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The 10 Best Campgrounds Near St. Petersburg, FL

by Joe ColemanJan 31, 2023
The 10 Best Campgrounds Near St. Petersburg, FL

While just half an hour from Tampa, St. Petersburg is a destination on its own. With great waterfront views and several parks and preserves nearby, there’s more to love about St. Petersburg, Florida, than just the beachfront views (though you should absolutely see those too). Grab your camping gear and take your pick from these 10 best campgrounds near St. Petersburg, FL.

When to Visit St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg follows a very similar weather pattern to the rest of central Florida. Summertime highs get into the low 90s, and wintertime highs rarely drop below about 70 degrees. For this reason, you can really visit St. Petersburg any time of year, but certain seasons definitely have their advantages.

Summer in St. Petersburg brings with it the rain, as the rainy season here stretches from roughly the beginning of June to the end of September. The rainy and humid summers are what cause most travelers to wait until fall to visit the city, though keep in mind you’ll hardly have St. Petersburg to yourself if you visit in summer.

Peak visitorship tends to be from November to April, though St. Pete doesn’t get nearly the same tourism levels as its neighboring larger cities. With highs over 70 degrees, even in the middle of winter, peak tourism season is also the ideal time to visit. Overnight lows often sit in the mid-50s at the coldest, so you’ll always be comfortable when visiting campgrounds near St. Petersburg, FL, in fall and winter.

Outdoor Destinations Near St. Petersburg, Florida

Sunken Gardens

These locally loved botanical gardens cover four acres of a historic neighborhood in St. Petersburg. More than a century old, the Sunken Gardens are actually one of the oldest roadside tourist attractions in the country. Visitors here will be able to view some of the region’s oldest tropical plans while enjoying walking paths that guide them throughout the gardens.

Fort De Soto Park

This county park is one of the most popular sites around for day-use hiking and beachcombing. Spreading over five offshore keys (islands), it’s easy for visitors to hop from key to key by using the causeways that connect them.

The Fort was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s to commemorate the fort’s unique history, along with that of the area. The fort was constructed in the mid-19th century, though it wasn’t used consistently as a military fort. Some of the remaining pieces of military equipment, though long decommissioned, are still on display to this day.

St. Pete Pier

Right on the waterfront, the St. Pete Pier is the heart of St. Petersburg’s outdoor scene. Think of it like a CityWalk but only better and with fresher air, as it juts out into the Tampa Bay. The pier consists of more than 20 acres’ worth of water sports, restaurants, parks, and cultural attractions, meaning there’s always something going on that visitors should check out.

Best Campgrounds Near St. Petersburg, Florida

1. Ellenton Gardens RV Resort – Ellenton, FL

(19 miles from St. Petersburg)

lodges and RVs parked at campground near St. Petersburg

One of the best waterfront stays in central Florida also happens to be the closest campground near St. Petersburg, FL.

While there are plenty of options for sites here, including one bedroom cottage rentals, the best sites here are the waterfront ones. Of course, for the best of both worlds, consider renting the lakefront cottage site.

Even if you aren’t heading to the beachfront to fish, you don’t have to put the poles away when you’re at Ellenton Gardens RV Resort. The on-site pond offers catch and release fishing, so you’ll never be out of practice and always be casting some lines.

The resort also offers a host of communal events for travelers to meet each other and enjoy making new friends. Once you head out for the day, you’ll be just a few minutes from some of the area’s main attractions.

Unique Amenity: Fishing

Sites offered here:

  • Economy rental trailer
  • Premium rental 1 bedroom
  • Premium rental lakefront 1 bedroom
  • Standard full hookup RV site
  • Premium rental 1 bedroom: accessible

Book This Waterfront Resort Stay

2. Buttonwood Inlet RV Resort – Cortez, FL

(20 miles from St. Petersburg)

river near Buttonwood Inlet RV Resort in Florida

Buttonwood Inlet RV Resort markets itself as the “ideal RV resort for active family living.” If that sounds like the Florida campground for you and your family, you’re in the right spot.

With a great clubhouse and plenty of outdoor games, there’s always something to keep every member of the family occupied. Those looking for even more outdoor fun should head down to the boat launch and spend their days enjoying the water.

There’s a great communal atmosphere at Buttonwood Inlet, as a rotating calendar of wintertime activities helps you meet fellow travelers also escaping the cold weather by flocking to sunny central Florida.

Unique Amenity: Clubhouse

Sites offered here:

  • Premium cottage
  • 30/50-amp full hookup RV site
  • 30/50-amp waterfront full hookup site
  • 30/50-amp zone D full hookup RV site

Book This Active Living Campground

3. Sun Retreats Dunedin – Dunedin, FL

(20 miles from St. Petersburg)

RV parked at St. Petersburg campground surrounded by palm trees

Proximity to the ever-popular Clearwater Beaches isn’t the only thing that Sun Retreat Dunedin offers, but it sure is one of the perks.

With more than 200 sites spread out among the lush grounds, you’ll never feel crowded at this park. When you’re ready to stretch your legs, the park offers lots of exciting outdoor activities, including shuffleboard courts, a fitness center, and a designated pet area.

Not coming here in a camper? No problem. Choose either a cottage or the on-site hotel, the Blue Moon Inn, for a maximally comfortable central Florida stay. If going the hotel route, be sure to select the deluxe room to get a two-person hot tub! The variety of options makes this one of the most comfortable campgrounds near St. Petersburg, FL.

Unique Amenity: Dog park

Sites offered here:

  • Deluxe back-in RV
  • Hotel deluxe rental
  • Hotel standard rental
  • One bedroom cottage
  • Premium one bedroom cottage
  • Pull-through RV site
  • Standard back-in
  • Hotel standard rental: accessible

Book This Sunny Retreat

4. Arbor Terrace RV Resort – Bradenton, FL

(23 miles from St. Petersburg)

lodge and RV parked at RV resort in Florida

Arbor Terrace RV Resort is a charming, relaxing communal spot that caters to RV travelers of all stripes.

Of course, even if you didn’t come in an RV, you’ll find yourself loving your time here in a premium one or two-bedroom cottage. The park is full of outdoor activities like horseshoes, shuffleboard, and a relaxing pool. Of course, if more relaxation is on the docket, spend a night in watching movies on the park’s Wi-Fi.

Bradenton is on the smaller end of mid-sized towns with a population of around 55,000. While much smaller than St. Petersburg (or any of the central Florida metro areas), there’s more than enough to keep you occupied without ever leaving Bradenton itself.

Unique Amenity: Pavilion

Sites offered here:

  • Cozy full hookup RV site
  • Economy full hookup RV site
  • Premium cottage 1 bedroom
  • Premium cottage 2 bedroom
  • Premium full hookup RV site
  • Standard full hookup RV site
  • Super full hookup RV site

Book This Charming Cottage Stay

5. Pleasant Lake RV Resort (Age Restricted 55+) – Bradenton, FL

(25 miles from St. Petersburg)

aerial view of pool with blue umbrellas at St. Petersburg campground

Travelers who want all the perks of spending time in Bradenton while also enjoying a more relaxing and peaceful stay will appreciate this age-restricted gated community. The resort features well over 300 sites in beautiful Bradenton, with plenty of waterfront spots to choose from.

Just because you want something more peaceful doesn’t mean you’re going to skip out on staying active! This campground near St. Petersburg, Florida, offers a boat launch, kayaking, outdoor sports, and all manner of exciting activities to participate in while you’re here.

Unique Amenity: Canoeing/kayaking

Sites offered here:

  • Lakeview rental 1 bedroom
  • Standard rental 1 bedroom

Book This Gated Community Resort

6. Linger Lodge RV Park – Bradenton, FL

(28 miles from St. Petersburg)

aerial view of St. Petersburg resort surrounded by green park and trees

Linger Lodge specializes in creating an Old Florida experience for travelers who stay here. This cozy resort was originally a fishing and canoeing area in the mid-20th century but is now a hotspot for travelers seeking a nostalgia-inducing experience of Old Florida charm.

The park is in the middle of dense tree cover, so visitors are treated to a lush green stay when they’re here, alongside plenty of comfortable amenities like a hot tub, pool, and clubhouse to enjoy.

Unique Amenity: Hot tub/sauna

Sites offered here:

  • Jungle lot
  • Lodge lot
  • River lot
  • Jungle lot: accessible

Book This Old Florida Getaway

7. Spanish Main MH & RV Resort – Thonotosassa, FL

(30 miles from St. Petersburg)

trees along the street at St. Petersburg resort

Spanish Main’s location makes it one of the most ideal campgrounds near St. Petersburg, FL, for travelers wanting to explore both St. Petersburg and Tampa. Just 20 minutes from downtown Tampa and 40 minutes from downtown St. Petersburg, this is the perfect place to see all the highlights in the area.

While you’re here, enjoy the spacious grounds and its more than 270 full-hookup RV sites and park model rentals. With plenty of room to play, both inside and outside, Spanish Main is sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Unique Amenity: Arcade

Sites offered here:

  • Premium park model rental
  • Standard full hookup pull-through RV site
  • Standard full hookup RV site

Book This Centrally-Located Basecamp

8. Tampa East RV Resort – Dover, FL

(30 miles from St. Petersburg)

RV and picnic table at RV resort in St. Petersburg

What doesn’t Tampa East RV Resort have? It’s near the Gulf of Mexico and all the popular central Florida cities.

The grounds here are immaculate, and stays are always comfortable. It has all sorts of outdoor sports courts and a playground for young campers. Seriously, it’s got everything you could think of and then some.

Premium cottages abound here, and the full hookup RV sites make sure you have all your needs covered all the time. Add in the fact that you’re just 20 minutes from Busch Gardens and the Tampa International Airport, and why would you stay anywhere else?

Unique Amenity: Playground

Sites offered here:

  • Oaks premium cottage 1 bedroom
  • Oaks super full hookup pull-through RV site
  • Oaks super full hookup RV site
  • Palms premium cottage 1 bedroom
  • Palms premium cottage 3 bedroom
  • Palms premium full hookup RV site
  • Palms standard full hookup RV site
  • Palms super full hookup pull-through RV site
  • Palms super full hookup RV site
  • Rainbow economy full hookup RV site
  • Rainbow premium cabin 2 bedroom
  • Rainbow standard full hookup RV site
  • Rainbow premium cottage 1 bedroom: accessible
  • Rainbow premium cottage 1 bedroom

Book This Relaxing Resort Experience

9. Sun Outdoors Sarasota – Sarasota, FL

(33 miles from St. Petersburg)

pool with glass recreation building at St. Petersburg campground

This is arguably the most luxurious resort on this list of campgrounds near St. Petersburg, FL. Routinely an award-winning luxury stay, Sun Outdoors Sarasota has every amenity under the sun (pun intended). With so many outdoor sports courts, a fishing setup, and even its own waterpark, this resort is quite possibly the best spot in the highly competitive Sun Outdoors system.

Unique Amenity: Waterpark

Sites offered here:

  • Platinum 1 bedroom cottage with loft
  • 1 bedroom cottage
  • 1 bedroom cottage with loft (6)
  • 2 bedroom bunkhouse
  • Cozy full hookup RV site
  • Deluxe 2 bedroom
  • Deluxe full hookup pull-through RV site
  • Deluxe full hookup RV site
  • Elite full hookup RV site
  • Gold 1 bedroom rental
  • Gold 2 bedroom rental
  • Platinum 1 bedroom lake view rental
  • Platinum 1 bedroom rental
  • Platinum 2 bedroom rental
  • Premium full hookup RV site
  • Silver 2 bedroom rental
  • Standard full hookup RV site
  • Gold 1 bedroom rental

Book This Award-Winning Resort Experience

10. Three Lakes RV Resort – Hudson, FL

(42 miles from St. Petersburg)

river at RV resort near St. Petersburg, Florida

Three Lakes RV Resort is far enough from everything to stay relaxed, and close enough that you won’t have to spend hours in your car getting from place to place.

Of course, with three different catch-and-release fishing ponds, an arcade, and even an on-site restaurant, there’s really no reason to leave! If you choose this campground, opting for a premium cottage is the most enjoyable stay option.

Unique Amenity: Hiking

Sites offered here:

  • Premium cottage 1 bedroom
  • Premium cottage 1 bedroom: accessible
  • Standard full hookup RV site

Book This Angler’s Dream Spot

St. Petersburg is a popular outdoor destination for a reason. With all the amenities of the larger surrounding cities, the same great weather, and fewer crowds, what’s not to love at these St. Petersburg campgrounds?

Joe Coleman is a freelance travel and outdoor writer based in East Texas. His love for the outdoors started when living near Olympic National Park and has stayed with him ever since. Taking a respite from social media, you can reach him exclusively at

Image Credit: Ellenton Gardens RV Resort, Buttonwood Inlet RV Resort, Sun Retreats Dunedin, Arbor Terrace RV Resort, Pleasant Lake RV Resort, Linger Lodge RV Park, Spanish Main MH & RV Resort, Tampa East RV Resort, Sun Outdoors Sarasota, Three Lakes RV Resort