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“Nice Park but Camping Has Some Challenges”

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Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 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, travelled 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
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148 - 154 of 247 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 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, travelled 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 27 May 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, travelled 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 16 May 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, travelled 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 19 April 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
Reviewed 11 April 2013

Luckily for the kids and I, Reserve America had one tent space left for two nights and I snatched it at this beautiful state park. I took advantage of the snorkeling trip to Looe Key and it was just amazing! Rented kayaks and went out the the small coral island by the beach which was well worth the money spent! The bath houses were nice and clean and the concession stand was great too. Loved the staff, the Rangers and all the amenities. The racoons made it difficult to eat alone at the camp site, but they were harmless and the kids enjoyed watching them beg-
For my next trip, I will ante up and get an RV site for my tents and stay along the waterfront where the view ia amazing and away from the highway sounds of trucks roaring by throughout the night.

Room Tip: Go for the RV sites and stay near the water!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Leigh E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2013

I'll note right away that this rating only applies to the Buttonwood camping area, and really only further applies to tent camping there. The beachside sites looked absolutely gorgeous, but tent camping in the Buttonwood area was pretty uncomfortable. It's all gravel, which is great if you're in an RV or camper, but not fun when you're in a tent. The sites are also extremely close together and there was little in the way of separation between our site and our neighbor's.

Campsite aside, Bahia Honda itself is great. The beaches are gorgeous and you can choose between bayside and oceanside, which is helpful depending on which way the wind is blowing. The marina and concession stand are both very nice.

A note about wind: We'd planned to take a snorkeling trip through a company that partners with the State Park on one of the two days we stayed there, but on both days they said it was too windy and that the water visibility would be too low. We wound up going snorkeling in Key West instead, but we were disappointed. Be prepared to make alternative plans if it's windy.

Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Mike P
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
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Big Pine Key
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Big Pine Key
Price Range: £71 - £142 (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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