My husband and I tent camped here for 5 nights in June. I used to camp here as a kid with my parents, so I wanted to take a trip down memory lane. We stayed in buttonwood.
While some people are complaining about the gravel sites, I actually thought it was nice. We didn't track sand or dirt into the tent, and the gravel was small enough that it didn't poke through the tent floor and hurt our feet. Also, when we were packing up, the bottom of our tarp and tent weren't too dirty/sandy so I didn't have to work too hard to clean it up/brush it off.
A few negatives: 1. THE MOSQUITOS AND GNATS. I literally have >45 bites all over me. It's frustrating to dread stepping outside the tent because you know you'll be eaten alive as soon as you do. We went through 2 1/2 cans of bug spray and a few citronella candles, and it still seemed like we weren't doing anything to keep them at bay. I would think the park would spray once in a while to fix this problem. 2. It's really hot. I know that's not something the park can change, but the sites are situated so that they're surrounded on 3 sides by trees so you don't get any breeze whatsoever. And, oddly enough, there's not a lot of shade.
When we first got there, we were greeted by a very helpful and sweet park ranger. Pretty much any employee that we came across was very pleasant. We made sure to visit all 3 beaches, and Sandspur was by far the best. You can walk way down to the end of the island and swim if you want a little privacy, or stay closer to the bathhouses for better swimming. There IS a lot of sea grass on the beach, but it's manageable.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at Bahia Honda. I just wish the park would take measures to control the mosquito population. We decided that next time we visit, we'll be sure to be camping in a pop-up to avoid the immense heat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Three camping areas in the park provide space for tents and RVs. Some sites are available by advance booking; others are on a first-come, first-served basis. Three cabins are also available and usually are booked well in advance. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds Hotel Big Pine Key
- Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds Big Pine Key, Florida Keys