Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Little Manatee River State Park, FL

It was only a 128 mile drive between Tavares and our next stop, Little Manatee River State Park, south of Tampa. Last January when I was making reservations for our park tour of the state, I had very little to go on as to which parks to try for reservations. I went mostly by the map, with the goal of being in the Keys for the month of December.

We are pleased with our new home. A large shopping area is only about five miles away.

The space is level with just enough open sky for the satellite to work. We have power and water, and there is a dump station in the loop. There are only 34 spaces.  The nice big shower/washroom building with two washers and two dryers is out of sight, but quite near our spot.  The spaces are separated by heavy growth of native plants, giving each camper good privacy. Although most of the spots were full when we arrived Sunday morning, by mid week we are almost alone.

We went on a short walk (less than 3 miles) this morning through pine and oak forest and through some very scrubby land. We got a peek at the river, but saw no wildlife. We met one other couple on the trail, and they asked if we had seen any wild pigs. No, but after that walked through large patches of ground that had been freshly rooted up and showed lots of pig prints. Last night's dinner party perhaps?

My plan is to have a home base and explore from there. We will be at this very pleasant park for the next two weeks, and will be driving to the Tampa area, Sarasota, and some of the parks and beaches nearby when the mood strikes us. 

Any suggestions of things or places we should see?


  1. I like your header picture. Is that a walk about or a labyrinth?

  2. Looks and sounds like a great place to be!

  3. Looks like a nice site. I haven't been in Florida for decades, so I'm no help.

  4. We have never visited that area either...sorry!
    It's a beautiful spot you have there...nice that you can take walks right out of the park.
    I missed your post about Warm Springs. I lived in Manchester and LaGrange all my life. My grandfather was foreman on the building of the Little White House and my mom worked in the rehab facility...it's a small world. It is so neat to read blogs about visits in Georgia. If it were not for the humidity and Mosquitos, it would be totally awesome!

    Enjoy some beach time...

  5. Sorry, me neither. But we'll be in FL at various state parks the month of Dec, so I'll be curious what suggestions you have for ME :-)

  6. No help from us either. But I love your header picture. That is so cool.

  7. I live in St Petersburg and my favorite beach area is Ft DeSoto Park. It is a huge area with lots to do directly on the otherside of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

  8. The Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota is worth it. Also, the Dali Museum is across Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg.

  9. I'm sorry you didn't have time to visit any of the state parks in the northern part of the state. They are spectacular with the beautiful blue springs, and are nothing like you will see anywhere else in Florida.

    My recommendations for your area are: Myakka River SP, Fort Desoto (it's a county park) with miles of beautiful beaches, a fort, miles of bike paths, fishing pier and close to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge http://www.awesomeflorida.com/florida-parks/ft-de-soto-park.htm

    (google Sunshine Skyway crash) to learn about when the old bridge fell into the ocean after being struck by a freighter. It's a beautiful bridge to drive over and I highly recommend it. It will get you to Fort Desoto.

    Some beautiful gulf coast beach state parks south of you are: Stump Pass, Don Pedro Island,Lovers Key, Delano Wiggins Pass, Gasparilla Island. I think these gulf coast beaches are some of the prettiest in Florida and are completely different from the east coast or the Keys.

    To the north of you, Caladesi Island SP and Honeymoon Island are nice. I wouldn't wast much time visiting Tampa. The traffic is horrendous and it's not the prettiest city. Stay on the gulf side, Clearwater, St Pete and that area.

    Be sure to visit Oscar Sherer State Park and take a hike to see the Florida Scrub Jays. The trail starts behind the campground.

    When you go to the Keys, there are two ways to go. I-75 which is called Alligator Alley, or highway 41. You will see a lot of gators if you go via 41. There is also a real nice visitor center where you are guaranteed to see some big ones. They are along 75 but harder to see. We prefer hwy 41 because it's more scenic.

    You didn't take many of my suggestions while in GA, so I'm not hopeful you will see any of these places though. :).... I keep trying though.


  10. We are a year from our first visit to Florida so we will be getting ideas from you.


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