Big Pine Key

Anyone have advise on Sunshine Key R.V. & Marina Resort for tent camping over the holidays and Camp Lulu Key for New Years???

Dale in Merritt Island , Fl.

Bahia Honda State Park?
I stayed her several times in the 1990’s. If you are tent camping, this is a nice quiet place with a nice beach.



JackL & Nanci are regular attendees at virtually all State, and many if not most, private, camping areas down there every winter usually in January & February, and they made this year’s reservations as soon as they left last year. Couldn’t get everything the way they wanted it exactly where and when they wanted it even at that…!

The State parks have a limit on reservations, and hold back a few sites each day, but it’s first come, first served -and the lines begin before sunrise in the more popular destinations. Bahia Honda (and I suspect at this point, it has been joined by Long Key) is one of the most popular -and deservedly so. Jack and Nanci had a lovely waterside/waterfront site last year, and could wade/snorkel out from shore to see some of our beautiful marine sights as well as kayaking from there as well.

You might want to see about getting a copy of the Bill & Mary Burnham’s ‘Florida Keys Paddling Atlas’ -one of the winners in this year’s outdoor books by a good outdoor organization (name unremembered). It covers the Keys from Key Largo past Key West to the Dry Tortugas, and pages 68 thru 88 cover Big Pine and adjacent areas -all wonderful places to paddle & explore and see marvelous sights under, on, and above the water. It’s full of maps, GPS coords & headings, with a lot of good local knowledge about getting around, supplanted with a lot of other good info such as places to put in/take out, and have a bite.

Good luck in your search -but I have to add that you’ll probably need it. Try internet searching the Florida State Park system, and google Florida Keys campgrounds for the private ones -and see what they still might have available for when you want to go. But persevere! It’s worth it if you can make it!

Here’s to a formidably fantastic trip if things work out -hope you find camping accommodations so you can C’Mon DOOOOOWWWWWNNNN and


-Frank in Miami

Sunshine R. V. Park/ Marina
I have reservations for the R.V. Park and was wondering if this place is safe,clean, not too noisy,etc. I haven’t been to the Keys since the “Cuban Boat Lift” of 1979. I have access to the Navy Base Condo’s at another date.


Sunshine key tent camping
I tent camped on Sunshine key a few years ago while doing a paddle to Raccoon Key to see the monkeys. My tent site was on the grass in the small amphitheater that is not used for much. No picnic table or any other conveniences- 100 feet from my truck. Also directly in front of the rec center that had early morning aerobic workouts- well, early for me. I felt the area was safe and well managed and the bath houses were certainly clean, but the entire key is an RV resort- many class A RV’s parked within ten feet of each other. Tent sites are pretty much at the bottom of everyone’s list in the keys in my experience. You can often find one, but you may be camping on the last free grass strip around. On Sunshine Key I particularly liked the PA system they had to announce events (parties, birthdays, weddings) to everyone staying there- sort of reminded me of high school and early morning announcements. The big plus was that I was right next to Bahia Honda, where I would hang out and paddle or beach it each day- only used the tent for very short term occupancy. As I recall, the cost was 30 bucks a night. If you can get into Bahia Honda or Long Key you will have a more pleasant camping experience, but hey, it’s the Keys in the winter with tons of tourists and you gotta roll with whatever happens. The paddling is spectacular everywhere- I would also recommend Nigel Foster’s book on paddling South Florida as another good reference for paddling spots. Cheers

Sunshine Key packs them in like …
sardines all winter long.

I know lots of good paddles in and around Big Pine Key.

If you are interested drop me a private e-mail and I’ll attach a bunch.

I imagine Grayhawk will chime in here on Camp Lulu.

We will be at Bahia Honda the second two weeks in Jan. If you are around down there then you are welcome to join us for a paddle or two



They are still coming !

This was last year in mid keys.

We also saw two more abandoned in the mangroves on the outside of el Radabob Key off Key Largo

Anyone who makes that crossing in the contraptions that they use deserves to be welcomed here with open arms.



Navy Lodge
in downtown Key West has camping adjacent to the Navy Lodge. We accidently stumbled into Key West the weekend of offshore powerboat regatta and camped 2 nites until we got a suite in the lodge.

is the Lulu ya’ll are talkin of
in the Keys ?

No, it is up in the 10,000 Islands
across from Tiger Key.

Lots of fun up in that neck of the woods, (water) too !



If you don’t mind cold…
It ain’t always warm down there, you know. I spent my service years (75-77) in key west without heat in the barracks, and riding a motorcycle. Some folks expect tropical weather in the winter. That ain’t what you get anywhere in florida.

Lulu Key
Is a 1st come, 1st served camping experience. No fees, reservations or permits required. Have camped there numerous times, sometimes alone, & sometimes shared key w/ other campers. I’d say there are approx 6 different pieces of beach where one could camp & be out of site of other campers -many more tentsites if you don’t mind seeing your neighbors. Round Key is only 30 min paddle away if you don’t find what you like on Lulu or go farther to Panther, Hog, White Horse, or others. Enjoy !

I bring the same stuff I use
to camp in Canada in the summer.

I have had the lovely experience of frost in the Glades. I hear its not usual. But whenever I go I take a fleece and a hat and wool sox and mittens and a 20 degree bag. I have been grateful for that bag sometimes.