Any opinions on which side of Florida is better for a camping road trip in May? I'm thinking the Atlantic side because we want to camp, go birding, and see some of the forts, but I figure it never hurts to ask!
Any recommendations for must stop sites or places to put up a tent?
i really enjoyed the gulf side. check out st andrews, and st. george isalnd as well as st joeseph beaches/ super remote and great camping.
@Iphie10: maybe I am biased but the Gulf of Mexico side Floridas is less developed and offers a lot more nature than the east coast, even a bit further inland is a lot to see and do. Highly recommended campsites are within the Highlands Hammock State Park near Sebring (awesome park, one of the oldest state parks in Florida) and at Myakka State Park (a short hike to Deep Hole is highly recommended (hundreds of alligators). There are many other campsites close to the islands such as Anna Maria Island. Mount Dora might be an option, cute town with a large lake. Check out some of the stories I posted over the last months :-)
Thanks for the tips! More remote sounds really nice to me. I will do some searching and look for old stories here too!
I agree with jesseallison82 and Liketraveling on the Gulf Side. The beaches are much nicer in my opinion. If you want the panhandle area, and more developed, I'd recommend Gulf Shores / Orange Beach, Alabama. We've spent a lot of time between Panama City and Gulf Shores and usually always end up at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores. The primitive and developed sites are very nice, it's huge (over 500 sites), and is close to everything. You're close to Fort Morgan and Fort Pickens which are really nice. The Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key area has a more family friendly atmosphere as well in my opinion with tons of activities, restaurants, etc. Also love the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola which is an easy day trip & FREE. You can also often catch a free performance practice of the Blue Angels there during May I think. Around Panama City you have to check on the campgrounds, many may still be closed from Hurricane Michael damage. Can't comment on the birding, sorry, but Gulf Shores also has the Hugh Banyon backcountry trail connecting directly with the campground, it's huge and great for walking, biking etc and I'll bet there's birds there too!
I would agree that the gulf side is best. There is a nice little road side stand between Georgia and Florida that sells amazing hot sauce. I recommend a stop there.
Haven't experience the hot sauce, but there's some amazing boiled peanut stands down in those parts. Boiled peanuts 'n beer, nothing like a beach day with that combo! ;)