Florida’s ocean blues make beach camping a popular attraction among tourists and locals alike. Waking up to beautiful clear waters and a breathtaking sunrise sounds like a dream you can absolutely achieve.

Just off the Tampa coast is Fort De Soto State Park with incredible ruins embedded in the sand. It’s a breathtaking sight to see the sea wash ashore and sparkle around the Sunshine State Historic Landmark.

Camping enthusiasts on TripAdvisor have called this area a “hidden gem,” and that’s probably because the campgrounds are just two minutes from the beach!

Reservations can be made up to six months in advance, but if you are a Pinellas County resident, you can reserve seven months in advance.

You can only book for a maximum of 14 nights, unless you are booking from May to December and you might be allowed to extend your stay.

There are 236 family campgrounds where you can grill, eat at picnic tables, and even visit the nearby store. Some areas are even dog-friendly, so you won’t have to leave your four-legged friends at home.

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You also have access to the lakefront, where you can kayak, paddle board and even see wildlife like manatees.

This state park is beautiful from sunrise to sunset, when the sky is colored with pink and orange hues that will keep you coming back to visit.

The campgrounds are nestled in a wooded area so you get the best of both worlds in one place.

Tents, vans, motorhomes and trailers under 16 feet are allowed. Prices vary depending on where you are staying.

Fort De Soto State Park Campgrounds

Price: $33.50-42.50

Address: 3500 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Why you need to go: You can camp on the beach near beautiful sunken ruins and even enjoy water sports in the lake. The sunsets are picture perfect and it’s an experience that will create great memories.

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Before you go, check out our responsible travel guide to be informed, be safe, be smart, and above all, be respectful on your adventure.