Featured Pensacola Guide To Camping

Florida Gulf Coast Beach Camping

Looking for a place to camp right on the gulf? Check out Johnson Beach located on Perdido key.

Florida Gulf Coast Beach Camping

Fresh air with warm spring days and cool nights is perfect for beach camping along the Florida Gulf Coast. Now is the time to start planning ahead since the campgrounds fill up fast as the days begin to warm. The best part about camping on the Gulf Coast is many of the campgrounds offer online booking. Camping is also a great way to save money. When staying on the beach in a hotel, there’s a good chance you’ll spend over $100 dollars during peak season. Get closer to nature camping out and spend $20 – $50 per night.

We’ve put together a list of campgrounds from Pensacola to Panama City that are located on the Gulf of Mexico. I think you’ll enjoy these great beach locations on the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf Coast Campgrounds

Johnson Beach offers primitive camping directly on the beach. Johnson Beach is located in the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Perdido Key.

Big Lagoon State Park is located near Pensacola, Florida. This campground is a great family get-a-way located on the north side of the Big Lagoon waterway. Though not located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, the park has access to Big Lagoon and is minutes from the beautiful white beaches on Perdido Key.

Big lagoon kayaking and observation tower
Big Lagoon kayaking and observation tower

We’ve been to this park multiple times for day use and a few times for camping. This campground is perfect for families. The campground has a nice playground for the kids to play while you sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  In addition to the camping area playground there is another playground near the swimming area.

One thing I like about the park is the kayak launch they’ve created. The launch puts you right in a winding seagrass estuary. It’s a beautiful place for paddling and watching coastal birds.

Big Lagoon has many birding trails and a kayaking trail.The area also has places to fish and nice boardwalks that go out to a great observation tower overlooking Big Lagoon. For the camper that wants to get on the water, but does not have his or her own canoe or kayak there are canoes to use by contacting the park office.

More on Big Lagoon

Fort Pickens is another campground our family has enjoyed. The park is located to the west of Pensacola Beach and is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Fort Pickens is rich in both history and nature. The park includes swimming, hiking, kayaking, biking, fishing, birding, camping, and fort exploring. While camping at Fort Pickens we’ve enjoyed biking on the trails, hiking, exploring forts, watching fisherman on the pier, and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings.

Sunrise at Fort Pickens
Sunrise at Fort Pickens

The park has full electric hookups as well as bathroom and shower facilities. The camping areas are just a short walk to both the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay.

More Information and Photos of Fort Pickens:

Grayton Beach State Park is located off Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton. Visitors will enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Grayton Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. There are hiking trails through the coastal forests and miles of biking trails.

Henderson Beach State Park is located off Highway 98 to the east of Destin, Florida. Located on the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Campers can enjoy lounging on the whites beach sands or hiking the trails.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located between Henderson Beach State Park and Grayton Beach State Park. Topsail Preserve State Park is located on the Gulf of Mexico. The park has miles of beaches and boasts of its beautiful sugar white dunes. At the park you’ll enjoy biking, walking, swimming or fishing in the beautiful dune lakes.

Saint Andrews State Park is located on the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City. For those that enjoy the beach, this campground is a great pick. Visitors to the park will enjoy swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and more. St. Andrews State Park has full facility campsites.

Information and Photos of St. Andrews State Park

Other Campground

Now it’s time to start planning that Florida beach get-a-way.  If you’ve been to any of these campgrounds we’d love to have you share your experiences in the comments.  Happy camping!