While Orlando is famous for its luxury hotel resorts that span for acres and offer every amenity you can imagine, I’m always keen to see a different side to a destination – and camping allows me to do just that.
This corner of Florida is perfect for camping, and if you choose to do this activity, you might discover why Orlando has earned itself the nickname of The City Beautiful. With plenty of forests, beaches, flora and fauna to explore, it’s well worth ditching your usual hotel stay for camping.
The city and its attractions are pretty spread out, so I’d always recommend holidaymakers search for a cheap deal for a convertible at Orlando Airport. That way, you can conveniently drive between the various sights, as well as fit all of your camping and outdoor gear into the boot without worrying about taking it on to public transport.
First and foremost, you’ll want to know where is best to sleep. Wekiwa Springs State Park boasts a lovely campground and is located less than 17 miles from downtown Orlando. You will forget about all the stresses and strains of your work life by taking a relaxing paddle along the river, while you can travel on horseback, bike or foot along a stretch of the 13 miles of trails within the park.
Central Florida really is a stunning part of the state, and you’ll understand why locals and visitors alike flock here at the weekend. This is why camping is such a fantastic idea – the car park can get full very quickly, but if you’re already in the green area, you don’t need to worry about finding a space!
Another one of Orlando’s top campsites is Tropical Palms in Kissimmee. Located 10 miles from Walt Disney World and double the distance from downtown Orlando, Tropical Palms provides affordable accommodation just a short car journey from some of the city’s most famous theme parks.
If you want to enjoy spectacular views of Florida’s nature while staying at the campsite, enquire about the hot air balloon trips or ride an airboat through one of the state’s wetlands for your chance to take a closer glance at its wildlife.
I also like the look of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Set in 750 acres of woodland, the campsite is just 3 miles from Walt Disney World, which is certainly handy if the theme park is high up your agenda of places to visit.
Rather than choosing one of the accommodation options right in the thick of the action, though, camping here means that after you’ve battled the crowds and gone on all the rides you want to you can seek solace on a horse ride or go for a jog.
For a camping experience with a difference, look no further than the site at Titusville/Kennedy Space Center. Holidaying in this part of the state means you can visit the famous space attraction, as well as enjoy the peace and quiet of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a handful of the amenities at the campsite include a year-round open pool, Wi-Fi, cable TV and the chance to rent a bike and explore the stunning landscape on two wheels. You can also recline on Playalinda Beach, which is regarded as one of the most pristine stretches of sand in the country.