Recommendations for a gulf coast trip in late February - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2016, 03:28 PM   #1
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Name: Donna
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Recommendations for a gulf coast trip in late February

Hi all, We want to plan a mid/late February 2+ week trip to get a break from KCMO winter, traveling w/ 16 ft Scamp. We are taking a little foster dog and bicycles and have heard good things about Gulf State Park but not sure we could count on warm temps in Feb. Second idea is Fort DeSoto, a county park campground near St. Pete----I saw it when visiting that area in early April and really looked nice. Any ideas?

Here is a photo from a weekend last summer in the Ozarks. Also, does anyone recognize this little gadget attached to bathroom-side wall above the dinette? We bought the '00 Scamp used and can't figure what the bracket is for.

Thanks! Donna M
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:47 PM   #2
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Go to FL Gulf coast along US 19/98, between Perry and Crystal River. You should find good weather and inexpensive ($20-30/night) commercial camp grouds along the road.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:12 PM   #3
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gulf coast ideas

OK. Thanks for the idea. We've never been along there. One summer we traveled panhandle as far east as Apalachicola (pre- Scamp summer vacation). Is it swampy in that area? Beach accessible? Was supposed to say "99 Scamp (layout 6). Had a great trip to the pacific northwest via several Nat'l parks last summer. This trip we want to relax more, sort of stay put several days without breaking camp every day or so. If there are good roads for safe biking, Steve will be happy. If there are walking areas for the little Yorkie to sniff, we will all enjoy.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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The area is pretty dry. No idea about beach access, check maps/satellite images.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:10 AM   #5
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If you were going to Texas, the Goose Island State park near Rockport is on the water (bay) with pier and fishing and some campsites are in the oak section.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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Donna,
Good luck finding state park sites in February.
You will probably only get one or two nights at a time.
We camped at a city park near Cedar Key . It was cheap but noisy with air boat traffic.
Try Pensacola , weather is a bit cooler but lots of bike riding trails, or inland there is a city park near Mount Dora that you can camp right near a lake and again lots of rail trails nearby.
Have fun hope you have good weather.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:23 AM   #7
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Fort DeSoto

We love Fort DeSoto. A beautiful park with a great campground. We have camped there many times. Nice bicycle paths, fishing pier complete with entertaining dolphins, a small informative museum, the historic fort, kayaking, and miles of beautiful Florida beach, of course.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Hi Steve and Donna,
We are also from MO and plan on another trip to FL this winter. Last year was our maiden voyage in our new to us Casita and we made it for 4 weeks with no problems or issues. So we want to try a longer trip this year. Leaving next week for a 6 week trip. We found some beautiful sites on the way in MS at George P Cossar State Park near Oakland MS. It is in the northern part and about halfway for us to hit the FL border. In FL one of the most beautiful campgrounds we found is at Camel Lake in the Appalachicola National Forest just south of Bristol FL n the pan handle. This is one of the few NF campgrounds we found with electric. Absolutely beautiful! South of Camel Lake is Wright Lake which we want to try this year. Not on the coast, but inland a bit are some great campgrounds, Rainbow Springs near Dunnellon, Juniper Springs near the town of Silver Springs, Highlands Hammock near Sebring with rally in early February. You may want to check before you go to see if any of the campgrounds have vacancies. They fill up pretty quick this time of year. We prefer the NF campgrounds and State Parks rather the KOA and big resort type campgrounds. But to each their own.

Be safe and have fun. Perhaps we'll see you in sunny FL.
jon
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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I am in Lake Manatee state park now, which is nice, but close to a race track and noisy at night with the races. We are here for two weeks. We are in several other parks for the winter and DeSoto is one of them and our favorite. All the state parks have a 11 month reservation window and you must book them 11 months to the minute or you have a very hard time getting in. DeSoto, a county park, is 6 months and it's the same. You need to book 6 months to the minute. All the parks have walk ins, like was said, but only for 1-3 nights at most. The weather has been great in the southern parks in Feb in the past
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jon carpenter View Post
In FL one of the most beautiful campgrounds we found is at Camel Lake in the Appalachicola National Forest just south of Bristol FL in the pan handle. This is one of the few NF campgrounds we found with electric. Absolutely beautiful! South of Camel Lake is Wright Lake which we want to try this year.
Ssssshhhhh, Wright Lake CG is a little known secret.
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #11
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Here's some advice I gave friends traveling from Fort De Soto park (yes, that's how they spell it), to Gulf State Park next month. For your trip you would reverse directions.

"I highly recommend that you take 19/98/ALT 27 on your trip up Florida instead of Interstate 75. It's just about as fast, shorter distance, much less crowded, and a good road. We usually take it to Capps (east of Tallahassee), where we catch I-10. Get on it by first taking the Suncoast Parkway (589) out of Tampa (toll road), until it ends near Homosassa Springs.

If you have the time, we also recommend staying at Manatee Springs State Park, (near Chiefland) - a charming little park. Also, if you really aren't in a hurry, our favorite place to stay on the beach, while along the North Florida Panhandle, is St Joseph Peninsula State Park, near Port St. Joe. It's out of the way but we really like it. If you do take I-75 north, we enjoy both Stephen Foster SP and Suwannee River SP. Also, Falling Waters, Florida Caverns, and Blackwater River State Parks are all very nice and handy to I-10. Big Lagoon is near Pensacola and, while the park is on the bay, the gulf is only a ten minute drive away."

Check the Florida state park website for many other nice places to camp. You won't have any problem finding places to stay while you're in the Panhandle - the snowbirds like to flock further south that time of year. Two years ago we were at De Soto park in October and it was only about 20% occupied - too late for the summer folks and too early for the snowbirds. Gulf State Park isn't our favorite - too big, too popular, not "woodsy" enough, and not within easy walking distance to the beach; but many people seem to really enjoy it. In late Feb the weather will still be questionable here along the Gulf Coast, but chances are, it will be decent. Even in January we average high temps of 60-62 degrees, but some days it can be a rainy, miserable 45 and then, a day later it will be a sunny 75.
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Old 01-28-2016, 03:58 PM   #12
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We spent the month of November at Gulf State Park. I loved the bicycle trails.

They also have volleyball 3 times a week and golf if that interests you. The pool was closed.

Also, while we were there rates increased as they added a "resort fee". A lot of the winter snowbirds were quite angry and were planning on different parks. It could be they lost some customers due to that unexpected increase. Might be worth seeing if there are any open spots.

Half of November was too hot for us.

Nancy
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #13
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Another park you might enjoy is Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Here's a review I did of it a while back: Topsail and Grayton Beach State Parks - in Florida Panhandle

I just checked and lots of available space for the last part of February.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:32 PM   #14
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Steve and Donna,
We are from the KC area (Tonganoxie) and are heading for Florida this Saturday. Couple days at Grayton Beach and Manatee Springs then on to Flamingo in the south Everglades. On the way back stopping at Fort DeSoto to meet up with some friends that also have a Oliver, but could only get one night, but we keep trying for another night. We didn't make our reservations till Jan 2 of this year, so I guess we are lucky to get what we did. The longest stay is 4 nights at Flimingo, so everything else revolved around that. This will be our first trip, ever, to Florida, Miami airport doesn't count. Excited to get going.

Stan
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