We did complain to Encore and Sunshine Key but neither responded to our comments, disappointing ! By sharing our experience with fellow campers, we hope others benefit and avoid what we considered our worse camping experience in 6 years.
Our site was blocked by a pick-up truck and large utility trailer, thoroughly packed with numerous outdoors items. After 15 minutes finally able to get into our site and set up. However, unbelievable chaos and commotion at the next site: dog incessantly barking; canopy erection right on the beach area along with another canvas cover; boat, trailer, car and, truck crammed onto front of site; site filled with chairs, beer, water, wash sinks, large coolers, two large stainless steel fish cleaning utilities etc, etc. So much clutter and noise that we finally decided that in spite of the very nice waterfront view—we had to move.
Next site, while still waterfront, was very narrow; view was not as nice; and closer to the bridge traffic noise. Yet, this appeared better than the last situation. However about 10 pm at the site next to us a large family parked their pick up and boat then proceeded to have a meal while listening to extremely loud bass music. Early the next morning, we were awakened by the boisterous campers. Moreover during the night they had erected a large tent to our immediate right and about 4 feet onto our narrow site (their site was wider than ours). Yet not only was our site infringed upon but, these campers placed their boat onto an empty site on the opposite side. After feeding the seagulls, thankfully the group of 5 went boating, leaving us to contend with seagulls everywhere. Upon returning the campers’ proceeded to use the picnic table to filet about 12 fish- needless to say the seagulls and smell were offensive. Then early evening the music was blasting such that we finally broke the silence to request the music be turned down. However that was short lived as the camp site across the street began blasting their music (heard inside the RV over the TV). We politely requested this music be turned down. Next the neighboring campers placed a large nail into a palm tree and hung two very large florescent lights that hung down the palm tree. Yet the final insult was when the tent door was held up and one of the younger girls utilized the ground as a restroom.
Unfortunately these were not the only negative experiences surrounding the Sunshine Key RV Resort. Overall there was no enforcement or adherence too many of the rules as noted below:
• Numerous campers drinking while driving golf carts repeatedly around the park. We have no issue with drinking yet suggest that driving a golf cart and drinking can be dangerous with so many children around.
• Many situations of boats, trailers along with jet skies crammed onto one site; or on occasion the trailer or boat spilling over onto neighboring site. Often three vehicles plus boats and trailers.
• At least 30% of the sites had a refrigerator, or freezer, or sink or some combination of these items. While most were within covered cabanas, these appliances were still outside the camping unit and usually unsightly. And many kitchen appliances were not even within cabanas.
• Many sites had large stereos and speakers blasting the music that was clearly audible 6 or 7 sites away. The noise level at some sites rivaled a night time bar strip.
• The extreme clutter at the majority of sites was ludicrous. Many sites had no visible land to see – much less any natural beauty. A few sites even blocked the entire front of the sites with trailers, cabanas, or fences.
This campground failed to meet any expectations as outlined within the brochures, web site or appearance standards. If we had known the real facts about this campground we would never had booked a stay here.
That is a thorough thrashing and it sounds like it was well deserved. I suggest you post a review on www.rvparkreviews.com also. You sound like you would have been much happier at one of the 4 state parks in the Keys as I am. I cannot stand the type of CG (if you can call it that, seems more like a ghetto) either. Next time try Curry Hammock state park or Long Key state park and you will see how much nicer (and cheaper) it can be. Planning early (11 months out) is key to getting in those SP's in that area.
We stayed there in the summer of 2003 with some friends in their Pup. We had our Hybrid at the time. We were on the water, two sites and decent neighbors. We had a boat with us and enjoyed boating / fishing / snorkeling in the area. Nice marina and fishing dock !
The park itself, even back then seemed to have allot of owned or leased sites packed with canopies, huts, hot tubs, outside full side refrigerators, sinks, boats, jet skies, etc. Lol, just as described above by the OP, I remember that well ! The weekends, were, well, loud with salsa type music and lots of people.......lots of people partying on those type sites ! We managed, learned a lesson and made do with the loud music and party people. After a few drinks, that salsa started moving my feet, lol !
Besides the weekend parties, and we learned that is the standard there, we were the outsiders to their normal weekend life styles! Never saw a fight or anyone causing any trouble, just party people drinking it up !
Talked to some campers who go during lobster week and they described that park as a cross between bike week / speed week / concert / and adult establishment !
We have not been back, nor do we plan to. Just reading the post brings back memories ! Makes me laugh, though.
2010 Flagstaff 26RLS
2012 Ford F-150 Screw Ecoboost H/D 3.73
2006 Toyota Tundra D/C (sold)
2001 Bantam B-19,(sold)
2003 Harley Road King
The whole family,
Cold ones in the cooler, good times ahead.
I've camped there numerous times. Always had a beach site. Towed the Hobie cat and did a lot of sailing, fishing, and snorkeling. Would pick up a few pounds of fresh shrimp when the boats came in to the KW bight to unload their catch. We'd put 'em on ice and have a feast when we got to the Key. Would always have fresh yellow-tail and grits for breakfast cooked on an open fire. "Shorts" were common for $1.25 a baker's dozen. Or we caught our own lobster around the 7 Mile bridge. I seldom had anyone next to us while camped there. Let's see... that was 45+ years ago.
Today, there's over 6 times as many people living in the State. More and more are pouring in just to visit. In my time, KW has moved from a military based economy to a major tourist economy. A Florida lobster tail dinner runs about $22.00 for one 6" tail; you can't catch anything except a cold without paying big bucks; and they pack you in belly button to bunga-hole into the campgrounds. All for the bargain price of $65 to $95 per night? LOL. I don't think so, Tim!
Welcome to progress! Now, I'll share a native's secret. If you'd like to see Old Florida, select a campground or a State Park along the "forgotten coast", from St. Marks to Mexico Bch. Camping is reasonable. There's a working waterfront there. The seafood is just as good at the dives and the pace is much, much slower. There are miles of relatively uninhabited beaches, many of which are pet friendly. And the weather in late spring is just as fine. Visit Wakulla Springs SP, one of the largest natural springs in the world. Just a thought... lol!