The drivers down there are the worst I have seen since I was in Michigan. To drive there you have to be aggressive or you will never get to make a turn. Be prepared to be cutoff or hemmed in at any time. They love to use their horns too. The nearby Walmart has the worst parking area layout I have ever seen or at least the driveway into it which guarantees a traffic jam at any time of day. I was also astonished at the gall of handicapped drivers who park in the blue crossed lane next to each handicapped space which is required to provide wheelchair access. They don’t care how much they inconvenience other handicapped persons as long as they get to park close no matter how illegal. Police sitting right there did nothing to dissuade them.
So you ask, why would I stay at such a place for a week? Because it is the only reasonably priced park in the area and it is very very close to the Coral Castle, the Everglades National Park, and Biscayne Bay National Park. Key Largo is only 20 miles away. It is also .3 miles from a Walmart, restaurants, Target, Kmart, Best Buy, etc. I also found that if you either stay in your rig most of the time or are out sightseeing, the park itself is not so bothersome.
I ran off to the Coral Castle first thing. Southern Florida and the Keys are made up of a top soil layer sitting on coral. It is amazing what one man can do with the right knowledge and tools. Built by Ed Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant who single-handedly and mysteriously excavated, carved, and erected over 2.2 million pounds of coral rock to build this place, even though he stood only five feet tall and weighed a mere 100 pounds. It was built for his sweetheart AFTER she jilted him a day before their wedding saying he was too poor and too old. She never set foot in it even when offered thousands of dollars to do so by magazines, etc. after Ed died.
Next I went to the Everglades. A stop at the visitors’ center is a must. Lots of displays and you can get a map there if you didn’t get one at the gate. To see it best you will want to drive to the trails and boardwalks then get out and walk a bit. I managed to do one of the best ones where I saw lots of alligators, birds of all kinds, and fish. I like the boardwalks because they don’t hurt my feet as much and they get you right out into the action. The drive through most of the southern Everglades down to the Flamingo Visitor Center was very scenic and worth it. I didn’t know there was a 2 hr. boat tour there or I might have made an effort to get there faster. The boat was pulling out as I arrived. Oh well. I was actually hoping to see a manatee or crocodile there in the coastal salt water. Struck out at that too. At least I found a hamburger and soda there after the long journey.
The day after Thanksgiving, I went to Biscayne Bay National Park. 95% of the park is actually underwater. It is a wonderful place to fish, snorkel, scuba dive, or boat. You can walk the boardwalk out to the point and watch crabs and fish. They have large coral rocks on the pathway for natural decoration.
I decided to go kayaking for the first time. I see lots of RVers with kayaks on their cars and have been considering buying one. It is also a great way to see the park and islands. I highly recommend taking munchies and water to enhance the experience like a picnic on the water. The bay was calm and only 2-3 feet deep for most of it. The water is so clear you can see the grassy bottom and creatures. The kayak was very stable and glides quite fast through the water with each stroke. I like the feel of the paddle. It did hurt my thighs because it was a cheap plastic kayak with no back support or adjustable stirrups. I still managed to have fun and called my best buddy while floating around the island. 😉 Canoes are also available for rent. Expect to get wet.