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Old 09-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Florida State Parks reservations

Hi Folks
we are looking to go to Florida for Jan., Feb. and March of 2015, (retiring next year) we have been looking at the state parks in key west and Long key. it states that you can reserve up to 11 months ahead. i am wondering if there are any 'tricks' to getting the reservations made. they seem to book up pretty much over the winter months. anything to help out would be appreciated. also any first hand info from the two state parks would be great.

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Old 09-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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The trick is to have a Plan B. Getting reservations on the keys (in our experience) is a bit like winning the lottery. Other state parks in FL are much easier, and we haven't been to one we didn't like.

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Old 09-03-2013, 04:34 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply Nilesrob
we will try it and see where it gets us. are the odds poor to try to get in to other State parks during the winter months without reservations.
thanks again
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Pete, you might try having two manned computers on line and a accurate clock with second hand in sequence (to the second) with U.S. Eastern time zone and click on your selected Florida Keys State Park site available exactly to the second at 8PM. You might get extremely lucky and beat many others at the game. I've tried this several times in advance with no luck last February to get a site exactly 11 months to the day for a January 2014 date in the Keys. Other wise check RV.Net daily for posted cancelations. It's like Brad posted, it's like winning the lottery if you get lucky!
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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2014 will be the third year we have spent time in the winter in Florida. The first year we could not get reservations in the Keys. I did get John Pennekamp reservations, but not Bahia Honda for 2013. For 2014 we have back to back reservations at Pennekamp and Bahia Honda.
It seems that once we turned-off the router and "hard wired" the internet connection we did get reservations, maybe just luck. We start looking several days before we try making reservations to see what sites will be coming available (11 months in advance). We try to select a day when several sites are coming available and not choose the "premium" sites. About 7:45 a.m. we sign into Reserve America web site, select the park, site, date of arrival and number of days for the reservation. We then wait until 8:00, hit the submit button and hope we get lucky. Winter reservations for the State Parks in the Keys fill at 8:00 a.m. the day the site becomes available. Remember that on the day that a particular site comes available you can book that site for up to 14 days even though the booking window for the other 13 days is not open.
Good luck!!

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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We just lucked out the other year. We had spend a 4 days camping at the Key West Naval Sta. and were heading towards Everglades NP. As we passed Bahia Honda SP you can see some of the sites from the road and they ALL looked empty. Not sure why we pulled in and found that they had taken the park off of the reservation registry due to road work within the park. They had just finished the road work and the sites had just become available but they had not yet advised the registry. So, Voila, we were there and the sites were empty.

SOoooooo. If you are fortunate enough to get a space you'll have a beautiful site on the water. If you are retired military head to Key West and enjoy a few days at the Navy Base. Can't beat it. We may plan to head back there this coming winter for a week or so.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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We used Bk_Yd_Safari's tactics when we made online reservations for Yosemite NPrk for July (same issues, different park) ... On the morning they "opened" reservations for the next 6 months, we were online about 15 minutes early, did all the selections, completed all the preliminary registration info and were all set to reserve...then at the stroke of the hour they opened, we hit "reserve". It worked! We got in ... Friends we planned to travel with did the same thing ... and they also got in. We went back in to see if any sites were left, and they were completely booked ... in less than 3 minutes. Familiarize yourself with the reservation system and how it works so you won't have to be figuring all that out when you actually reserve ... and it helps to cross all your fingers and toes. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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i gree with the above.

check the reserve list often since many who reserve far in advance might cancel as the actual date nears.

also, if you can get 3-4 days in a row grab them - sometimes addl days on either side might open up.

re: key west, also keep an eye on marahon - we managed to snag a week there and we were pleasantly surprised
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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thanks to all. it is great advise. we are just getting started on the airstream experiance. we have been out one weekend and are heading out again this weekend. thought of the grandkids but we are going to work the dogs into the 'lifestyle' to start with. we have two golden reteivers so we have some learning to do. as i look at the sites in Florida I can only think of how nice it will be to not 'plug in every day. cant wait.
thanks again, we appreciate it
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:03 AM   #10
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Many Florida state parks set aside a number of sites for drive-ons. It's worth a call directly to the park to see how many non reservable sites they have and what the demand is for them.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:19 AM   #11
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I'm glad I read this thread. I'm heading out to Florida the first week of October to take my 91 year old Mom to visit her brother in The Villages. We'll spend out time at Disneyworld for a few days while she stays with her brother.

I was looking for RV parks along the Florida panhandle and RV Park Reviews website showed many along I-10 with low ratings. I've booked a night at Falling Waters SP going to Orlando and a night returning from Orlando. Most of the sites were booked even though its the middle of the week and school is in session.


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