SP Campground Review – Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda, FL
Beautifully-located campground, but not all sites are equal and you do get road noise. Lower Keys, FL.
NOTE/ This review is primarily for the RV-camping section (Buttonwood Camping Area) of Bahia Honda although I will mention the other sections (tenting/small-rig) too.
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
The sites in Buttonwood Camping Area are a bit of a mixed bag. There are some gorgeous (beautiful, large) waterfront sites and then a few sites (like the one we had #31) that are small/narrow and not easy to get into. Only ~25 of the 48 sites can fit RV’s 40-feet or larger, so do pay attention to site sizes. Overall quality is decent. All sites are flat, gravel back-ins with 50A electric and water (NOTE/ water spigot is waaay up front so bring extra hose). NO sewer connection, but there is a dump station on-site. Very good vegetation between sites, so good privacy even in the smallest sites. Also on-site picnic table and grill (no firepit). Where the sites differ most is in their location:
- “Prime” Waterfront Sites (#13-25) – The waterfront sites (#13-25) here are simply superb and would rate close to 5/5 on their own. Lovely open water views where you can see the sunset right from your RV. Also several are wide enough that you could easily park a big rig at an angle. The sites closer to US1 do get more road noise than the sites further away, but all are beautiful. If you can grab one of these, do it!
- Other Sites – The other sites in the campground are a mixed bag. Sites #8-12 are directly opposite the waterfront sites and would be my second choice as they are quite spacious and you do get a slice of water view through the front. The remainder of the sites (#1-7, #27-48) do not have any water-views and would be my last choice.
- Other Camping Areas – There are 2 other camping areas at Bahia Honda, but they are primitive (non-hookup) only and reserved exclusively for tenters or very small rigs (vans/popups). There are 8 tent sites at the Bay Side Camping Area (sites #73-80) which are in a very pretty location, but do get very heavy and constant road-noise. I personally did not like them. Then there are ~24 sites in the Sandspur Camping Area (#49-72) which are lovely!! All sites here are very quiet and well-separated and many get awesome ocean views. If I had a van/popup or tent (and did not need hookups) this would be my #1 choice to camp!
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Facilities include flush toilets & large, individual shower stalls. They were somewhat dated (and shower water was somewhat chilly), but they were spacious and clean while we were there. On-site dump station and potable water too. NO laundry facilities.
- Location = 4.5/5
Location is fabulous here, with just one specific ding. Bahia Honda is located at MM 37 making it the perfect spot to visit just about everything in the Lower Keys. You’re a mere 37 miles from Key West, Big Pine is only ~10 mins south and Marathon Key is just ~15 mins north. This means plenty of nearby options for shopping, groceries, eating and sightseeing. Also there is lots to keep you busy within the campground itself -> there is an on-site snorkel/dive shop, on-site kayaking and several on-site trails. Plus Bahia boasts some of BEST beaches in the entire Keys with long stretches of open shoreline where you can wade, swim and snorkel. The only ding? It’s right next to Hwy1 and if you camp in the Buttonwood Camping Area you will get near-constant road noise. Without the noise it would be 5/5.
- Pet Friendliness = 3.5/5
Pets are welcome in camp and on the short hiking trails around the park, but unfortunately (like most FL state parks) they are NOT allowed anywhere on the beach or in the water. So, sadly there is no-where you can take doggie for a dip. For the best doggie play drive north on the 7-Mile Bridge to Sombrero Beach (off MM47) where you can happily swim & hang with doggie all day long. Also MANY of the restaurants and bars around the area accept dogs in their outdoor areas, so feel free to bring them along for outings to eat and drink.
Overall Rating = 3.75
BONUS ALERT = Camp by some of the nicest beaches in the entire FL Keys!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Check out our ~16 min video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2Mu2T2Jotg
Summary: This was admittedly a bit of a mixed bag for us. Bahia Honda is a huge State Park located right smack in the beginning of the Lower Keys. From a location standpoint it’s awesome. You’re only 37 miles from Key West and less than 15 minutes from either Big Pine or Marathon giving you lots of options for groceries, sightseeing and eating out. Also Bahia Honda itself if beautiful. It has long stretches of beach (some of the best in the entire Keys) where you can swim and snorkel, plus there are on-site trails, a beautiful old bridge, on-site snorkel/dive shop (that offers twice-daily trips to Looe Key) and kayaking. It really is a lovely place to hang. The main negative is that the RV camping area (Buttonwood Camping Area) is a bit of a mixed bag. On the positive side it’s well-separated (and gated) from the main beach area so it doesn’t get any of the day-use crowds, but it’s right next to US1 so there is near-constant road-noise (some of the worst we’ve encountered since we entered the Keys). Also some of the sites are superb, particularly the waterfront sites (#13-25 -> gorgeous!! get these if you can) whereas others are smaller/narrower and not quite as nice. We had one of the worst sites in camp (#31), a narrow site right opposite the toilets which was quite a squeeze to get into. Plus with near-constant road-noise we didn’t find it relaxing to sit outside. On the other hand we DID enjoy the park including the gorgeous beaches, trails & sunsets and our daily dips in the water. And we absolutely loved the location for visiting Big Pine & Marathon. Overall I’d say it’s well worth coming here for the location alone, and if you can snag one of the nicer sites you’ll likely love your stay, but be prepared for near-constant road noise and the fact that some of the sites are not nearly as nice as others. We definitely enjoyed the location and if we can nab one of those nicer sites, we’ll most certainly be back.
NOTE/ If you want to stay here reserve WELL AHEAD! Reservations open 11 months ahead and sell out seconds after 8AM EST open each day. So, be persistent and look for last-minute cancellations. The park does keep a small number (2-4?) sites as first-come-first-serve (= not reservable online), but you have to be on site to get in and wait around until check-out (1PM) to see if you get lucky enough to snag one.
Extra Info: Decent Verizon signal (3 bars LTE), and good T-Mobile signal (Binge On worked), but very poor/mixed AT&T (varying signal from 1-2 bars 4G/LTE to nothing, and several of our phone calls were dropped). There is also free WiFi at the main marina. Total 48 sites, of which 42 are reservable on-line. All sites are water/electric only (NO sewer) and cost $38.50/night. On-site dump station and water.SPONSORED LINK: SPONSORED LINK:
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