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Advanced Planning for FL trip 2023


ScottyGS
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Hey Gang,  

Started doing some advance planning for a 2-4 week Florida trip (from WNC) thinking that about a year out would be good.   But... guess I have to think again.   We are pretty flexible about where we go... just want to get away from the cold a bit.  Time frame would be Feb 2023.   I find that just about every state park I look at is booked 11 months in advance. 

Any advice on how to navigate the state reservation system... Tips... Tricks... other sites or resources to explore would be much appreciated.    

Thanks in Advance,

Scotty

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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6 minutes ago, ScottyGS said:

Hey Gang,  

Started doing some advance planning for a 2-4 week Florida trip (from WNC) thinking that about a year out would be good.   But... guess I have to think again.   We are pretty flexible about where we go... just want to get away from the cold a bit.  Time frame would be Feb 2023.   I find that just about every state park I look at is booked 11 months in advance. 

Any advice on how to navigate the state reservation system... Tips... Tricks... other sites or resources to explore would be much appreciated.    

Thanks in Advance,

Scotty

I would be interested too. 

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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I feel your pain. Even as a Florida resident,  it's really hard to get reservations in the most popular parks, in February and March, our most popular tourist months. 

I've been told that there are folks who sit up til midnight every night to get on the system, just as the dates open up, 11 months out, and I  actually believe it. I won't do that, and I  doubt you'd want to, either.

You won't be able to make any reservations for February 2023 til next month. Then, what you can do is look by "city" instead of a specific park, for the days you want. The popular parks may indeed be booked, but it will bring up availability in many other state parks. In my example, I  was really surprised to see Anastasia open, but maybe because I  was only looking for a one night stay.

As you can see, results may not be all that close to the city you enter, but at least it's a place to start.

Screenshot_20220221-124813_Chrome.thumb.jpg.4fdff90ccfd6d53bd4fa7d63bcbdf500.jpg Screenshot_20220221-125515_Chrome.thumb.jpg.0c16e0f9352930be144a105d960d293f.jpgScreenshot_20220221-125523_Chrome.thumb.jpg.9701981487ff752dce1b9aa740d3198c.jpg

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We have run into this problem and have yet to find away around it.  I can also tell you that should you get I to some of these popular parks you will find several vacant spaces.  I believe Florida residents can book 12 months in advance at very low rates.  I have been told some forget they made the reservations but others just chose to do something else. Very few cancel as they paid so little for the sites.  I can't confirm this but park rangers have told me this.  Otherwise the online at midnight is about the only remedy!  Good Luck I feel your pain!  We moved sites with in a few parks.

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I wouldn’t just limit your search to state parks. Yes they are less expensive that’s  why they’ll all full. There are many private Rv parks and resorts in just about every county.  I used to live full time at (The Great Outdoors) in Titusville. A little pricey but great amenity’s,  golf, restaurant, church, mail facilities  two pools,  pickle ball, nature trails the list goes on.  And if you get the right site you’ll see all the rocket launcher’s from your site.  Don’t get discouraged there’s plenty’s of places to stay in Florida. 😎

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Grant  2022 GMC Denali 2500 HD 2019  Elite 11😎

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Also look at city and county parks such as Manateee Hammock in Titusville, Moss Park in Orlando, and Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake in Orlando.

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"Creativity is the fun of putting together unexpected ideas."  Hazel Edwards

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The state parks are nice, but you can find some nice county facilities and, as Landrover said, some nice private parks, too.

Don't count on staying in a walmart here. Many municipalities have ordinances against overnighting in parking lots.

As Florida residents,  we don't get a one month jump on reservations.  Some counties do extend that privilege to their residents,  though, as their county taxes support the parks.

Florida state parks are supposed to cancel the remainder of a stay of a "no show," after checkout time of the first night's reserved stay. That site is then released to the public.

Here's the link to reservations. Note that you can reserve for the first night, and entire stay in one site, 11 months before your arrival date. 

https://www.floridastateparks.org/reservation-information

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For those of you who love state park camping, especially because of the lands and ecosystems they help to preserve, here's an article from the Dyrt that provides a thumbnail on each of the 50+ Florida state parks that offer camping. (NOTE: we're a big water state, so some state parks offer only boatslips or walkin tent camping. This article discusses campsites.)

Why is it so hard to find a campsite here? Florida is roughly 1/5 the size of Texas, with half as many state parks, and over 2/3 the population of Texas. Probably 1/4 of our land is protected wetlands. We're  a straight shot south from Eastern Canada and New York state, via 95. So, we get a lot of winter visitors, and struggle happily to support them.

We welcome and love tourism, because many of our businesses depend on it. But have just a bit of patience with us. Our traffic in season can be equally as frustrating to residents and visitors.  My advice is to find campsites outside major metro areas, and drive in for visits to attractions and beaches in the tv. Our cities and beaches are really, really busy with visitors, and winter residents. 

We have a lot more to offer than just beaches. Our rivers,  wetlands and springs can also be very  beautiful.  Some of our state  parks are home to very old species, and vegetation not found anywhere else. 

Take it slow, follow some of the secondary highways, and you'll see some of Florida that many Florida residents never see . Many of those older and smaller fishing, railroad, and agricultural towns are awesome, and rich with history, but today struggle economically. 

"Seeing" Florida in 2 weeks is impossible.  But, seeing even  a part of it is very rewarding. 

https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/florida-state-parks/amp/

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There are also sites where you can have them alert you to "open" sites.  I've used Wanderinglabs.com twice with positive results both times even though the campground that I was trying to reserve was originally booked solid.

Good luck!

Bill

note - Wanderinglabs.com does not make a reservation for you but only alerts you that a campsite has become available.  You still have to call or go online to make the actual reservation yourself.  I assume that the similar sites work in a like manner.

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15 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

The state parks are nice, but you can find some nice county facilities and, as Landrover said, some nice private parks, too.

Don't count on staying in a walmart here. Many municipalities have ordinances against overnighting in parking lots.

As Florida residents,  we don't get a one month jump on reservations.  Some counties do extend that privilege to their residents,  though, as their county taxes support the parks.

Florida state parks are supposed to cancel the remainder of a stay of a "no show," after checkout time of the first night's reserved stay. That site is then released to the public.

Here's the link to reservations. Note that you can reserve for the first night, and entire stay in one site, 11 months before your arrival date. 

https://www.floridastateparks.org/reservation-information

There are some great county parks.. Brownville Park near Arcadia is my favorite.. They take reservations starting 90 days out from your arrival date, which we did.. but we spent more than a week there and there was always open campsites.. 

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3 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

@DaveAndBecky_NorthernMI, thanks. For those unfamiliar, here's a Campendium article on Water District camping/boondocking. 

https://go.campendium.com/free-camping-floridas-water-management/

Thanks for the link Sherry.  (and DaveAndBecky)    Lots of good tips and I am grateful for all of them...... But......   Donna wants to go to Quartzite in 23.   So y'all  <-- see how southern I am becoming.. know it wasn't wasted, I've already got a lot of this info on my google maps.  Much thanks again. 

Scotty 

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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