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Camping near Fort Lauderdale? You might be surprised

Camping near Fort Lauderdale is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this vacation mecca.

In the heart of South Florida’s urban oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale is the epicenter of oceanfront resorts, beautiful beaches and Gulf Stream fishing.

But not far away, hidden in the suburban sprawl of Broward County are a handful of prime public campgrounds that meet our “best test” for RV or tent camping.

Of course, the Fort Lauderdale area also has its share of private RV parks and resorts with sites set aside for daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal visitors. Some are quite nice.

Public campgrounds near Fort Lauderdale

Advance reservations at these public campgrounds are recommended, especially from January to April, up to a year in advance. Periodically call park offices for cancellations if your time frame is shorter during peak season.

All of these public campgrounds have after-hours security and gates. Sanitary dump stations are available at all but Quiet Waters and are available to non-campers for $15. Only Quiet Waters Park allows online reservations.

​​Drones are permitted in Broward County parks as long as they are not flown above people and the pilot follows FAA regulations.

Markham Park — RV and tent

camping near fort lauderdale markham park
Markham Park is on the edge of an Everglades conservation area. See the levy in the background. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

Sitting below a levy that holds back an Everglades water conservation area, Markham Park is the largest regional park in Broward County encompassing 670 acres.

A full-service regional park near the entrance to Alligator Alley (I-75), Markham Park offers a broad range of recreational opportunities, including a radio-controlled airplane field, an outdoor gun range, disc golf, dog park, hiking and 10 miles of biking trails, a playground, excellent fishing, boat launches, a tennis center with pickleball and racquetball.

Despite South Florida’s flat terrain, the off-road bike trails are often steep with switchbacks and rough and tricky surfaces. There is a $5 fee per-person for using the mountain bike trails; $10 for families up to 5. Bike rentals are available in the park.

Off-road cycling is also available along the levee that separates Markham Park from the Everglades Conservation Area. You can pedal for six miles, never crossing a road or encountering vehicle traffic, you’re likely to see hawks, red-wing blackbirds, egrets, herons, grackles and other wildlife, including alligators. There is no shade on the levee.

For hikers, there is a 1.5-mile nature trail.

The renovated campground has 88 sites with full hookups for RV and tents, picnic table and fire ring or grill. The campground has two restrooms with showers. Wi-Fi is available in the campground area. Transportable sewage containers are not permitted.

The boat ramp provides access to the L35A perimeter canal that buffers the park from the Everglades Conservation Area, and there’s a system of interconnected lakes, including a 26-acre lake for personal watercraft and another set aside for water skiing. A second boat ramp provides access to the New River Canal, which parallels State Road 84. Canoe and kayak rentals are available.

Visit the park’s Fox Observatory on Saturday nights from dusk to midnight for stargazing. For more information, call 954-384-0442.

Camping fees

  • In-Season (Nov. 1-Apr. 30) – ​$45 per site per night
  • Out-of-Season (May 1-Oct. 31) – ​$35 per site per night
  • Cancellations: 0-3 days notice before reservation date, no refund for up to 14 days of reservation length; 4-14 days notice before reservation date, refund of $8/day charged for up to 14 days of reservation length; 15 days or more notice before reservation date, full refund. Shortened reservations are considered cancellations. Applicable cancellation fees shall be applied accordingly. Cancellations must be in writing by email or in person.
  • Pet Fees: $2 per pet, and a maximum of two pets are permitted per site. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required).

For reservations:

Important Note: Markham Park’s campground is closing temporarily in April 2023 to allow for a pavement project, according to park officials. Reservations are not being accepted for dates after March 2023.

Markham Park, 16001 West State Road 84, Sunrise, FL. — MAP — Campground reservations may be made up to a year in advance by calling the park office at 954-357-8868 from 9 am to 5:30 pm daily or send an e-mail to: MarkhamPark@Broward.org.

Related Story: Markham Park trail follows Everglades levee


C.B. Smith Park — RV only

south florida camping c.b. smith park
C.B. Smith Park in Southwest Broward County. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

I really love this sprawling 300-acre Broward County park with two large lakes and a spacious, well-maintained campground.

Facilities include a golf driving range, miniature golf, batting cages, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, tennis, pickleball, picnic areas and shelters, horseshoes and playground.

A water park, open only in summer, has two 50-foot water slides.

The campground has 71 paved RV sites with water, sewer and electric, picnic tables and grills. Restrooms have heated showers and laundry facilities. Wi-Fi is available in the campground. Transportable sewage containers are not permitted.

Camping fees

  • In-Season (Nov. 1-Apr. 30) – ​$45 per site per night
  • Out-of-Season (May 1-Oct. 31) – ​$35 per site per night
  • Cancellations: 0-3 days notice before reservation date, no refund for up to 14 days of reservation length; 4-14 days notice before reservation date, refund of $8/day charged for up to 14 days of reservation length; 15 days or more notice before reservation date, full refund. Shortened reservations are considered cancellations. Applicable cancellation fees shall be applied accordingly. Cancellations must be in writing by email or in person.
  • Pet Fees: $2 per pet, and a maximum of two pets are permitted per site. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required).

For reservations

CB Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines, FL. — MAP– Campground reservations may be made up to a year in advance by calling the park office at 954-357-5170 from 9 am to 5:30 pm daily. For information, call or e-mail to: cbsmithpark@broward.org 


T.Y. Park — RV only

south florida camping
T.Y. Park is in southeast Broward County, close to Hollywood Beach. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park‘s 150 acres are smothered in shady Live oak trees sheltering multiple picnic areas and trails around a lake. On the other hand, the campground has a barren feel to it, although it makes up for it with location.  

The park is close to I-95 (maybe too close) with easy access to Hollywood, Dania Beach and Fort Lauderdale’s beaches, as well as the commuter rail line that serves coastal South Florida from Miami north to West Palm Beach.

Four miles straight down Sheridan Street is Hollywood’s North Beach Park, where you can access the city’s beachfront Broadwalk for walking and cycling.

The park has a snack bar, concession stand and marina with boat rentals on weekends, a two-mile paved multi-use path for biking, hiking and skating. Bicycle rentals are available on site. You’ll also find basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a large covered playground and several smaller playgrounds.

The family-oriented water park is open only in summer.

The campground has 61 paved RV sites with full hookups (water, sewer, electric), grills and picnic tables. A restroom building includes hot showers and a laundry. Reservations are required. Transportable sewage containers are not permitted.

Camping fees

  • In-Season (Nov. 1-Apr. 30) – ​$50 per site per night
  • Out-of-Season (May 1-Oct. 31) – ​$40 per site per night
  • Cancellations: 0-3 days notice before reservation date, no refund for up to 14 days of reservation length; 4-14 days notice before reservation date, refund of $8/day charged for up to 14 days of reservation length; 15 days or more notice before reservation date, full refund. Shortened reservations are considered cancellations. Applicable cancellation fees shall be applied accordingly. Cancellations must be in writing by email or in person.
  • Pet Fees: $2 per pet, and a maximum of two pets are permitted per site. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required).

For reservations

T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, 3300 N. Park Road, Hollywood, FL. — MAP — Campground reservations may be made up to a year in advance by calling the park office at 954-357-8811 from 9 am to 5:30 pm daily or send an e-mail to: TYPark@Broward.org 


Easterlin Park — RV and tent

camping near fort lauderdale easterlin park
Easterlin Park is in Central Broward County with easy access to Fort Lauderdale’s beaches. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

This charming little park is in the heart of Broward County and the closest campground, public or private, to the beaches of Fort Lauderdale (about 7 miles).

Broward County’s most heavily wooded campground, the focus of this park is its natural areas, not water parks, lending itself to its designation as an Urban Wilderness Area. A Woodland Nature Trail winds about a mile through the park’s cypress forest.

While the park is small at 47 acres, its size is deceiving because there is so much vegetation, making for a pleasant respite from the bustle of South Florida.

The campground features 55 sites, including 45 with full hookups (water, sewer and electric) and 10 tent sites with water and electric only. Seven of the RV sites are pull-through. Picnic tables and grills are on all sites, and there is a dump station near the exit. Two restrooms include hot showers. Wi-Fi is available only in the main office area. Transportable sewage containers are not permitted.

Camping fees

  • In-Season (Nov. 1-Apr. 30) – ​$45 per site per night
  • Out-of-Season (May 1-Oct. 31) – ​$35 per site per night
  • Cancellations: 0-3 days notice before reservation date, no refund for up to 14 days of reservation length; 4-14 days notice before reservation date, refund of $8/day charged for up to 14 days of reservation length; 15 days or more notice before reservation date, full refund. Shortened reservations are considered cancellations. Applicable cancellation fees shall be applied accordingly. Cancellations must be in writing by email or in person.
  • Pet Fees: $2 per pet, and a maximum of two pets are permitted per site. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required).

For reservations:

Easterlin Park, 1000 NW 8th Street, Oakland Park, FL. — MAP — Campground reservations may be made up to a year in advance by calling the park office at 954-357-5190 from 9 am to 5:30 pm daily or send an e-mail to: EasterlinPark@Broward.org​


Quiet Waters Park — Rent-A-Tent only

camping near fort lauderdale quiet waters park
Quiet Waters Park is a rent-a-tent campground. No RVs. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

You really have to love this beautiful little campground with its high-end cabin tents, set up and ready for your family adventure. I live nearby and ride my bike here often.

You must use their tents, which are already set up on platforms. There are 25 tents and two tepees, each with water, electric, a fire ring, picnic table and grill. All but five sites are lakefront. There are two restrooms with hot showers convenient to all sites. Transportable sewage containers are not permitted.

During the months of October through April, weekends gets booked fast. During the week, availability is pretty open, according to park rangers.

The Splash Adventure water park, geared toward children, is within easy walking distance of the campground, but it’s only open in summer.

The big draws at Quiet Waters are cable water-skiing and wake boards at Ski-Rixen, open all year, and 7-mile network of multi-use trails and mountain bike trails with segments for beginners to experts.

Volunteers have recently rebuilt the mountain-bike trail with new landscaping, new structure and new trails. The staging area at the trailhead has parking and picnic tables. There is a $5 per-person fee for using the mountain bike trail; $10 for families up to 5.

There is no charge for bicycling park roads or the multi-use trail, which runs throughout the park.

A third lake, perhaps the most scenic of them all, is home to a marina where you can rent canoes, kayaks, jon boats and paddleboats.

Firewood, kindling and ice are available at the park office, which is adjacent to the campground.

Quiet Waters Park Rent-A-Tent/Tepee Site

  • Each Night – ​$40 per site per night (includes park admission)
  • Additional Campers (more than total of 4 persons, ages 6 and older)  $3 per person per night
  • ​Cleanup and security deposit  – ​$50 per site (includes park admission)
  • Cancellations: 0-3 days notice before reservation date, no refund for up to 14 days of reservation length; 4-14 days notice before reservation date, refund of $8/day charged for up to 14 days of reservation length; 15 days or more notice before reservation date, full refund. Shortened reservations are considered cancellations. Applicable cancellation fees shall be applied accordingly. Cancellations must be in writing by email or in person.
  • Pet Fees: $2 per pet, and a maximum of two pets are permitted per site. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required).

For reservations

Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach, FL. — MAP — Campground reservations may be made up to a year in advance by calling the park office at 954-357-5100 from 9 am to 5:30 pm or book your rent-a-tent online at webtrack.broward.org. E-mail address: QuietWatersPark@Broward.org​.

Related Story: Deerfield Beach: More than just scenic beaches


Private RV campgrounds near Fort Lauderdale

You’ll find most (if not all) private campgrounds in or near Fort Lauderdale are geared toward seasonal campers, although most offer daily and weekly rentals when available. These communities of travel trailers and motor coaches usually have a core population that returns year after year, and some even have ‘permanent’ residents.


Yacht Haven Park & Marina, 2323 W State Rd 84, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Poking out into the Fort Lauderdale’s busy New River (west of I-95), surrounded by yachts and marinas, this upscale RV resort is the ideal winter haven for wealthy seagoing campers. As you might expect, the only recreational vehicles you’ll find here are luxury motor coaches with nightly rates starting at a modest $95 to more than $250 during peak season. Dockage is extra. More than 200 sites with full hookups. For reservations, book online or call 800-581-2322. | TripAdvisor Reviews

Paradise Island RV Park, 2121 NW 29th Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. Geared towards long-term rentals, this RV park west of I-95 is located in an industrial pocket near Easterlin Park (see listing above). Amenities include a heated swimming pool and two clubhouses with a billiard room and onsite laundry. Daily rates $53-$63 with discounted weekly, monthly or annual rates (not including electric). For reservations, call 954-485-1150 or book online. | TripAdvisor Reviews

Aztec RV Park, 1 Aztec Blvd, Margate, FL 33068. Another park restricted to Class A motor coachesn(up to 90 feet), claiming to be “the most luxurious RV park in Florida.” Aztec is a small city west of Pompano Beach with more than 600 paved sites with 50-amp electric, encircling a large recreational complex at its center. Full hookups, of course, with privacy hedges and some sites have attractive tiki huts. Nightly rates $100 and up. For reservations and information, call 954-975-6411 or e-mail to info@aztecrvresort.com. | TripAdvisor Reviews

Kozy Campers RV Park, 3631 W Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. A 110-site RV park with full hookups (30/50-amp electric) near Fort Lauderdale’s soccer stadium and Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Reviews Call for rates and reservations: (954) 731-8570. | TripAdvisor Reviews

Davie/Fort Lauderdale KOA, 3800 SW 142nd Ave, Davie, FL 33330. An 11-acre campground with 110 gravel sites with full hookups (30-amp electric), franchised by the KOA network. Heated pool, game room, playground. Nightly rates $75 and up. For reservations, call (954) 473-0231 or book online. | TripAdvisor Reviews


Things to do near Fort Lauderdale

More Points of Interest near Fort Lauderdale


Notes from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.

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