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6 Epic Gulf County, FL Camping Spots For Your Next Adventure

Florida beach sunset.

Gulf County, Florida is known as a laid-back destination that is the perfect place to unplug, recharge and enjoy some beachside camping. Located just two hours southwest of Tallahassee and an hour east of Panama City Beach,  this area on the Gulf Coast is a haven for nature lovers. We’re sharing six of our favorite places to camp from rv parks to beach front plus three outfitters that provide memorable experiences in the region.

6 Gulf County, FL Camping Spots

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

This Gulf State park campground is twenty miles of pristine beaches, dunes and marshes on a barrier island that stretch between the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to one side and St. Joseph Bay to the other. This is a prime location for those who love to be immersed in nature while enjoying hiking, paddling, fishing and more. 

Shady Pines campground features 36 standard campsites and 10 tent-only sites. Each camp site has electricity and water, a picnic table, an in-ground grill and fire rings.  Two sites, 13 and 17, include a screened platform with a ceiling fan, light and electricity. Pets are not allowed on those two sites. options include paved surfaces and accessible picnic tables and grills, screened platforms with power and a ceiling fan. The campground also has two new bathhouses.

There are also 14 primitive sites in the park’s Wilderness Preserve, which can be reached by nature trails or kayak.

Please note their pet policy: Pets are not allowed on beaches, along the natural shoreline, in picnic shelters, in the restrooms or in the wilderness area. In the areas where pets are allowed, they must be on a six-foot hand-held leash and be well behaved at all times.

Known locally as Rish Park, it has recently added two family-style cabins which are designed to be easily accessible for people with disabilities. The new cabins sleep up to five people and have a living room, dining area, kitchen and two bedrooms. The two accessible restrooms have zero-entry showers and the cabins are surrounded by a boardwalk.

At Rish Park you’ll find white beaches and the Gulf clear waters. An accessible recreation area includes a day use park, boardwalk and an Olympic-size pool with chair lift and wheelchair ramp. Beach wheelchairs, motorized beach wheelchairs, boardwalk scooters and water wheelchairs are also available for park guests.

Campfire on the beach.

One of the area’s best known camping locations. This is a premier spot for enjoying spectacular sunsets on the bay. Located on the calm waters of St. Joseph Bay, Presnell’s offers paddleboard, kayak and boat rentals. There is also a swimming pool, clubhouse, store, boat ramp and marina onsite. 

This iconic Gulf County campground now has 110 sites, including 64 new sites with full hookups and Wi-Fi. For those without an RV, cottage and park model rentals are also available.

Located near the western end of Apalachicola Bay it has a character all its own. Campground sites are shaded by native trees, waterfront sites have amazing views and remote tent sites are also available. There are restrooms with flush toilets, showers, laundry and a camp store onsite. Note that the RV sites have water and electric hookups, but no sewer. However, there is a dump station at the campground. There is local beach access to a pet-friendly beach and a nearby county boat ramp.

Dead Lakes Gulf County FL.

A short drive inland, visitors can experience a different yet equally inviting aspect of Gulf County. The Dead Lakes area encompasses 6,700 acres of unspoiled beauty amid the waters of the Chipola River, ancient cypress trees and stands of fertile Tupelo trees. 

Access to fishing, kayaking and hiking make this a favorite spot for some, while others just want to bask in the calm of the remote location. There are full-hookup sites with picnic tables and a designated tent area for groups. The property includes a family and pet-friendly playground with picnic pavilions, and general store with WIFI, showers and restrooms and boat ramp. There are also nearby kayak rentals and eco tours.

For those who are looking for a truly primitive waterfront experience, overnight camping is also allowed on Gulf County’s public beaches, with some restrictions. Be sure to check out the area’s Leave No Trace information for regulations and best practices.

3 Outfitters For A Memorable Experience

Offers rentals and guided eco tours making it easy to get out and paddle the bay waters or explore area bike trails.

At About Fun Charters visitors have a chance to get out on the water and learn more about the species and ecosystems of the area from Captain Charlene, who is a marine biologist in addition to being a boat captain.

Offers fishing, paddling, birding and eco tours on the Dead Lakes. A must when you’re in the area.

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