Life's Sweet Journey: Fort De Soto Camping and Egmont Key Great Florida Parks

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fort De Soto Camping and Egmont Key Great Florida Parks

Get outdoors and explore the beauty of Florida's parks at Fort Desoto and Egmont Key!

Happy Friday Folks!! This past weekend we had our first maiden voyage from home with Flo in tow! We managed to snag a last minute camping spot at Fort Desoto, a county park in Pinnellas. From there we were also able to explore the beauty of Egmont Key State Park.

I have decided to embrace the idea of blog videos and thought I would start what have now been dubbed, FloRida Road Talks! I figured videos would be a great way to share highlights from our trips and let you know what things you might want to see and what things to you may want to avoid. In this case there wasn’t much to avoid, except for our first try at a campground. But the rest of our trip was pretty spot on with what I had envisioned for Flo’s first big adventure (a warning that it is a little long, so if you would prefer to just watch the sweet little critter snippets of fun, they are at the end of the video)…

Let me first apologize for the thousands of ‘ummms and ‘likes’ that I used! This is all still a learning experience and those are my go to nervous fillers! I thought briefly of doing another when we got home, but then I thought, "no, that's what Flo is for! She is for the freedom to grow and learn and to be free to just be yourself!" So it stuck!

Also, if you are wondering where our first campground was it was Vacation Village. It was a nice place, with a pool, shuffle board and a rec room with pool tables. It was nicely kept and maybe if it hadn’t been our first big adventure we would have just rolled with it. But with it being literally right off the interstate and on a main road, with the ability to see into the apartment that bordered the park it just wasn’t the fit for us. But you may prefer to have lots of amenities nearby. We wanted more of a ‘back-to-nature, different-than-home’ experience. I will just need to look further into the Encore parks so that we know more about where we are staying next time we use our free days. They have their own island in the Keys so that will probably be where we chose to go. Anyone have any experience with the Thousand Trails/ Encore resorts?

Fort De Soto Campground

We had heard that the Fort De Soto Campground was nearly impossible to get into without booking months ahead. Somehow we got lucky! The sweet lady who let us borrow her canoe said that happens. She said that people book months in advance but then when they realize they can’t actually go that weekend they will call and cancel. She said if you just keep calling that you often get lucky. So just know that is an option. Or you could just wait until day of like we did (maybe not the best choice but hey, sometimes things work out). I seriously felt like we had won the lottery!

Booking a Ferry to Egmont Key 

The ferry we booked to Egmont Key State Park is the only one that runs out of the Fort De Soto Park, though they aren’t actually affiliated with the park itself. They have two departure times, but sometimes the return trips change. It was advertised that they have return options at 2, 3 and 6. However the day we went there was only one return trip at 2:30. This depends on weather forecasts and season. So check ahead! 

Things to Know for Egmont Key State Park

If we had better prepared we would have probably gone earlier had we known 1.) how nice it would be and 2.) that there would only be one return trip that day. The crew was great; friendly and informative, and we couldn’t recommend it more. They prefer cash (though they will take credit cards), but I hadn’t thought to make sure we had extra cash to tip the captain. I would recommend making sure you have a few extra bucks cash - or if you end up buying something aboard the ferry (chips, snorkel gear, lunch, etc.) then you can pay with a credit card and add a tip for them that way!

Our experience really was great! We loved Fort De Soto camping and Egmont Key was a great state park. We will be back for sure!
Egmont Key State Park

And just for giggles – or for those of you who, like me, might be challenged with assisting in backup of large machinery - here is a video courtesy of the man who doesn’t like to be on the camera often! Yet, for someone who prefers to be behind the scenes wheel, he doesn’t seem to mind as much when he is “teaching” me the proper etiquette on all things hauling and work related!

Things I learned from videos this go around
1.) Be more planned out so as to avoid taking up time with the words um and like. If I had put them all together in one long um and like compilation I'm betting it would take up over a minute of the video (sorry folks)!! 
2.) Condense!! I am a talker and I love little extra blurbs, but it doesn't mean everyone else does. And it makes the video reeaallyy long- again sorry!! 
3.)  Don't sweat the learning process! Like any new thing it takes time and practice, so give yourself the grace to make mistakes and learn on the go! 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you find yourself adventuring soon!!
Canoeing Fort De Soto Park


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