Our Top 5 Florida RVing Destinations
Our Top 5 Florida RVing Destinations
Plus, how to make it possible when towing with an electric vehicle.
By: Becca & Brian Roy
Camping is our opportunity to relax, explore the outdoors and recharge from the work week. We are pretty open to trying different campsites; our only true must-have is positive reviews from other campers.
Any kind of unique activity offered, or interesting location nearby, will be a draw. But we’ve camped at a wide variety of places and enjoyed each one. We’ve set up camp everywhere from a cow field in the middle of nowhere to a “resort campground” with all the amenities you could think of. Every place provides a different experience and that’s the biggest reason we love camping.
We’ve found some pretty cool spots to tow our Winnebago to that are close to our home base in Florida. This makes it easy to live out that weekend warrior lifestyle and enables us to go camping much more often. In this article, we’ll be sharing some of our favorites.
1. Lion Country Safari KOA Journey
The sound of lions roaring in the distance, rhinos crossing your path, an ostrich curiously tapping on your window … is this the Serengeti? Are we on an African safari? Nope, we’re in Loxahatchee, FL.
Lion Country Safari is a popular attraction in South Florida. Here visitors can get a taste of the wild as they embark on a self-guided tour through wide open spaces that have become home to a great variety of African transplants. Everything from zebras to rhinos, ostriches to water buffalo, lions to gazelles; it’s an exciting excursion from the safety and comfort of your own car.
If the safari isn’t enough, there is a walk-through zoo at the end of the journey. It offers a petting zoo where you can mingle with more familiar mammals: goats! They will let you come right up to them and will nibble kibble out of your hand.
If you enjoy that, head over to the giraffe feeding area where you can get up close and personal with those long-necked grazers and hand them a few leaves yourself!
We’d visited Lion Country Safari several years ago and were very excited to learn there was a campground on location. The campground itself was very well maintained and had a lot of the amenities you come to expect from a KOA. But the best part was waking to the sound of lions roaring for their breakfast. And if you were lucky enough, you might hear the monkeys playing too!
2. Long Point Park Campground
Looking for some spectacular views on a quiet peninsula? Long Point Park in Melbourne Beach, FL, may just be the experience you are looking for.
Almost every site in the park has direct water access, and those that don’t can use the park boat ramp. Bring your boat, kayak, jet skis, or even just a simple floatie to enjoy the surrounding waters – and islands!
For those that like a little adventure, there is a plethora of small landmasses, just waiting to be explored, located in close vicinity to this campground.
We took our inflatable Bote kayak out, searching for interesting spots, many of which made us feel much farther from civilization than we truly were. We highly recommend packing a cooler of drinks and setting out to find your own little slice of paradise, even if only temporary.
We spent hours just sitting on the narrow beaches and watching fish jump, then exploring the interior of the islands and collecting shells so we could take a little reminder back with us.
There is plenty of aquatic wildlife to discover here, too. Starfish and hermit crabs are all under foot if you spend time at the sand bar just adjacent to the peninsula. And, being the Intracoastal, the chances of seeing dolphins and manatees are high! We had quite a few sightings during our stay.
3. Fisheating Creek Outpost
In contrast to Long Point Park, head to Fisheating Creek in Palmdale, FL. This campground, located in the central part of the state, provides that “old” Florida experience.
It gives you that feeling of what Florida was before the population explosion and transformation that came with it. This campground is surrounded by nature and, although some of the sites feel a bit more modern, the primitive sites provide that feeling of roughing it – which feels oh so central Florida!
Kayaking is definitely a must, so long as you’re not too afraid of gators. You can bring your own, or rent a kayak, to explore the waterways that are easily accessible from the grounds.
The campground also offers kayaking trips, and they’re well worth it. The package we chose brought us up river, where you drop in and kayak back through the wilderness to camp. A quiet and serene experience, it can feel as though you’re alone in the world. Until you run into a gator, of course!
There are plenty of these surviving dinosaurs out there, so you are bound to see a few alligators, whether you start from up river and wind your way back or take a quick excursion on your own.
4. McCarty Ranch Preserve and Campground
Quiet. Simple. Relaxing. If you are looking for some peace and quiet, McCarty Ranch in Port St. Lucie, FL, will fit the bill. This is a no-frills campground but a great place to get away from it all. There are only six RV sites total, and they all face a quiet lake and back up to a wooded area. It’s easy to become one with nature out here.
The lake isn’t for swimming (those pesky gators are here too), but you can take a kayak out. So, of course, we did. And if you’d prefer to stay on land, there are several walking trails around the campground including a land bridge that splits two lakes.
The land bridge is a great opportunity to enjoy a sunrise or sunset during those magical hours. Because this location is far from any city and quite secluded, there’s very little light pollution. This made it a great spot to take our telescope and do some stargazing. But if you don’t have any telescopic tools in your camping tool box, the dark night sky will still make for a stellar view to the naked eye.
5. Okeechobee KOA Resort
This is a typical resort campground located in its namesake – Okeechobee, FL – hosting several amenities to keep yourself occupied. A pool, golf course, driving range, and a tiki bar on property make this a one-stop campground for those that like to keep themselves just busy enough.
The on-site tiki bar was closed during our stay, but luckily, there’s another spot within walking distance to get some grub and imbibe a bit. Good Spirits Lounge is close by, has a great atmosphere, and you can visit with the tropical birds!
The bar hosts several colorful parrots, some of whom might actually say “hello!” We also spent quite a bit of time doing what we do best and striking up conversations with our fellow campers.
Although we’ve since found many other campgrounds like this, this was the first place we found such a social atmosphere, and we still have fond memories of the friends we made while camping here.
What Is It Like Getting to These Places with an EV?
We are fortunate enough to live where there are a great number of campgrounds a relatively short distance from our home. Lion Country Safari, Long Point Park, and Okeechobee KOA were all within range, so we could easily make the drive without needing to charge before arrival.
In fact, our route to Long Point Park was actually one of the most efficient trips we’ve taken so far. We took the scenic route, which meant lower speed and more stopping, all actions that help to recharge the battery. We arrived with quite a bit more charge than expected due to the regenerative braking.
Once we arrived at each of these locations, we were able to charge up by plugging into the 50-amp while we connected the camper to the 30-amp. Over the length of our stay, we easily got a full charge to make it back home safely.
Our trip to Fisheating Creek, however, did require a charging stop in Okeechobee. FPL EVolution recently installed chargers there and, lucky for us, they are directly on our route and conveniently placed in the center of town. There are some restaurants and other shops to pass a little time while you charge.
Although it may sound a bit silly, this is definitely a draw for EV drivers. Charging can take some time, depending on how much charge you need to get where you’re going, so having something to do while you wait is a delight. While our car charged up, so did we! We grabbed some coffee at a nearby Dunkin and took our puppies for a walk so everyone could stretch their legs. Once we had enough range to move on, we continued on and again were able to plug in at the site.
We’ve mentioned in past articles that planning ahead is critical. Unlike the other sites, McCarty Ranch has no hook-ups, so we need to be completely self-sufficient and plan ahead when it comes to charging. Luckily, we can make it there and back without a charge, as long as we’re conservative. (Our apps and tools help to manage this!) No unnecessary trips to the store!
Although we’ve tended to choose spots close to home so far, we do not feel limited by towing with an EV. Our future expeditions will mean branching out to locations further and further from our home base – charging our car at one of the many charging sites popping up around the state – as we continue to explore the many locations here in South Florida!