By far, Fort De Soto is the best beach camping in all of Florida that I have found. Nestled right up against the water, the campsites yawn open into the ocean itself. Many of the fellow campers I’ve come across while camping in Fort De Soto use the back door and paddle right up to their campsites in their kayaks.
(Note: I’m really jealous as I’m still trying to scrape together enough cash for a kayak.)
The key is, though, to actually get a campsite that opens towards the water. Not all of the sites open towards the water. Like most campgrounds, there is a main road that loops around with inner and outer sites. The outer sites are the ones up against the water and are the best ones to choose. They cost about $36 a night, five more dollars than their inner site counterparts. Splurge the extra $5! Trust me–it’s worth it!
Outside of camping, there is tons to do at Fort De Soto. There’s an old US Military Fort to explore, complete with enormous cannons still in their placements. There are two fishing piers and the most gorgeous natural looking beach that I have ever seen in Florida. You are guaranteed to enjoy the walk.
Honestly, Fort De Soto is one of my favorite beaches and camping spots on the whole Gulf Coast. There is more beach camping to be had on the small islands only accessible by boat, but as far as accessibility goes for beach camping, Fort De Soto is one of the best. All you have to do is pull up in your car that is piled full of your gear.