Wanting to camp in the Florida Keys then there are many campgrounds from which to choose. The great thing about camping in the Keys is you are never very far from the beaches. Once you leave Florida City you basically drive from one small island to the next one and none of these islands are very wide. The drive from Florida City to Key West is a little over 120 miles and can take many hours to drive. The good thing is there are campgrounds all along the way. My wife and I have camped in the Keys five times at three different campgrounds and we loved each camping trip. Below are the two State Campgrounds we have camped at.
Long Key State Park located around mile marker 67 is where our camping experience stated a little over four years ago. It all started when our neighbors invited us to the Keys for the weekend, they wanted us to see what camping was all about. We fell in love with the idea of camping immediately. The park’s 60 campsites all overlook the Atlantic Ocean and most of these sites sit within ten feet of the water line. Each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table, ground grill, water and electricity. Three restrooms, with hot showers, are centrally located.
The road that leads into the campground is great for the person that wants to take a leisurely walk. In addition, there are two nature trails The Golden Orb Trail is a forty minute walk that will take one through several plant communities. The Layton Trail is located on the bay side of the park and takes fifteen minutes to walk. For the person that loves to ride a bicycle, there is a bike path that runs beside the highway. Because of the calm shallow waters this is an ideal spot for year round canoeing.
Bahia Honda is noted as one of the best beaches in South Florida. The campground is about thirty miles from Key West and is near Big Pine Key. It is located along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Mind you, you cannot sit at your camp site and see the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. Sandspur camping area sits along the Atlantic Ocean and is mostly for tent campers with a great view of the beach and the sites are well shaded. Buttonwood camp area sits next to the Gulf and is mostly for larger campers. The interior lots sit in a canopy of trees and shrubs which provide privacy while the water front lots are open. However, the water front lots provide a spectacular view of the sun setting over the Gulf.The main marina has nineteen boat slips available for overnight rental and they include water and electric.
Bahia Honda has several white sandy beaches for you to enjoy. Calusa is the smallest beach and is located on the northwest side of the island. Loggerhead is the shallowest beach and is located on the south side of the island. It is known for the large shallow sand bar just a few feet offshore. Sandspur is the largest beach and it is located on the southeast end of the island. There are three large pavilions in the Sandspur area and a restroom with outdoor fresh water showers. In addition to the beaches one can take a leisurely bike ride on the parks 3.5-miles of paved road.
The park has three nature trails. The Silver Palm Trail is located at the southeast end of the island in Sandspur and there is a self-guided brochure available. The other trail is located on the southwest end of the island in the Calusa area and leads you to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. The view is spectacular; from the top of the bridge you can see the entire island and you will have a birds-eye view of the water below.
The great thing about Bahia Honda is in the afternoon when the sun starts setting over the Gulf, the sky would be filled with an assortment of colors. This is a great time to get your outdoor camping grill to cook with and enjoy the view. There is nothing more relaxing than having an outdoor meal to finish a rewarding day filled with excitement.