The Best Places to Hammock in Florida

Florida has a variety of landscapes ripe for hammocking. There are trees for days, from beachside palms to swampy cypresses. Cedars surrounding fresh water springs and plush forest pines.

With 3 national parks—plus 175 state parks, trails, and historic sites—there are plenty of options for peaceful, picturesque places to post up in a hammock throughout the Sunshine State.

This year is Florida State Parks’ 85th anniversary, so we’re giving you the top 8 places to hang in main 5 regions throughout the state:

  • The Panhandle: Tallahassee, Panama City, Pensacola
  • Northeast Florida: Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Gainesville, Ocala, Daytona Beach
  • Central Florida: Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Melbourne, Fort Pierce
  • South Florida: Sarasota, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami
  • Keys & Other Islands: Key West 

One important thing to note: Florida state parks do require straps be at least 2” thick to protect the trees. In general, it’s always a good idea to call ahead to ask about any other specific rules or restrictions around hammocking to prevent any tickets or fines, as policies do vary. For more info on how to properly hang a hammock, check out our guide, Everything You Need to Know About Hammock Straps.

Another interesting thing you’ll notice as you read below, a lot of these places have the word “hammock” in them. That’s not because they were created for hammocking (though were they?). It’s because in ecological terms, a hammock is, per Wikipedia, “a term used in the southeastern United States for stands of trees, usually hardwood, that form an ecological island in a contrasting ecosystem. Hammocks grow on elevated areas, often just a few inches high, surrounded by wetlands that are too wet to support them.” Pretty cool.

Whether you’re in Tampa or Tallahassee, Orlando or Ocala, St. Augustine or Sanford, we’ve got you covered. Let’s start in the northern panhandle and work our way down the peninsula before ending at epic Key West. 

Best places to hammock in the Florida Panhandle (Tallahassee, Panama City, Pensacola)

Big Lagoon State Park (Pensacola)

Separating mainland Florida from the Gulf of Mexico, this 712-acre coastal state park offers plenty of activities by land and by sea. You can crab in the shallow waters of Big Lagoon or relax on one of its many beaches along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Falling Waters State Park (Chipley)

The name is not irony. Falling Waters State Park is home to Florida’s highest waterfall, creating a 100-foot-deep sinkhole. You can climb down a wooden stairway into the mouth of the fern-covered sinkhole and look up to see the waterfall descending 73 feet before vanishing into the cave below. There’s also a white sand beach surrounding a two-acre freshwater lake for a cool place to dip, as well as several other areas to fish, picnic, and camp.

St. Andrews State Park (Panama City Beach)

This state park features 1.5 miles of pristine, sugar sand beaches with a picturesque pier. In between relaxing hammock hangs, you can swim, snorkel, and fish.

Dead Lakes State Recreation Area (Wewahitchka)

Easily one of the Panhandle’s most unique and breathtaking landscapes, the Dead Lakes are in fact very much alive. The name comes from the skeleton husks of thousands of dead tree trunks that dot the swamp. The best way to see them all? Hop in a kayak to explore up close and personal. There’s a ton of wildlife to see on land and by water, with no shortage of trees to hammock from, including longleaf pine and bald cypress.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach)

Named for a 25-foot sand dune that resembles a ship’s sale, this park boasts 3.2 miles of soft sand beaches, as well as three coastal dune lakes and several hiking trails to see them all. These rare lakes only occur in a handful of places worldwide, including Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and Florida! Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is home to three of the area’s 15 named coastal dune lakes with 15 miles of hiking trails, including one trail where you can spot remnants of the JB-2 rocket development program during World War II.

San Luis Mission Park (Tallahassee)

This is a popular running, walking, and biking park in the state’s capital with its own fenced-in dog park, too. With miles of walking trails and Lake Esther as its center piece, San Luis Mission Park is conveniently located near Florida State University yet still somewhat hidden within its urban surroundings. It’s an easy and popular park for students to relax in hammocks.

Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway (Tallahassee)

With a total to 14.5 miles worth of trails and four different trailheads, the Miccosukee Greenway offers different options for varying degrees of challenge and changing terrain. When you’re ready to relax, find some trees along the linear paths and soak up some Florida sun.

Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park (Tallahassee)

This 600-acre park offers 10 miles of shared-use dirt trails, including seven miles of dedicated hiking trails and four miles of mountain bike trails, as well as horseback riding trails. At Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, there are plenty of beautiful big oaks to situate your hammock beneath when you need a break from the heat.

Best places to hammock in Northeast Florida (Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, Daytona Beach)

Ginnie Springs (High Springs)

There’s nothing better than dipping in crystal clear springs on a hot Florida day, and luckily there are plenty to choose from. Ginnie Springs Outdoors is a privately-owned hot spring site just outside of Gainesville where tourists and locals alike flock to kayak, canoe, tube, swim and snorkel.

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park (Alachua)

Also near Gainesville is this popular spot for off-road biking. San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park also offers hiking and horseback riding trails throughout its 7,350 acres. Most visitors luck out with wildlife spotting including deer, turkeys, and several different of bird species.

Ichetucknee State Park (Fort White)

More spring-fed rivers and swimming holes await at Ichetucknee State Park in Fort White. This popular park has eight natural springs in its 2,669 acres and is home to a host of wildlife, including beaver, otter, turtles, and much more. It’s a favorite hotspot for scuba divers, and also perfect for a more relaxing day with peaceful places to relax and inner tubes to float along the river in.

Ocala National Forest (Ocala)

Just north of Orlando is the must-see Ocala National Forest, one of Central Florida’s top attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. This iconic landmark is best known for its hot springs and kayak/canoe rentals. Alexander Springs and Juniper Springs are some of Florida’s most beloved nature attractions where visitors can dive, snorkel, and swim in the picture-perfect aqua teal waters all year round. When you’re done paddling through creeks and canals and are ready to hit dry land, meander through the southernmost forest in the continental U.S., surrounded by more than 600 lakes and rivers.

Tomoka Stake Park (Ormond Beach)

Bird watchers rejoice. Tomoka State Park is home to more than 160 species that are most visible in spring and fall migrations. With a rich history, this seaside state park pays homage to the Timucuan Indians who lived here in the late 1700s and early 1800s. You can bring your own boat or rent a kayak or canoe and dip a paddle into the Tomoka River and Intracostal Waterway to catch some fish or spot alligators and manatees. There are also short hiking trails.

Anastasia State Park (St. Augustine)

A popular beach campground just south of historic St. Augustine, Anastasia State Park spans 1,600 acres and has tons of activities on- and off-shore. For hammocking, find a set of palm trees or post up near the picturesque live oaks that provide not just a great photo op but vital shade for the hiking and biking trails below.

Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail (Jacksonville)

Jacksonville, aka Jax, has the largest urban park system in America and more shoreline than any other Florida city, so there’s plenty to explore here. This hiking and biking trail system and park runs 15 miles under and through large oaks, often coming together over the pathways made from abandoned railroad corridor to create towering, natural archways. It’s a shady reprieve when you need a break from the beaches. There are also eight miles of trails for hiking and horse riding.

Black Rock Beach on Big Talbot Island (Jacksonville)

Black Rock Beach, just 20 minutes from Jacksonville, is one of those places you’ve seen on Instagram with big, beautiful drift wood on a peaceful, sandy seashore that immediately makes you think, “How’d that get there?… And how do I get there?” These tree skeletons drifted onto the beach and are ripe for exploring and even hanging a hammock if it’s safe. Typically you are not encouraged to hang from dead or dying trees because you can get seriously hurt, so suss out the situation fully.

Best places to hammock in Central Florida (Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Melbourne)

Kraft Azalea Garden (Winter Park)

This secret garden is tucked away in a 13-acre park on the shores of Lake Maitland in Orlando, right in the smack dab middle of Central Florida. With massive cypress trees, it’s easy to find a peaceful spot to hang a hammock under the shade and enjoy the lakeside breezes. 

Spring Hammock Preserve (Sanford)

This park spans more than 1,500 acres along Central Florida’s Lake Jessup in the city of Sanford. While largely swamp land, there is a popular network on hiking and biking trails where you can marvel at some of Florida’s largest and oldest cypress trees and quickly find a cozy spot to relax in a hammock.

Moss Park (Winter Springs)

Moss Park is a popular campground in Central Florida, situated on a strip of land between two lakes, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane. You’ll see lots of boat activity on both lakes and can easily spot native of wildlife. One thing to note: no pets are allowed, so leave your pups at home for this one.

Blue Spring State Park (Orange City)

While best known for its massive manatees (they’re not called sea cows for nothin’) and fresh water springs that maintain a constant, cool, comfortable 72 degrees, there are also tons of great spots for relaxing under a shady tree in a hammock at Blue Springs State Park. There’s so much to explore along the St. Johns River, from birding and fishing to paddling and snorkeling.

Maritime Hammock Sanctuary (Melbourne Beach)

Part of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (the first in America to protect sea turtles), this 150-acre sanctuary shows off Florida’s famous marshlands and mangroves along the Indian River Lagoon. Along the hiking trail—with two bridges and boardwalks over wetland areas—you can experience a variety of protected barrier island habitats.

Canaveral National Seashore (New Smyrna Beach to Titusville)

Spanning two counties (Volusia and Brevard), this 24-mile stretch of beach follows the Atlantic Ocean from New Smyrna Beach in the north to Titusville in the south. The overall seashore spans 58,000 acres of one of America’s most diverse estuaries. It is also the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on the east coast of Florida with tons of nooks and crannies for hammocking. Also near the southern tip is the John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s main center for launching human spaceflight. Imagine watching a rocket launch from a hammock!

Vinoy Park (St. Petersburg)

One of St. Pete’s most popular parks is a hammocker’s paradise—especially at sunset. With amazing water views right in the heart of downtown, you can walk and wander or relax and recharge. There’s not only great people watching, but if you’re lucky, you can spot dolphins playing in the bay.

Three Sisters Springs (Crystal River)

Three Sisters Springs is part of the 57-acre Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, a winter sanctuary for the West Indian Manatee. You cannot access the water from the refuge, but you can follow the boardwalk on self-guided or hosted tours, stopping at the viewing platforms to see the springs and surrounding wildlife. To get wet, rent a kayak for water access from either Hunter Springs Park or King’s Bay Park. Bring your hammock no matter which way you decide to explore the springs, as you never know when you’ll find those perfect trees.

Best places to hammock in South Florida (Sarasota, Naples, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami)

Sanibel Island (off the coast of Fort Myers)

Sanibel Island is one of the nicest beach towns along Florida’s Gulf of Mexico shore, but you don’t have to stay at one of the fancy resorts for a five star experience. There are so many great hammock places and experiences here, we couldn’t choose just one. Bowman’s Beach is the island’s most popular with epic shell collecting opportunities. The Great Calusa Blueway offers 190 miles of waterway trails for canoeing and kayaking. Pack your hammock and pull up to shore anytime you need to put down the paddle. And, finally, the 5,200-acre J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is another must-see on Sanibel Island.

Naples Pier (Naples Beach)

Further down Florida’s west coast is Naples and its historic pier that stretches 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. The 10-mile long Municipal Beach also has more palm trees than you can count and is the perfect place for a relaxing day near the water.

Myakka River State Park (Sarasota)

As one of Florida’s oldest and largest parks, Myakka River State Park has it all across its 58 square miles: wildlife tours, airboat rides, bike and canoe rentals, a cafe and souvenir shop, campground, and more. Topography ranges from prairies and pinelands to rivers and lakes. 

Spanish River Park (Boca Raton)

Spanish River Park is a popular beachfront spot if you want to get away from the large condos that typically run along the Boca Raton coast. With an underground tunnel straight to the beach, the park itself offers plenty of parking, picnic areas with BBQ grills, open spaces to play games and hammock, and so on.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (Fort Lauderdale)

It’s the Central Park of Fort Lauderdale with miles of walking, hiking, and biking paths. Nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, the park has a unique coastal dune lake and is a popular spot for people who like to fish. 

North Shore Open Space Park (Miami Beach)

The North Shore Open Space Park is the complete opposite of the crowded and too-cool-for-school South Beach experience, and not just because it’s at the northernmost tip of Miami Beach. A hidden gem of Magic City known mostly only to locals, this quiet beach has plenty of cheap parking, and you will have no problem scoring a spot on the sand or a place between two palms. Bonus: each month for the full moon, people (including talented drummers) gather for a lunar celebration of sorts.

Crandon Park (Miami)

Considered by some to be one of Miami’s best beaches, Crandon Park has clear water, white sand, towering palms, and tons of activities for a full day of fun in the sun. It’s a dog-friendly beach, and you can watch from your beach towel or hammock all the massive cruise ships coming to dock at Port Miami.

Everglades National Park (Southern Florida)

The Everglades is the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. and the third-largest national park in the continental U.S. It covers more than 1.5 million acres and is home to 36 threatened or protected species. The park was declared an a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and today sees about one million visitors per year. This super swamp is a must-see on any trip to Florida with three different entry points. Once inside, there are ample opportunities to view wildlife on-and off-land. You can climb an observation deck, take a boat tour, hop in a kayak, grab a bike, or just cruise by car and catch an epic sunset.

Best places to hammock in the Florida Keys & Other Islands (Key West)

Biscayne National Park

Two of Florida’s three national parks anchor the beginning and end of the Florida Keys. Biscayne National Park is on the northern tip and includes the northern most island, Elliott Key. The park is 95 percent water (!) and spans 173,000 acres of water, islands, and coral reef, protecting four different ecosystems. Boca Chita Key is the most popular island with a historic lighthouse built in the 1930s, while Elliott Key is the largest island with camping, swimming, hiking, and more.

Key Largo (mile marker 100)

File this under popular stops along the 113-mile Overseas Highway, and for a reason. This family-friendly beach, found within the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, has water sports and rentals like glass-bottom boat tours, kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes, and there’s no shortage of perfect palms to hang your hammock. It’s also a popular spot for scuba diving, home to the world’s second largest artificial reef and the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove, which sunk in 1954.

Indian Key Historic State Park (mile marker 77.5)

Accessible only by boat, Indian Key Historic State Park is about a 25-minute kayak journey from Islamorada, where there’s also plenty to see and do. Start at Robbie’s Marina to rent your gear, and once you hit land at Indian Key, you’ll be rewarded with hiking trails and beautiful beaches to work on your tan.

Anne’s Beach (mile marker 73.4)

Having just reopened in September 2019 after being devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Anne’s Beach—also on Islamorada—is lined with mangroves so you can get your hammock situated before wading into the clear, shallow water for a refreshing dip.

Curry Hammock State Park (mile marker 56.2)

Calling all campers! This 1,000-foot acre hideaway not only has a great beach for hammocking but also has camping with electrical and water hookups. It’s the second largest uninhabited piece of land between Key Largo and Big Pine Key and is perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding along the Atlantic. Or, for the adventurous spirits, kite boarding.

Sombrero Beach (mile marker 50)

On Marathon Key, Sombrero is a lesser known, more remote beach that’s mostly visited by locals. Blue skies dotted by palm trees and white sand lined with black rocks, it’s a perfect place for some peace and quiet.

Bahia Honda State Park (mile marker 37)

Three natural beaches—and easily one the best beaches closest to hotspot Key West—can be found on this mostly inhabited island. The most identifying feature of this stop along the 1 is the Old Bahia Honda Bridge, which was built in the early 1900s and you can reach today with a short 0.4-mile hike.

South Beach (mile marker 0)

Like most of the shoreline along the famous island of Key West, this beach isn’t exactly the best of the best when it comes to Florida beaches. BUT it is the Southernmost Point of the continental U.S., so it’s worth getting a photo if nothing else. What is a little more noteworthy than the sand here is the Southernmost Beach Cafe, so grab a beer, watch the sunset, and just think about how good life is.

For a complete mile marker map, click here. This detailed guide tells you where to dive, kayak, eat, sleep, and more.

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