As a Florida Native and lifelong resident, I’ve mostly had my fill of the Sunshine State. These days I prefer to pass my time in the cool air of the mountains of Colorado. Recently though I began to crave some time on an overheated sandy stretch of Florida’s coast (probably as a result of the endless snowfall in the Rocky Mountains…still snowing as I write this on May 23:-|). One benefit of having a home on wheels is that outrunning an endless winter becomes as simple as packing up and heading southeast which is exactly what we did for the month of May.
We started our beachquest at Gamble Rogers State Park in a sleepy corner of Flagler County. Lucking into a spot at one of Florida’s oceanfront state parks is no small feat, but hang in there because when you do you’ll feel as if you’ve won the lottery. Just $38 per night gets you mere steps from orange-colored whisper soft sand and abundant solitude at humble Gamble Rogers. You will enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves crashing below from your coach no matter where you’re parked in the tiny alcove. The facilities are no-frills (as with most state parks), but the proximity to the sea more than makes up for this. This is one of our favorites for pure beach time. 💚💚💚💚
Our time at Gamble Rogers was followed, in short order, by a trip down to Miami Beach. For this leg of the trip, we parked our rig and checked into the Carillon Wellness Resort in North Miami Beach. The facility hosts visitors and residents alike in comfortable condos with kitchenettes and full access to the wellness center. Two days of herbal steam baths, detoxing mud wraps, massages and long walks on the beach had us feeling renewed and ready again for the road. The service at Carillon was lackluster considering the expense, but we would do it again in an instant. 💜💜💜
We left Miami with the intention of spending some time on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, an area we adore and might even consider for a home base some day. Unfortunately, the Periwinkle RV Resort on Sanibel does not allow dogs. We have a service dog, so I could have persisted but who wants to stay where they aren’t wanted? Certainly not our dog! With that we headed to Red Coconut RV Resort in Fort Myers Beach. We lucked into a front row spot with an unobstructed view of the ocean. The park itself is really, really tight (hope for good neighbors) and the facilities aren’t exactly five star. Years ago we visited and did not have an ocean view spot (in fact we had to cross the busy road with little kids in tow to reach the beach). In short, this visit was so much more enjoyable, so lobby for the oceanfront spots (about $80/night). 💚💚💚
From Fort Myers we headed south again, this time to the keys where we spent two lovely nights at Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina. While there aren’t many beaches in the keys, there is water galore and this park is no different. The park has a “beach” area that isn’t really a beach, but more like a nice spot to catch some sun and a nice view of the water. However, just a short road trip away is Bahia Honda State Park, a popular place for camping, snorkeling and relaxing in the sunshine. Bahia Honda is the place to be if you can get a reservation, which we could not. Sunshine Key was a close second with clean facilities, a pool and a nice marina ($135/night). 💚💚💚💚
We headed northeast from Sunshine Key to another Encore Resort, Fiesta Key RV Resort ($114/night) for two nights. The word on the street is that this is a former KOA that has been recently acquired by Encore. It isn’t quite as spiffy as Sunshine Key, but does have a decent on sight restaurant and bar. They also have a “beach” (not really), a pool and marina. 💚💚💚
We are on the road again heading north to Sebastian Inlet State Park for our final night in Florida for what will likely be quite some time. The heat is becoming a bit intense for us here despite the fact that the snow is still falling in Colorado. We plan to take take our sweet time getting to the mountains and maybe, just maybe, the snow will melt before we arrive. Or not?!?