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Old 05-11-2008, 08:27 AM   #1
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Trip Planning -- Florida??

Hey All!

So, the 6 June departure date for my move up to Maine is coming quick! I've got all my towing issues worked out (THANKS) and the Bambi pretty well equipped. I have until the 12th of July before I have to check in at my new unit. For the intervening time I'm free as a bird!

I'm heading down to Jekyll Island with a girlfriend for the first weekend and into early the next week as a little farewell trip, but after that, I'm overwhelmed with choices of where to go and what to do.

Since I'll be living in Maine for a year, I'm tempted to hold off on Maine and the surrounding areas itself until after I get there. With the three weeks in between, I'm trying to decide where to go.

Lately I've been leaning towards extreme southern Florida. I'd like to see Biscayne park and the Keys. I'm thinking of generally being a beach bum and doing some snorkeling and maybe some kayaking.

Any suggestions? Anyone been down there? Good campgrounds? Things to see?

And, do you think I'm crazy and there's somewhere else I should go?

Hayley
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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Hayley---You already have an interest in seeing Florida, so go for it. It will be much further away for you after your move to Maine. On the way north, consider driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's very senic, can take several days, and ends up in northern Virginia. Have fun and tell us about your trip.
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:23 AM   #3
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The only decent public campground in Miami is at Larry and Penny Thompson County Park out in the suburbs. Far from South Beach but relatively close to Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.

If I read your post correctly you are AD military -- if so you might want to do the BIG setour down to Key West and stay at the Navy's Sigsbee RV Park. If you don't want to head that far south, head east and try Patrick AFB's RV park. Both very nice.

As you head north there are great military rv parks along the way:

U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks

Hope this helps,

mike
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:57 AM   #4
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Hayley:

I don't have an Airstream...yet...but I do live off of the coast of Miami and can give you some advice on activities if you'd like. A few guidelines to think about:

Expect it to be hot and humid...high 80s to low 90s each day with a good chance of afternoon thunderstorms. If you hate heat and humidity, it's not a great time of year to be down here. If you don't mind the heat, come on down to the kitchen.

Traffic in and around Miami itself is really bad, particularly around rush hour, so plan accordingly. On the bright side, the night life is particularly good, especially in South Beach if you're looking to stay out and party all night at trendy clubs.

Biscayne Bay National Park is comprised mostly of Biscayne Bay starting just south of downtown Miami. (The official park entrance is down near Homestead speedway.) It's a beautiful area from the water, but there's not much land itself in the park. Biscayne Bay is great for boating and sailing if you're into boating.

Everglades National Park is, as its name implies, comprised mostly of Everglades. However, there are some great bay/island areas accessible from the park as well, and lots of bird watchers love the birding (but I think it's a bit late season for peak bird watching). If you're into fishing, there's an area called Flamingo that's accessible from Everglades National Park that has fantastic light tackle fishing for redfish, tarpon, sea trout, sharks, and a whole bunch of other species, depending on where you go. In thinking about the park, however, also know that the mosquitos can be really, really bad there, and we're getting into that time of year. Bring strong bug spray, particularly if you're planning on being in the park around dusk or dawn. I've never gone kayaking in the park but, given the geography, imagine it would be quite good...with the mosquito caveat. I personally wouldn't swim in the waters accessible from the park. If it's fresh water, there could be alligators, and I know from fishing there that there are lots of sharks in the salt water and brackish areas.

Offshore fishing is also really good anywhere in the region if you like to fish.

The beaches are much better around Miami than they are in the Keys. In fact, the Keys hardly have any beaches at all. South Beach has nice beaches for the trendy crowd, and they're topless if you're into that. However, in my opinion, the best beaches by far are on Key Biscayne (a little island off of the coast where I happen to live). Try the beaches at Crandon Park or at Bill Baggs, both on Key Biscayne. You can't go wrong with either, and Bill Baggs is often voted as the one of the best beaches in the country. Great large sandy beaches and warm shallow calm water for swimming. They don't get really crowded on weekends, but weekdays would be great for low density.

The snorkeling is much better in the Keys...anywhere from Key Largo all the way down to Key West since the shallow coral reefs start in the northern end of the Keys.

South Beach is to trendy as Key West is to laid back. Key West is great for casual bars with live music. But Key West can be pretty pricey, so don't expect cheap food and drink. The drive down throught the Keys alternates between cheap strip mall and great long bridge expanses through turquoise water.

If you have more specifics on what you'd like to do down here, let me know.

Mike
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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Ditto the Crandon Park recommendation. You can also day park your Bambi on weekdays -- plenty of room, no one minds. You could even park alongside the Rickenbacker Causeway that leads to Crandon.

mike
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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You may also want to try the northern part of Florida. Do a google search for "Florida Springs" and you will see what the area I live in is all about. A few campgrounds on the Suwannee river are nice, too. Yellow Jacket is one of them. Other nice campgrounds are Ginnie Springs and Blue Springs. There is a Blue Springs state park in Orange City that is nice. We had a forum rally there a few years ago.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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Hayley:

Pick's point is a good one as well. Miami has great beaches but no RV parks conveniently close, and there's lots of traffic. Further south there are some interesting parks, tremendous boating opportunities, good snorkeling, and a relaxing atmosphere but not very good beaches. Other places in Florida are less crowded and therefore would have RV parks much closer to beaches. If what you're really looking for is to park your Airstream at a campground near a beach and totally relax for a week, Sanibel/Captiva on the West Coast or Hutchinson Island (near Stuart) on the East Coast may be better suited than the Miami/Keys areas. If you want to travel around a bit, a pass through this area is worth the drive.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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There is a place called Nettles Isand near Jensen Beach near Stuart. I have friends that own an RV lot there that is rented when they are not there, which is most of the year. The Realty on the island handles the rentals. Google can help you find it if interested.
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:01 PM   #9
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If you're into Amreican history, there is a nice little state park near St. Augustine called Faver-Dykes. You can go to the beach from there, or tour the old city (oldest in North America), see Marineland, and then continue down the coast. The Keys are hard to find camping spots, and for the most part the ones that are available are horribly overpriced.
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iHayley

Lately I've been leaning towards extreme southern Florida. I'd like to see Biscayne park and the Keys. I'm thinking of generally being a beach bum and doing some snorkeling and maybe some kayaking.

Any suggestions? Anyone been down there? Good campgrounds? Things to see?


Hayley
Hi, Hayley, There is no better place to be a beach bum than south Florida. It's too hot here to be anywhere other than in the water or at the ocean's edge in the breeze. The water temps should be really comfortable now. The rainy season starts in June so the sooner the better. And if you have never driven thru the Keys, do so! It will give you some great memories of shimmering turquoise waters with little bridges right thru the middle of the sea, when you're up there shivering in Maine next winter. County parks are good. Sebastian Inlet State Park is beautiful, right on the ocean, south of Melbourne. The state park in Key Largo is good for snorkeling. Have fun!
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:27 PM   #11
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Here's what a couple of our 'sperts have researched just for a trip like this!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...era-37772.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ast-40257.html
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:35 PM   #12
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We live in Ct Fla. June, July, and August can be unbearable. Camping means AC 24hrs/day. There are days it's too hot to go outside after 10 a.m.

Tom
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:51 PM   #13
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Cool Fort Desoto

It's at St. Petersburg - A county park with maybe the best Beachs in Florida~ Even has a dog beach. Great campground
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:17 PM   #14
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Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is a beauty WITH great beaches. You will find it at mile marker 37 between Marathon and Key West in the Keys. Check Reserve America for reservations though because the park fills up frequently.
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