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Old 07-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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The KEYS Place to Stay, My expierence:REVIEW Pennekamp/BOYDS/ELMAR

We stayed at Mike Pennekamp:
The staff said when we got there only one night available. Actually a park employee yelled it when I said I had no reservations. I was like THANK-YOU, Thank-you so much!!!! We just drove from Texas and I feel very lucky just to get a night here. Then the same employee said, I have never seen a Texan as nice as you, how long would you like to stay? I said in reality, I need 3 nights. She said ,well since you are so nice that shouldn't be a problem. SO we could have stayed as long as we wanted. A lot of politics envolved.

Now about the park itself. Alot to do from renting Kayaks, to swimming, to snorkeling. It's nice in that respect. The sites on the other hand are aweful. Small not much shade and it just seemed dirty. Our site backed up to a stagnant pond. You coild smell the raw stench well into the night. But for about 40.00 a night it was tolerable. Picnic table and a grill. NO view whatsoever from ANY site there. It was not a pleasure at all going outside our airstream for dinner or to cook. Just wanted to leave and go do something, or stay in and watch TV at night. They did have a nice restroom and a washer/dryer you could use but it was always busy.

Now for the GEM!!...EL MAR RV RESORT: A PLUS PLUS!!!!!! I loved it there. Niceset people run it. It's actually on stock Island. 3 miles from Key west. Water view sites,Clean,Wifi,Cable TV,Full Sewer hookups,Double Slab concrete pads,Grass, Palm trees, just Pure heaven. No public shower or restrooms. No Pool. Didn't miss any of that or need it.If you do decide to stay there sites 7,8,9, or 10 are the water front sites. We stayed in 8.When we backed in we had a beautiful view of the Carribean. We even fished off the site and caught crabs,fish and a shark!!!! Coming from John Pennekamp to EL Mar was night and day. We paid double to stay there and it was worth EVERY penny.
Boyds was within walking distance from El MAR Resort and I drove through there to see what it was like. Dissapointed IMO. Sites were PACKED together. Most waterview sites were for tents. It looked and reminded me a lot of Pennekamp. They were also about 30 dollars more than EL MAR!!! I would drive past Boyds and see Rv'ers pulling in and wanting to stop them and tell them to go to El MAR Resort just down the road where we were.
You would not be sorry with El MAr at all. I can't wait to get back there.

El MAR:





Pennekamp:





Hope this helps some of you on your trip to the keys. I found it hard to get a full review before I left for my trip. I got lucky and found PARADISE!!

Shane

Shane
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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Wow! What a beautiful site. Thanks for the review.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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I already owe you a beer.
I'll be there before the summer is done.
Thanks for the post.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:57 AM   #5
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What a nice spot! Tnx for taking the time to turn us on to a good RV Pk. Just a DAQ: Their literature says that the minimum length is 26 ft, but I note you have a 25er and I've got a 24. Is that a problem? I know that mngr's sometimes only use rules to keep riff-raff out, but Airstreams rise above that ;-)
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:18 AM   #6
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Love the flag. Looking for Mike Leach? Go Red Raiders!!!!
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Snedwid View Post
What a nice spot! Tnx for taking the time to turn us on to a good RV Pk. Just a DAQ: Their literature says that the minimum length is 26 ft, but I note you have a 25er and I've got a 24. Is that a problem? I know that mngr's sometimes only use rules to keep riff-raff out, but Airstreams rise above that ;-)
Not to be snobby, but I believe you are right. My Airsteam is actually 25' 11".

I just told Ernie<owner> I have an Airstream and he didn't even ask about the length. Super nice peple run it.

It's the best place to stay IMO. It's on stock Island. 2 miles to Key West and about 10 mins to Duvall. 1/4 mile from Boyds,,,Which I would NEVER stay at. Like I stated above, Boyds just looked un-Inviting and NO room!!

SHane
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
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El Mar RV and our Bambi....

Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
Not to be snobby, but I believe you are right. My Airsteam is actually 25' 11".

I just told Ernie<owner> I have an Airstream and he didn't even ask about the length. Super nice peple run it.

It's the best place to stay IMO. It's on stock Island. 2 miles to Key West and about 10 mins to Duvall. 1/4 mile from Boyds,,,Which I would NEVER stay at. Like I stated above, Boyds just looked un-Inviting and NO room!!

SHane
This thread is a couple of years old, and I'm wondering if anyone has any current advice. We are looking for a few days in the Keys and El Mar sounds good. Do you think they'll accept our Bambi 16'??

Thanks for any input!

-Dorsey
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #9
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Hey Dorsey-
Did you ever get an answer to this?
Being new to airstreams, We had no idea how hard it would be to get a spot in the keys in mid January. Was planning on John Pennekamp but may try El Mar.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:28 AM   #10
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Hey Dorsey-
Did you ever get an answer to this?
Being new to airstreams, We had no idea how hard it would be to get a spot in the keys in mid January. Was planning on John Pennekamp but may try El Mar.

El mar is still there and a gem. Close to key west....yes a Bambi will be fine. Ask for sites 8-10.

I sure do miss it.

Stream safe.

Shane
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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You need to try Long Key state park, Curry Hammock state park, and Bahia Honda state park. My favorite is Long Key, every site is ocean front. Mywife is an expert with the online reservations, but you have to book 11 months in advance for the 'Snowbird' season.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:17 AM   #12
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You need to try Long Key state park, Curry Hammock state park, and Bahia Honda state park. My favorite is Long Key, every site is ocean front. Mywife is an expert with the online reservations, but you have to book 11 months in advance for the 'Snowbird' season.
You need to be an expert with reservations to get in to these in season! We've never been able to make it happen.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:24 AM   #13
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Hey Dorsey-
Did you ever get an answer to this?
Being new to airstreams, We had no idea how hard it would be to get a spot in the keys in mid January. Was planning on John Pennekamp but may try El Mar.
Now I want to try El Mar, but we just made reservations for this year at Grassy Key RV Park in Marathon. It's not Key West, but it's central in the Keys so we can get anywhere, and we're hoping to do some kayak exploring so central works for us. Plus, Grassy Key is small, clean, and has lovely waterfront access. I'm also worried that we're just too small for El Mar: ours is a 16' Bambi and I'm thinking that might push the 26' minimum a little too far. I'm sure 23' - 25' can probably squeak through, but 16' is a stretch, no?
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #14
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You need to be an expert with reservations to get in to these in season! We've never been able to make it happen.
It starts with staying up to midnight 11 months from the day you want to arrive, as that is when the window opens. Sometimes it is 1 or 2 am before Reserve America actually opens the availability. When it opens, if a site is available and you can book it, do it then and there, don't ponder it over, as there are thousands of others booking sites at the same time. Another trick, but it will cost $10 adjustment fee, if you want to stay only a week- Book the site for two weeks, starting the week before you want to arrive, the day that that day opens for arrivals. Then, over the ensuing 10 months at some point, call the Reserve America toll free number, and adjust your stay to one week arriving a week later than originally reserved. It will cost $10, but, you have your site.
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