Florida’s Amazing State Parks

RV parks and campgrounds in the Florida Keys can be expensive in season. But from April through November, the water activities, sightseeing, shopping, dining, and relaxing under the swaying palms of this U.S. version of the Caribbean is balm to the soul.

Rain is usually on the menu during July and August, but the weather in early spring and autumn can be ideal. There are four RV-friendly Florida State Parks in the Keys, some with water views and sea breezes. Bahia Honda, Curry Hammock, Long Key and John Pennekamp each offer sites for around $40 per night. Not a bad deal considering that these parks offer beach access. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:

bahia Honda

Bahia Honda

Located on Big Pine Key, this park has 86 sites offering beautiful sunsets and sunrises over the water, and private sites hidden by lush green foliage. There are beaches on both ends of the park for toe-dipping, fishing, snorkeling, and swimming. Inland there’s a butterfly trail, and a nice trail hike to a remnant of an original Overseas Highway bridge—the highway being near the southern end of U.S. 1 and the bridge now almost a century old.

Curry Hammock

Located near Marathon, this park’s 28 large sites with tenting areas are generally coveted by RVers because there are no bad sites here—all ocean front and breezy. Hurricane Irma hit Marathon hard, so there’s less vegetation than before, but the lack of trees does make for great satellite reception and good cell service. Hiking trails, lots of iguanas, nearby kayaks rentals and shopping, restaurants, and ice cream shops are a short drive away.

John Pennekamp

Located in Key Largo, this park offers 47 sites which makes for cramped conditions during season, but off-season is not a problem. The seafood dining options are the best! Key Largo Fisheries offers fresh seafood to go or to eat on picnic tables overlooking the marina. The Conch House and The Fish House are within walking distance. There’s plenty to do in Key Largo, so boredom is not problem. Five stars for convenience and activities!

Long Key

Located in Long Key, this park offers 60 sites all overlooking the ocean. Each site has a picnic table and ground grill, plus all the regular electric and water hookups (bring an extension cord to this park). Here, the ocean is shallow and sea grass feels soft on wading feet. The park is a natural ecosystem, and you can wade out into the ocean for a long ways. There was damage from Irma, so call to be sure all the facilities are open.

All of the oceanfront Florida Keys State parks were damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Be sure to check before making reservations online to be sure that the park you like will meet your expectations.

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