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Bahia Honda State Park: Florida Keys Favorite!

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Anyone who has ever been to the Florida Keys knows how serene and beautiful it is, and the drive along U.S.1 is amazing to see with the turquoise colored water on both sides of the narrow strip of land as you travel down…  As you continue your journey south toward Key West, you will marvel over the 7 mile bridge, the Key Deer Wildlife Refuge, and some of the incredible state parks there in the Keys.  One particular state park is the Bahia Honda State Park located toward the Lower Keys, and is an amazing place for many different beach and waterside activities, in addition to camping.

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This is a very popular park, so if you intend on camping make sure to book your campsite or RV site ahead of time, as there may be none left when you arrive.  It is a pretty good size park as far as the Florida Keys go, and a lot to explore once you get situated…  One particular feature of most Florida Keys tent camping is that there isn’t much dirt or sand located there, and you are going to need an alternate idea to hold down your tent as tent stakes may not make it into the ground to hold it in…  The last time I was there, I was away from my site for a few hours and came back to find my tent had blown several yards away, luckily getting stuck in some shrubs…  The wind conditions can quickly blow up in the Keys, so make sure you’re in good shape to leave it!

RV campers and trailers are very popular in the Florida Keys, and many retirees will come down here for the wintertime and stay as long as they can in different camps or even parks.  If a state park has a 2 week limit, they might just head down to the next park for a week or two, and then come back for another two week stay.  There are also many private RV parks and camping areas in the Keys, as it’s a great tradition.

If you have a boat or Jet Ski, make sure to bring it along with you to the Keys, as the Bahia Honda State Park has a boat ramp available for your use.  In fact, the first place I tried out my Sea Doo Jet Ski was at the Bahia Honda State Park on a lovely 4th of July weekend with beautiful water conditions.  The water clarity is incredible in that area, with coral reefs and tropical fish just offshore in numbers.  Make sure to get a depth chart if you intend on boating, as some of the areas can get shallow fairly quickly.

If you’re interested in doing some scuba diving or snorkeling, you can do it right from the shore, or charter one of the local boats in the area and they will take you out to a nice reef located a little farther out where you can see a little more untouched or unvisited reefs.  Remember to always protect the reef as you are diving, and never stand on it or touch it if you can avoid it.  They are very fragile and can break easily or you can kill the coral by your touch.  It takes them decades or longer to grow back, and some areas in the Caribbean or even in the Keys are already feeling the intense pressure of over visitation…  Some reefs in Jamaica that I’ve visited are completely dead due to their neglect and carelessness.

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The beaches in Bahia Honda State Park are both numerous and fantastic!  There is lots of room for everyone who comes here, and you’ll be sure to find a nice spot for yourself with some elbow room.  Get a guidebook from the ranger station when you come into the park, and there will be a good map with driving routes to get to the various beaches and campsites there.  It’s one of my favorite parks in the Florida Keys, and I’m sure that you’ll love it as well!  Just remember to plan well in advance during the heavy and hectic summer season, because as one very popular park it fills up fast.  The park is also not very far from Key West or other great Keys attractions like the Dry Tortugas National Park and the Pennecamp State Park, so have fun!






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