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Old 11-26-2018, 05:21 PM   #1
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Question Snowbirds in Florida

Hoping to escape some frozen weeks in Branson, MO., we are thinking of at least 3 weeks in various parts of FL. We usually love state parks, but most seem to be booked already for Jan and Feb camping in Florida. Does anyone have some suggestions that don't cost $50+ per night? 30 amp electric would be nice, but could boondock every now and then. No other hook-ups desired for our little van. Has anyone stayed in Everglades state park? Also please suggest interesting places to visit. Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:58 PM   #2
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Yes, Jan., Feb., and March are the busiest months in FL and lots of State Parks are booked a year in advanced especially in south FL. All FL State Parks have a few walk-up sites that are not reservable. They are first come, first served. You may get lucky. There are some nice county parks, too. You can check on line for them if you know what counties you will be visiting. Of course they are going to be booked too with snowbirds.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:30 PM   #3
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Agreed, many Florida County parks are great. They too fill up, but if you can be flexible you can often string together a few nights, especially during the week. We just strung together 3 overnight stays in Fl State Parks plus 2 nights in St Augustine as we stop and see friends on the way to a house on LBK we rent for a couple of months.

I was in Everglades many years ago, not sure if they added electric or not, but it is worth the trip for a couple of days.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:36 PM   #4
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Check often for new availability from cancellations.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:48 PM   #5
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Everglades could have lots of bugs. The cheaper parks are located in the central (east-west) part of the state or up north near the panhandle. The coastal CG's are the most expensive. State, county and COE parks are mostly booked by now.
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:11 AM   #6
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Check out the water management districts and state forests. The process of getting sites at these places can be quite convoluted so do some hunting on the web. These will be for dry camping though water may be available at some. Ocala National Forest has a few campgrounds that should have availability, again no hook ups. First come first serve.

Do not miss "Nights of Lights" in St. Augustine. National Geographic rates it as one of the ten best holiday light displays in the world. It is awesome. There is a Flying J just south of there with overnight RV parking.

Key West is quite unique and worth a visit. But if you go, bring lotsa $$. Nothing cheap about the place.

The Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek when Willie Green is performing the blues. Awesome experience.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Parks

Thanks for the great ideas! I spent all morning researching county parks as many of you suggested. Some are not reservable, so might work for us to drop in.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:23 PM   #8
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MacDill AFB ( SP) If you have a military connection. There are a few City parks ,too. As has been mentioned thing are even book ,now.
We were looking to go somewhere just to exercise the van ,,,,in Jan. not dice
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:10 PM   #9
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Default Ft Desoto - Near St Pete

Nice campground with hookups. They hold 10% of the sites from booking till Fri AM (check in case they changed) so if you log on first thing Fri AM you can usually get a spot.

We stay here a few times a year as they have road races at the fort.

https://www.friendsofftdesoto.org/camping/
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for the Ft De Soto tip. We had one night booked inland at Little Manatee St Park while we are on the road to our winter rental on Longboat Key. We much prefer being out by the ocean and nabbed a site for Friday night in January. Looks like a great place!
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
Thanks for the Ft De Soto tip. We had one night booked inland at Little Manatee St Park while we are on the road to our winter rental on Longboat Key. We much prefer being out by the ocean and nabbed a site for Friday night in January. Looks like a great place!
FWIW - we prefer the sites between like 180-209. You can see on the map.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:52 PM   #12
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FWIW - we prefer the sites between like 180-209. You can see on the map.
Yes I can see why! This year we will check it out and nabbed the last one available right now (122) for the night we need. This year we are spending some time on the east coast before getting to LBK but I think next year we will see about getting a water site at Ft De Soto if it is as nice as it looks.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
Yes I can see why! This year we will check it out and nabbed the last one available right now (122) for the night we need. This year we are spending some time on the east coast before getting to LBK but I think next year we will see about getting a water site at Ft De Soto if it is as nice as it looks.
Great - if you find yourself in the keys and like snorkeling etc this is nice.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

https://www.reserveamerica.com/campi...&parkId=281015
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #14
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Yes that is a beautiful park. We wintered at Knights Key in Marathon for a number of years until it closed, and I have always loved the Keys. Because we were always "heading to the Keys" we never really explored the rest of Florida's coasts. Now that we rent a cottage on LBK and driving a much smaller RV, we are taking time before and after to enjoy the State and County parks.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:05 PM   #15
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If you don't have pets, they have an entire island, many sites on the water. If you have pets, the Ft DeSoto Dog park & Dog beach are only a mile away and your campground sticker gets you past the ranger station without an extra fee!
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:27 PM   #16
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We have snowbirded in FL for 6 years now mainly at FL state parks. The inland state park campgrounds in the northern half of FL will have more space than the coastal ones. In the Panhandle, check out Fort Pickens near Pensacola. The central interior parks like Highlands Hammocks always seem to have space. If you go to the southern third of the state, make sure you change your side rear screens to no-see-um screens because those critters easily come on thru mosquito screening. Alternately, buy some no-see-um Skreenz for the front doors so you can run your fan at night.
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