved ones a countryside camping experience right on the waterfront. This resort, situated just a few steps from the warm gulf waters of the beach, is a part of the Gulf Island National Seashore. This is a perfect spot for sunset viewing as the day mellows.
Destin West RV Resort Overview
- Over 50 sites featuring brick paving, a patio, and full hookups (30/50amp)
- Rates start at $80 per night in summer months
- Waterfront pool
- Hot shower stations
- 24-hour onsite laundry facilities
- Pet-friendly with no restrictions
Why You’ll Love Destin West RV Resort
The resort’s proximity to Choctawhatchee Bay allows for a plethora of fun on the water including fishing sprees, stand-up paddle boarding, scuba diving, and kayaking. If you’re lucky, a day spent on the bay could turn into a wonderful dolphin watching experience!
5. Camp Gulf
Located in Miramar, which is just down the road from Destin, is Camp Gulf. This RV resort has the largest number of sites at 215 sites, including concrete pads with full hookups, tent camping, and Glamping Cabins for those who want a more luxe experience! They even have a beach house that accommodates up to 17 guests, allowing you to enjoy wave watching and sunset watching right from your doorstep.
Destin RV Resort Overview
- 215 sites with concrete pads and full hookups (30/50 amp)
- Rates start at $70 per night in peak season
- Two pools with a two-story waterslide and a fishing pond
- Activity center and on-site store for essentials and souvenirs
- Dogs allowed on most sites
- Several RV sites are directly on the sand
- Restrooms and shower blocks
Why You’ll Love Camp Gulf
From the beachfront location to the upscale accommodations and vast amenities, Camp Gulf really has it all. It’s an excellent place to explore the beach, enjoy watersports like scuba diving, and shop and dine in local shops and restaurants. The resort is a perfect destination for families and large groups – and the local fishing pier is a popular spot among guests!
6. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Campground
Heading a bit further east from Destin, you’ll find the picturesque Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Campground in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. This natural gem offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with its serene setting nestled among the sand dunes and coastal forests.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Campground Overview:
- Around 150 RV sites, each with water, electricity (30/50 amp), and sewer hookups
- Rates start at $40 per night, making it a budget-friendly option
- Restrooms and shower facilities
- Pets are welcome, but not on the beach
- A camp store
- Access to 3.2 miles of undeveloped, white sandy beaches
Why you’ll love Topsail Preserve State Park Campground:
The park’s pristine beaches and lush surroundings offer endless opportunities for relaxation and exploration. Beautiful hiking and biking trails that wind through the dunes and natural landscapes. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Whether you prefer a leisurely beach day or an adventurous hike through the sand dunes, this campground has it all.
7. Grayton Beach State Park Campground
Continuing eastward along the Florida coastline, you’ll encounter the charming Grayton Beach State Park Campground near Grayton Beach, Florida. This state park boasts breathtaking coastal scenery and a laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a more rustic camping experience.
Grayton Beach State Park Campground Overview
- Around 60 RV-friendly sites with water and electric hookups (30/50 amp)
- Rates start at $45 per night, providing good value for beachside camping
- Access to beautiful beaches with powdery sand and emerald waters
- Restrooms, showers, and a picnic area for added convenience
- Pets are welcome, but be sure to keep them on a leash
Why You’ll Love Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach is a hidden gem along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The unspoiled beaches and clear waters will captivate your senses, and the lack of large crowds ensures a peaceful stay. Whether you’re into water activities, wildlife spotting, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll on the beach, this campground provides the perfect setting for a rejuvenating escape.
Shop REI.com for the best prices and selection of camping gear. Free shipping on orders $50 or more.
8. St. Andrews State Park Campground
Venturing into Panama City Beach, Florida, you’ll find St. Andrews State Park Campground, a popular destination for both beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. This park is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon, offering a unique blend of coastal and waterfront experiences.
St. Andrews State Park Campground Overview:
- Around 176 sites suitable for RVs, many with electric and water hookups (30/50 amp)
- Rates start at $35 per night, making it another budget-friendly option
- Shower facilities and clean restrooms
- A camp store for essentials
- Fishing opportunities both on the shore and on the jetties
- Leashed pets are welcome
Why You’ll Love St. Andrews State Park
This campground is a paradise for beach enthusiasts and water lovers. With access to both the Gulf and the lagoon, you can indulge in various water sports or simply relax on the sandy shores. The park’s diverse ecosystems also make it a great place to observe birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats.
9. Big Lagoon State Park Campground
Heading westward from Pensacola, Florida, you’ll stumble upon the tranquil Big Lagoon State Park Campground in Perdido Key. Nestled along the shores of Big Lagoon, this park offers a unique blend of waterfront beauty and lush woodlands.
Big Lagoon State Park Campground Overview:
- Over 75 campsites with water and electric hookups (30/50 amp)
- Rates start at $28 per night, making it real easy on your wallet
- Big Lagoon itself is perfect for boating, kayaking, and fishing
- Miles of nature trails for hiking and wildlife spotting
- Clean restroom facilities and picnic areas
- Pets are allowed, but keep them on a leash and be mindful of wildlife
Why You’ll Love Big Lagoon State Park
If you’re seeking a serene escape with ample opportunities for nature exploration, this campground is an excellent choice. The combination of a peaceful lagoon and lush forests provides a serene ambiance, and the chance to spot various bird species adds to the charm of this coastal retreat.
10. Gulf Islands National Seashore Campground
If you’re a fan of pristine beaches and unspoiled natural beauty, the Gulf Islands National Seashore Campground in Pensacola, Florida, is the perfect destination for you. Stretching across multiple islands along the Gulf Coast, this campground offers a unique camping experience amid protected coastal landscapes.
Gulf Islands National Seashore Campground Overview:
- 75 RV sites, each equipped with 30/50 amp electric, water, a picnic table and a fire ring/ground grill
- Three full-service restrooms and a dump station are available
- Rates start at $26 per night, making it an affordable option
- Abundance of sandy beaches and turquoise waters to explore with snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities
- Primitive camping sites available for a more adventurous experience
- Restrooms, picnic areas, and visitor center
- Pets are welcome, but remember to follow park rules and be considerate of wildlife
Why You’ll Love Gulf Islands National Seashore Campground
This campground is a nature lover’s dream come true. From sun-soaked beaches to fascinating historic sites, you’ll have a myriad of activities to choose from. The unspoiled beauty of the Gulf Islands National Seashore provides an unforgettable backdrop for a memorable camping trip.
Wrapping it up…
So there you have it! These are ten of the very best camping spots in the Destin area, each providing a unique camping experience and a diverse range of amenities.
Whether you’re a camping newbie or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, there’s a camping spot for you. From the affordable yet stunning Henderson Beach State Park Campground to the luxe and amenity-packed Camp Gulf, you have all you need for an unforgettable camping adventure.
And don’t worry if you have a furry friend – these campgrounds have thought about that too! These parks cater to all – families, friends, solo travelers, and couples looking for a romantic getaway. So why wait? Pack up your camping gear, load up your RV or car, and hit the road to explore the beautiful Destin area of Florida. Happy camping!
Scott founded FunOutdoors to connect his professional life with his passions. When Scott isn’t working, you’ll find him on the bike trail, riding a wave, or skiing down a mountain.