Florida Campground Reviews

Here you will find reviews of campgrounds in which we have stayed in the state of Florida.

For details on how we choose a campground and our review criteria, go to our Main Campground Reviews page.

The reviews you find here will be from most recent to oldest since the older the review, the less relevant it may be. The "Overall Rating" is on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being the best.

Also, you will notice that each listing shows a corresponding "Journal Site" number. This refers to when our stay occurred in our journey and the number on the Map Of Our Travels on our daily Journal. By going to our Journal for the dates indicated in the review, you may be able to find out more about the campground and the area - but no promises. :)


Direct Links To Florida Reviews Below

Low-Key Hideaway, Cedar Key, FL - March 2011

Private Residence, Pinellas Park, FL - March 2011

Gulf Air Encore RV Resort, Ft. Myers Beach, FL - March 2011

Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park, Flamingo, FL - March 2011

Private Property, Key Largo, FL - February 2011

Private Residence, Goulds, FL - February 2011

Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL - January 2011

Lake Manatee State Park, Bradenton, FL - January 2011

Private Residence, Bradenton, FL - January 2011

Chassahowitzka River Campground, Homosassa, FL - January 2011

Cedar Key RV Resort, Cedar Key, FL - January 2011

Private Residence, Jacksonville, FL - December 2010

Welaka Lodge & Resort, Welaka, FL - December 2009 - March 2010

Ichetucknee Springs Campground, Fort White, FL - December 2009

St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, FL - December 2009

St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach, FL - December 2009

Grayton Beach State Park, Grayton Beach, FL - December 2009

Lake Louisa State Park, Clermont, FL - April 2006

Vacation Inn Resort, West Palm Beach, FL - April 2006

Lake San Marino RV Resort, Naples, FL - March 2006

SKP Resort, Wauchula/Zolfo Springs, FL - February 2006

(Private Residence), Bradenton, FL - January 2006

Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, FL - January 2006

Sumter Oaks RV Park (An Escapees Rainbow Park), Bushnell, FL - December 2005

Kathryn Abby Hanna Park, Jacksonville, FL - November 2005

Kelly's RV Park, White Springs, FL - November 2005

Falling Waters State Park, Chipley, FL - November 2005

Emerald Beach RV Park, Navarre, FL - November 2005



Journal Site 183: Low-Key Hideaway Motel & RV Park, Cedar Key, FL - Overall Rating: 7.0

Dates: March 15 - 24, 2011
Location: On Florida Hwy 24 just a mile east of Cedar Key, FL on the "Nature Coast" of the Gulf side of Florida.
GPS Coordinates: 29.15253N 83.03097W
Our Site Number: 2
Reason Selected: We were invited by RV-Dreams friends Pat & Cindy Bonish to join them for a few nights on our way north to our Spring Rally in Tennessee. Pat & Cindy are managing the Low-Key Hideaway Motel, RV Park, & Tike Bar for an indefinite period.
Setting: Five very close together sites on a very narrow strip of land leading to Cedar Key. The sites all back up to a marshy, mangrove bay.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Sort of. A few sites will accommodate big rigs, but you have to stop traffic on FL 24 in order to back in.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric in some sites and 30 amps in other sites.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $35.00 per night; $210 weekly; $500 monthly.
Other Factors: The main factors are simply Pat & Cindy. They are great folks and they make staying at Low-Key fun. Their personalities and local knowledge along with sitting around the Tiki Bar make the close quarters and road noise worthwhile. Oh, and the gorgeous sunsets as well. :) Rooftop satellite is not an issue.
OVERALL RATING: 7.0 (out of ten)
This is not exactly the type of place we would normally stay. In fact, if not for Pat & Cindy's hospitality, we would likely have rated this place a 6.0. But we got to experience Cedar Key like locals and had a lot of fun. I can't give the RV park any higher rating, but if you get a chance to snag one of the RV sites and spend some time, it's worth it. :)

Low-Key Hideaway Motel, RV Park & Tiki Bar


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 182: Private Residence, Pinellas Park, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: March 11 - 15, 2011
Location: Residential area in Pinellas Park, FL west of Tampa Bay and north of St. Petersburg.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Back Yard
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friends.
Setting: Large back yard beside fenced area behind warehouse.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty large. :)
Hook-ups: None.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Just good friends.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We enjoyed the spending time with our hosts. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 181: Gulf Air Encore RV Resort, Ft. Myers Beach, FL - Overall Rating: 4.0

Dates: March 8 - 11, 2011
Location: In the town of Ft. Myers Beach in southwest Florida. NOTE: It's nowhere near the actual beach. Off Summerlin Drive which leads to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
GPS Coordinates: 26.4898N 81.94105W
Our Site Number: 40
Reason Selected: Just needed a place close to Linda's mother's winter condo in Ft. Myers. This was the closest place we could get in for a few days to visit.
Setting: A very tight RV park with several permanent and seasonal park models with a few very tight RV sites mixed in. No character and the term "resort" is quite a stretch. Narrow paved roads with grass/sand sites.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: No. Very narrow roads and tough to back into any site.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric.
Laundry: Yes, decent laundry.
Price & Discounts: $53.00 per night plus $3 resort fee. Various specials for monthly and seasonal and "off-season" rates. We got a "Buy 2 nights, Get 1 free" special. Prices for this RV park are simply ridiculous.
Other Factors: Close to beaches and all kinds of shopping. Rooftop satellite not an issue. Cable available. The weather in the winter is the only possible draw to this park in our opinion.
OVERALL RATING: 4.0 (out of ten)
This is exactly the type of camping we hate. Tight roads with sites on top of each other at ridiculous prices. In the past, when visiting friends and relatives in Ft. Myers, we've stayed outside of town and driven in. We'll go back to that as we certainly won't be staying at this place ever again.

Gulf Air Encore RV Resort


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 180: Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: March 1 - 8, 2011
Location: The Flamingo Campground is located 38 miles into the eastern unit of the Everglades National Park south of Homestead, FL in the southern tip of the Florida mainland.
GPS Coordinates: 25.13814N 80.94162W
Our Site Number: 26, T Loop
Reason Selected: The Flamingo Campground has been a goal for a long time and it was a must for this winter. We've spent winters in other parts of Florida, south Texas, and Arizona. This year, we wanted to try the southernmost reaches of Florida including the Everglades.
Setting: This campground is out in the open with a few sites getting the benefit of some shade trees. The T Loop is set out like many private RV parks with several cross roads with numerous pull-through sites. Flamingo is truly out in the middle of nowhere at the very end of the park road. It doesn't get any quieter.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. The T Loop is designed for trailers and large motorhomes. The other loops have a few sites for bigger rigs, but most of the pads aren't long enough and RV wheels are supposed to stay on the asphalt.
Hook-ups: There are 41 sites in the T Loop that have 50-amp electric, but they don't have water or sewer. All other sites have no hook-ups at all. There are bathhouses, a place to take on water, and dump stations.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $30.00 per night for electric sites; $16 for all other sites; Those with the America The Beautiful Senior or Access Pass get half price camping fees. NOTE: There is a $10 entrance fee into the park and a $3 per kayak/canoe launch fee collected at the entrance.
Other Factors: Several canoe trails and a few hiking trails in the area. There is a marina where you can rent canoes, kayaks, or power boats. There are also boat tours and several ranger-guided programs each day in the winter. There is a cafe at the nearby lodge. The lodge and cafe were heavily damaged by Hurricane Wilma several years back, and only the cafe has re-opened. The website is rather weak on providing detailed information. Ninety of the 254 sites can be reserved, BUT you cannot reserve a specific site, only a spot in the campground. Rooftop satellite is no problem. The marina store has some staples, but it's best if you arrive fully stocked.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
If you aren't into nature and wildlife, there is very little to do at Flamingo. But the beauty of it for us is the quiet and the nature (including one of the few places to see American Crocodiles) and being out in the middle of nowhere. The sites are really well-spaced and they are huge in the T Loop. Those factors allow us to give the campground an 8.0 even though it really isn't particularly special. The $30 for electric is high by our standards, but very reasonable for south Florida in the winter. There isn't much in the way of shade or privacy. Still, any future wintering in Florida will most likely include a stint at Flamingo. :)

Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 179: Private Property, Key Largo, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: February 10 - March 1, 2011
Location: 8 acres of bayfront property on Key Largo.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Parked in access driveway
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friends that were caretaking the property for the winter months.
Setting: Jungle-like property with small, beach looking out over Blackwater Bay.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Access and turnaround only. :)
Hook-ups: Water only.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Free with some provided manual labor to help clean up the property.
Other Factors: Great weather, great friends, and waterfront.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
Even though we were parked without sewer and electric, our solar panels and generator did the trick, and we really enjoyed the great weather and spending time with our hosts. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 178: Private Residence, Goulds, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: January 30 - February 10, 2011
Location: Residential area in Goulds, FL south of Miami.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Back Yard
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friend. Also, made arrangements to leave rig there while flying to Boston to speak at the Boston RV Show.
Setting: Fenced yard behind avocado grove and house in plant nursery capital of Florida.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty large. :)
Hook-ups: Water and 50-amp electric.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Great weather and close enough to day trip to the eastern Everglades.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We enjoyed the great weather and spending time with our hostess. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 177: Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: January 19 - 30, 2011
Location: The Midway Campground is midway betwen Naples and Miami on the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) in south Florida.
GPS Coordinates: 25.84987N 80.98913W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: I've been trying to get to the far south of Florida for the winter for years. And this campground has long been a chosen destination. We had visited it back in 2006, but this was the first time we've made it back. In addition to the warm weather, we were looking forward to exploring both Big Cypress National Preserve and the western Everglades.
Setting: This is a campground out in the open with a few palm trees for shade. There is a small, elongated lake in the center and nearly identical back-in sites on each side of the lake. The back of the campground is wilderness, but the campground entrance is right on the busy U.S. 41, so road noise is pretty constant. Campground roads and sites are paved.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. The sites are all back-ins and a bit close together, but not bad. The one issue is that the sites are not angled but are perpindicular to the road. So backing around the palm trees can require you to get off pavement to have enough swing room. The western side of the lake tends to be softer off the pavement than the eastern side if it has been raining.
Hook-ups: All sites have 50/30-amp electric, but no water or sewer. There is a place to take on water, but the pressure is terrible and it takes a long, long time to fill a tank. There is a convenient dump station on the way out.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $19.00 per night; Those with the America The Beautiful Senior or Access Pass get half price camping fees.
Other Factors: Camphosts were extremely friendly. Campsites are all first-come, first-served, and with only 26 sites, timing has to be good in the winter to get a site. There is a 10-day maximum stay. Website lacks good info on campsites. Rooftop satellite is no problem. Campground is only three miles from the Big Cypress Preserve Oasis Visitor Center. It's about 20 miles west to Everglades City for supplies and about 20 miles east to the Shark Valley Unit of Everglades National Park.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
We maxed out our stay at Midway and really enjoyed exploring the area. There were so many nature activities. As for the campground itself, it gets high ratings for value and warm weather, but based on just the campground itself, it's really not all that great - certainly no "it" factor. However, it gets an extra half point because it's only $19 in south Florida in the winter. Heck, that might be worth a full point. :)

Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 176: Lake Manatee State Park Campground - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: January 16 - 19, 2011
Location: About 20 miles east of Bradenton and 10 miles east of I-75 on Florida Hwy 64.
GPS Coordinates: 27.48161N 82.34632W
Our Site Number: 24
Reason Selected: Our friends in Bradenton had more guests arriving so we needed to vacate their driveway. However, we were still waiting on a couple packages to arrive, so we couldn't go far. This was the best public campground within an easy drive of Bradenton.
Setting: There are two very nice "old Florida" loops with palm trees, palmettos, Live Oaks, and Spanish Moss. The sites are nice and big with lots of vegetation separating the sites, therefore there is good privacy. The sites are not on the lake.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes and no. The sites are plenty large for big rigs, but the roads are a bit narrow they make it tough to get enough swing room to back in to the sites.
Hook-ups: All sites have 30-amp electric and water. There is a convenient dump station on the way out.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $22.00 per night plus tax; Florida residents over 65 get half price.
Other Factors: Staff was extremely friendly. Campsites in the winter book up fast in Florida State Parks. They do set aside 10% of their sites for walk-ins, but your timing has to be good. This is how we got in to this park. Rooftop satellite is dependent on the site. Many sites have trees that would block the signals. Tripods may or may not do the trick, but most likely will.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
We really enjoyed our stay at this park. We liked the large, private sites. Also, there was a good deal of wildlife with birds, armadillos, gopher tortoises, deer, and more. In addition, there were some decent places to walk and bike and we could've launched our boats on the lake if the weather had been better during our stay. We didn't initially feel the campground had the "it" factor, but after a few days we ultimately deemed that it did. :)

Lake Manatee State Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 175: Private Residence, Bradenton, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: January 9 - 16, 2011
Location: Residential area on Palma Sola Bay west of Bradenton, FL.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Driveway
Reason Selected: Visiting good friends and a good place to attend the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa.
Setting: Subdivision in Bradenton.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Big enough. :)
Hook-ups: Water and 20-amp electric.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Great friends with a boat and lots of game-playing.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We always enjoy a few days with our buds. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 174: Chassahowitzka River Campground - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: January 2 - 9, 2011
Location: About 7 miles south of Homosassa on the central Gulf Coast of Florida off of U.S. Hwy 19.
GPS Coordinates: 28.71172N 82.57624W
Our Site Number: 7
Reason Selected: This was the only reasonably priced public campground we could find for exploring the Homosassa/Crystal Springs area. A bonus is that it sits on the Chassahowitzka River for some paddling.
Setting: This is heavily wooded "old Florida" type campground with pines and Live Oaks. One side backs up to a quiet residential area, while the rest of the campground is bordered by woods. The sites are pretty close together, closer than we usually find in a public campground.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: This is another campground that I wouldn't call "big rig friendly". There are some sites that are easier to get in than others, but it's still a little tight. Doable, but proceed with caution and you may have to go in the opposite direction of what you think. NOTE: It's a bit confusing to know where to go. The campground is visible on the left, but the campground/park office is down the paved road to the right. Fortunately, if you go to the right, you can make a wide turn to get back to the campground.
Hook-ups: Most sites have full hook-ups with 50-amp electric, but some of the nice sites just have 50-amp electric and water without sewer. There is a dump station on the way out.
Laundry: Decent laundry facilities.
Price & Discounts: $25.00 per night for full hook-ups; $23 for water & electric only. Weekly and monthly rates are available upon request. We got a weekly rate and, with tax, it came out to a little over $23 per night for full hook-ups.
Other Factors: This is a Citrus County Park and the rates are quite reasonable for the area. There is a very nice camp/river store and there are canoe and kayak rentals on the spring-fed Chassahowitzka River. A bonus was that several manatees were hanging out at the boat ramp/dock. The website is better than most private RV parks and many state parks. Staff was very nice. Rooftop satellite wouldn't work in most sites, and finding a hole for tripods isn't easy.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
The campground itself doesn't have the "it" factor, but it is very reasonably priced for full hook-ups in this area. We bumped it up a half point for value and for river access and manatees. :) As I mentioned before, some of the sites without sewer hook-ups are bigger and, in my opinion, better. This is a great park to set up base camp for exploring Homosassa Springs and Crystal River, but it's a bit of a drive to both. There are several RV parks that are more convenient to the attractions, and I think that's why more people choose the more expensive RV parks. But if we come back to the area, we would choose Chassahowitzka again.

Chassahowitzka River Campground


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 173: Cedar Key RV Resort - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: December 29, 2010 - January 2, 2011
Location: About 6 miles east of Cedar Key on the "Nature Coast" of Florida in the big bend of the Gulf Coast between the northwestern panhandle and the Tampa area. On Florida Hwy 24 about 15 miles west of U.S. Hwy 19.
GPS Coordinates: 29.21759N 82.97019W
Our Site Number: 11
Reason Selected: We had heard good things about Cedar Key and wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, we were both under the weather. Rather than go to a public campground without hook-ups or another RV park, we chose this one with full hook-ups and more spacious sites.
Setting: This is a pretty typical RV resort layout with nice wide roads and long, paved sites. But the mature palm trees and Live Oaks adds a bit to the overall feel of this rural RV park. The road noise is noticeable from Hwy 24, but it quiets down at night. There is another RV park across the side road and just woods to the rear of the park.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. This is one of the newer parks in the Cedar Key area and it was built for big rigs with the intent to sell lots.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric (actually up to 100-amp electric).
Laundry: Nice laundry facilities.
Price & Discounts: $30.00 per night, but discounts for weekly, monthly, and seasonal stays.
Other Factors: Again, this RV park was built with the intention of selling lots. It looks like the money for development and marketing might have run out, but the first phase of the resort is pretty nice. There isn't much to do around the resort, and the fact that it is 6 miles from the town of Cedar Key is a drawback. The website it lacking for a resort, but it's okay. Rooftop satellite depends on the site. There are lots of sites where it will work fine, but it won't in many. Tripods can usually find a hole.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
This is really a pretty nice RV park. It deserves a reasonable score and might be worthy of an 8.0. The downsides for us were 1) the sites back up to each other so, although the sites are well spaced side-to-side, they are too close in the rear, and 2) it's just too far from Cedar Key and other things to do. We like rural public campgrounds, but they usually have on-site nature activities and that doesn't exist here in this private resort.

Cedar Key RV Resort


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 172: Private Residence, Jacksonville, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: December 19 - 29, 2010
Location: Residential area in northeast Jacksonville.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Driveway
Reason Selected: Linda's sister's driveway for the holidays.
Setting: Subdivision in Jacksonville suburbs.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Big enough. :)
Hook-ups: Water and 20-amp electric. Stayed in house due to cold temperatures, so just hooked up electric to keep batteries charged.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Great hosts.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
The campsite didn't have the "it" factor, but it was a great place to spend the holidays with family. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 147: Welaka Lodge & Resort - Overall Rating: 7.0

Dates: December 21, 2009 - March 21, 2010
Location: Hard to describe. On the east side of the St. John's River in the small town of Welaka in northeastern Florida. About 20 miles south of Palatka and about 45 minutes southwest of St. Augustine.
GPS Coordinates: 29.47508N, 81.67441W
Our Site Number: 10
Reason Selected: We found this campground when we received an email saying they were looking for workampers in the summer of 2009. After checking out the website, we determined it was a nice, small, inexpensive, rural Florida park where I might be able to get some writing done over the winter.
Setting: The dozen RV sites sit close together under large Live Oak trees with Spanish Moss and a few palms. It's a narrow property with the RV sites near the entrance road. Beyond the RV sites is a lovely pool area and updated cottages and then a hill leading down to a great boat dock/tiki bar where we sat almost every evening watching the sunset over the St. John's River. The interior road is a mix of gravel, hard-packed dirt, and sand. The sites are also a gravel-dirt-sand mix.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Not really. We went in the wrong way, to the left. It's easier to get in that way, but the sites are angled the opposite direction. We got stuck in sand trying to get turned around. If you come in the correct way, there is a very tight turn past the office. It's big rig accessible, but not without some tight maneuvering and a little stress. :) CAUTION: Some GPS units will try to bring you to Welaka Lodge on Palmetto Street - that street only has a 7-foot clearance under the Live Oaks. Also, if coming from the other side of the St. John's River, some GPS units will try to bring you in through the Ocala National Forest and across the river on a ferry. It's only a two-car ferry at the end of a seven-mile dirt road, so don't try that!
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric (our surge guard did shut us down a few times during our three months due to low voltage). No dump station. There are bathrooms and showers in the pool house if you need them.
Laundry: Nice laundry with two washers and two dryers.
Price & Discounts: $27.00 plus tax per night; $135 plus tax per week; $325 plus tax plus metered electric per month EXCEPT in January, February, & March when it is $360 plus tax plus metered electric (unless you stay for three months or longer in which case you get the $325 rate - sheesh).
Other Factors: We didn't like the RV parking part of this place at all. The sites are too close together and there are some units that look terrible. HOWEVER, the owners are nice and the part of the "resort" beyond the RV sites is wonderful. They have "first Friday of the month dock parties" and most of the year they have Sunday dock or pool parties. Note: The parties are open to the public. We loved spending time on the dock. The website is pretty good, but their photos could be better. About half the sites are satellite-friendly. Restaurants and the post office are within walking distance in this sleepy little town. If you are have a power boat and like to fish, it doesn't get much better. The river is just a little too wide at the resort to do much paddling. About four miles from the campground is a two-car ferry ($10 each way) that can carry you across the St. John's River to the Ocala National Forest. It doesn't save much time, but it does save several miles if going in that direction.
OVERALL RATING: 7.0 (out of ten)
This is a tough one to rate. We liked the remoteness, the town, the owners, and we loved being able to walk a 100 yards and spend time on the dock. There are lots of nature activities in the area and the price was fantastic. But the RV sites have no appeal to us at all. They are just too close together and some of the "permanents" are not well-kept. Now, with that said, we enjoyed the rest of it and we'd go back again. I wish we could give it a higher score. If you go, tell Kevin & Jessica that Howard & Linda sent you. :)

Welaka Lodge & Resort


The Dock - Our Favorite Part!




Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 146: Ichetucknee Springs Campground - Overall Rating: 4

Dates: December 17, 2009 - December 21, 2009
Location: Just north of Fort White, Florida - about a mile from the north entrance to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Between Lake City and Gainesville on the west side of I-75 in Northcentral Florida.
GPS Coordinates: 29.98017N 82.75000W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: We were looking for an inexpensive camping option in north Florida on our way to a winter destination. We also hoped to find one near some natural attractions like state parks and the beautiful Florida springs. This campground showed up on FreeCampgrounds.com as a place where you could park for $10 - $15 a night.
Setting: After exiting the road that goes to the north entrance of Ichetucknee State Park, you make a turn onto a dirt road and then again down a bumpy dirt driveway that sort of looks like you are pulling up to someone's house. On the right as you go in is a large field with one campsite (where we parked) and a place where folks can boondock. The other sites are small sites tucked into the woods. Another stop out in the middle of nowhere. :)
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Not really unless you can get the one site in the field or plan to boondock. You can get around the loop that goes around the house/tavern (seasonal) to the dump station, but it does require caution.
Hook-ups: Water and 30-amp electric, although the electric was substandard (low voltage). There are bathrooms and showers, but we didn't check them out. There is a dump station, but it's a bit of a challenge.
Laundry: No laundry.
Price & Discounts: $15.00 plus tax per night for water and electric; $10 plus tax for dry camping.
Other Factors: This campground primarily caters to tubing and paddling enthusiasts that love to go down the Ichetucknee River. The state park doesn't have a campground, so this is the closest option. For a campground that is hard to find on the internet, there is a decent website, but there is also probably a good reason they don't have many pictures of the campsites. :) The road is terrible. Rooftop satellite would be an issue anywhere except in the one open field. Perhaps this place would be better in peak season during the summer, but it's not really an RV park at all.
OVERALL RATING: 4 (out of ten)
Well, we accomplished the goal of a cheap campsite near some attractions. :) But after experiencing the Ichetucknee River, there isn't any reason we'd return to this campground.

Ichetucknee Springs Campground


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 145: St. George Island State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: December 10, 2009 - December 17, 2009
Location: St. George Island on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast near the towns of Apalachicola and Eastpoint; Five miles south of U.S. 98 across a bridge over the Apalachicola Bay in what is called "The Forgotten Coast".
GPS Coordinates: 29.71976N, 84.74796W
Our Site Number: 42
Reason Selected: Another opportunity to check out one of the Gulf Coast state parks in the Florida panhandle while on our way to Northcentral Florida for the winter. The big draw to this one is that it is away from the big tourist destinations.
Setting: This campground as at the end of the park road at the east end of the island in a wooded area between the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Apalachicola Bay to the north. The pines provide a nice shelter from wind and weather. It's a natural Florida setting with the campground roads being paved and the campsites having a combination of grass, packed sand, dirt, and crushed shells.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. The island road leading into the park is rathr narrow, but it's a good road. The campground is a loop with one side being smaller sites and the other side having sites with room for all size big rigs.
Hook-ups: Water and 50-amp electric. There are two older, but decent bathhouses with showers. And there is a convenient dump station.
Laundry: No laundry.
Price & Discounts: $24.00 plus tax per night
Other Factors: Nine miles of beautiful, undeveloped beach with some of the biggest dunes in Florida. Four miles of the beach are accessible by foot only. There are two boat launches on the bay side of the island and a couple of short trails. There are a couple of ponds with waterfowl and alligators. The campground is wooded, but there is good opportunity on the side with larger sites to get satellite. Website for the park is decent, but lacking with respect to the campground.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
We liked the large sites of the campground and the remote, untouched beauty of the park and beach. There isn't a whole lot of diversity in the landscape, but there is certainly peace and quiet. Had the sites had a little more privacy and been a bit farther apart, we could have easily given this campground an 8.

St. George Island State Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 144: St. Andrews State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: December 7, 2009 - December 10, 2009
Location: Panama City Beach on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast; A few miles south of U.S. 98
GPS Coordinates: 30.1405N, 85.7435W
Our Site Number: 136
Reason Selected: Another opportunity to check out one of the Gulf Coast state parks in the Florida panhandle while on our way to Northcentral Florida for the winter.
Setting: This campground has two sections - the Pine Grove and Lagoon loops. The Pine Grove loop has more trees (pines of course). The woods are not as thick in the Lagoon loop. Both loops have site right on the Grand Lagoon. The campground roads are paved, but the sites are sand and crushed shells.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Both loops have big rig sites.
Hook-ups: Water and 30-amp electric. Two dump stations.
Laundry: Two washers and dryers at each of the bathhouses. No promises that they are all working. :)
Price & Discounts: $28.00 plus tax per night
Other Factors: Lots of wildlife, a nice beach, a couple of trails, kayak, jet ski, and pontoon boat rentals. Rooftop satellite was a challenge in the Piney Grove loop - there are more options in the Lagoon loop. Website for the park is decent, but lacking with respect to the campground.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
The campground was okay - better because almost no one was there in December. :) I would imagine it would be quite crowded in busy season. But we liked the park with the wildlife, the bike riding, and other things to do. The park added a half point to our rating. We might go back someday - again, a nice park for being so close to population. But, we prefer campgrounds that are a bit more rural.

St. Andrews State Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 143: Grayton Beach State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: November 30, 2009 - December 7, 2009
Location: About 25 miles east of Destin on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast; A couple of miles south of U.S. 98
GPS Coordinates: 30.32985N, 86.15493W
Our Site Number: 56
Reason Selected: Wanted to check out some of the Gulf Coast state parks in the Florida panhandle while on our way to Northcentral Florida for the winter. We selected Grayton Beach because it's between the popular beach towns of Deston and Panama City. We liked the fact that it was a little more rural and had a new, full hook-up loop that could handle larger rigs.
Setting: This campground has two loops. The first is a newer paved loop with open, gravel sites that are large, but a little close together. The older loop has a sand and crushed shell with sand and crushed shell sites. The older sites have thick vegetation in between them providing some privacy, but those sites are a bit narrower and harder to get into for larger rigs. Both loops are carved out of natural Florida terrain and are about a mile from the beach.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: The newer loop is nice for big rigs. The older loop is pretty tight, but big rigs can get in some of the sites - not easily.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups 50-amp electric in the newer loop; Water and 30-amp electric in the older loop.
Laundry: One washer and dryer at the new loop bathhouse
Price & Discounts: $30.00 plus tax per night for full hook-up sites; $24.00 plus tax for the other sites
Other Factors: Lovely beach with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Rooftop satellite was fine in the newer loop, but could be quite a challenge in the older loop. Website for the park is decent, but lacking with respect to the campground. Very nice, new bathhouse in the new loop. A couple of trails and a boat ramp for canoes/kayaks on the lake.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
It was nice having the large, full hook-up sites in this state park. The sites in the new loop didn't have the privacy or character of the ones in the older loop, otherwise this would have probably been an 8. Also, at $30 a night, it's quite a bit more expensive than where we usually stay, but for camping so near the beach in that part of Florida, it's actually a pretty good deal. We wouldn't hesitate to stay at Grayton Beach anytime we are traveling accross the Florida panhandle.

Grayton Beach State Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 21: Lake Louisa State Park Campground - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: April 6, 2006 - April 10, 2006
Location: Clermont, Florida; About 30 miles southwest of Orlanda on Hwy 27
GPS Coordinates: 28.43664N, 81.7233W
Our Site Number: 47
Reason Selected: After being in RV parks and/or populated areas for 5 months, we needed to get back into a state park campground setting; Also, we needed to start heading north; Finally, we decided at the last minute to attend the national RV Rally put on by Good Sam affiliated companies; So we checked out all the state parks in the vicinity of Daytona where the Rally was being held; Most of the park campgrounds were either booked or did not have sites large enough for us; So we settled on Lake Louisa about 90 minutes from Daytona due to the large sites, 50 amp electric, lack of shade (good for satellite internet), and lakes at the park.
Setting: This campground was three miles into the Lake Louisa State Park at the end of the park road. It sits between two large lakes with fishing piers within walking distance; The area was very dry with no shade in the campground so it was not the most attractive campground by a long shot; But it is about as private as it could be given its closeness to Orlando and the ever encroaching construction of new communities; Some traffic noise could be heard from Hwy 27, but all in all it was a very peaceful campground.
Guidebooks: We relied only on our Florida State Parks guide and the Florida State Parks website
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle rigs up to 45 feet with plenty of room to maneuver.
Hook-ups: Water and electric only with 50 amp electric
Laundry: One washer and dryer per bathhouse - better than nothing
Price & Discounts: $21.00 plus tax per night
Other Factors: Very, very nice bathhouse facilities for a state park; The park is all about the 6 lakes.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
We didn't get the chance to check out much of the park, but the campground was just what we needed; It was nice, not great, but we would stay there again if we are ever in the Orlando area; It's a great answer to the crowds of tourists

Lake Louisa State Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 20: Vacation Inn Resort - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: March 30, 2006 - April 6, 2006
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida; Military Trail just off of I-95
GPS Coordinates: 26.772084N, 80.107754W
Our Site Number: 211
Reason Selected: Invited to stay as a guest by a website/Journal reader. We wanted to visit a few people on the souteast coast of Florida, so we jumped at the opportunity when offered
Setting: This is a gated RV park between a busy road in the front, a warehouse on one side, a power company on the other side, and the elevated I-95 located to the rear beyond a small lake. Inside the gate, this was the nicest place we have stayed so far. The amenities were great and the landscaping was beautiful - both on the sites and the common areas. Outside the gate, it is not located in a very nice part of what is supposed to be a high end city. Once we left the park, it is the first time we felt like we had to be extra cautious about safety.
Guidebooks: None used - this is an ownership RV park.
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig, but the roads were narrow for the size of rigs.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: Excellent facilities located in each of the immaculate bathhouses; Not only were the facilities wonderful, but the prices were a little less than most other places we've been
Price & Discounts: Since we were "Invited Guests" we didn't have to pay; This is an ownership park, but owners can rent their sites; the rates are not made public, but we did hear that the monthly rate is $1,400 in the winter
Other Factors: Daily trash pick-up from each lot, cable TV, two pools with jacuzzis, city sewer and water, and lots more that makes the park top notch.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
This is a luxury park by all accounts; Put this park in a more scenic, less populated area and the overall rating could have been a 9; However, because of its location, the surrounding noise, and the safety concerns, we just could not rate it any higher than a 7; This was our least favorite place to stay, but we had to give the park itself its due and we certainly were appreciative of our hosts and their kindness

Vacation Inn RV Park


Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 19: Lake San Marino RV Resort - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: March 1, 2006 - March 30, 2006
Location: Naples, Florida; Just off of US 41 in north Naples slightly south of Bonita Springs
GPS Coordinates: 26.29309N, 81.79542W
Our Site Number: 194 on Port Place
Reason Selected: Strictly financial. We wanted a southwest Florida base and we discovered the $189 per month internet special for first time visitors to a Sun Communities Resort. The special was not good for January or February but it was for March if they had availability.
Setting: This is strictly an RV park located no more than a half a mile from the very busy US 41. We expected it to be a little nicer than it was. It is quite old with several park models and very tiny paved roads. It does have a high border fence all the way around the park to buffer noise and unpleasant views. Across from the entrance (north) is another older RV park. There is another older community to the south, a tree buffer on the west between the resort and a Wal-greens and strip center. There is a cement factory on the east that is a noise problem for those on the fence row. There are a few palm trees, but it is mostly sunny with the sites very close together. There is a lake, but it is surrounded by park models and access is very limited.
Guidebooks: We first looked at the Sun Communities resorts because they are listed in Passport America. The 50% Passport America discount is not good January - March, but we did find the internet specials when we checked out the website.
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig, but the lot sizes and distances between sites vary quite a bit.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 30 amp electric - the 30 amps was a little surprising
Laundry: Decent facilities located in the main office/community center building and in one other location; for the number of sites in the park, you would think there would be more washers and dryers
Price & Discounts: Internet Special of $189 per month PLUS resort fee of $61 (not good in January & February and subject to availability); They also honor a coupon for $149 for a month for first time visitors (not good in February and subject to availability); Regular monthly rate is $996 January through March and $515 April through December; Daily rate is $42.00 except May thru September when it is $29
Other Factors: When we called inquiring about the internet special and availability, they gave us a site on the fence row. When we asked, they told us about the factory and then said they would try to find us a different spot and call us back. They called us back within minutes and found another site for us. Considering we were paying a fourth of the regular rate, we were pleasantly surprised by the service.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
This is a decent RV Park with paved roads and full hook-ups; there are tons of activities and social events in the winter; The thing that made our stay special was the people we met on our street, Port Place. Without the wonderful time we had with that group, I might have pushed this down to a 6 because of the crowded feel and the 30 amp hook-ups; Actually, if we had to pay regular price it might even have gone down to a 5; But the people and the price we paid ($8 a day) made it a 7 ... for us .... this time; We will not likely return if it means paying standard winter rates (except to visit the regulars we came to know)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 18: SKP Resort - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: February 1, 2006 - March 1, 2006
Location: Wauchula/Zolfo Springs, Florida; About 50 miles east of I-75 on State Hwy 64 and about an hour due east of Bradenton, Florida
GPS Coordinates: 27.5109N, 81.7678W
Our Site Number: A-23
Reason Selected: It is an Escapees Co-Op park and we knew that we would not be turned away. If there were no full hook-up sites available, we could stay in the dry camping area or the electric/water area until a site became available; we could find no other campgrounds in south Florida that had openings for more than a couple of days in February (at least there were none that were within our budget)
Setting: This campground is out in the middle of orange grove country; There are palm trees, but no other significant trees; it is bordered on the west by wooded farmland, on the east by farmland, on the north by a strawberry farm, and on the south by Highway 64; the park is entered from State Road 64 on the south side and it does not sit back off the road, so the south side sites (sites at the "front" of the park) are pretty close to the road; also, there are quite a few park models and they tend to overshadow the RVs
Guidebooks: We relied on recommendations of other RVers and did not use the guidebooks other than our Escapees guide to pinpoint the location
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: Nice nice facilities located in the main office/community center building
Price & Discounts: Escapee Member Rates: Daily $13.00 (no tax)PLUS metered electric at 14 cents per kilowatt hour; you must be an Escapees RV Club Member to stay here
Other Factors: The friendliness of the Escapees community; However, not as friendly as the Rainbow Park at Sumter Oaks in Bushnell and there were not nearly as many activities; bathrooms and showers were located in the main community building and they were very clean; the website is a single page with necessary information only; the park is a couple of miles from the Peace River which is great for canoeing, and it is very centrally located; it is an hour from both Gulf beaches and Atlantic beaches and a couple of hours from Orlando and many other tourist attractions; nice pool area
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
This a nice RV Park with paved roads and large campsites with full hook-ups and 50 amp service; the Escapees rate of $13.00 really makes this campground a worthwhile stop even if it is a long ways from most things people like about Florida; it is an RV park rather than a campground out in nature that we prefer, but it was worthy of the 8 rating

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 17: Bradenton (Private Residence) - Overall Rating: None

Dates: January 23, 2006 - February 1, 2006
Location: Bradenton, Florida; That's all you get - didn't think I would just give out our friends' address did you? :)
GPS Coordinates: I don't think so. :)
Our Site Number: 1
Reason Selected: FREE!
Setting: Nice neighborhood with Palma Sola Bay a block away and Anna Maria Island five miles west
Guidebooks: Nah.
Big Rig Friendly: Handled us didn't it? :)
Hook-ups: Water & 20 amp electric only
Laundry: Excellent facilities!
Price & Discounts: FREE! We know the owners. :) Couple hundred bucks a night for anyone else.
Other Factors: Great people!
OVERALL RATING: None (out of ten)
We don't rate our friends' driveways - if we did, they would all be 10s just in case we want to go back. :)

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 16: Florida State Fairgrounds Campground - Overall Rating: 2

Dates: January 17, 2006 - January 23, 2006
Location: Tampa, Florida; Just off I-4 and US 301 a little bit west of the intersection of I-4 and I-75
GPS Coordinates: 27.9887N, 82.3588W
Our Site Number: 201
Reason Selected: We were contracted to do an RV seminar at the Florida RV Supershow at the fairgrounds and part of our deal was a free campsite
Setting: This "campground" is comprised of two sections that are basically open fields; the noise of traffic and sirens from the interstate was barely tolerable; Fortunately, we were in the section that actually had a lake, so the view was better than we expected
Guidebooks: No need for guidebooks on this one
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig, but the lake section is more suited to the larger RVs
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 30 amp electric
Laundry: Ha Ha Ha - None
Price & Discounts: Free for us, but they were charging everyone else $30 a night! Unbelievable.
Other Factors: There was no guidance whatsoever in parking and site selection; We were told we had to move after our first attempt to park; The sites were on top of each other and at one point we were told that we would have to pay for two sites if our slides hung over our invisible "line"; Horrible organization
OVERALL RATING: 2 (out of ten)
This place got a 2 rather than a 1 because it had full hook-ups; There is absolutely no reason to stay here unless you are attending an onsite event or rally (actually it's not open to the public, so you can only stay for an event), and even then, I would look at other options if I had to pay

Florida State Fairgrounds - Tampa

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 15: Sumter Oaks RV Park (An Escapees Rainbow Park) - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: December 19, 2005 - January 17, 2006
Location: Bushnell, Florida; About 1 1/2 miles east of I-75 (about half way between Ocala & Tampa) on County Road 673
GPS Coordinates: 28.6044N, 82.1682W
Our Site Number: 9
Reason Selected: 1) We had to be in Tampa by January 17 and this campground was on the way, 2) Having met numerous Escapees on the road and understanding the family-like atmosphere, we felt that an Escapees Park would be best for our first Christmas on the road away from family
Setting: This campground is off by itself and far enough away from the interstate that interstate traffic noise was not really noticeable; It is located in a rural area and is clearly an older campground; There are lots of trees, mostly live oaks, and it is bordered on the west by a large, open field, on the east by a farm with cows and donkeys, and on the north by soggy marshland; the park is entered from County Road 673 on the south side and it does not sit back off the road, so the south side sites (sites at the "front" of the park) are pretty close to the noisy county road; there is a rock quarry down the road that cuts in behind the campground (not visable from the campground) and trucks and machinery seem to run all night during the week
Guidebooks: We relied on recommendations of other RVers and did not use the guidebooks other than our Escapees guide to pinpoint the location
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig, but the few pull-through sites are reserved for overnight and short-stay guests; if planning a stay of a week or more, sites for the largest rigs may be hard to find during peak times
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric on the east side of the park and 30 amps on the west side
Laundry: Very nice facilities located in the main office building
Price & Discounts: Escapee Member Rates: Daily $12.50 plus 9% tax making it $13.63 PLUS metered electric at 11 cents per kilowatt hour; There is a weekly rate of $77.00 plus tax & electric from April - December; Dry camping is $2.50 per day (limit 21 days for members); Rates are for 2 people - $1 a day more for each extra person; We averaged $2.30 per day for electricity running our computer equipment non-stop and our electric fireplace and heater quite a bit; Our 29 day stay averaged $15.64 per day;
Non-Member Rates: Daily $24.00 plus tax & electric, Weekly $105 (Apr-Dec) plus tax & electric, Dry $10 (1 day limit)
Other Factors: This was our first stay at an Escapees park and everything we had heard about the family atmosphere and friendliness was true; We may be a bit more outgoing than most, but we were embraced completely by the community; Lots of activities; a single bathhouse that was clean, but in need of updating; the website is a single page with necessary information; Hugs from staff when you check in and when you leave are an Escapees tradition; within just a few miles there is hiking, a 46 mile paved bike trail, a canoe trail, and a lake
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
The Escapees family atmosphere and the Escapees member rates are what garners an 8.5 rating rather than an 8; It is a terrific campground, and I considered giving it a 9 (Linda would give it a 10 based on the donkeys and resident owls alone); But looking at it objectively with the gravel roads, the single, outdated bathhouse, the Non-Member rates, and the noise from the road and rock quarry (my biggest issue), I just couldn't bump it to a 9 (in fact, had it not been an Escapees Park, it may have been more like a 7.5)

Sumter Oaks RV Park - An Escapees Rainbow Park

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 14: Kathryn Abby Hanna Park Campground - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: November 14, 2005 - December 19, 2005
Location: Jacksonville, Florida; On the Atlantic Ocean at the end of Wonderwood Drive in the Kathryn Abby Hanna Park run by the City of Jacksonville
GPS Coordinates: 30.3718N, 81.4065W
Our Site Number: 226
Reason Selected: We had heard nothing but great things about this campground and park from other RVers; Also, it was the campground nearest Linda's sister and the rest of the family; The city had doubled the nightly rate this year which almost made us go somewhere else, but the convenience to everything, plus the beach, the lake, and the bike trails made it justifiable to pay the additional amount
Setting: This campground is within a beautiful park that sits on 1 1/2 miles of beach on the Atlantic Ocean; We were surprised to find that this campground on the ocean was completely treed; The canopy was so thick it was difficult to find openings for satellite service (people had tripods cabled everywhere), but we did manage on Site 226; The park is not located in the best part of town and with it being right next to a naval base there is actually a strip club right at the entrance to the park; Security, however, is good as the park itself is gated and requires an admission fee for non-campers and the campground itself is gated and requires a code to get in
Guidebooks: We relied on recommendations of other RVers and did not use the guidebooks
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig, but the roads within the campground are pretty narrow and there are quite a few low-hanging branches - go slow; There are numerous pull-throughs, but the sites vary quite a bit in size; Some sites do not leave room for a tow vehicle or toad
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 30 amp electric
Laundry: Adequate facilities under a shelter - not inside a building; Not much of a factor for us and we didn't try the machines because we were able to use Linda's sister's machines
Price & Discounts: $22.50 plus tax making it $25.43 - this is the rate from November through February; March through October the rate is $30.00 plus tax
Other Factors: Beach is about 1/4 of a mile from the campground entrance; 60 acre freshwater lake on the north side of the campground - a few campsites are on the lake; City website does not offer much in the way of description or photos; City employees can be cranky according to others, but they were nice to us; Bathhouses were cleaned by host campers every morning and stayed pretty clean, but they are old and in need of updating; Campground hosts were pleasant and did pretty good job with a few activities
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
This is a terrific campground with the beach and lots of hiking and off-road bike trails (the trails are NOT for easy cruising on a road bike, but there are plenty of paved roads to ride on); The thick tree canopy makes it a bit dark and dreary during winter months, but I am sure that the shade is quite welcome during the summer months; We did not experience any mosquito problems, but there is lots of standing water so I would bet mosquitoes are a problem in warmer months; Still, it is a beautiful park and campground with lots of activites on site; Without 50 amps and concrete pads, we could not give it a 9, but there were enough good things to rate it above a 7

Kathryn Abby Hanna Park

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 13: Kelly's RV Park - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: November 10, 2005 - November 14, 2005
Location: White Springs, Florida; On US HWy 41 about 6 miles north of I-10 or it can be accessed from I-75 going about 5 miles east
GPS Coordinates: 30.3203N, 82.7579W
Our Site Number: 138 Reason Selected: We had picked out this area along I-10 as a good place for our last stop before getting to Jacksonville; Our selection of Kelly's was based on two things: 1) Passport America discount, and 2) their website description of the natural surroundings
Setting: This campground is right on US 41, but is wooded with lots of oak trees (gotta be ready for acorns) and spanish moss; there are nature trails on either side of the RV park and a lake in the rear; The thing that takes away from the setting is that the first part of the park consists of several mobile homes for permanent and winter residents - they are well maintained, but we didn't like the feeling of being among permanent dwellings; We were able to get satellite reception, but had to pull the rig up to the edge of our site to get around some trees
Guidebooks: The Guidebooks did not have much to say about this campground, but the ratings were adequate
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any rig; However, the pull-through sites were all large gravel sites and not as attractive as the neighboring back-in sites with concrete pads
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: Adequate facilities, but two of the four washing machines were out of order and all the rest of the machines needed updating
Price & Discounts: $25.00 plus tax; Passport America discount (no pesky restrictions) makes it $12.50 plus tax; Also, has Escapees and Good Sams discounts
Other Factors: Usual manager was on vacation, but owners did their best to fill in; Website is pretty good, but photos of sites would have been helpful (gallery was under construction at the time); No bathhouse per se, but two unisex bathrooms with showers - updating needed; Snowbirds were starting to arrive and made us feel welcome at community campfire and Saturday morning breakfast
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
Again, this was another RV park that we would not have ordinarily liked, but it had a little better feel than the other RV parks we have stayed in, and it had great access to nature activities; The negatives were the uncomfortable gravel pad, the outdated laundry and shower facilities, and the mobile homes, but there were enough positives (especially the Passport America discount) to get it up to a 7 - an 8 was never an option; However, if we are in the area again, I think we would opt for the campground at the Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park (even without sewer hook-up) down the road for a few dollars over the Passport American price at Kelly's - we visited it, and it has the more natural setting and campground feel that we like

Kelly's RV Park Website

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 12: Falling Waters State Park Campground - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: November 2, 2005 - November 10, 2005
Location: Chipley, Florida; State Park is three to four miles off of I-10
GPS Coordinates: 30.7353N, 85.5373W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: We were looking to make 3 stops between Navarre and Jacksonville and were looking at two routes - a Gulf Coast route and an I-10 route; It turned out that our Gulf Coast route would not work because of the remnants of hurricanes and a couple places we had picked out did not have sites large enough for us; We had been looking at state parks, and this one in Chipley looked like a good stopping point for the next leg of our journey
Setting: This campground is snuggled back in the woods of this relatively small state park; It is completely wooded with towering pine trees, but only 24 sites that are not really suitable for big rigs; We were very lucky to be able to find a gap in the trees to get satellite access (Site 16)
Guidebooks: The Guidebooks did not have much to say about this campground, but the ratings were adequate
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle big rigs, but not at all set up for them since it is probably 50 years old with few changes; Still, we made it in and others did as well
Hook-ups: Water and 30 amp electric only; no sewer hook-ups. Also, electric hook-up is on wrong side
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts: $15.00; no club discounts, but they are willing to negotiate complimentary nights for volunteer work - we got three nights
Other Factors: Personnel was very nice, especially Ranger Scott Sweeney; Florida State Park Website is good, but don't let the photo of the falls entice you - it only flows like that after a whole lot of rain; bathhouse was very clean and there were two showers in each bathroom
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
We loved the seclusion and quiet of this campground; It was nature as we like it; But based on our criteria, we could only give it a 6 since it did not have full hook-ups or laundry facilities, and it is in need of updating; The setting and the three nights complimentary camping got it up to a 6, but we just could not justify a 7

Falling Waters State Park Webpage

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 11: Emerald Beach RV Park - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: November 1, 2005 - November 2, 2005
Location: Navarre, Florida on the Gulf Coast between Pensacola and Fort Walton; Directly on US HWY 98
GPS Coordinates: 30.4050N, 86.8514W
Our Site Number: 49
Reason Selected: Getting RV work done at nearby Emerald Coast RV and it was the closest place that the dealership recommended; Since we knew it was going to be a short stay we had decided to stay overnight at the area Wal-mart, but the pouring rain on travel day made us want to have hook-ups
Setting: Sits on Santa Rosa Sound (a body of water between barrier islands and the Gulf of Mexico) and has its own small private beach; Well maintained park with small palm trees, but sites are very close together; Also, sits right on the busy four lane Hwy 98 and is very near Eglin Air Force Base; Satellite reception was not a problem at all
Guidebooks: Did not rely on guidebooks for this choice
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle big rigs, but we were barely within our pull-through site
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: Forgot to even check out the laundry facilities since we were there only a couple days
Price & Discounts: $35.00 ($45.00 for beach front)per night plus tax in winter and $5.00 more in summer; Good Sam discount (still came out to almost $35.00 with discount and tax)
Other Factors: Personnel was very nice; Website is good and emphasizes the beach as it should
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
Again, this type of "campground" is not what we look for, and at the price we would not have stayed here had we not been in the area for RV repairs; However, it is very well maintained with full hook-ups and a pool; The bathhouse was clean and the private beach is a nice feature; But the website and promotional materials do not prepare you for the traffic noise or military maneuvers from the air force base; Considered giving it a 7, but gave it a 6 because of the noise and the high price

Emerald Beach RV Park Website

Back To Florida Campground Reviews List