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Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds
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Reviews (249)
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Reviewed April 15, 2014

WHAT: BHSP is a state park that covers nearly the entire key. During our visit it seemed only ~85% filled with campers, which is weird given how insanely hard it is to reserve sites! The park is open to non campers, but they are few. I guess most people just go to other keys? We never had problems finding privacy on the beach... at least the ones on the South side. The beach on the NW side where the picnic huts and visitor center are gets crowded, but not elbow to elbow. It is a far smaller beach than the shallow beaches on the South side and frankly I have no idea why people hang out there, because it is not as nice. The key is halfway between Key West and the where the Keys start at the mainland. You can read about the lagoon or bridge/railroad or whatnot on Google, so I'll focus on the camping, which I consider in my Top3... easily! The combination of beautiful water, climate, campsite, and views makes this place bliss.

WHY: These are the reasons I loved this SP and campground:
1) No biting bugs! I'm going to assume the lack of mosquitoes is due to the breeze and the season, because this is my first time here. This is unbelievable considering 85% of the places I camp include biting bugs!!! Even late at night under the moon light watching stars... no mosquitoes!!! Wait. I'm lying. There was ONE mosquito the whole 3 days we were there and I killed it after it got me a couple of times the first night. I was scared that the night it rained was going to cause the suckers to bloom, but that didn't happen. And here is the crazy thing... there is a massive lagoon in the middle of the key to breed them and yet... nothing.
2) The scenery. How can you beat that view? That water? That sky? That foliage? The only thing halfway bad was the sea grass on the beach that others note, but since they weren't rotting/stinky as others noted... I had no problem. Yeah, they take away from sandy beach real estate for lounging, but hey... it's pure nature... unspoiled... all 100% real! I found their presence acceptable by the end, because it meant the care takers want to keep it real.
3) The water. I have 2 small kids and like water that is shallow and this place has it in spades! The whole dang South side is shallow for hundreds of yards out! You don't have to worry about any undertow taking your kids out to be shark bait! It's great! And the water is clear! It isn't as clear as some places I've been on the Riviera Maya, but it is 90% there. It is literally the best water in the whole USA IMHO! I didn't snorkel far out, but rather just around where it was 4-6 ft deep. I just chased fish, conch, sting rays, and the like. There sea grass is plentiful around the keys, but you can find open areas.
4) The facilities. They're great. Not the newest, but not rundown either. Cleaned daily and with the small crowds at Sandspur, it means no stinky anything. Hot showers. Sinks for cleaning. Plenty of flush toilets. Paved drive that is separate of the main drive. And the facilities at the main beaches are nice, too. And they have the exterior showers, changing areas, everything including gift shop and place to get snack food. You can even rent rigid kayaks! And if you bring a boat... there are (2) places to launch from.

WHEN: We went during my daughters' spring break April 7-9, 2014. This was our first time to BHSP and the temperature followed the seasonal average of high 70s to mid 80s. It rained one night we were there, but that didn't affect anything. It dried up fast the next day and all was back to sunny delight. The humidity was fairly low for Florida when we were there. The first day was the most humid, but by no means typical of the Florida I know from previous visits to central Florida. In fact, the last 2 days felt more like Michigan summer (mild). The first night was somewhat warm, so we all slept outside of the sleeping bags in our shorts and t-shirts and were fine. It even got chilly enough that my daughter was her fetal position self half way through the night. All in all... I would say spring is a great time to visit the park. Having been to Orlando and Tampa during the summer, I'd say this pleasant breeze of the Keys makes spring time PERFECTION (i.e. Warm, but not sweltering hot. Slightly humid, but not like you're swimming in it.).

WHERE: We camped on the Sandspur site #51. It did not have electrical, but it did have water tap. The of the non-electric sites, this was one of the best, because it faced the ocean... albeit divided by a small paved road, which is fine as there is almost no traffic. Honestly there are no bad sites at Sandspur. Ours had plenty of shade. Not too much and not too little. The crushed rock surface was smooth enough to walk barefooted and if you are lucky to find a spot along the beach (the electric side), you have sand. The site is fairly flat with a slight pitch from the road, but nothing that would be a bother. The sites at Sandspur varied in area with ours being average. We could fit our Chevy Tahoe, our GO tent trailer with its awning, and our NEO bugout tent (the large size). And we had plenty of room to walk around them. The foliage and trees between each site was plenty for privacy. There is a wood fence in the back which is great for tying to or hanging wet things. We checked out the other sites and my favorite is probably 68 & 71, because they have shade, are on the beach, and have electricity. The only time we prefer electricity is when it can get hot camping and we run a fan for sleeping. And maybe some lighting, but we have flashlights for that.

WHO: My family camps probably several times a year in the summer-fall season at home in Michigan (locally), but we like to do out of state roadtrips during the spring and summer... and they generally are long distance trips (Rockies, Florida, SW, and this summer... to New England). We used to tent camp for about a decade, but got tired of being rained on, so we bought a Sylvansport GO tent trailer and that is our homebase for the last ~3 years. We prefer some comfort, and thus, the tent trailer, but we aren't into the camper/RV level of refinement. We don't mind some bugs or rain or mud or dirt, but we aren't the backcountry crowd, either.

HOW: I've been trying to get down here for the last 3 years and by sheer accident while checking one night in the fall of 2013 I found a 3 day opening on one site that matched my kids' spring break and I jumped on it! You have to look 11 months ahead and even then you have to look for probably weeks to find openings! There are sites that aren't reservable, but unless you live locally, you have no chance if you live further than Miami. The campgrounds are divided into multiple areas. The Sandspur is my favorite due to the few sites (privacy) and proximity to the beach. There is an RV area, but that is your typical RV suburbia if that is your thing. It is too close to the bridge IMHO and probably more noisy. You can here the highway from Sandspur, but the lagoon and foliage there help block out the noise better. There are cabins to rent, too and across from the cabins are tent sites, but they have gravel bases, which aren't the best idea IMHO. If you are a tent person or light trailer person (pop-up, teardrop, A-frame, Vanagon) then Sandpur is for you!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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17  Thank uncleho70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I have been here so many times starting in the mid 70's. Of course make sure you book 11 months ahead of time which I believe is the earliest you can do this. If you have kids, you can go to this one area on the Atlantic side which goes out pretty far and it is only knee deep.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Ilo K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

We went here for the day to check out the scenery while in Big Pine Key. Nice picturesque beaches and walking trails. Beware of jellyfish and Portuguese man of war though. There were a few man of war washed up on the beach. Apparently they can still sting when dead. Unfortunately, there were no signs or warnings in sight.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Jenjenbrcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

You are in the keys, driving, you are driving towards key west. And you didn't realize it upfront when you booked. It is spring break. Prices of hotel rooms have tripled if not booked full. Luckily there is a small tent in the trunk and there is a campsite on the way there. And if you are lucky they have a spot. I say lucky, because the location of this little gem is nothing short of brilliant. You take the exit of the big road and right next to it is the campsite. Spacious locations for a tent, spectacular views (what is that hald built/ demolished bridge doing there?), guests (racoons, keep off my veggies and steaks you rascals), birds flying on and off, a spectacular sunset and sunrise, friendly staff and it is quiet. So close to the road and this piece and quietness. The parc itself offers activities with the rangers. Your kids can learn some stuff, you might as well about plantlife, animals and the sea. Key West is a moderate drive away (about an hour) and pubs await you. The only thing is for the drive back you can not get waisted (tough luck there). For the rest, if I ever travel to this part of the world again, this will be on my list of stops.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Arlo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We camped for $44 at the bayside camping area. The site was large enough and it was next to a pretty bay. However, the site was gravel and extremely rough on the feet. There wasn't a fire pit though there was a grilling station. We were right next to the highway though it was almost ok, drowning out the sound of any critters that might've been hanging around. We asked about nuissance animals and were told we'd have less trouble with that on the bayside area. This may have been true. There were probably about 6 sites in that area, all tents and probably less food than in the main rv areas. We were not bothered by any animals. There was some tree cover.
All was pretty well until everyone woke up around 7:30 and there was staff cleaning the bathrooms at the bayside area and driving back and forth in their carts. They completely closed down the bathroom for over an hour, leaving everyone stranded with full bladders and telling us to drive over to another bathroom, after we had already walked over to the one in our camping area. It left us wondering why anyone would clean an already clean bathroom during this high use time.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank warmweathergirl_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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