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Old 08-31-2013, 08:30 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
BTW, this is a really nice park in the panhandle:

Welcome to Florida State Parks
Yes it is.

Our very first camping trip at all which was in a fifth wheel two years ago was at this campground for a week.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:05 AM   #58
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If you want to see the manatees and you have time when you go to Tampa for the football game. It is about 1 1/2 hour drive north to Homosassa to the Homosassa Springs State Park from Tampa. From my experience unless you are going to go out in some sort of boat, preferably a canoe or kayak you won't get a better/closer view of the manatees, and at the park they are there year round. This park is well worth the time to get there & the cost to get in.
I won't comment on any routes, the experts have given you some great advice. I know enough to my self anywhere in FL , but not enough to give someone directions. I one suggestion I must make is if you plan on getting the SunPass. Go to their website and read up on the different passes available. Being from out of state, there is a $5 window sticker you can buy that you then add what funds you want or expect to pay for tolls. I believe the standard device is $20. I also remember there being something about towing a vehicle & using the SunPass.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:19 AM   #59
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We was thinking of doing this on the way back home. But the DW got called up for Jury Duty, so we have to come straight back.

On the way to Tampa we will hit the Florida Visitor Center and get as much info as we can for our trip in May. This includes the Toll Roads and Campgrounds.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:22 AM   #60
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Reuben ray----- we visited the keys last winter and we went the US 41 route all the way to 997 and then to US 1 it was slow and there was a lot of traffic on 41 with construction as you neared 997 I would do it again because I am not in a hurry.It was slow! There were many RVs in the casino CG @ 997.
We stayed several days at a very nice Elks lodge in Tavenier on Key Largo If you are an Elk member this is a great campground right on the bay of Florida and only $30 per night with elect and water.No sewer.
When we returned to central Fl we came up Hwy 27 around Lake Ockeechbee. Any way you go it is a very long trip to Key West from Tampa!
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:38 PM   #61
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If you want to see the manatees and you have time when you go to Tampa for the football game. It is about 1 1/2 hour drive north to Homosassa to the Homosassa Springs State Park from Tampa. From my experience unless you are going to go out in some sort of boat, preferably a canoe or kayak you won't get a better/closer view of the manatees, and at the park they are there year round. This park is well worth the time to get there & the cost to get in.
I won't comment on any routes, the experts have given you some great advice. I know enough to my self anywhere in FL , but not enough to give someone directions. I one suggestion I must make is if you plan on getting the SunPass. Go to their website and read up on the different passes available. Being from out of state, there is a $5 window sticker you can buy that you then add what funds you want or expect to pay for tolls. I believe the standard device is $20. I also remember there being something about towing a vehicle & using the SunPass.
The towing thing "sorta works like" this:

The towed vehicle magically gets added to the length of the Rv as it passes thru .... like tractor trailers in tandem.

BTW, as for manatee ... Lowry Park in Tampa had manatee ... but call before going. Decent zoo and a fun 1/2 day or so ...

http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/bio_aquatic_manatee.php
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:08 AM   #62
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The towing thing "sorta works like" this:

The towed vehicle magically gets added to the length of the Rv as it passes thru .... like tractor trailers in tandem.

Animals & Habitat Areas; Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Great info to know, Thanks!!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #63
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Your route looks good. You may want to look at staying at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland instead of Lucky Charm campground. The Lucky Charm is about five miles North of Old Town out in the middle of nowhere. Chiefland is just about fifteen miles further down 19/98 and the Springs are five miles South of Chiefland. The park has a boardwalk along the spring run to the Suwanne River. I will be making the same trip in April and will take 98 to 27 to Sebring.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:45 PM   #64
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Manatee Springs SP will have most of their sites closed when we take our trip. They also have mainly 30 amp power instead of 50 amp. Below is the note on their website.

"9/5/2013

Due to facility and campsite upgrades, reservations will not be accepted for campsites 1 through 40 located within Magnolia Loop #1 from February 1, 2014 until project completion. We are sorry for this inconvenience."
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:07 PM   #65
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Final Update - Hopefully.

If you see anything wrong about my routes please let me know. I already have the reservations made for Pennekamp and Bahia Honda. I have tenative reservations made for Bluewater. If there are no major route issues I will make the rest of my reservations tomorrow.

1) We will travel I-10 over to Spanish Fort and stay the first night at Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, AL.. This will be only a 2 1/2 hour drive, but we can leave as late as we want the first day. It never fails that we have last minute things to load up the day we leave and we are rushing to do this.

2) After Meaher we will continue East on I-10 and stay two nights at the Eastbank COE in Bainbridge, GA.

3) Our next stop will also be for two nights and it will be at Rock Crusher RV in Crystal River. We will get off of I-10 and head South on Hwy. 19 at Nash. This is also Hwy. 27.

4) The next stop will be at Ortona South COE at Moore Haven. I plan on heading East on Hwy. 44 to continue on South on Hwy. 27 from Rock Crusher. This also will be for two nights.

5) The next leg will head straight down Hwy. 27 from Ortona where it also is Hwy. 997. This will take us on into Key Largo where we will stay two nights at Pennekamp State Park.

6) We will then head over to Bahia Honda for 7 nights.

7) The final leg will take us to Bluewater Key for a few nights of luxury before heading back.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:59 AM   #66
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US27 from about Lake Placid to Ocala must have hundreds of traffic lights and it seems you hit them all. I quit using that route about 5 yrs ago. Also 997 (Krome Ave) is a turn off 27, its well marked but if you stay on 27 you will end up in downtown Miami.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #67
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I would leave Rock Crusher & head to Inverness on 44 then continue on 44 to I-75 to south of Tampa then pick up Fl route 70 to Hwy 27 to your campground.

Or if you don't want to run the interstate take 44 East to 301, then 35/98 just south of Dade City (fairly small town) then you will go through Lakeland, but it is 4 lane divided with traffic lights. Then south of Lakeland you can take any route you prefer to east to 27 south to your destination. I am not very familiar with any thing south of I-4.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:21 PM   #68
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Looking at my return trip I am thinking of stopping at the following locations. Is Hwy. 98 a good road to drive from Rainbow Springs to Gulf Shores?

1) Midway at Big Cypress National Preserve for 1 night.

2) Myakka State Park for 2 nights

3) Rainbow Springs State Park for 2 nights

4) Ho Hum RV Park in Carrabelle for 2 nights

5) Ft. Pickens National Park for 2 nights

6) Gulf Shores State Park for 5 nights
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #69
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Highway 98 is a good road. Once you merge with US19 near Crystal River it is 4 lane all the way to Perry. After Perry it will be 2 lane, but it is well maintained and not much traffic until Panama City. After Panama City it will be busy the rest of the way. You may want to rethink Ho Hum. Every time I have driven pass it looks like the campers are stacked on top of each other. There is another campground further west (Carrabelle Beach and RVC Outdoor Dest), it's right across from the beach. Since you are in the area you may want to look at staying at St George Island State Park or St Joseph State Park (My Favorite). You will enjoy Myakka and Rainbow Springs. Watch out for all the gators at Myakka.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #70
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I will check into St. George Island. Does it flood like Ft. Pickens does?
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