Ready to hit the road and explore the American southeast with a camping trip in Florida and Georgia? These southern states are full of hidden gems and outdoor adventures just waiting for you to discover as you get out and camp, either in a tent or an RV. Looking for an RV or route planning details? We’ve got you covered right here as we discussed those in detail in our New England camping article.
Destination: Florida and Georgia
This region is chock full of history, from the oldest European settlement in the United States to Civil War, Cold War and even Vietnam War era history. You’ll find a variety of landscapes from the bustling metropolitan cities of Miami and Atlanta to isolated rural towns; seashores, swamplands, mountains, and forests are all part of the beauty that makes up this region. If you’re into sports you’ll find major league baseball with the Braves in Atlanta, the Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NBA’s Orlando Magic. If amusement parks are your idea of adventure, between Georgia’s Six Flags, Florida’s Busch Gardens, Sea World, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World you’ll find more thrills than you could possibly imagine!
While the weather is favorable for camping in Georgia and Florida most of the year, there are a few things to consider depending upon the timing of your travel. The north Georgia mountains do experience hard freezing temperatures and snow in the winter, making tent camping less appealing during the winter months in those locations. Even in an RV you’ll need to watch the weather in the winter as mountain passes can get slippery with patches of black ice in places. Alternately, summer camping in south Florida is not for the faint of heart. Temperatures well into the 90s and high humidity mixed with near daily afternoon showers make for less than favorable camping conditions for the unprepared camper. If you are undeterred by such conditions, make sure that you pack weather appropriate gear, such as these suggestions from REI Co-op.
During the prime camping seasons of springtime and fall, as well as summer in north Georgia and winter in south Florida, you’ll want to make certain that you’ve made advanced reservations whenever possible. State and national parks provide an excellent opportunity to camp right in the midst of the outdoor activities you enjoy. Many of these campgrounds have sites that will accommodate RVs with water, electric, and occasionally sewer hook-ups for your RV.
Whether it’s a secluded campsite amongst the trees in Chattahoochee Bend State Park in the Georgia mountains is your idea of an ideal camping trip, or if parking along the beach at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys is more your speed, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in nature than to simply park your home away from home right where you want to explore! To find a full list of Georgia State Parks, click here. For Florida State Parks, click here. The National Park Service has a comprehensive list of their offerings here.
If private parks are more your thing, there are plenty to choose from around Georgia and Florida. For more details about camping clubs and memberships that might save you on your camping fees, we have more information here in our previous article discussing New England camping. There are also plenty of independently owned campgrounds across the region, including unique camping locations such as Disney’s Fort Wilderness where you can pitch your tent or park your RV just a boat ride away from the entrance to Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park. In Georgia you can camp at Stone Mountain Park with year-round festivals and events as well as recreational opportunities such as golfing, historical homes to tour, and even a scenic railroad.
State by State Fun
Both Georgia and Florida are large states, geographically speaking, and both encompass several unique cultural regions as well. For both of these states, you’ll find that you can explore most areas easily by car. Atlanta, GA offers a robust mass transit system which will allow you to park your vehicle and explore the city via bus or train. Some smaller cities such as Key West, FL are most easily navigated by bicycle or on foot.
So what is there to do in each state? While there’s way too much to list here, let’s take a quick look at a few highlights to be sure to add to your list of things to do and places to explore in each state.
History, beaches, the arts and sciences - there is something for everyone in Florida:
St. Augustine boasts the oldest European settlement in the United States and the Castillo de San Marcos gives a fascinating glimpse at what the area may have looked like 450 years ago.
Kennedy Space Center in the heart of the Space Coast is a must-see for any aeronautical enthusiast, and if you time it right you might even see a rocket launch!
The Wynwood District in Miami is a fabulously trendy arts district with a variety of music, theater, dance and visual arts venues - and fun festivals.
The Florida Keys are known for their laid back vibe and home to many artists and writers such as Ernest Hemingway whose home in Key West still houses the 6-toed cats that are descended from Hemingway’s cats.
The panhandle of Florida is known for both its white sand beaches as well as the rich Civil War history along the Suwannee River.
History, nature and agriculture coincide in the distinctive flavors of Georgia:
If you visit during the summer you are sure to find roadside stands with not only their famous sweet peaches, but also boiled peanuts. This is a southern delicacy that Georgians have done to perfection.
Along the Southern coast you can visit the architecturally beautiful Savannah and tour its plantation district. Learn about the history while enjoying the stunning parks and art venues.
Travel to north Georgia where you’ll find the quaint Alpine-style mountain town of Helen. A town with a taste of Germany, plus outdoor recreation such as tubing on the Chattahoochee River in the warmer months of the year.
Atlanta is a world-class city. Check out the interconnected parks on bicycle via the Atlanta Beltline. A great way to tour at your own speed and stop whenever the inspiration hits.
No matter your travel style or what you are looking for, there’s something for you to enjoy in Georgia and Florida. During the pandemic, you’ll want to double-check any restrictions or special arrangements that may need to be accommodated for a state or an activity. Will the road take you across these southeastern states this year? It's a great adventure you won't want to miss.
Need help corralling your gear? Check out these ties.