Campgrounds owned by People of Color

In one way or another, I have been a nomad my entire life. It can be said that adventure is at the core of every nomad; surely having a clean, comfortable place to rest is the bedrock on which the nomad plans her next adventure! In our series: Places To Stay, we will endeavor to present to you campgrounds, county parks, and hidden national gems that can provide a place for safe respite. We will begin with the list of campgrounds owned by people of color.

While I have not personally visited these sites, I plan to visit the East coast sites in 2020 and report my findings in an upcoming post. In the interim, please feel free to comment or share other sites. We will map them and add them to our database. Until next time:

11 Digital Nomad Friendly Campsites in Florida that Won’t Break the Bank

Ah, Florida. Just the word conjures up imagery of sunsets, sandy beaches, and that charming mouse fellow over in Orlando. With more than 126 million visitors annually, it is no wonder that Florida ranks among one of the best places for digital nomads to temporarily call home.

Boasting 5 Water Management Districts which encompasses nearly six million acres and another 800,000 acres dedicated to state parks, Florida has no shortage of campsites. Not only are these sites affordable but they are also digital-nomad friendly. There are a number of sites that surround metropolitan areas making for a healthy balance between the untamed and the urban.

I know what you’re thinking: “Okay, great. I’m ready, but how do I choose?” No worries, I got youWe’ve listed eleven of our favoritedigital nomad friendly campsitesWe even broke them up by region! Before we get into it, let’s talk about what makes a campsite digital nomad friendly.

What Makes the Cut?

What exactly makes one campsite more nomad friendly than the other? Simple! It really comes down to three factors:  

Location

How close it to a major city or town and how close is it to major amenities like a grocery store, laundrette, café or auto mechanic. 

Cell Signal

The digital in digital nomad can’t really be facilitated if there’s no internet. So these places need to have at least 3 bars to make the list. 

Price

When you’re spending one to three weeks in an area, the cost of where you lay your head can quickly add up. These sites are all $25 or less.  

We focused on nine major cities in Florida that can be roughly divided into North, Central and South/Southeast. It is pretty important to note, particularly in Florida, that the further south you venture the higher-priced things are and the further from civilization you get. South Florida is home to both the Everglades National Park, Everglade Nature Preserve and the Big Cypress Nature preserve which takes up a huge amount of space

With all that fun housekeeping out of the way, let’s get into this list.

North (Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville)

1. Coe Landing Campground

Address: 1201 Coe Landing Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32310
Distance from Major Town/City: 24 minutes (13.5 miles)
Cost per night: $24 per night (+ taxes)
Major amenities: Dump station, hot showers, wireless internet, pet-friendly

This is a Florida county park right on Lake Talquin. It has 20 sites and they take online reservations. I don’t know about you but waking up to a glimmering lake seems like a pretty nice way to start (or end) a stint in Florida.
Learn more here: Official website

2. Little Talbot Island State Park

Address: 12157 Heckscher Dr. Jacksonville, Fl 3226
Distance from Major Town/City: 32 minutes (26.7 miles)
Cost per night: $24 per night (+ tax and a one-time fee of $6.70)
Major Amenities: Dump station, hot showers, electrical hookups, recreational equipment rental

Saltmarsh at high tide
Photo Courtesy of Florida State Parks

While this park’s address lists it in Jacksonville, Little Talbot Island is actually one of the barrier islands surrounding Jacksonville. It offers views of both marshland and undeveloped beaches and access to the metropolitan area of Jacksonville. There are 32 sites (12 of which are tent only) but its scenic beauty and closeness to Jacksonville make it a popular destination so be sure to book well in advance. I checked today (12/17) and the soonest booking for my selected site (038) was July 2020!
Learn more here: Official Website

3. Paynes Prairie State Park

Address: 100 Savannah Blvd. Micanopy, FL 32667
Distance from Major Town/City: 14 minutes (10.4 miles)
Cost per night: $18 per night (+ taxes)
Major amenities: Dump station, hot showers, wireless internet, pet-friendly

At less than 15 minutes from Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a real catch. This allows for all the amenities of a large town/city and all the beauty of undisturbed nature. The park also offers equipment rentals, which allows you to immerse yourself in nature without necessarily having to lug around a kayak. This state park has a total of 37 sites, 7 of which are tent-specific. This is a really popular site, so be sure to check availability before showing up!
Learn more here: Official Website

Central (Orlando, Tampa, Palm Bay)

Okay, so maybe Tampa isn’t technically central, but it is just 1.5 hours from the happiest place on earth.

4. Wekiwa Springs State Park

Address: 1800 Weikwa Cir. Apoka, FL 32712
Distance from Major Town/City: 22 minutes (16.7 miles)
Cost per night: $24 per night (+taxes)
Major Amenities: Dump station, hot showers, campground host, a concession area, equipment rentals, pet-friendly

Rock Spring Run
Photo Courtesy of Florida State Parks

Wekiwa Springs is the Orlando area’s hidden gem. Less than 30 minutes away from Church Street and the hustle and bustle of downtown, Wekiwa Springs transports you from urban jungle to tropical paradise. The park is located along Rock Spring Run and is a great spot to canoe or kayak on a lazy day. Wekiwa has 53 sites, some of which are only accessible via watercraft. Like the others, Wekiwa is an extremely popular destination so be sure to plan ahead!
Learn more here: Official Website

5.Magnolia Park

Address: 2929 S Binion Rd. Apoka, FL 32703
Distance from Major Town/City: 22 minutes (19.5 miles)
Cost per night: $23 per night (+taxes)*
Amenities: Pet-friendly, dump station, restrooms

Also in Apopka, Magnolia Park lies on the edge of Lake Apopka and is operated by Orange County. This county park hosts 18 RV or tent spots and offers full hookups. If you happen to be a resident of Orange County, you can receive a discounted rate of $18 per day. They also allow the use of the dump station by non-registered guests for a nominal fee of $5. As with its sister park, Magnolia is less than 30 minutes from downtown and only an hour and ten minutes from the space coast.
Learn more here: Official Website

6. Hillsborough River State Park

Address: 15402 US-301, Thonotossassa, FL 33592
Distance from Major Town/City: 33 minutes (27.7 miles)
Cost per night: $24 per night (+ taxes)
Amenities: Concession stand and restaurant, pet-friendly, a shower station, a dump station, equipment rental, recycling center, pressurized water

With a massive 100 sites, Hillsborough River gives you all the charm and beauty of Florida wilderness plus the benefit of Tampa’s bustling downtown. This park is situated along the Hillsborough River (surprise, right?) and has tons of water sports.
Learn more here: Official Website

7. Edward Medard Conservation Park

Address: 6140 Edward Edward Pkwy., Plant City, FL 33567
Distance from Major Town/City: 26 minutes (21 miles)
Cost per night: $24 per night (+taxes)
Amenities: partial hookups, on-site dump station, pet-friendly, bathhouse, fire pits

This is a first-come, first-serve site, so be sure to call ahead! Edward Medard sits on a 700-acre reservoir managed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. There is an on-site dump station, as well as a bathhouse! The park has 42 sites, but some are primitive, so be sure to check beforehand.
Learn more here:

South/ Southeast (Naples, Fort Myers, Miami)

Remember when I said that things get more expensive and farther apart the further south you go? So, here we are at our waterloo. There are a couple of good options still relatively close to the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale/Miami area but some step outside of our $25 a day budget.

8. Larry & Penny Thompson Park*

Address: 13601 SW 176th St. Miami, FL 33177
Distance from Major Town/City: 29 minutes (25.4 miles)
Cost per night: $33.90 (+tax)*
Amenities: full hookups, restroom and laundry facilities, beach access, pet-friendly (in RV sites), hot showers

Okay, so I wouldn’t be doing my job as a dutiful curator by gushing about all of the sick amenities without first mentioning one potential sticking point. In doing this research, I stumbled across a review where someone said their truck was stolen from in front of their rig while they slept and claimed there were tons of squatters.

Okay. There. I said it. Now, I cannot speak to the truth of this claim, but I can say that it may have been an anomaly because all of the other reviews are absolutely glowing.

So now that that ugly business is out of the way, I can gush. This site looks so lush. Not only does it have hot showers/bathroom facilities (which in itself is pretty nice for a county park), it has laundry o n – s i t e. AND, it also has monthly and weekly pricing, which works out to be $18.83 and $27.40, respectively. And the fluffy, Publix icing on the top? This site is less than 30 miles from Miami, a major hub for everything from art to food.

Learn more here: Official Website

9. Topeekeegee Yugnee (TY) Park

Address: 3300 North Park Rd. Hollywood, FL 33021
Distance from Major Town/City: 27 minutes (21 miles)
Cost per night: Nov to April 30 $40 per night*, May 1 to Oct. 31 $35 per night
Amenities: Bathhouse, Laundry, full hookups, pet-friendly*, fire ring

As with Larry & Penny, TY is a county park boasting a ton of amenities from a full bathhouse to laundry facilities. This park is less than 30 minutes from Miami and very near to I-95 which runs up and down the southeast coast. This park also has a ton of fun activities, like a castaway island and a waterpark.
Learn more here: Official Website

10. Collier-Seminole State Park

Address:
Distance from Major Town/City: 24 minutes (17.2 miles)
Cost per night: $22 per night (+taxes)
Amenities: Pet-friendly, visitor center, hot showers, fire ring, flushing toilets

Less than 30 minutes from the Naples Area, the Collier-Seminole State Park is an affordable option for nomads looking to stay on the Southwest coast. This park has 95 sites, 77 of which are suitable for an RV. It’s also conveniently located near the Big Cypress National Preserve and only an hour and a half from Miami.
Learn more here: Official Website

11. Koreshan State Park

Address: 3800 Corkscrew Rd. Estero, FL 33928
Distance from Major Town/City: 26 minutes (15.3 miles)
Cost per night: $26* per night (+taxes)
Amenities: Dump station, full hookups, hot showers, flushing toilets, equipment rental, laundry facilities

Koreshan SP Bamboo Trail
Photo Courtesy of Florida State Parks

Koreshan State Park is located less than 30 minutes from Cape Coral, Naples & Fort Myers. It offers pretty good amenities and is home to one of Florida’s hidden gems–a bamboo forest…well, trail. While the park is very near to the major areas, it’s quite the cultural gem in and of itself. Koreshan has 59 sites and dump station use is available to non-guest for a nominal fee.
Learn more here: Official Website

Honorable Mention

Oscar Scherer State Park

Address: 1843 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
Distance from Major Town/City: 19 minutes (12.7 miles)
Cost per night: $26 (+ taxes)

Amenities: Dump station, full hookups, hot showers, flushing toilets
Learn more here: Official Website

Myakka State Park

Address: 13208 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241
Distance from Major Town/City: 24 minutes (18.8 miles)
Cost per night: $26 (+ taxes)
Learn more here: Official Website

Both Myakka and Oscar Scherer are located near Sarasota and are roughly an hour south of the Tampa Bay/ St. Petersburg area. They made their way into the honorable mention because there is a wealth of options within an hour of Orlando and Tampa, and Sarasota is one of those places people aren’t terribly familiar with, in general. Both parks are near water and relatively near to the Gulf coast.

And there you have it! Eleven stops down the state of Florida that will let you get your entrepreneur on without skimping on Instagram worthy content.

What do you think? Have you ever stayed at any of these spots? Do you think something is missing? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.  


I see you sitting there…

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