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“Not a good place for families with young children.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Fort de Soto Park Campground

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Fort de Soto Park Campground
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3500 Pinellas Bayway, St. Petersburg, FL   |  
Hotel amenities
Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Not a good place for families with young children.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

Not a good place for families with young children. At night the place turned into a drunken free for all. The conversations were mostly adult oriented and could be heard by all throughout the wee hours of the morning. We packed up and left after one night.

Great place to party and get drunk and loud. Not so good for families.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, Canada
Top Contributor
286 reviews 286 reviews
114 hotel reviews
Reviews in 147 cities Reviews in 147 cities
489 helpful votes 489 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

Mostly shaded EW sites. Waterfront sites are well worth the extra few dollars. Because of low hanging branches, some of the back-in sites are difficult to manouver. There are no fire pits, but large wash basins can be rented for $3/day from the camp store. Very slow internet at the office, laundry ($1 wash, $0.75 dry). Extensive cycling and walking trails, kayak and canoe rentals available, fishing, swimming at North and South beach. Camping fee includes admission to the park, which for non-campers is $5 per day as of Jan 1st 2012. Expensive at $42.12 per night. Book well in advance as locals book the weekends a month before non-residents can make reservations. While I found the fort rather boring, the park is beautiful with much to offer. See my review of Billy’s Stone Crab and Steakhouse which is located a few miles down the road from the campground.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traverse City, Michigan
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012 via mobile

We have camped at Fort De Soto twice now, and we love it! The campground is on two sections of an island, one for campers with dogs and one without. The sites are roomy with lots of trees and foliage, giving more privacy than many campgrounds. Most sites are on the water. The bath houses are clean and spacious. When you're camping there, you have access to everything else the park offers. The swimming beach is incredible: clean, white sand, lots of pavilions and picnic tables, plenty of parking. There's a lovely picnic area in the woods. There are two fishing piers. But our favorite thing of all is the off-leash dog beach! Our dog played with other dogs, chased waves, dug holes, and swam with us. We loved it, and will definitely go back!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012 via mobile

This campground was beautiful! The spots were fairly secluded. The only problem with coming in was low hanging branches. We stayed in the dog area with six people and six dogs. The park only allows two dogs per spot so we had two people and dogs per spots. It seemed to work out fine until the day we left them for a couple hours to see the RV show in Tampa. Our dogs DO NOT bark unless someone is at the door or near the camper. Apparently the rangers received a call saying the dogs were barking non stop. The rangers acceptedly followed up with the complaint and came to see if anyone was at the camper and kept coming back, knocking ect. Obviously the dogs will keep barking the more you bother their home. When we came back they came back, harrasing us about the barking saying that someone must be with them at all time. They then proceeded to look around the three spots we pay for and criticize everything they possibly could. They were very rude!!
We tried to rent bikes from the camp store after looking at the radar to confirm that there was no rain coming. The employee working was VERY RUDE everytime we went into the store. No matter what day. They refused to rent bikes to us because of a previous storm. They said there was a chance of rain. A 10% chance.
Some rangers were nice in the office but others were rude. It is VERY unnacceptable. The staff employees use gas run golf carts but customers are not allowed to use their own golf carts. It's such a shame that the campground is so beautiful physically but when it comes to their customer service they completely SUCK.
I'm NEVER coming back here because they suck the fun out of everything!! Can't believe they're still in business!! They won't be for much longer if they keep this poor attitude up.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012 via mobile

This place is fantastic. Great beach and bike path. Park is away from the built up area. Great dog beach.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2011

Our third stop on our tenting journey, Fort De Soto is a rare gem in central Florida. After our mishap with St. Pete KOA the night before, we couldn't be happier to transfer to Fort De Soto. As a state park, admission was cheap (in the mid 20s) and the site was glorious. Definitely worth a three night stay, and would definitely stay again.

For the readers: Although it's a long drive to the bottom of St. Pete, and even farther to the campground, it's well worth it. Our humble tenting campsite was right on a gulf inlet with a beautiful view and beach. Because the Fort Park is in a U shape, the other side of the key is a barrier between the site and the true Gulf, but the water is the same and the view is still spectacular, especially around sunset. The park is clean, there are three bath houses (not the cleanest, but overall better than most island bathhouses) that are easily accessible, and large trashbins nearby which keeps out animals. There were a few mosquitoes in the camp at night, but not nearly as many as we expected. A good citronella candle or some bug spray did the trick for us.

In the area, the north beach is definitely the best. Beautiful water, and a large area to walk and explore, with very good upkeep on all the beach amenities and grounds. This beach is incredibly stunning and worth stopping by.

We also rented kayaks and paddled to our campsite which ended up being well worth the effort. We encountered numerous schools of fish, dolphins, and an entire family of manatees complete with a baby right by the shore of our campsite. It was a picture perfect experience, even if it was physically taxing.

I will definitely be visiting this campground again when I return to central florida, it's an amazing place for a weekend getaway and overall and incredible experience. If you're not in a hotel, there's no better place to stay in the area, hands down.

Room Tip: Try and reserve a site on the south-west side of the campground as these have the best gulf access a...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Albans, WV
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at this campground. Very beautiful scenery, bathrooms were ok clean, and very quiet at night 10:00pm. The only thing that’s kinda strange.. but maybe all Florida campgrounds have this.. $25.00 refundable fee for a $3.00 to rent fire pit that was just a metal wash tub. It worked as a fire pit..When night hits its very dark.. watch out for little black and green snakes. We saw about 5 dead. Squirrels are all around and cute :) I would go back..I didn't see a beach, but there was a swing set for kids **MAKE SURE YOU BRING BUG SPRAY OR 100% DEET** I sprayed myself but ended up with 100 little bug bites.. ewww.. But that’s camping life :)

Room Tip: on the water
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fort de Soto Park Campground

Address: 3500 Pinellas Bayway, St. Petersburg, FL
Location: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in St. Petersburg
Number of rooms: 241
Also Known As:
Fort De Soto Park Campground Hotel St. Petersburg

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