Im trying to plan a trip to florida (or some place warm) for spring break. im new to planning trips because most of the camping i do i decide to go the night before, or even only a few hours before i leave. you know, throwing a couple cans of soup, a hammock and a tarp in a pack and going with a couple friends. we have a few spots on a nearby lake that we go to a lot, so we never need to research ahead for a site. so now that we want to go some place much farther from home, ive decided that we should probibly do some research first.

we are looking for an island or streach of beach somewhare new and warm in march. we are prety good at roughing it, and would like to camp in an area as pristene as possible. the fewer people the beter. we are failily experienced kayakers, we usualy go between 8 and 14 miles on flat water per day, and kayak together atleast once a month. we all have neckey alsecks. i am also experienced with my garmin GPS, and navigation. however we have little experience on open ocean (we usualy stick to the ICW when we are on the coast).

so what we are looking for is a pristene place to camp for 4-5 days, on the ocean (preferably on florida’s west coast, because i have never seen the sun set on the ocean)that is no more than say a half days trip from a put in for paddelers of our skill level. i know this is vauge, but try to bear with me. waht i think we all have in mind is being on the ocean, having a beach nearly to ourselves, watching the sun set while we sit around the camp fire. you know, paradice!

anclote keys
check this:


jeez, I hate telling people about great places. Don’t pass this on…

North Nest Key
I dont know how crowded it will be, but it sure is pristine and primitive. You can leave Key Largo and head out to North Nest Key, which is about 1/2 a day’s paddle. You can camp there, on the beach, and definitely see the sun set over Florida Bay.

don’t overlook…
Fort Desoto, a Pinellas County park that sits on the north side of the mouth to Tampa Bay. they have campgrounds or you could paddle out to an area called Shell Key and camp either on the beach or back under the trees. Also, check out a couple of titles from Johnny Molloy. He has written The Best in Tent Camping Florida & Beach & Caostal Camping in Florida.

thanks for the replys. i ancalote key is actuly one of the places i found through my research. it looks great! do you have any advice on where to put in or camp? it would be great to get some info from somone who has actuly been there.

i live in miami, fla the west side of keys is pristine and campimg there is beautful i would like to do that too just give an reply

Biscayne National Park/Dry tortugas NP

– Last Updated: Jan-19-05 5:54 PM EST –

These two ideas aren't exactly what you're asking for, but I think they may peak your interest. Both are in the Florida Keys.

Biscayne National Park has two island campgrounds that can be reached ONLY by boat. I've never camped there, but I always thought it would be fun. There is also exceptional snorkeling just offshore. I have no idea how tranquil camping here is. Maybe others can comment.


My other suggestion is Dry Tortugas National Park. This island is 70 miles PAST Key West. (And I bet you thought Key West was the end of the Florida Keys?) Camping is allowed, but limited. No, I don't expect you to paddle to the island, but there are a couple ferrys that will take you there. The YANKEE FREEDOM III will also take along up to three shorter kayaks for an additional charge. This is a fantastic place to explore, a wonderful place to snorkel and a beautiful place to camp. And, you can't get much more secluded than this!

General Park Info

LOTS of pictures of this paradise

Yankee Freedom III Ferry

Camping at Dry Tortugas

More About Camping

This, to me, is PARADISE!

Have a great trip!

Paradise paddling
Sounds like a place I’ve been reading about; namely Ten Thousand Islands in the Northwest corner of the Everglades National Park. Beginning at the park center near Everglades City its seven miles to Picnic Key, eight to Tiger Key (See Foster p 161-163). Round out the trip by heading south to Kingston Key Chickee and then Rabbit Key before returning via the Sandfly Island route or better yet by spending your last night once again at Kingston Key Chickee and then return through Indian Key Pass. Read Nigel Foster’s Guide to Sea Kayaking in Southern Florida and Johnny Molloy’s Paddler’s Guide to Everglades National Park to learn most of what you’ll need to know. Get a copy of the parks Wilderness Trip Planner which is very informative and not to be passed over. You’ll want to preprogram your gps, try waterproof chart #41 (Molloy p 17-18) and DO NOT FORGET TO USE TIDE TABLES which are available at the park.

Close to that route
Is Pavilion Key which is gorgeous.

I ignored the tide tables. This makes for more work and more avoiding oyster bars that can sometimes impede you from getting out of the boat. Its doable but better to pay attention to the tides. Even though the tide range is only three feet the currents can be strong. Wind can completely change the timing of the tides. I saw one high low high cycle completed in 18 hours and another in three on a different day.

For further choices, look for information on Cabbage Key on the West Coast and Mosquito Lagoon/Canaveral National Seashore on the east coast.

This is a nice place, there’s a camping area on the north west side, but I have camped right in the middle of the island. There’s a park right next to the power plant and you can leave your car there overnight.

Ten Thousand Islands
I’ve got to put in another vote for Ten Thousand Islands. It is very beautiful paddling and camping out on the farthest barrier islands. You can go it alone, or take a guided tour. I used to live in St. Pete and paddled most of the rivers and state parks in a canoe. Ten Thousand Islands was where I saw the least number of people (and alligators).

Everglades - 10,000 islands
We just returned from our second trip to the everglades and loved both trips. Our first trip was a week in the northern section and the second in the southern. The northern sounds like it would fit your needs exactly. The important thing to remember when planning this is that you must carry all of your water as there is no fresh water anywhere in the everglades. The wildlife viewing is great, dolphins, manatee, aligators, sharks, countless birds and greeat fishing.