RV campgrounds Florida panhandle gulf coast

7 Best RV Campgrounds Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast

The Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast is home to the best beaches in the US, with sugar-white sand, clear warm waters, and unlimited attractions and activities for RVers to enjoy.

To make the most of a Florida RV trip from Pensacola to the “Big Bend,” you’ll want to book a spot at one of the best RV campgrounds that put you near the beach, as well as in the heart of the action.

To make planning an RV trip to this area simple, this guide details all the top RV parks and campgrounds on the Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle. Find your favorite destination below to start making new vacation memories!

Best RV Campgrounds on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast

RV camping on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast is busy during the spring and summer months. However, the fall and winter are also pleasant for RV trips, especially if you don’t care for humidity or crowds.

In this guide, you’ll learn details about the best Florida panhandle campgrounds to help simplify your RV vacation planning.

Remember to book your reservations as early as possible to ensure you can snag a campsite at these top Panhandle RV parks or campgrounds, as they fill up quickly.

Florida Panhandle Coastal RV Campgrounds

Florida Panhandle Coastal RV campgrounds

1. Big Lagoon State Park

LocationPensacola, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available75 with water and 30A/50A electric
Nightly Rate$27

Amenities:

  • Bathhouses with toilets and hot showers
  • Campsite picnic table and fire ring
  • Playground
  • Boardwalks and hiking trails
  • Intracoastal swimming areas
  • Geo-seeking
  • Dump Station
  • Boat launch

Big Lagoon State Park is the place to stay for easy access to shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, Perdido Key beaches, and the many beachfront attractions all the way down to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The park and campground sit on the Intracoastal waterway that separates the mainland from Perdido Key. The rustic campsites provide a nice amount of privacy between guests, and paths and boardwalks meander through the park, making it easy to observe the local foliage and wildlife in the pine flats, marshes, Long Pond, or the Grand Lagoon.

Be aware that the maximum RV length is 40 feet, and the park is still recovering from hurricane Sally in 2020, so check the website for updates on any section closures.

Look skyward for birds or the famous Blue Angels Naval Flight Crew who have their home base a few miles away. From your campsite, you can see and hear the Angels on show and practice days most months of the year, which is a thrill you’ll never forget.

If hitting the white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico is on your to-do list, it’s a short drive over the bridge to Johnson’s Beach, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The beach has restrooms, pavilions, showers, and a food truck (during peak times/weekends).

INSIDER TIP: If you don’t have an America the Beautiful Pass, and plan to visit Johnson’s Beach for several days, don’t panic over the $25 entrance fee for vehicles, as the payment is valid for up to seven days of entry.

Walking Tour of Big Lagoon State Park and Campground (Video)

2. Pensacola Beach RV Park

LocationPensacola Beach, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available70 FHU
Nightly Rate$70 – $130

Amenities:

  • Laundry
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Pool
  • Tiki Bar (open March 1-November 1)
  • Office and store
  • Playgrounds
  • Pier and sandy beach on the Santa Rosa Sound
  • Mail service

Pensacola Beach RV Park is ideal for RVers who want to park and have all the entertainment options they want within walking distance.

This small campground sits in the center of Pensacola Beach. With a walk across the street, you reach Casino Beach and the gorgeous waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The campsites are nicely spaced, with cement pads and neat landscaping. The staff is friendly, and so are your fellow guests. You can swim in the pool or sound or grab a drink at the Sneaky Tiki Bar within the park.

If you have small kids, you must head down the sidewalk to Quietwater Beach and boardwalk where you can find shops, restaurants, and bars to check out during breaks from letting the little ones swim in the shallow, calm waters of the Santa Rosa Sound. Quietwater is the go-to beach when the ocean waves are too big for safe swimming for youngsters, plus they’ll love catching and releasing the hermit crabs that hang out there!

INSIDER TIP: The RV park is a hot ticket during the Blue Angels Air Show, as you get a front-row seat to the show either from your campsite or over on the Gulf beach, so book well in advance if you want to witness this long-standing July tradition. If you can’t make it that weekend, don’t fret. The Angels practice during most of the year, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the jets on many days.

Pensacola Beach RV Resort (Video)

3. Fort Pickens

LocationPensacola Beach, FL
Open for CampingYear-round (Random closures due to weather)
RV Sites Available200 water/electric
Nightly Rate$40

Amenities:

  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Dump station
  • Gulf Beach access
  • Fort Pickens historical site
  • Pier
  • Visitors center
  • Laundry
  • Hiking and biking trails

Fort Pickens campground is a gem and a favorite of locals for weekend getaways and tourists for extended stays due to the serene location at the western end of Santa Rosa Island. Once you visit, you’ll see why it’s one of the top ten most popular campgrounds out of all the 430+ national parks across the US.

There are three campground loops to choose from, with summer the peak season for tourists. However, even when full, the park feels amazingly calm. You can walk to the ocean shore via many footpaths or drive to the main pavilions with restrooms and shower facilities.

You can walk down to explore the Fort and its many batteries or try fishing off the pier or seawall on the sound side. There are great trails to hike or bike, and if you come during off-peak months, the park and beach are stunningly peaceful for watching the dolphins and other wildlife or the sunrises and sunsets.

As part of the Gulf Shores National Seashore, you will need to pay an entrance fee on top of your campground fee, and check-in for the campground is in a building well before the camping loops, so keep your eye out for signage. There is no camp store on-site, so bring supplies as the nearest grocery is 15 miles away.

INSIDER TIP: For an extraordinary view of the Blue Angels, head to the top of Battery Worth during practice or show days (visit the Blue Angel website for dates and times). The location is also ideal for scoping out the surrounding landscape but is a low traffic, so you’ll often have the space to yourself. Please use caution and hold onto the rails, as the climb to the roof is steep and a bit rickety.

SPECIAL NOTE: The campground is notorious for last-minute closures due to weather, as heavy rains or high ocean waves and tides wash sand over the single roadway in and out of the park. If you book a campsite, keep a close eye on the forecast and have a backup campground in mind in case you need to evacuate during your stay.

Fort Pickens Campground Tour (Video)

4. Emerald Beach RV Park

LocationNavarre, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available71 FHU with cable and basic Wi-Fi
Nightly Rate$67 – $112

Amenities:

  • Laundry
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Pool
  • Store/Office
  • Dump station
  • Propane
  • Pier
  • Clubhouse
  • Dog run
  • Sandy beach area

Emerald Beach RV Park is a nifty little Good Sam campground that sits directly on the Santa Rosa Sound, less than a mile from the bridge that takes you over to the amazing Gulf shores of Navarre Beach on Santa Rosa Island.

The campsites feature cement pads and patios with many pull-through sites that can fit big rigs. The sites are relatively close together, but there is grass and some trees in between.

For great views of the sound, bridge, and island, book one of their six waterfront sites that features a private deck on the terrace above the beach.

The park is a top choice for the friendliness of the staff, clean grounds and facilities, and the proximity to the Gulf beaches, shopping, and dining of Navarre. The campground is also an easy trip to Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, Seaside, or Pensacola.

When it’s hot, relax in the pool (heated during winter), or hang out on the pier or campground beach to see dolphins or watch the sunset. You can also fish, or take out your kayak or SUP and paddle the calm waters in the sound.

INSIDER TIPS: While there are three other sound-side RV parks within a mile or so of Emerald Beach, this park tops them all for customer service and easy in and out of your motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer.

Parking at Navarre Beach is free and plentiful, with three lots and pavilions to the left down the road that offers restrooms and showers.

Parking for the pier, shop, and restaurant is straight ahead when you get over the bridge. The pier is the longest in the area, with a charge of $1 per person (kids under five free) for walkers or $7 if you want to fish (includes license). The stroll is worth the experience for the views, and you’ll often spot sea turtles, stingrays, and dolphins, as well as fishing enthusiasts bringing in their catch.

MUST-DO ATTRACTIONS: Aside from the beach, you need to visit the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center at the entrance to the free beach parking areas. The facility works hard to maintain local sea turtle populations and is home to Sweet Pea, a non-releasable green turtle who you can visit in her pool. Admission is $5.

After a day out, stop in at Tommy’s Snoballs at the north end of the bridge for a cool snowcone treat and try out any one of their huge list of flavors.

Emerald Beach RV Park (Video)

5. Henderson Beach State Park

LocationDestin, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available60 water/electric
Nightly Rate$30

Amenities:

  • Campsite picnic table, ground grill, and clothesline posts
  • Restrooms and showers (heated and air conditioned)
  • Vending machines
  • Dump station
  • Coin-op laundry
  • Paved camp road for walking/biking plus a 3/4 mile nature trail
  • Direct beach access
  • Fishing allowed in designated areas (license required)
  • Geo-seeking

Henderson Beach State Park is a gorgeous campground with an incredible mile-long stretch of sugar sand beach and warm emerald waters a few minutes walk or bike ride away.

The campsites within the park are large, private, and well-tended, which makes your visit even more enjoyable. In addition, the park can accept rigs and tow vehicles up to 60 feet in length, something nearly unheard of in most state parks. You can also select accessible campsites and beach wheelchairs for those guests who require special accommodation.

The park’s natural wonders include spotting numerous species of fish and birds, sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, lizards, tortoises, butterflies, and even bobcats and rabbits.

If you enjoy time with nature but also want some excitement, head into downtown Destin for shopping, eating, boat and jet ski rentals, and entertainment at Destin Harbor Boardwalk.

INSIDER TIP: For a unique day excursion, rent a boat from the Harbor Boardwalk and head over to Crab Island on the other side of the bridge. This sandbar is a favorite gathering spot for locals and tourists where you can anchor up and wade to various food and entertainment venues or relax on a float and watch the scene.

Henderson Beach State Park | Campground and Beach (Video)

6. Camping on the Gulf RV Resort

LocationMiramar Beach, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available197 FHU
Nightly Rate$100 – $250

Amenities:

  • Laundry
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Store and snack shop
  • Dog run
  • Two pools (one with a waterslide) and hot tub
  • Playground
  • Activity center
  • Direct Gulf Beach access

Camping on the Gulf (formerly Camp Gulf) is under new management and is bringing fresh life back to one of the few RV campgrounds directly on the Gulf of Mexico.

While waterfront campsites don’t offer sewer hookups, the views and convenience of the sand at your doorstep are a unique treat for RVers. In addition, you can arrange a pump-out with park staff if you don’t want to move your RV to the dump station.

The rest of the RV park has full-hookup campsites of various sizes that can fit just about any recreational vehicle but do expect your neighbor to be pretty close.

With the beach, pools, and other amenities, you can stay within the campground for the duration of your stay, or you can take a short drive down to Destin, where there’s an abundance of shopping, restaurants, and other attractions.

INSIDER TIP: For beachfront sites, try to book the ones away from the walkways for general guests heading to and from the ocean. While you may think it’s convenient to step from your camper and right down to the water, the constant stream of guests passing your door can quickly become bothersome.

Gulf Beach RV Resort (Video)

7. Panama City Beach RV Resort

LocationPanama City Beach, FL
Open for CampingYear-round
RV Sites Available69 FHU
Nightly Rate$75 – $94

Amenities:

  • Heated pool
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Fitness center
  • Laundry facilities
  • Dog park
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Dump station

Panama City Beach RV Resort is a Good Sam, big-rig friendly campground within walking distance to the Gulf beach where beachcombing and swimming are the top activities.

This gated RV park is clean, with beautiful landscaping, paved parking pads, and all the amenities you want. The park serves complimentary breakfast every Saturday morning, and there is a bar across the street that plays live music for a convenient entertainment option.

If you want more action, you are a few minutes from an array of activities in Panama City, such as ZooWorld, Russell-Fields Pier ($3 for walkers, $7 for fishing), and Gulf World Marine Park.

Golfers will want to try the Nicklaus Course at Bay Point, which is the only Nicklaus Design course found in Northwest Florida.

NOTE: There is no picnic table or other seating at any RV campsites, so make sure you pack your lawn chairs. To reach the closest beach, you’ll need to cross the street and walk down about a block to the Public Access #1 path.

INSIDER TIP: For a more peaceful beach experience, drive to St. Andrews State Park ($8 entrance fee) and enjoy swimming, fishing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, surfing, and dolphin spotting along the 1.5-mile shoreline.

Panama City Beach RV Resort (Video)

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Final Thoughts

The Florida Panhandle has a gorgeous Gulf Coast that is ideal for exploring from the comfort of your Class A motorcoach or diesel pusher or Class C motorhome, fifth wheel, campervan, or travel trailer.

With the best RV campgrounds above, you can book your favorite spot or combine several camping locations into a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.

When you want to see a different side of Florida, the Panhandle is the place to go for beaches, outdoor activities, and friendly people who take laid-back living to heart!

If you want to explore different places in Florida please look at our best East Coast or Keys Beachfront RV Parks guide.

QUOTE:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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