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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know of any good tent camping locations in the Florida Keys? Location within the keys really isn't important, so long as it is in the keys. Details on the trip below.

Going in July 2014 for 10 days - Off season
2 Riders
2 2 Person tents (should be able to use one campsite)
Would like to have a site with a grill for cooking.
Don't have to have electric and water, but I'll consider it if the price is right.
I looked at KOA but they have a "free-for-all" style field for tent camping. We're looking to rough it a bit but this is a bit much - we would like to have a designated site.


Any input appreciated!!!
 

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It's been a few moons - friends camped right in town off the waters edge - Key West.
I stayed at a house at 30 mile marker -

But that little chunk to camp at was huge bucks to barely fit their small motorhome.
It had to be 600 - 700 a week - no services.

Compared to hotel at 350 a day - it's doable.

There's a few guys that live down that way
 

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When in July? and how far south are you going? How long you staying? It is so stink'n hot and muggy that time of the year.
John Pennekamp (State Park), Bahia Honda, to me they are the best.
Also remember from Key Largo to Key West is about a two/three hour ride, depending on traffic.
Best option might be to find something in between, that way you can visit pretty much all the keys in a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When in July? and how far south are you going? How long you staying? It is so stink'n hot and muggy that time of the year.
John Pennekamp (State Park), Bahia Honda, to me they are the best.
Also remember from Key Largo to Key West is about a two/three hour ride, depending on traffic.
Best option might be to find something in between, that way you can visit pretty much all the keys in a few days.

Good questions. We are leaving Central Virginia on the 16th, spending a night on the road somewhere (probably around Savannah, Georgia) and arriving in the Keys on the 18th. Stay for 7 days until the 25th and repeat the same back. There is a possibility of leaving on the 24th but that really won't affect where we stay. I found a state part, Curry Hammock (maybe you're familiar with it). Seems to be right in the middle so-to-speak. Looks like its around an hour or so from Key West. As for hot and muggy... yeah, I know blah, just seems the be the best time that'll work out for us. Heck, it can't be any worse than riding to Texas around that time like I did this year! LOL 105 degrees on asphalt sucks and there's not way to make it better except to get off and go inside.

I'll look into the places that you suggested, thanks!
 

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There's a camp ground just outside of Key West that has a pool, electric, and showers. Can't remember name, but shouldn't be hard to find on the net. Beware, theirs a naval base just to the north and those boys come in fast, low and loud in the am. I thought it was kinda cool.
 

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Sounds like a nice trip, really like the Keys, July might be a tough month. Try an evaporative cooling vest (ecv) with light synthetic clothes for the heat, the cooling effect is dramatic. Also would make a nice IBA SaddleSore 1000 ride going one way or the other. I’ve done it coming north.

Don’t know what your interests are but I’d suggest Pennekamp for camping. You’d be about 2 hours from Key West and an hour from the Miami beach area, even less to the Everglades. Miami South Beach area is very nice in the evening. I like nature and there are some things to see and do right at Pennekamp. You can rent a power boat for 4 or 8 hours for snorkeling/diving or just cruise the canals and coastline. The reef is excellent, take a gps and a chart for MANY excellent diving areas on the reef, snorkeling is really all that is needed. Take/rent an underwater camera. They also have kayaks to explore the mangrove canals.
http://pennekamppark.com/
http://www.floridastateparks.org/pennekamp/default.cfm

If you’re looking for a more adventurous nature experience I can direct you to a 26 mile long public dirt road west of Miami that is great for gator and other wildlife viewing. If it’s dry it’s just about right for a slow speed vtx. PM me if interested.

If you get tired of camping in the heat last year I stayed at the Blackfin Resort in Marathon. By Far it was the cheapest place on Memorial weekend, attached retro 50’s restaurant, it was nice. Being on the west side the sunset from their marina was spectacular. Dive/snorkel shop right next door. http://www.blackfinresort.com/

Southernmost monument in Key West, 2012.


Boat from Pennekamp, 2010


Blackfin Resort sunset


Couple of snorkeling pics from reef near Pennekamp a few years ago.


Some nervous lobster.


Gator lookin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Enduro - Thanks for the response. I'll certainly keep what you suggested in mind. We're a couple of younger guys (26 & 29) looking to get away from the wives once a year lol. So our interests are typically broad - of course we like the typical party/club scene however the back road and nature always fascinates us and I believe the other guy is getting a GoPro for the trip (I can't justify it).

By chance do you know what time the parks close up? Reason I ask is that if we go out one day we might not get back until late. When I say late I don't mean 3am but 8-9pm. I know some places lock down at 5pm or dusk.
 

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Pennekamp closes at sunset but I think you can still get in to the camping area, I'd give them a call.
 

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Key wasted

Contact a member named KeyWasted. He lives in the keys and would be a good source for everything you are looking for.
 

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Try "Sunshine Key Camping Resort" I think you can only rent a site... and put on it whatever you want. Electric and water at each site. It's located at 39MM just south of 7 Mile Bridge, between Marathon & Big Pine Key. We've camped there many times in our van... right on the water's edge.

While cruising thru Big Pine Key, be sure to head over to "No Name Key" and check out the key deer roaming the area. Take the road to the end. While there, stop into the world famous "No Name Pub" for some of their awesome pizza!



 

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Thanks for the info also. Key West on my list just not on my calendar yet. I highly recommend Pennekamp for some diving. If not a diver at least snorkel.
 
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