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East Berlin, Pennsylvania
February 15, 2007
Staying in the Keys is generally a bit pricey, as are most waterfront places anywhere, but if you camp—whether tent or RV—you can have it all for approximately $30/night, complete with the ocean mere feet from your site.
Every site in Long Key State Park is direct oceanfront, with adequate space and shade to provide some privacy as well. The least private side is actually the beach...but this is not a crowded place... so you don't have hordes passing in front of you.
In the winter—midweek—this is mostly filled with retirees enjoying their winter break. We joined them and had a great, quiet time of sun and relaxation. The boys played on the beach and enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the warm Key air—the water was off limits due to an abundance of Man O War, but they waded some carefully. Without the Man O War, swimming and snorkeling are possible here—meaning, of course, we'll have to go back to see what they are like! Some people had inflatable boats with them that they used, and many folks fished from shore.
We took advantage of a free ranger-guided "Learn to Kayak" course that was enjoyable—and had the wind not been up the next day, we'd have traversed the "canoe trail" that is here. Instead, we walked the Golden Orb Trail and enjoyed learning about the different mangrove trees and local flora and fauna.
The biggest plus to this campground is the view—second to very few as far as campgrounds go. They also have very nice bathhouses complete with hot showers, picnic tables, ground grills, and each site has its own electric and water. The park was very quiet from the patrons—there's not even much wave noise here due to the reefs breaking the waves well off-shore.
The only downside I can think of is the road traffic noise. The Overseas Highway is right next to the sites, so you hear every car or truck that passes—at all hours—without the wave noise to drown them out. However, I would never let that stop us from staying here. The view and the general sense of peace and quiet far outweigh some basic traffic noise for us. This is one place we REALLY hated to leave.
From journal Inexpensive Florida - Discover the State Parks
Brighton, United Kingdom
April 10, 2002
We came across Long Key State Recreation Area, guided by our Florida Lonely Planet, which duly rented out kayaks for the remarkably cheap rate of $4 an hour for the 2 hour self guided circuit through a tidal lagoon. And the late middle aged couple manning the entry gate seemed thrilled to see us!
The kayak trail was certainly not demanding, but it was a peaceful paddle from numbered marker bouy to numbered marker buoy. At each buoy the information sheet pointed out some interesting fact about the plants or the wildlife. We had a lovely peaceful (apart from the sights and sounds of the highway on regular occasions) couple of hours amongst the wading birds in the late afternoon sun.
From journal Florida Keys out of season