Camping in the Florida Keys??? UPDATED with pics of our trip

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Camping in the Florida Keys??? UPDATED with pics of our trip

Postby Endo » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:09 pm

We are in the process of planning a trip to the Florida Keys.
Can you guys recommend a nice campground in the Keys?
How about a RV resort that will allow teardrops??

Some of the online campground reviews don't sound too good. I have read a lot of "dirty" and "unsafe" comments for various campgrounds.

The important features needed:
1. Safe
2. Clean restrooms/showers (extremely important for the wife :) )

3. Water and electric site

4. A pool would be nice but not essential

Thanks for the help! Sincerely, Brad
Last edited by Endo on Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Woody » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:28 am

where in the keys are you going? All the way to Key West
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Postby Endo » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:25 am

Woody wrote:where in the keys are you going? All the way to Key West


We don't have a set destination.
The one thing we would like to do while in the Keys is take the kids snorkeling.
We will camp anywhere that is nice and adventure out from there.
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Postby len19070 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:00 am

Brad

This is a GREAT PLACE to go Snorkeling near Key Largo.

http://www.pennekamppark.com/

I took the kids there and it was amazing. Everything was so clear, Bright and colorful...it just didn't look real, more animated like a Disney movie.

Absolutely amazing.

I don't know about camping in the Keys State Parks, I've heard some things about the wildlife being very brazen.

The place we used to stay, Fiesta Key KOA is gone now.

Happy Trails

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Postby Endo » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:28 am

Hi Len,

Pennekamp is one of the main reasons we would like to go back to the Keys. I snorkeled there >20 years ago.
It was incredible. We would like our boys to experience snorkeling in the Keys!

I have to agree with you it is absolutely amazing!
I have snorkeled in Hawaii and in Barbados, snorkeling in the Florida Keys is just as beautiful if the weather cooperates.........

........and it's easier to get the teardrop to Florida. :) :lol:
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Postby dguff » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:05 am

We stayed at a very nice Florida State park in November. The name is Bahia Honda and it is about 25 miles north of Key West. Great beaches and all the things you are lookin for. You will probably need to make reservation well in advance.

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Postby Steve_Cox » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:41 pm

I'm a big fan of Boyd's camp ground on Stock Island. It is the closest campground to Key West. The pool is really nice, and most of the campsites are on the water, bath houses are clean. I've been there twice and the people were great. As far as the neighborhood by the campground, it's not so good, but the campground is gated. I never felt like the neighborhood was a problem myself. I didn't have any problem with getting a camp site at Boyd's either time I went. We were the 1st teardrop they had ever seen and the folks that worked there brought fresh vegetables from there garden to our campsite, it was a good experience.
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Postby Woody » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:47 pm

When we go to the keys the KOA at Sugar loaf key is perfect place to camp at mile marker 25 (20 miles from Key West) or mile marker 70 Fiesta Key KOA is still open for business. Anything that has to due with the keys is pricy with the exception of the state parks . Long Key State park is around mile marker 70 and Bahia Honda Sate Park at mile marker 35. They both are hard to get reservations at the last minute due to being small but very popular because they are the most inexpensive campgrounds in the keys. Almost all of the campgrounds (KOA's, private campgrounds and State Parks) have sites right on the ocean. But then again most of the keys aren't that big that you don't have the ocean view from just about any area you can camp at. Also they changes the saltwater fishing license requirements as of July 09. To bascically you have to have a license to fish saltwater now from anywhere, bridges,piers, beaches, docks etc. which used to be exempt from having a saltwater fishing license and they are strictly enforcing it from what I hear. I guess the State Of Florida really needs the money
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Postby Endo » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:18 pm

Jerome, Steve, & Woody thank you for the suggestions.
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Postby john » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:04 am

We stayed in both Bahia Honda and Curry Hammock. We paid $25 per night with water and electricity as they are public, but expect 3-4 times that and little more for private campgrounds.

We got reservations for Curry hammock for a week and while there we learned that campsites can be caught on a daily basis. We could call Reserve America in the mornings and ask for cancellations. It is rare to get more than one day at a site at a time. Moving each day is normal. It is the calling that is key. There is a lag between when a cancellation is reported and when it shows up on the site. That lag did not show up by phone giving an edge to those using a phone. If you choose to do this, try it from home now as a test. Just call and see what is available but don't reserve. My trip was in 2006 and things change,


During our week in Curry Hammock we saw folks move from one site one day then to another or disappear for a day or two only to return for a day. They were catching sites one day at a time.

Anyway we used what we had learned to spend a couple of extra unplanned days in the Keys.


Curry Hammock is new and clean and the gravel under foot was comfortable. Bathrooms were super clean.
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Bahia Honda runs snorkeling trips out of the park. Summer water is clearer. I went in the winter and had a blast. I saw a shark as I was climbing into the boat. The bathrooms are not as nice here as the campground is older. Unfortunately the gravel is very uncomfortable underfoot here. I had to keep my flops handy. Stellar beaches, though.
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Lastly don't forget the springs. Some of my favorite snorkeling was done in Ichetucknee Springs.
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and Wakeva Springs
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and Fanning Springs
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There are more Pics of my trip in the earliest 3 pages of my album.

Curry Hammock thread.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=20432&highlight=bahia+honda

Scroll down a little. Anastasia state park near St. Augustine is a nice place to stay as you make your way south. One of our family favorites.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=14332&highlight=bahia+honda

Bahia Honda. Again scroll down.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=9597&highlight=bahia+honda
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Build II -- Scenic II ---
viewtopic.php?t=29603

Build III -- Scenic Solo---
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50324

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Postby Endo » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:45 pm

John thank you for the very detailed response as well as all of the links/info.

I really appreciate it.
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Postby Endo » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:43 pm

We ended up staying on Key Largo. We camped at Key Largo Kampground and Marina.

Our site was right on the water, full hookup.
The site had a tiki hut/dock.
You could jump off the dock and swim in the canal right at the camp site. The water was very clear.
A small beach was one site over from ours.
We had a nice view of the water and mangroves from our tiki hut.

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Tyler swimming off the dock at the camp site:
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Cynthia cooking.
I just finished the pull-out galley the day before the trip.
Well it's not actually done but finished enough for the trip.
A few details to finish up but the galley worked well.
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We took a "private" charter to go snorkeling. Only 6 people on the boat + the guide/captain.
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It was a good time.
I would recommend this campground but only if you book a waterfront site.
The waterfront sites are expensive!
The other sites cost a little less but are not nearly as nice.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:20 pm

:o :applause: Now that looks like fun worth the money!

This is one of the best kids ideas I have seen lately! That is if they are not young enough to crawl out and fall.
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Postby Oasis Maker » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:09 pm

Miriam C. wrote::o :applause: Now that looks like fun worth the money!

This is one of the best kids ideas I have seen lately! That is if they are not young enough to crawl out and fall.
Image


+1 :applause:

I really like the concept of a Rooftop Tent on a teardrop. I pondered how one could maintain a teardrop lifestyle but accommodate more people and then I saw all of Scott's clever designs at, Compact Camping Concepts. It becomes an easy transition.

If the need ever arises for me, I've thought about having one mounted with a side entry and drop down changing room that would be over one of the teardrop doors. Great thing is that it can always be taken off and put on an overland vehicle for serious expeditions too.

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Postby Jason and Amanda » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:20 pm

Wow, looks like you guys had a great time :thumbsup:
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