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Old 10-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
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Florida - Gulf side campgrounds...

We are wanting to head down to Florida (from Ohio) for spring break with the kids...Mid April. We're wanting on the gulf side...probably not past Ft. Myers. We would like close to the beach, but don't have to be right on the beach. We would rather not have to drive 30 minutes every day to get to the beach.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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Tony,
Try RVParkReviews, most of us find it helpful.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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my favorites....Henderson Beach SP in Destin Fl

and St Joe's Peninsula SP, south out of Panama City.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
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There are a lot of CG's near the gulf, along the West Coast, as you will see, if you check out RVParkReviews. However, there are a scarce "few", that are "on the beach". One of my most favorite is the "Red Coconut RV Park", in Ft. Myers Beach. They have about 10 sites, that your front wheels are so close to the water and in the sand, that they place 2" X 10" boards, for you to drive on (under your front wheels), to keep you from sinking into the sand. There are, however 4 rows, behind the front row, that are nice, but not "on the beach". They have a lot of snowbirds that stay there during the winter, so you will have a hard time, getting a spot on the fron row. Call as early as you can and maybe you'll get lucky. I speak from experience. I have only been on the front row once, in the 4 times that I have camped there. But don't turn down one on the back rows. You will still, enjoy the beach emensly. By the way, my second choice on the Gulf, would be those in Destin, FL. By the way, if you have a hard time finding camps on the Gulf, you might want to look at "Beverly Beach", near Flagler Beach or "Bryn Mayr", in St. Augustine Beach, on the East coast. Both are GREAT! Good Luck!
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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Hi heyaim,
April is a great time to come to Florida. Most of the snow birds have left (season rates end on March 31). On the Gulf coast consider the Crystal River, Homosassa area. It is about 50 miles north of Tampa. Some CGs to consider are:

Nature's Resort RV Park & Marina 800-301-7880
Crystal Isles RV Park 888-783-6763
Elite Resorts Crystal River 800-356-2460
Homosassa River RV Park 800-471-3722

I've stayed at all these places and would stay in them again. In reality I will be staying in Crystal Isles in November.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #6
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If you want free parking, and be right on the beach...consider Fort Desoto park in St Pete. Florida. I'm out here now. It's about the last free parking your going to get anywhere in on the Gulf coast. They have a Camp Ground too, if you need to hook up. Just make reservations. Google the park, and they have all the info.

What I do is, spend my nights at a rest stop on I-275 by the Sunshine Skyway bridge at night. (Free). Then go to the beach (there are several at Fort Desoto, along with picnic grounds, grills, etc) from Sunrise till Sunset. The only cost to get into Ft Desoto is 35 cent toll across a bridge. The trip from the rest stop (which has armed night time security) to the beach is about 15 minutes, with a wal-mart and grocery stores nearby.

Obviously you won't want to spend all your time there, but it is a great CHEAP way to hit the Gulf Coast.

Great fishing, and they do wind surfing, kite surfing, and jet skiing along the beach. A really nice cheap stay to consider. The next one I would suggest is right down the road, Sarasota Beaches. Google them.

Ft Myers is nice, but really more of a retirement kind of place. Not much to do. IMHO, once you pass Sarasota, you're just hanging out in God's waiting Room...as we like to call it.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the information! I'll be checking them all out and hopefully making my reservation soon!
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:15 AM   #8
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Elite Resorts Crystal River is no more. It went back to it's original name Rock Crusher Canyon RV park, very nice place to stay. Welcome to Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park!
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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Henderson Beach State Park (some 30, some 50 amp electric, water, dump station), Destin, and Topsail Hill State Park (50 amp full hook ups with cable), Santa Rosa Beach (about 9 miles east of Destin), are both great parks with beach access. Panama City Beach RV Resort (high end type resort -not inexpensive) is across the street from the Gulf and will be close to the Panama City spring break activities. For a quiet spot on the Gulf try Ho Hum RV Park in Carrabelle. You won't be overwhelmed with activity there. You'll need a beer and bug zapper for the evenings entertainment.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
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If you plan to stay at Henderson Beach State Park or Topsail Hill State Park for spring break get your reservation NOW. They are usually booked up a year in advance from late March-April. We live in Destin and tell our friends who come to see us to avoid March and April because of spring break!
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
If you plan to stay at Henderson Beach State Park or Topsail Hill State Park for spring break get your reservation NOW. They are usually booked up a year in advance from late March-April. We live in Destin and tell our friends who come to see us to avoid March and April because of spring break!
Iron Man speaks the truth! Anything on the coast will be tough to get if you wait too long.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #12
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Go for Topsail Hilltop State park, its right on the beach.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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We enjoy Fort Desoto just south of Tampa in that area of the state but in the panhandle area we like both St George Island State park and Topsail Hill. St George has probably my favorite beach. It's a little remote with little to do in the area but if you enjoy the beach it's fabulous. One day in late March we walked on the beach for two hours and only saw one other couple. Topsail hill is our favorite campground in the Destin area. The sites are spacious and the beach is also excellent.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:11 AM   #14
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Some great suggestions!! Unfortunately DH can't schedule any vacation time til January 2, 2011. So I can't book anything until we see if he gets spring break week off work. With kids in school that's the only week we can take off. Cross your fingers he's the first to put in for spring break week!!
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