Friday, December 9, 2011

Reality Check! Florida RV Parks

We're looking, and we're looking hard! And it's depressing! The only bright spot in our day today was having lunch with Karen and Al, (of RV Travels With Karen and Al). We ate at Bert's Bar, in Matlache, near Pine Island. Lots of motorcyles were out front when we pulled up, it's a favorite drinking/eating hole with cycle riders sometimes but not always. This is a little restaurant on the water that looks a little rough and past its prime, but has good food and good memories for me. My mom, who passed away a couple of years ago, loved this place and used to come here with my sister and her husband when they spent some time down here in the winters. I have some great memories of sitting outside by the water having some great laughs with them. Sometimes they even had live entertainment there, we enjoyed that very much. Matlache is a cool little town when it's not under construction...There are little shops on the main road- Pine Island Road- painted all different pastel colors, sometimes you can see dolphins playing in the waters near the bridge.Today, we had a nice lunch out on the water at Bert's and a good conversation with Karen and Al about places in Florida to check out. They lived in Florida for thirty some years, so they know their way around the state.

After lunch, we headed out to see a couple of parks...One of them was Whisper Creek in LaBelle, FL. If you look at their website, it's very nice. You'll notice that there are VERY few shots that show the actual park sites except for one brand new one in a section they are developing. What we saw of the park was the old section and it was VERY depressing--almost all park models and many of them were very old trailer campers from the 60's and 70's added onto to make more of a mobile home for the residents. Sites were parking on grass with concrete patios and they were here and there mixed in with the permanent resident sites. We checked it out because they were offering an internet special of 830.00 a month. Wished I had taken some photos, but we were kind of shocked at the looks of the park, so we left right away...The new section that is being developed looks nice on the website, but we never saw anything that looked like that! They say they have 76 of these new sites on the premises, so that part might be worth checking out for the price. We apparently didn't move far enough into the park to find that new section.

A second park we checked out was Grandma's Grove RV Park, again, in LaBelle. It just wasn't our cup of tea! Here are a couple of photos...From reviews from different sources, people say it's a very friendly place to stay....We didn't check rates for this one...It's just not some place where we'd like to park for a month or more....

The third place we checked out was the River Bend RV resort, a motorcoach only resort, 7 miles west of LaBelle on highway 80. This place was unbelievable! Two clubhouses, zumba and other exercise classes, a restaurant on the premises, beautiful huge pool, pickleball (!) gorgeous huge lots, a "coach" house on every single lot, lots of activities, entertainment, and beautiful landscaping. Oh, yes, and a model TRAIN TRACK under the palm trees by the restaurant. As you might imagine, this is an expensive place. I suppose if you are sitting in one place for more than a month (rates get cheaper as you stay longer), you might be able to justify 1) not using your car much as there is so much to do right there in the park, 2) and not spending money on car and diesel fuel helps make the stay more affordable. Tough's a link to the site for anyone interested: RiverBend Motorcoach Resort.

Back home we beautiful Naples...tomorrow, the Christmas parade boat show!


  1. Jeannie: I read your blog often and enjoy your perspective on life, etc. If you are willing to forego being on either coast (too pricy for our blood) there are more affordable places near Seabring, Avon Park, even up towards Davenport. You can check out Jim and Dee's blog at We are off to AZ right after Christmas for several months in our 5th wheel. Good luck on your search for space this winter. Dione in Indy

  2. We really enjoyed meeting you guys yesterday. I had hoped you would have found a place to stay.

  3. beautiful park but well out of our range for one month, we are looking at some more sites in Fort Myers and North of there today...

  4. I know you guys didn't renew your Thousand Trails membership. . .but I was looking at Florida resorts under the website. . .and it seems TT members can stay at some of the Encore Resorts for $139 per week. . .might be worth checking out.


  5. Here's another link:

  6. I've been reading your blog we are RV owners, future full-timers. We live in FL, and weekend, I might could give you some suggestions to look at if you email me what amenities you are looking for.

  7. I feel your pain. It's so difficult to find good places to throw out anchor. Thanks for the information on the parks you checked out. We've not gotten thatfar south yet. We did enjoy a stay up in Salt Springs last Winter though -
    And some places up on the panhandle.