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“Bring bug spray!”

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Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 23, 2013

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.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Shanonian20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 - 151 of 246 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2013 via mobile

Stay in campsites 58-72... or find another place to camp (Long Key). Thousands, literally thousands, of no see ums bites... itchy, painful and miserably hot on top of it. Our site was in the swampy woods (57) and we could have been anywhere. Not what we expected for staying in the keys. This was her first time here, and we have camped on Longboat Key dozens of times... we much prefer that. The beach was awesome, the snorkeling with fantastic, and the brought our kayak. That was the only redeeming thing about this entire camping trip. It was very disappointing and the bathrooms are disgusting. Make sure you book a site on the water or I'd say, don't go. We actually tried to find a hotel the second night, but literally everything semi-affordable all along the keys was booked and really. expensive. We stuck it out and four days later are still itching like crazy. Worst bugs we have ever seen or experienced.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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5  Thank Tiffaney C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at this campground for two nights on our way down to Key West. When I made the reservations, we got the only tent site that was available for the nights we wanted. As others have noted, the tent sites in this particular area (we were on the bay) are extremely gravelly. If we had not had an air mattress, there would have been no way we could have slept there. The first night we were there, there was a pretty stiff breeze that kept the bugs at bay. However, that breeze subsided over night on the second night and the bugs - particularly the no-see-ums that are small enough to get through tent netting - showed up in full force and we had to utilize the bug spray in the middle of the night. Just something for everyone to be prepared for.

While we were quite close to a rest room, the only bath house is quite far from the tents sites in which we were located. It is a hike and there is no place to park your car if you wanted to drive (and not get all sweaty on the walk returning from the bath house). The bathhouse itself was fine and had plenty of hot water. The shower stall is open to the dressing area so you need to be careful not to get dry items wet.

The rangers were very helpful and the snack bar has a decent variety (although expensive).

The cabins look like they would be great. If I could rent a cabin or get a tent site near the beach, I may try camping here again (in a tent) but otherwise would not recommend it unless you are in an RV.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SiteCer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Beautiful bridges and beaches. I hated that we did not plan more time to stay there, they have just about everything you need to have a great time there, including a store, restrooms, etc. There were plenty of people out at the beach area, and the park is very well maintained.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rebma_125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

We stayed in Key Largo and decided to do a Key West day trip. On the way back, we stopped at Bahia Honda State Park because we had heard some positive reviews of it.

We spent $9 on the entrance fee (me, my wife, my 5 yr old son). I let the ranger know that we had heard that there was a beach were we could go out quite far without it getting deep. With a smile, she pointed us to Sandspur Beach - to the left as you enter the park. This entrance fee is a steal of a deal for how truly amazing this place is.

After parking, we headed out to the beach. As reported, it's "unimproved" and natural. The sand is amazingly soft. After a 5 minute stroll along the beach, we arrived at the sandbar that juts out from the shore. At low tide, it is so shallow that the sand bar becomes fully exposed and becomes dry land.

We took our 5 year old son out there to play and see what we could see. Within 5 minutes we found a very large conch (shell was the size of a head) that was still alive. Within another 5 minutes, we found another smaller one. After close inspection, we put them at the edge of the seagrass.

I would recommend wearing aquatic shoes for exploring. There is a lot of seagrass, and it's hard to know just what you might step on. We saw several crabs - which could be quite a nasty surprise should you end up on top of one.

We were only there a few hours and feels like we only scratched the surface. If you like flora/fauna, there are several unique plant species there. There are snorkeling group excursions, campsites, and nature trails.

Though we're back home, we're already talking about going back to this park specifically. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank wanderingidiot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We stopped here going into and leaving Key West. Very shallow water for a long way out so this is great for kids! Also great for snorkeling to see all kinds of critters--jellyfish, lobsters, and all kinds of corals and seaplants. Although not as colourful as the usual coral sealife, this area has other interesting living things such as sea slugs, crabs, etc... The sand is also very sugary white and soft on feet. On windy days however, snorkeling is not good at all as the stirred sand covers everything. Fee for entry is low if do daytrip as we did.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank TravelBugsEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Long Key, Curry Hammock and Bahia Honda. Bahia Honda is the nices by far!

Nice swimming beaches, boat launch, kayak and snorkeling rental etc.

We stayed in 2 spots. #71 was awesome only steps to the the water where you could swim. I caught live mullet with my cast net and had a big blue on till it shook the hook. Also had a snapper take a chunk out of the mullet I was using too.

Site 21 was nice too. We could jump in the water every time we need to cool off. It was close to the highway though and was a little noisy. We snorkeled from both sites.

Make this your number one choice when deciding what park to stay in and you won't be disappointed. That's if you can get in!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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9  Thank AN4RCHY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds

Address: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043-3517
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Big Pine Key
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Big Pine Key
Price Range: $100 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 80
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

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