How to Tell It’s Spring in South Florida

Spring started on March 20, but few in south Florida noticed. No crocus buds popped up through snow, no cherry blossom scent filled the air. In Florida’s panhandle thousands of college students stream to the beaches, but here in Martin County, our 40-feet building height restriction means fewer large hotels, and in turn, no noticeable annual spring break madness.alligator

But nature provides plenty of clues that it’s springtime in Florida. Last month we wrote about the annual arrival of our gentle giant, the manatee, to our rivers and inlets. They are followed by the annual shark migration, a trek considered to be the largest migration in U.S. coastal waters. The usual count is around 15,000 blacktip sharks arriving from the north, but this year numbers are down, leading scientists to worry because blacktip sharks help keep coral reefs and sea grasses healthy by “cleaning out” weak fish species.

Above the beaches, birds are flying in formation heading northward. Sea turtles are nesting along beaches. Near swamps and bogs, Florida’s male alligators are bellowing and fighting over the females. Butterflies flitting about are more plentiful and the bald cypress trees are contemplating their summer foliage.

Spring in south Florida is all around us…if we look, listen and learn. Happy spring!

More Spacious Sites

This was our 4th autumn/winter stay at Floridays. The sites are more spacious than at most campgrounds. The washrooms and laundry facilities are new and kept clean. Downtown Hobe Sound has all amenities and is about 1 mile from the campground. We can also easily walk/run or bike to the beach (about 2 miles).
George, the manager’s Tiki Bar is often open for Happy Hour, cookouts, karaoke, etc. George and his staff are very helpful and will do their best to make your stay a pleasant one.

We have already booked for next year.

—Gervais and Suzanne Roy (Canada)
March, 2018

Very Friendly!

My wife and I have stayed at the Floridays RV Park for the past 5 winters now and have found this park very friendly. It has only about 70 sites most of them with a cemented pad that is next to your RV and a large one in front that can accommodate two vehicles. The owner had a new bathroom with an attached laundry room built.

Although this park has no swimming pool, it is located only 2 miles from Jupiter Island Beach where runners, cyclists, boaters and sport fishermen can all enjoy. George, the park manager, will make everything so that your stay will be everything you hoped for. Shopping is only 20 minutes to Stuart or Jupiter.

I would highly recommend that you give this park a try.

—Bruno and Claudette Arseneau

We Love This Park!

My wife and I have been coming to Floridays for eight seasons. We love this Park. It is in the small town of Hobe Sound snuggled comfortably between Jupiter and Stuart on the east coast of south Florida.

Each RV site is quite large with a cement patio and driveway with 50/30 amp service. The Park has a beautiful brand new handicap-friendly bathhouse and laundry facilities. The manager George is very friendly and helpful. He also has a BYOB Tiki Bar at the back of his house/office and most afternoons Happy Hour is enjoyed there and on special event days there is usually a potluck-style dinner.

The world-famous Jupiter Island and its beach is just two miles away. There are excellent and safe trails and roads for running and biking enthusiasts. The local stores include grocery, banks, gas, hardware, many fine resturants and of course thrift stores. All the major shopping facilities are within twenty minutes. We would recommend Floridays RV Park to anyone that likes enjoyable camping without the hassle of big city life and traffic.

—Harold & Julia Post,
Beresford, New Brunswick, Canada

The Florida Manatee

During South Florida’s mild winter months a grayish brown lump with thick wrinkled algae-stained skin gets a ton of attention. The Florida manatees return from their summer homes along the rivers of the Carolinas, Louisiana, and sometimes even from as far north as Massachusetts. Some with calf in tow, others on their own, gather in shallow warm waters to graze on seagrass.

manateeIt’s estimated that about 6,000 manatees live in the shallow rivers, bays, estuaries and coastal waters in the U.S.—and they all come to Florida for the winter. They are gentle beasts, slow-moving, and often playful. When stressed or excited, they squeak at one another. But usually, they simply eat and rest.

Places to see manatees in and around Martin County include the Manatee Lagoon. Owned by Florida Power & Light, the wild manatees gather, sometimes by the hundreds, near the warm-water outflows of FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center.

Manatees can be spotted along the Treasure Coast in most of Martin County’s inland waterways, near docs, waterside restaurants, bridges, and rivers during the winter. A short drive to north to Ft. Pierce is a great way to learn about these fascinating winter visitors. The Manatee Observation and Education Center in Fort Pierce is a waterfront environmental education and wildlife viewing center. Closer to Floridays, the Hobe Sound Nature Center leads walks along the intracoastal waterway to look for manatees gathering between the Center and Jupiter Island, and Jonathan Dickinson State Park (JDSP) [https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Jonathan-Dickinson ] offers canoes, kayaks, and guided tours in comfortable, dry pontoon boats—all great ways to spot manatees in their natural environment.manatee

Beyond the Treasure Coast, in central Florida, the manatees gather in shallow clear waters in Crystal River. Thousands visit Crystal River in January to celebrate the manatees’s return. By now, the crowds have thinned and vendors shuttered and gone…the perfect time to rent a kayak or go on a snorkel tour at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Whether you do it up fancy at the Plantation at Crystal River, or go local at JDSP, the manatees are waiting.