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Florida for 10 Day


doit2010

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Hi,

 

Flying into Tampa renting a MH and returning it to Tampa 10 nights later. (November 27 to December 7) Going as far south Key West, about 430 miles. Having never been any further south than Tucson need suggestions on what route to take down and what campgrounds to stay at and what route to take back and campground suggestions.

 

Are one or two night stays hard to find this time of year? Do I need to start making reservations?

 

Also what NOT TO MISS going and coming. I assuming about 100 miles a day, but could do more miles and stay two night in one or more locations if needed to see and do all I can in 10days.

 

Thanks for any and all suggestions. Wish I could spend more, but due to family and child care needs this is all we get for now.

 

Thanks in advance

Evan

 

 

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Start now making reservations if you can. After you find the places that have an opening you could plan your trip around the days available where you want to stay. Are you planning on any Orlando activities? That can take a couple days. You don't mention the size of your rental MH, I will assume it's a class C so the drive to and from Key West won't be too bad. The road is always busy. Actually during that time most roads in South Florida will be busy. US 27 will take you through Sebring, Lake Placid, Clewiston, Moorehaven, South Bay, Belle Glade and on into Wellington and West Palm Beach. You can google those towns and find if there is anything of interest to you. They are mostly in the center of the state and not on the beaches, except of Lake Okeechobee. The Tamiami trail is the southern most road that crosses the state from Tampa to Miami. You can find all kinds of Everglades events along it. I have not stayed at any of the RV parks in the Everglades but some like it and others not so much.

 

Have a great trip,

 

Rod

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Doesn't Tamiami go from Naples area to Miami? It's been many years since I traveled down there, and that was only once. I75 goes from Naples to Miami just north of the Everglades and Rte. 41 is south of there and actually traverses the Everglades.

 

I could be wrong but for some reason I thought Rte. 41 was called Tamiami.

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US 27 doesn't go near Tampa to the Keys.

 

From Tampa I75S to last exit before toll starts. At Exit 101 take SR 951 S to US 41 E and then SR 997 S to where it ends at US1 S to Key West.

On US 41 visit Shark Valley

And take a tram tour

Stop and take a air boat ride and see the Gator Boys show

They will some construction on 997 but not any long delays.

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Key West prices are around the $100/day area. There is only one campground in proximity to Key West. Route down is OK. I would suggest getting off at Sarasota and going east through Myaka to Arcadia. Then south on FL17 then east to Belle Glade.

I like the trip across on US 41. Less traffic and no toll.

Make reservations before you fly into to Tampa at that time of year. There are a few Passport America campgrouinds that honor the half price camping during the winter. I believe that Jolly Roger on the Keys does for up to five days. That would place you hour and half to two hours from Key West. Parking on Key West is tight so be prepared to hunt for a spot to park the RV.

 

Good luck,

Bill

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Biker56,

 

 

I was in the AF for 3years, 9month 26 day, so I guess that I am a veteran, but I have never used the veteran status so what would I have to show Sigsbee RV Park, do I need to take a copy of dd214?. That is what I had to show the DMV to get my veteran plates for my MKZ and F150.

 

At 25$ a night versus over a 100$ I will take whatever is needed to save that kind of money.

 

 

Thanks

 

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Biker56,

 

 

Must be retired military for Sigsbee NAS.

 

Still room at John Pennekamp state park in Key Largo last time I checked at $36 night.

 

 

 

 

I was in the AF for 3years, 9month 26 day, so I guess that I am a veteran, but I have never used the veteran status so what would I have to show Sigsbee RV Park, do I need to take a copy of dd214?. That is what I had to show the DMV to get my veteran plates for my MKZ and F150.

 

At 25$ a night versus over a 100$ I will take whatever is needed to save that kind of money.

 

 

 

Thanks

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Biker has the right route for you. No reason to take Alligator Alley (I-75) from Naples to the east side. 1) from Exit 102 and down is toll 2) you won't see anything close to an alligator 3) or anything much else 4) it is a longer distance via I-75. I-75 across the glades is boring. Tamiami Trail (US41) [i-75 exit 101 south 8 miles on Rt 951 - Collier Blvd to US41] is much more interesting. If it is a sunny day, start watching the canal on the north side of the road about 16 miles east of the Rt 951 intersection for alligators sunning in the water or banks. It should be good viewing for about 15 miles and you should see 50+ gators. Also 16 mi east of the 951 intersection you will come to a bridge over the Fakahatchee Union River (Port of the Islands resort). You can pull over on the bridge and look on the south side for Manatee. You have a pretty good chance at that time of year to see them there (I live in Port of the Islands). As you approach the east coast you will come to Krome Ave (you can't miss it, there is a multi story hotel/casino on the nw corner. Turn right on Krome and that will take you to US1 and the Keys. Have fun.

 

About 10 miles east of the 951/US41 intersection is Collier Seminole State Park which has a decent campground (it is undergoing some renovation this summer) Also on the north and west side of the bridge mentioned above there is a turnout (not advertised) which can handle 2-3 campers. No utilities but there are picnic tables and it is riverside. There is a self pay box and I think the cost is a couple of bucks or so per person. The Port of the Islands hotel restaurant is just across the highway (it's easy to cross on foot). Further east on 41 is Midway Campground - either in Great Cypress Swamp Natl Preserve or Everglades NP - not sure where the boundary is but I think it is in E. NP. You should see lots of birds along this route as well. Osprey, Eagles, Egrets, White & Blue Herons, Anhingas (watch for them drying their feather perched up on the power lines) and, if you're lucky, about 10 miles east of Rt 29 to Everglades City and on the south side of US41 is a winter ground for Roseatte Spoonbills.

 

If you'd like to see an old Florida fishing port take the 3 mile south detour on Rt 29 to Everglades City. Once over their bridge hang a gentle right and follow the shore line. Further south on 29, 8 miles or so, is an island (Chokoloskee Is) and at the southern end of the island is the Ted Smallwood Store - a historical site of an original Seminole Indian trading post. Really interesting and worth the $5 admission. Incidentally, in the Collier Seminole SP is one of the walking dredges used to build the Tamiami Trail. About 10 miles south of where you turn from 951 to US41 is Marco Island. Not a special place for a traveling tourist, IMO, but Marco is the westernmost (and largest) of the Ten Thousand Islands. That chain of land islands, mangrove islands and shell islands stretches eastward from there to US1 in the Miami area. If you do go to Marco, be sure to take San Marco Blvd east to Goodland - another quaint old FL fishing town. San Marco Rd bends northward from Goodland and connects/dead ends with US 41 just 1 block west of Collier Seminole SP CG

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You really need to check on availability of space in the Keys for that time of year. Many of the parks, and there are several besides Key West, are booked a year or more in advance. So you might find you have no place to go. They are very, very strict in the Keys as to where you can park an RV. The time of year you plan to travel is the beginning of the high season in the Keys. We lived in Marathon for 10 years. Other campgrounds in south Florida begin to fill up as the snowbirds arrive for the winter. They mostly come down and stay in one spot until May and then head north. Good luck. Chuck

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We went last year. Spent a month traveling in the southern part of the state.

 

IF you can get a campsite in a Florida State Park....do it. The parks in the Keys are wonderful, but good luck getting into a campsite.

 

Here is the link to my first posting on Florida: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2015_03_01_archive.html

 

Additional postings for Florida can be found in April and May sections.

 

We prefer rural to urban areas. Have fun on your trip. It is an interesting state....

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My wife and I graduated from Wenatchee high school (1974 & 1975). We are on our way to Key West around August 15 and will be staying on Sigsbee Naval Air Station.

 

 

We went last year. Spent a month traveling in the southern part of the state.

 

IF you can get a campsite in a Florida State Park....do it. The parks in the Keys are wonderful, but good luck getting into a campsite.

 

Here is the link to my first posting on Florida: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2015_03_01_archive.html

 

Additional postings for Florida can be found in April and May sections.

 

We prefer rural to urban areas. Have fun on your trip. It is an interesting state....

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Of course it mainly depends on your interest levels and your comfort of how you like to travel and spend how long where. Also your budget will come into play but maybe there's some things here that might be of interest to you that we've done on short and long trips, since 1987. We have generally loved spending a lot of visits to Fla, and in fact ended up building a house in Sarasota back in 2009 which we are currently selling as we move onto new chapters of our lives. One thing we are very cognizant of now is that when we are more inland away from the Ocean the bugs and on occasion when visiting Turtle Beach on a full moon being eaten alive in Nov walking on the sand. Just saying so you can prep yourself if susceptible to bites etc.

 

We have gone down one coast and back up the other, doing stop starts at many of the towns/areas enroute. Our activities are based around kayaking, Shelling, Picnicking, Swimming, FISHING++ for hubby and snorkelling. To Each Their Own but with such a limited amount of time, we would likely from Tampa head Clearwater/St Petersburg, then down from Ana Maria Island to Longboat to have look see at St Armands Circle, to enjoy Sarasota for a day or two including Siesta Key (Oscar Scherar State Park in Nokomis is fair price or cramped but close to ocean is Turtle Beach area CG), Myakka SP is worth a look see for the gators etc and can kayak in there (Myakka CG I've read fair write ups from folks on), Venice Beach is popular town stop off visit, as well the beach for combing for sharks teeth, and the fishing pier especially at night for shark catching (Sharkey's Restaurant on the Pier is quite expensive for the quality of the food you get as a heads up!) - The North and South Jetties close to Venice are very enjoyable and we picnic there often, and many head there to watch the sunset each night and dolphins/manatees often around.

 

Heading down from there towards Naples with stops enroute (Coral ?) and then towards the Everglades for an airboat ride maybe (we did that back in the 1980's when the Miccosukee Indian Village was more original than touristy and loved it) to Homestead to stock up before heading down to the keys. Key Largo we have loved staying at John Pennecamp SP and snorkelling from as well prices for boats out for a couple hours snorkel to some sites we found fair price. Islamorada roughly in the middle of the keys worked well as a stopping place for us also, and it's known as the fishing capital. Check out Robbies and Marys there for Tarpon feeding novelty look see. Heading further south to Key West there are lots of nice places to look see. Any of the SPs we found far more intimate and affordable than the big CGs personally. If you can get in Bahia Honda you might enjoy that moreso, we couldn't and stayed at the next SP a few miles away from it on our trip and loved it. Key West is Key West with more bars and restaurants it seems than people at times (LOL). For sure worth a look see as a day trip.

 

We would then head up the Atlantic Coast to experience Biscayne NP, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sawmills Mall (if you like to have a shopping fix), Palm Beach etc then back across to Tampa. We also love Lake Okeechobee (but remember hubby loves fishing!) and most important to us is Crystal River for swimming with the Manatees in late October early November (Birds Under Water for under $40 in the past has worked well for us, or personal kayak out). Enjoyed wonderful stone crab at the Fish House next door in C.R. Seem to recall many referencing Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park there as a good place to stay - when we stayed there we boondocked night before close by ready to go out around 6.30am next morning.

 

One place we absolutely adore visiting every trip to Fla is Boca Grande - one side is where all the tarpon fishing occurs as the crabs etc flush out of Port Charlotte Harbour and down, and then we typically go a minute or two over to the other side and it's as close to a Caribbean Beach we've ever experienced = stunning.

 

We tend to travel without any reservations, so that we can spend longer in some places and less in others as we chose - everyone has a different comfort level in that regards also. For sure Jan 1st to Apr I wouldn't chance that in the keys as that's when it's usually at capacity on snowbirds arriving post Christmas.

 

Not to put a damper on anyone's parade but personally I'd rather know to put preventative measures in place, (our children have just gone down there and are conscious of it but not letting it spoil their trip hopefully!) there have been write ups lately because of the warm waters starting in April, of a flesh eating bacteria Vibrio Vulnificus causing major concern especially to locals, with a couple of deaths - they are saying that it's being played down by the tourism gurus for obvious financial reasons. Just mentioning it and each person will decide their comfort level in that regards. For sure you will read alarmists responses and you'll read others that play it down as being nothing - it is serious and our kids are avoiding brackish water and likely not eating any shell fish at this juncture, they are also going to wash themselves down with best advisory from Pharmacists after getting out of the ocean as well rinsing thoroughly by carrying extra water containers etc with them. Prevention is better than cure and the latter they say is only possible in 33% to 50% of cases depending what and where you read. Come November with cooler waters this might all have subsided - I don't know!

Have a truly wonderful trip you have picked a great state to explore via RV.

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From Tampa to Key West is about 12 hrs, as Hwy 1 from the mainland to Key West is 45 mph max. and most cities are congested. Staying on Key West island is not an option unless you qualify to stay on the Navy base.. Boyds CG is on Stock Island NE of Key West, about a 20 minute drive to the city of Key West. If you haven't already made reservations it may be too late. Speaking from experience, taking a wrong turn in Key West city, driving a 40' MH towing a car is not a good thing.

You didn't say if you'll be towing a car, but if not, Key West has rental open-air vehicles that are fine for getting around the Island.

Time permitting (a full day) take the trip to Dry Tortuga's National Park, 70 miles West of Key West. It's an unforgettable adventure. If you like snorkeling take your swim trunks, they rent the gear.

Doesn't Tamiami go from Naples area to Miami? It's been many years since I traveled down there, and that was only once. I75 goes from Naples to Miami just north of the Everglades and Rte. 41 is south of there and actually traverses the Everglades.

 

I could be wrong but for some reason I thought Rte. 41 was called Tamiami.

You're right. It doesn't take much longer to drive vs I 75, and you see things other than a median. It's a great route IMO, there are a few CG's ran by the Native Indians along the highway, airboat rides, diners, etc. I think US 41 is called Tamiami Trail from North of Tampa to its end in Miami.

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