Our campsite on the beach at Panther Key

Our campsite on the beach at Panther Key

Our campsite on the beach at Panther Key. The water was deep enough off the beach that we could offload our gear easily. (Photo by Bob Rountree)
Related story: Beach Camping in the Ten Thousand Islands


  1. Colleen

    Hey bob I love what your all about. I have a question so along the side of the road doesn’t to the keys there are many beaches is anyone allowed to camp in a tent on those beaches ? Thank you in advance

    • The quick answer is no. It is not OK to pitch a tent on beaches in the Keys. However, there are beach campsites at Long Key State Park, Curry Hammock State Park and Bahia Honda State Park.

  2. Andrew Sebastian

    Hello Bob,
    We are looking for a beach where we can take our 16 foot Hobie Cat and stay in a cabin or camp on the beach. We would like to come in Dec or Jan. We want to make sure it is OK with the turtle nesting. We have been told Dec is OK and then another realtor said not in Dec. Thank you for any ideas you might have. We are coming from NM.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Turtle nesting season (March-November) will not be a factor, but even in season we don’t close our beaches.
      I sailed a Hobie 16 in Florida for about 20 years, so I can probably give you some unique insight.
      Cayo Costa State Park. Island cabins and nice beaches. Launch from Bokelia on Pine Island and sail to the beach on the Gulf side of the island.
      Sebastian Inlet. Tent/RV camping in the state park or Long Point Park. Or sail out to spoil islands in the Indian River to camp. We used to do that on the way home from the Cocoa Beach regatta.
      Jetty Park, Cocoa Beach. Campground and beach. Check to see if you can launch.
      New Smyrna Beach. No camping on beach, but you can drive on beach and launch your Hobie almost anywhere. Long rolling surf.
      Anclote Island. Launch your boat in Tarpon Springs and camp on the island. Little surf.
      Fort DeSoto Park. Campground with waterfront sites. Anchor Hobie at your site. Sail to many beautiful beaches.
      Long Key State Park, Islamorada, Florida Keys. Beachfront campground where you can anchor near shore or pull up to the beach at your campsite. Don’t know if they’ll let you launch from the beach any more, but there are ramps nearby.

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