Trail on Cayo Costa island

When the weather is this beautiful — sunny, cool and dry — I regret that my calendar is full of commitments. Because I NEED to get outside.

I’m trying to squeeze in a last-minute one-night trip and I’m using a terrific tool the Florida State Park system and Reserve America offer — a quick search to help you find which Florida state park campgrounds and cabins have space available for the next weekend.

It’s here: Camping and cabins in Florida State Parks this weekend.

If you’re looking for a quick getaway before the holidays, you have lots of excellent choices this weekend.

At this moment, you could book these locations that we love:

  • a rustic cabin or campsite on the one of the most spectacular undeveloped beaches in Florida — Cayo Costa State Park.  On a barrier island off Fort Myers, state parks don’t come any more beautiful.
  • Campsites in Collier Seminole State Park, deep in the Everglades south of Naples. This is a park that is great to visit in winter and miserable (because of mosquitos) in summer, so now is the time to go.
  • A cabin in Fanning Springs State Park, where manatees are often seen in the deep blue spring waters. (And there are campsites available at a nearby beautiful spring along the Suwanee, Manatee Springs State Park.)
  • A cabin or campsite in Jonathan Dickenson State Park in Hobe Sound. This park has it all — great hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife. We’ve spotted a manatee, osprey and a deer in the same kayak trip here. The little cabins are beautifully situated in a forest near the Loxahatchee River.
  • Silver Spring State Park has outstanding wildlife (monkeys!), a beautiful spring and some of the best cabins and campsites in Florida. And either is available this weekend.
Clear turquoise water along Silver River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Clear turquoise water along Silver River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)