Many travelers have visited Florida in their RV, and many of those travelers have their favorite campgrounds or spots that they swear by. Whether it’s a beachfront RV campground in Miami, an RV park close to Disney World, or a campground near the Everglades, everyone has their preferences. Today we’re going to introduce you to a potentially new adventure: the Florida Keys. If the thought of taking your RV here has previously been too challenging or posed too many potential issues, we’re here to help. Pack your bags and let’s tour the Florida Keys in your RV. Looking for more locations? See more RV camping in Florida.
Before Hitting the Road
Many destinations can be visited spur-of-the-moment or last minute, especially when you have your trusty RV. Unfortunately, the Florida Keys is not one of those locations. For the most part, there are few boondocking opportunities to be found, and the locals frown upon this. To be fair, their economy rests mostly on tourism. However, many RVers rely on budgeting and approaching trips from a frugal standpoint. When visiting the Florida Keys, try to find the best of both worlds if you prefer budget-friendly travel. With enough planning, it’s possible to find better deals while still supporting the local economy.
All of the RV parks in the Keys operate by reservation only. Typically, these fill up a year or so in advance, which is why this is not a last-minute type of trip. For a more frugal approach, consider visiting during the off-season. The campground rates are considerably lower in cost and provide more flexibility. Depending on how long you’d like to stay, booking a campground for a month is a better value than booking with a nightly or weekly rate.
If you plan to go scuba diving, snorkeling, or enjoy other water sports, it may be more affordable to be trained before your trip. If you have the opportunity to earn a certification before visiting the Keys, you can cut down on paying extra tourist costs, which could reduce the overall costs spent on your trip. Additionally, consider purchasing your gear before visiting to obtain it at a potentially lower cost. If you plan on doing any fishing, you will need to obtain a Florida fishing license ahead of time, as well. Out-of-state licenses and permits do not apply. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation committee has helpful resources on their website pertaining to licenses.
Harvest Hosts En Route to the Florida Keys
While there aren’t any Harvest Hosts locations in the Florida Keys yet, there are many stops across Florida and on the way. Ultimately, Route 1 is the only way into the Florida Keys, but there are several connecting interstates. Depending on which connecting interstate you take, there are many Harvest Hosts locations along the way.
If you’re taking Interstate 95 down to the Florida Keys, the last Harvest Hosts location available is just north of Miami. Ditch the city campgrounds and opt for a more relaxing night’s stay at Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market. This farm grows and sells tons of fruits and vegetables using sustainable farming methods. Harvest Hosts members enjoy staying in their level and secure parking lot. They have four reservable, pet-friendly RV spaces for RVs of any size. Please be advised that they close and lock their parking lot gate at closing time for security purposes.
If you are taking Interstate 75 down to the Florida Keys, the last Harvest Hosts location along the way is Scuba Quest in Cape Coral. This newer Harvest Hosts location is quite unique, as it is the first scuba diving business to join the program. They teach a variety of courses from beginner to expert levels for most ages. When you call to make your reservation for a night’s stay, be sure to schedule your scuba diving then, as it is appointment-only! This location has two reservable spaces for RVs of any size and provides free Wi-Fi. Please remember that you must make a purchase when staying at a Harvest Hosts location. Check ahead and do some additional research to be sure you will be able to patronize a business before visiting.
Things to Do
While Florida may often be considered a beach destination, the Florida Keys are so much more than just that. The best place to be is out on the beautiful blue waters or in it. The Keys are famous for their snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing opportunities.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is not your average state park. This stunning park is famous for its seventy square nautical miles of underwater adventure. The park also provides excellent canoeing or kayaking opportunities. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is only one of many snorkeling or scuba diving locations in the Keys.
Fishing and Boating
The Keys provide many excellent fishing opportunities, as well. Fish such as snapper, tuna, and yellowtail can be caught year round, and many other types have their own peak seasons. Consider renting a boat to do some serious saltwater fishing, or booking a fishing excursion to fish like a local.
There are also tons of watercraft rentals available, from paddle boards to jet skis to large, private boats. Consider switching up your adventures and renting a clear kayak to see the bountiful underwater wildlife right below you.
Don’t just stick to one island! The Keys are made up of about 1,700 tiny islands, but many of the larger ones can be reached by car. The New York Times wrote about the perfect Florida Keys road trip that covers forty-four islands and forty-two bridges. In order to experience more of the Keys, it’s best to tow a vehicle with you if you own a Class A or C motorhome.
The Florida Keys are home to two national parks: Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park. Biscayne National Park is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the United States. The park is home to fossilized coral reefs and Key Largo limestone. Dry Tortugas National Park can only be reached by boat or seaplane, so plan to spend a good portion of a day here if you are going to visit. This park protects historic Fort Jefferson and is famous for its shipwrecks and sunken treasure.
Our Favorite Campgrounds
While there are many state parks to camp at, including John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Bahia Honda State Park has unparalleled views. This park is home to award winning beaches and gorgeous scenery.
Thousand Trails members can take advantage of staying at one of two campgrounds in the Keys. Even if you aren’t a member, this park is a great stop with beachfront sites.
This RV resort is located right in the heart of the Keys and offers a pool, a boat dock, and a dog park.
This resort certainly provides luxuries such as heated pools and a gated entrance.
Visiting the Florida Keys is an adventure unlike any other. There isn’t a bad time to visit, especially when winter temperatures stay around 75-80 degrees on average. Consider this for your winter destination next year. Better start planning!
Have you visited the Florida Keys? What was your favorite part? If you haven’t gone yet, what are you most excited about? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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