Best Camping Sites In Tampa Bay

We all lead busy lives, and sooner or later, it catches up to us. Ringing phones, blaring televisions, loud music and annoying advertisements can sometimes get the better of us, not to mention long hours, deadlines and not enough rest. If you need to get away from it all, camping might be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you want to camp in a tent or an RV, on a beach or on a river, Tampa Bay has a campground to fit your unique needs.
Fort De Soto County Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715
(727) 893-9185

What can be more romantic than camping on one of Florida's most beautiful beaches? Fort De Soto is a perfect spot for couples or families. The campground is made up of 238 campsites and includes amenities such as restrooms, a playground, showers, grills and even a camp store. After catching a beautiful sunrise, you can enjoy fishing off a pier, canoeing, swimming, exploring a nature trail or just relaxing in the sun. Dogs are allowed in designated areas only. Call for reservations.

Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park Campground
10500 Wilderness Park Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 834-3247

Even though this campground is technically located in New Port Richey, it is actually very close to downtown Tampa. It is a more traditional tents-only campground and RVs are prohibited. There is one bathhouse for all 16 sites and water spigots are located throughout the park. If you prefer this more rustic living, you will love the seven-mile-long bike trail and 18,000 acres available for hiking. Rates are $10 per night and reservations are only accepted in person.

Hillsborough River State Park
15402 U.S. 301 N.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
(813) 987-6771

This beautiful campground is connected to the Hillsborough River State Park, so opportunities for recreation abound. The park features a paved bike trail and seven miles of nature trails as well as opportunities for fishing and canoeing. All sorts of wildlife lives here, such as herons, turtles and even alligators. Amenities include 116 campsites with water, electric and picnic tables. Reservations can be made online or by phone.

Related: Best Weekend Getaways In The Tampa Bay Area

E.G. Simmons Park
2401 19th Ave. N.W.
Ruskin, FL 33570
(813) 671-7655

This is a great choice for boaters. Almost all of its 88 campsites are backed by a canal from which you can launch small boats. Or you can simply just enjoy time on the beach, fishing, swimming or snorkeling. Each campsite comes with water and electric hookups, a fire ring and a picnic table. No reservations can be made for this park — strictly walk-ons only.

Lithia Springs Regional Park
3932 Lithia Springs Road
Lithia, FL 33547
(813) 744-5572

Lithia Springs has 40 campsites for either tents or RVs and each one comes with water and electric hookups, a fire ring and a picnic table. This 160-acre park surrounds a natural spring, making it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. The spring feeds into the Alafia River and offers opportunities for canoeing and kayaking as well. No reservations accepted — walk-ons only.

Related: Best Day Trips For Under $100 In The Tampa Bay Area

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at