An island breeze off the coast of Florida sounds like the perfect summer escape. Even better if you can camp on the island for a weekend. There's actually a stunning island state park off the west coast that you can camp - and they have 9 magical miles of untouched beachfront.
Cayo Costa State Park is known for its beaches: all 9 miles of them. With the dazzling bright white sands, crystal clear waters, and the most gorgeous hues of turquoise, you'll never want to leave. Words cannot do justice to the wondrous beauty of this natural oasis.
The park is also known as one of the absolute BEST places to go shelling and hunting for sand dollars. It's not uncommon for there to be stretches of the beach that have literal piles and piles of shells for you to dig through, all with the most amazing view of the crystalline water and soft sunsets.
The Island is undoubtedly also one of the BEST places to go camping. You can camp primitive style for $22 a night by pitching your own tent or you can rent a rustic cabin for $40 per night on the island close to the untouched beaches and lush nature trails. If you have a boat, you can dock at the bayside boat slips for $20 per vessel. Bring your bike with you for a way to quickly traverse the island's nature trails.
You'll even be able to grill food, take a shower, and use the toilet if you need to answer nature's call. Since there is no electricity on the island, the shower water will be cold, but no electricity also means you'll get the most unreal sights of the night sky imaginable.
It only costs $2 to access the island, and camping prices are pretty affordable too. If you're looking to add an island camping adventure on the cheap to your bucket list, Cayo Costa is definitely a place you need to add. You won't be able to get here without using your own boat or booking a ferry service, charter, or cruise provider in the area.
Cayo Costa State Park is located 4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381 coordinates if you're navigating your own boat!) Cayo Costa, FL 33922. The park is open 8 am to Sundown, 365 days a year - unless you're camping overnight of course.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.