Pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise water are synonymous with the southernmost point of the continental US, the Florida Keys.
The Keys are immensely popular for their out of this world gorgeous scenery and their upbeat nightlife. But because of this, securing lodging even on off season can be next to impossible— and very, very expensive. That’s why RVing is just as in demand as traditional vacations in the Keys. In fact, there are over 40 campgrounds across the islands to keep up with flux of visitors each year.
RVing in the Florida Keys is by far the most convenient way to not only get around the islands, but to stay right on the waterfront for much cheaper prices than hotels. Below, we’ll break down tips for saving money, where to stay, and things to do on your next vacation to the Florida Keys.
Tips For RVing In The Florida Keys
Save Money By RV Camping At State Parks
RV camping in the Florida Keys doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Although they won’t feature high end amenities like private RV campgrounds will, state parks are the closest way to connect with nature—and they’re much cheaper! While private campgrounds in the Keys can cost up to around $370 a night during high season, state parks maintain the same rates all year. These are typically between $16-$50 on average.
RV camping in state parks also typically means a quieter stay. For those that enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, the limited amount of RV spots at campgrounds makes this much more ideal.
Book Months In Advance
Because of how immensely popular the RVing in the Florida Keys is, campgrounds for private and public sites fill up incredibly fast. We highly recommend reserving your spot at campgrounds months in advance. If you’re looking to stay at a public campground, which already has a limited supply available, we recommend booking spots a year in advance.
The same goes for RV rentals. These types of RV that are most suitable for RVing in Key West are typically booked far in advance, leaving last minute buyers out of luck.
Bring A Towing Vehicle
As we mentioned above, some RVs are better suited to the Keys than others. Towable RVs, like travel trailers, campers, and fifth wheels, are highly recommended. This way, you can leave your RV at the campsite and have much more freedom of maneuverability on the islands with your towing vehicle of choice!
Watch Out For Deer
If you haven’t been to the Keys before, this one might surprise you— there’s lots of deer there! This warning goes double for people camping in a state park, but everyone should take heed. Drive carefully, especially on US Route 1, and especially at night.
Where To Stay: Public RV Parks In The Florida Keys
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
There are 47 RV campsites at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Each site is equipped with electric and water hookups, and restrooms with hot showers are provided. A dump station is available on site. As one of the more popular state parks in the Keys, we recommend reserving a spot as far in advance of your trip as possible.
Curry Hammock State Park
Between Key Largo and Key West, Curry Hammock State Park is a mix of classic Key West beach and bay scenery. Despite their proximity to the water, wany of the campsites at Curry Hammock have some natural privacy from the the trees throughout the campgrounds. The park is relatively small, with around 20 spots for RVs. The individual sites support full electric and water hookups. Showers and restrooms are available, as well as a dump station.
Bahia Honda State Park
Big Pine Key is home to Bahia Honda State Park, another incredibly in demand campground spot for RVers. The park itself is known for its beautiful, gentle water and peaceful beaches. There are approximately 80 campsites that support full electric and water hookups. For people looking to camp as close to the water as possible, Bahia Honda is your safest bet in public parks.
Where To Stay: Private RV Parks In The Florida Keys
Boyd’s Key West RV Campground
One of the most popular private campgrounds in the Keys is Boyd’s Key West RV Campground, and for good reason. Although the campsites themselves are seemingly basic, the view is unbeatable. Boyd’s Campground is located directly along the water, with many of its camping spots perched right above the ocean. The campground also features a Tiki Hut entertainment area, a heated pool, game room, and more, alongside restrooms and laundry facilities. If you’re RV camping in the Florida Keys and want the most bang for your buck, Boyd’s is second to none.
Bluewater Key Resort
If you’re looking for high end amenities, Bluewater Key Resort has you covered and then some. For lovers of the water, the park is positioned with canal access on one side of the park and ocean access on the other. Both sides feature private docks and boat ramps.
Many of the campsites come with Tiki huts and total privacy due to the lush landscaping of the park. The park is also equipped with a freshwater pool, clubhouse, numerous outdoor kitchen/living areas, a dog park, and more!
Geiger Key Marina, RV Park, and Fish Camp
Who says RVing in the Florida Keys has to be expensive? Located just outside of the center of Boca Chica Key, the closest island to Key West, Geiger Key Marina is a laidback spot for those who enjoy simple digs. Campsites have direct marina access and can hitch their boat rentals right by their RV.
Although Geiger Key Marina doesn’t feature as long a list of amenities as other campsites, it’s a favorite for its delicious on site seafood restaurant and excellent location.
Sugarloaf Key/Key West KOA Holiday
Fans of the KOA brand, Sugarloaf Key/Key West KOA Holiday won’t be disappointed. The family friendly resort comes with all of the perks and amenities that KOA is known for. Planned family activities daily by staff, pancake breakfasts, an on site cafe and snackbar, swimming pool, hot tub, and sauna— these are just a few of the features at Sugarloaf KOA.
Things To Do In The Florida Keys
Dry Tortugas National Park
One of the most popular national parks in the US is gorgeous Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West! The hexagonal fort and moat that makes up the main island is in incredible condition to explore. The park is only accessible by plane or ferry, but is well worth the trip. Some of the clearest turquoise water in the Keys are found at Dry Tortugas for shallow snorkeling. Visits are allowed to camp overnight in a tent.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
The diverse natural features of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park will take more than one day to fully delve into. Located in Key Largo, the park is most famous for its extraordinary snorkeling opportunities. Beneath the surface of the water is an expansive coral reef, remnants of a shipwreck, and the famous Christ of the Abyss statue. The state park offers snorkeling and scuba diving tours as well as glass bottom boat rides.
In addition to the coral reef, the park is also home to a mangrove forest perfect for spending an afternoon kayaking. Plus, as with any other part of the Florida Keys, the sugary white sand beaches are to die for.
Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
A visit to Key West is incomplete without attending the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square at least once. As the name suggests, the seaside shopping square becomes packed nightly at the crowd takes in the sunset over the water together. It’s an amazing experience that brings everyone together for a short time to simply relax together under a once in a lifetime view.
Swimming With Dolphins
Ever wanted to swim with dolphins before? The Keys can make that happen for you!
Barefoot Billy’s offers you the chance to snorkel alongside the amazing, playful critters in their natural habitat. First, you’ll relax on the catamaran and learn about the ecology of the Keys before taking to the water. Dolphins aren’t the only sea creatures that are known to stop by for the tour, however. Past tours have been lucky enough to swim alongside an array of tropical fish, eagle rays, and sea turtles!
Duval Street Shopping and Dining
Just over a mile in length, Duval Street runs the length of the island from north to south. It’s filled to the brim with shops, bars, all kinds of restaurants, art galleries, and more! As the main hub of the “main” island in the Keys, Duval Street is amazing to walk through even just to window shop!
RVing in the Florida Keys is a once in a lifetime experience! And it’s not too late to reserve your RV rental. Let RVnGO make your next vacation one you’ll never forget.