The Peace River Campground in Wauchula, Florida is remote and peaceful. The campground features a fast-flowing river, beautiful sunsets, and plenty of "beware of alligator" signs.
I strongly recommend the Pioneer Restaurant, just outside the park. The handwritten menu gives way to southern style home-cooked meals. The pork chop is delicious, but Colten says go with a paddy melt. Make sure you have plenty of cash, the restaurant does not accept cards!
While staying at the park, Colten hunted snipe with some friends we met along the road. He found a lizard and a great time! Katie spent time painting and playing with little toys.
When you journey through Florida, take a break from technology to check out the scenery. Florida has several different landscapes to explore. The state is known for crystal clear beaches and swamplands, but the agriculture and hills are exquisite, too.
PS: Did you know there are bears in Florida? Enough to warrant hazard signs along major roadways...
Grassy Key RV is situated on Marathon Key, off the coast of Florida's mainland. The resort is beautifully maintained and enhanced by a spacious boat dock, calming fishing pier, and a heavenly pool. Each site has its own lush shrubbery. Our view from each window featured exquisite flowers!
We didn't have to leave the park for a little adventure. The kiddos caught several fish on property, Colten even caught a barracuda. As we were fishing, we noticed a three-foot reef shark swimming along the edge of the dock.
There aren't enough words in the English dictionary to describe the views and sunsets at Grassy Key! Pictures are lovely, but they still don't do the scenery justice!!!
The staff at Grassy Key were unforgettable; they were more than willing to offer support backing in and out of the sites. They even offered to help me carry a large package back to the rig. The staff gave us a ton of recommendations for local eateries and day trips. Generally, some of the nicest people I have ever met, work at Grassy Key RV.
The laundry facilities here were the best I have ever experienced. The facility is just inside a quaint clubhouse. AC in a laundry facility is hard to find in your typical RV Park, but finding an iron and ironing board is the equivalent to camping gold.
While in the Keys we explored Bahia Honda state park. Colten found lobsters and pufferfish. There was literally beautiful fish all around you. Katie enjoyed swimming in the clear water, she wasn't thrilled about the reef areas.
We also toured Key Deer Boulevard in search of seeing the Key deer in their natural habitat. The Key Deer are smaller than other deer in the state. They are so cute and lively; the kids were so excited to see one frolicking in a puddle from leftover rain. We even stopped at a nature preserve right on the boulevard to visit an alligator!
Definitely eat at Burdine's Waterfront! They have the best hush puppies I've ever eaten. We also really enjoyed visiting Islamorada Beer Company. It is totally kid-friendly; they have a ton of games, foosball was Colten's favorite. They have a little boat that the littles can sit it. The beer company partners with an outstanding food truck; I'm talking the best fish tacos I've ever tasted!!!
You'll want to drive down to Key West at some point during your stay. Visit mile Zero for the mandatory photo op. I always tell my kids to make their silliest face for obligatory photos. Key West is a fun place to venture for bars, food, and shopping. We enjoyed our stay at the resort more than our venture to the touristy areas in downtown Key West. It simply wasn't our scene.
The timing didn't work out, but on our next adventure, I would love to tour Dry Tortugas National Park or check out Marathon Lady's affordable fishing charter.
Orlando, Florida, is well-known for major theme parks like Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. We've been there and done that several times. Instead of venturing into the city, we chose to hang out at the campground.
Colten and Kate made new friends at the pool. We spent time fishing and looking for alligators; The kids got a little dirty playing in the sand. Who needs a rollercoaster when you can climb a tree?!
We didn't go to any big fancy restaurants; Scott's camp-side hibachi is a work of culinary art. We baked cinnamon rolls and spent family mealtimes in the comfort of our home.
It's okay to visit a "big" place and enjoy the little things nearby. I don't know about you, but I love a good rest day. We appreciate the RV lifestyle for its simplicity and connection to nature. We like to stop and smell the swamp water when we have the chance.
Right off of I-75 in Wildwood, Florida is a neat little Thousand Trails Campground called Three Flags. I really love this park. We stayed towards the front, within walking distance to the office and the pool. The park is small but well kept. The park staff live on the property and are the sweetest individuals.
Three Flags is a great place to stay if you want to visit Silver Springs State Park. The state park provides glass-bottom boat tours of several springs located in the park. Along the ride, you'll see various forms of wildlife. We were thrilled to see a manatee right off the bow; it took a little dive for us. Friends of ours even saw monkeys in the park!
You have to visit the Russel Stover chocolate store! Y'all I died and went to chocolate heaven. I bought a full bag of candy, and it did not last nearly as long as I thought it would. They have every type of chocolate your heart desires, even have a variety of chocolates from various holidays. You can buy a chocolate Easter bunny in June or a pumpkin peanut butter cup in January!
Now, Three Flags sits just outside of The Villages, America's premier active adult community. The town-like neighborhood is enormous, featuring two Wal-Mart stores and a ton of restaurants. Of course, we had to venture to Texas Roadhouse; it's our favorite steakhouse! The food is fabulous and consistent. Anyway, if you like odd facts, do a little research on The Villages. You might be surprised by what you find.
Traveling Moms know sometimes, the final destination is less important than the journey itself. After leaving our home state of North Carolina, it only seemed natural to stop somewhere in South Carolina.
We chose to purchase a Thousand Trails membership the weekend after we purchased our camper. The decision simply made sense for us. We had invested a couple hundred dollars to join our friends for a three day week in a trails campground. We were able to apply those funds and a little bit more, to purchase a basic, regional membership. Purchasing an RV membership is a great option. There are a ton of different memberships out there; research to find one that suits your needs and your budget.
Since the Oaks at South Point is a Thousand Trails campground, we were able to stay for free. The campground is very well operated by a retired military service member. He is a stickler for the rules, which means very few cars speeding through the camp and extremely clean sites. Personally, I truly appreciate that. Enforcing rules keeps the campground safe.
It rained for the majority of our stay, but we did venture down to Hilton Head Island for a little vitamin sea. We stopped to pick up two bodyboards from Walmart. The kids were wild and free and had the time of their lives!
We chose to have fun with cooking in the camper during our stay. I used my oven for the first time to make cinnamon rolls. The kids were impressed! I was also excited to try cooking salmon. It turned out phenomenally. Apparently, Katie's new favorite food group is mom's salmon!
We started our first long camping trip with a stop in Lenoir, North Carolina. The park has a little stream flowing through the sites. So far, it's still my favorite Thousand Trails campground! The laundry facility is very clean and air-conditioned. Our campsite was completely paved and offered a brand new wooden deck and picnic table. The staff were incredibly friendly and offered simple advice that every RV newbie should know.
We spent a ton of time outside, along the creek. My kiddos are not afraid to get a little wet and muddy. We caught tadpoles and skipped rocks. We did the little things that kids today often miss out on.
We took a day trip over to Blowing Rock, which was a wonderful idea! The kids went gem mining, and the scenic mountain views are breathtaking! The city has a cute little downtown area, but with COVID-19, we chose not to stop.
We will absolutely camp at Green Mountain RV Park more routinely as our travel continues!