Silver Springs State Park And Campground – Our Review

The Silver Springs State Park and Campground is located near the beautiful township of Silver Springs. And it is only about 7-8 miles away from Ocala, FL.

The physical address of Silver Springs State Park is 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Silver Springs, FL. This is the main entrance of the Park itself where the attraction is.

About a mile away is where the campground entrance is located though. The actual address of the campground is 1425 NE 58th Ave. in Ocala, FL.

There is also an Equestrian entrance that you can look up online, if you need that information.

Silver Springs State Park Campground

Not enough can be said about this beautiful campground which is located in a gorgeous area of Florida. It is an area that is not quite as congested as many other areas of Florida to visit.

It is reminiscent of what we lovingly refer to as “Old Florida”. Meaning that it is where the landscape is not altered to look so groomed and pristine. It has a very natural look.

And there is wildlife galore. Also, fantastic hiking trails are located all through this region. Not just hiking, but bicycle, canoe and kayak trails to explore too.

Within about 45 minutes, there are many other places to explore that are part of the Florida state park system.

There are several bubbling springs with gallons and gallons of fresh water coming up through the aquifer. And usually they allow non or electric powered boating in these areas.

There is also swimming in water that remains a constant temperature all year round. These are great places to visit, particularly on a warm day. But enough about the area for now.

Silver Springs State Park Campground Features

The campground, what can you expect? Well, this is a very nice state park campground. But there are only about 59 sites though.

Click here for a campground map of Silver Springs State Park

They have recently upgraded all their electric to include 50 amp as well as 30 amp at all the RV sites. And as with many state parks, there are very few sites with sewer.

In fact this park has more than most state parks with 13 sites with sewer connections. But that really is not a problem. Why?

Because they have a double dump station to take care of that part of your camping needs. Which works well if you are not able to reserve a site with a sewer hookup.

The sites themselves have plenty of room in them and plenty of space between them. Most are deep enough to hold a larger rig and remain pretty level for the most part.

You definitely have a feeling of privacy when camping in these spots. How are the access roads though?

Well, to get to the campground itself is right off a main route in Forida called State Route 40. And the road leading from the ranger station to the campground itself is paved and well taken care of.

The roads in the campground are not paved all the way through. But they are well packed and very easy to navigate, even for large RV’s.

Silver Springs State Park Amenities

How about park amenities? The bath houses are very clean and well kept up. They even offer a washer/dryer if you are in need of those.

Campground WI-FI is not offered, probably because of the close proximity to Ocala. But there seems to be no issue with cell service from the major cell carriers.

So, you should be able to have easy connectivity through your phone or hot spot.

They also have a nice little playground for the kids if you have a family. And right from the campground itself you can go right onto quite a few hiking trails.

But what is really nice is that when you stay in this campground, you have free admission to Silver Springs itself.

Access To Silver Springs

This is an area with beautiful gardens to walk through. And it is home to the famous glass bottom boats (which are an additional cost, of course).

There is much information about the history of Silver Springs itself to enjoy. And there is an eating establishment on site and activities for the kids too.

They keep the area immaculate and it is such a peaceful place to walk through. Or you can just sit on the huge deck in rocking chairs and reflect.

Also, you can either bring your own or rent canoes and kayaks to navigate down the Silver River. It is crystal clear and you can see the bottom with all the fish and turtles swimming beside you as you go.

There are beautiful river banks with even some monkeys that live there. They are holdovers from when they had a wildlife zoo as part of the Silver Springs attraction.

So as you can see, this campground is unique and does offer a lot.

Silver Springs State Park – Surrounding Area

As was mentioned at the the beginning of the article, the area is within about 45 minutes or so of many other springs and parks to visit.

Many of them are free to access. And if you have not seen an area like this before, it is so interesting and beautiful.

If you choose to go a little further to the west for a day, there are other great places to see. Like Homossasa Springs or Weeki Wachee. And they are known for the manatees in their waters.

How far away from civilization are you at this campground? Not far at all. Silver Springs township is only about 1 mile away.

It offers restaurants and grocery stores. But Ocala itself is only about 6-8 miles away.

And there is a Walmart on Route 40 on the way to Ocala along with Harbor Freight and Home Depot. Ocala offers anything you want as far as groceries and restaurants.

Just so you know, Ocala is one of the RV strongholds in Florida. Although not as many RV’s as perhaps the Tampa area. But it has many RV dealers and repair shops.

So if any issues happen with your RV, you should be able to get it taken care of there.

So how far is this campground from some of the bigger cities that we hear of in Florida? Well, Orlando area is about 85 miles away or about 1 1/2 hours.

And Tampa is about 100 miles away or almost 2 hours. Just far enough away to enjoy the quiet of the real “Florida” at Silver Springs.

Our Conclusion

So, with all this information do you have any idea on how we would rate this campground? Definitely the area would be a big 5 stars. And the campground we would rate as 4.5 stars.

We would consider it a 5 star campground, but for two reasons we would rate it a bit lower. First, because it is so loved, it is sometimes difficult to get reservations. So booking out quite a bit in advance is usually necessary.

Secondly, many RVers like amenities such as pools, and other activities such as that. So since they do not offer those things, we will lower it to the 4.5 star rating.

Would we visit here again? In a hot second!!!! We have been here before three times, and would definitely go back again!

Thank you Silver Springs for a beautiful park and well kept campground!!!!

Fort DeSoto Campground – One Of Our Favorites RV Parks

Fort DeSoto Campground is located in Fort DeSoto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway So., Tierra Verde, FL. And it is near St. Petersburg, FL.

It’s a county park in the county of Pinellas. Florida has a beautiful state and county park system that allows you to see the beauty of the state.

Fort DeSoto itself is a very nice state park. And it has a sought after campground located within it. In fact, many of the sites in the campground sit right on the water.

So needless to say, the salt water views are beautiful and the sunsets are to die for.

Fort DeSoto Campground Features

But let’s talk a little about the campground first. This campground has 236 sites and it is divided into 3 sections.

Click here to view the map for Fort DeSoto Campground

There is a section with 85 sites that accommodates tents, vans, pop-ups and RV’s that are up to 16 feet long. At the time of this writing they run $37.86/night.

If you want one located on the water, it costs a little more at $42.38. These prices include taxes, etc.

Their next section, sites 86-164, is for those folks that have pets. The last section, sites 164-236, is for folks with no pets. And both of these two sections can accommodate RV’s of any size.

These campsite prices run $43.51/night. And if you want waterfront, the price is a little more at $48.03 including tax.

These sites have either 30 or 50 amp electric and water. But there is no sewer hookup, as is the case with most of the state parks in Florida.

They do have two very nice dump stations that can take care of those needs though.

Fort DeSoto Campground Sites And Reservations

One word of caution about Fort DeSoto Campground though ….book early. They fill up fast!!

Our experience is that they have a very pleasant office staff. They are actually Florida park rangers, who are extremely helpful.

And the campground also has a camp store where you can pick up a few things, including firewood.

At certain times of the year, it also has a little snack bar in it too. And it even has chairs on the porch that overlook the water.

What are the sites like? Well, they are dirt sites. And most of them are fairly level. But they do have some pull-through sites too.

They are definitely nestled in native Florida foliage and each one gives you privacy. The ones on the water are gorgeous. But as you can imagine, are a little more difficult to secure.

The ability to navigate the park is easy, even if you have a bigger RV. The roads leading to the park are very spacious and it is easy to get to the campground.

Fort DeSoto Campground Amenities

The park doesn’t have many amenities though. It has a couple of small playgrounds. And of course, bath houses with showers. They are older but clean.

But quite honestly, with the ocean as your backdrop to this campground, you don’t need much else. That being said…let’s talk about Ft. DeSoto Park.

Fort DeSoto Campground - lots to see and do nearby
Lots to see and do nearby to Fort DeSoto Campground

Things To Do Nearby

The park itself is just wonderful!!!! It is 1136 acres of unadulterated Florida land with beautiful wildlife and landscapes.

It has 5 interconnected islands or keys. And two of these have ferries that you can take, so you can explore them.

There are beach plants, mangroves and 328 species of birds, plus much more wildlife.

And there are 7 miles of oceanfront. About 3 miles of which are white sandy beaches with designated swimming areas.

There is also one beach that is a dog beach, if you have a furry friend who likes the water.

Anything else in this park??? Definitely!!! There are pavillions to picnic at. And two fishing piers (must have a fishing license), a snack bar and a souvenir shop.

Why a souvenir shop? Well, this was a fort at one time. And the fort is still there to explore along with a small museum. So yes, you can find a little bit of history at this place too.

Boating And Hiking Opportunities

There are also places to launch your boat if you desire, to explore the area or fish. In fact, there is a really cool 2 1/2 mile canoe trail, if you like to canoe or kayak.

There are also trails that can be used for biking or walking. And local businesses rent wind jammers and other aquatic equipment too. That way you can enjoy your time on the ocean.

If you want to just get into the park, it is only $5. Of course, if you are camping in the campground, your entrance fee to the park is included.

Fort DeSoto Campground – Shopping Nearby

What is nearby for provisioning? Well, there is a Walmart about 10 miles away. But there are plenty of other grocery stores in between too.

Publix is a huge grocery chain in Florida and they are just about everywhere. But there are also hardware stores and big box stores as well. So there is not a problem provisioning.

Local Restaurants

What about places to eat? Well, you are near bigger cities and eclectic townships.

So not only do you have the normal chain restaurants. But plenty of Mom and Pop restaurants that are unique to the area.

And if you want seafood, just throw a rock. They are just about everywhere you go. So you can please any taste and everyone will be happy with something close by.

As far as things to do….you are on the ocean. Plenty of water activities, botanical gardens, etc. And just hanging out on the beach enjoying the shelling and the sunshine.

The area offers way too many things to even mention. But if you visit the area, you are sure to find something to do!!!!

Our Conclusion

So how would we rate the area and the Fort DeSoto campground? The surroundings is an absolute 5 stars. This is just a very nice part of Florida to visit.

How about the campground??? Well, we would give it a 4.5 stars. The campground area itself is very serene. And the beauty it brings for everyone to enjoy is outstanding.

The facilities we would give a 4 star rating. It is a little older and could use some updating and there are not a ton of amenities.

But once again, given the area, you don’t need much. Especially when you are staying at a beautiful place right on the ocean.

So all in all, you may definitely want to put this on your agenda if you are visiting the St. Petersburg area.

Thank you Fort DeSoto for the lovely stays we have had there. We look forward to many more!

Mesa Spirit RV Resort – One Of Our Favorite Places To Stay

Mesa Spirit RV Resort is located at 3020 East Main Street in Mesa, AZ.

This RV resort is located in a very populated area of Mesa, AZ. And it’s near many restaurants and stores in the area. It you like that kind of thing, then Mesa Spirit is a very good option for you.

This particular resort is a participator in the Thousand Trails membership system. And if you are part of that system, you can also be part of the Trails Collection too.

The Trails Collection allows you to stay for 2 or 3 weeks for $0 a night. Depending on your Thousand Trails membership.

But this park can also be used even if you are not a Thousand Trails member. Then the cost for an RV site, as of this review is $73 a night. And if you stay for a week it averages out to $63 a night plus tax, of course.

But they also offer longer stays at reduced rates if you wish to stay in the area longer. Just call for those prices to find out what the cost and availability is for your needs.

Click here to view the Mesa Spirit RV Resort map

Mesa Spirit RV Resort – Age Qualified?

Now we have to mention that this is a 55+ age qualified park. But there are younger folks who also stay there too.

We questioned them about this. And they said that if they have availability, that very often the resort will let younger families in.

But you must contact the office to make those arrangements. Or if you are part of Thousand Trails, contact them directly to check on availability.

It’s nice that they offer this on a limited basis. Especially since many of the RV parks in the area only cater to the 55+ crowd.

Mesa Sprit RV Resort Amenities

So what is the park itself like? Well, this park offers many amenities. There are 2 pools and hot tubs.

And they offer many other activities that are associated with RV resorts. Like tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard, a nice little 9 hole mini-golf course. And all kinds of events and workshops.

So there is a lot to keep you busy if you enjoy these kinds of activities. The people that stay in the park are very friendly and accommodating too.

And we found that the full time people that stay there, are very helpful as well. So it makes for a homey feeling even though you are in a large RV resort.

Mesa Spirit RV Resort Features

But talking about large, how big is it? Well, the park itself has 1667 sites and is open all year long. Most of the sites have either a dirt or gravel site.

But they offer a concrete pad beside it for parking your tow or towed vehicle. And for setting up your outside area as you like. So, it works very well.

The sites all have 50 amp service. So be sure if you have a 30 amp RV that you bring an adapter. Or they also offer them for purchase at the office area.

Can a big rig navigate the park fairly well? Most definitely. We have been here a number of times.

Mesa Spirit RV Resort entrance roads
Mesa Spirit RV Resort – Entrance Roads

And we have had no problem getting to our spot and then backing into it. So having a larger rig should not stop you from enjoying this park.

The management also keeps everything neat and clean throughout the park. But the campsites themselves are not extremely spacious. However, they offer enough room to set up everything that you need.

And they are large enough to allow you to enjoy your time in the beautiful Arizona weather. Especially if you are there through the winter months! 🙂

How About Internet Access?

One other amenity that we all think about a lot these days is connectivity. Well, the RV park does offer free WIFI throughout the park.

As we all know, this can sometimes be spotty and sluggish. It does seem to be much stronger near their main buildings though. For instance, their clubhouses and office area.

If you are not having success with that, they also offer a cable internet service. It’s through Dish Network, if you have a compatible modem. And the basic service for that is free.

If you have issues beyond that, you can contact the office. And they will put you in touch with a Dish Network technician that services the park. They can work with you on further options.

We had no need of that because we work with T-Mobile and Verizon hotspots. And we have no difficulties connecting and using their services in this area of Arizona.

So as you can see there are a number of available options for internet connectivity. It all depends on your needs.

Activities In The Area

How about activities in the area? Well, you are in the middle of the state of Arizona. So the options are endless, depending on what activities you enjoy doing.

Of course, Arizona is known for gorgeous hiking trails. And there are so many around.

If you access the All Trails app on your phone, you will see the many options that are available. They range from easy paved trails to more challenging mountain climbs.

But there are gorgeous drives through beautiful canyons nearby. And some nice lakes in the bottom of some of those canyons.

You are also only a little less than 2 hours from Sedona. A place with beautiful red rocks and a charming town. There you will find plenty of offerings for food, drink, and shopping.

Also if you want to go into the desert, there are well known Jeep tours for that. Or if you have a Jeep, plenty of trails to ride and explore.

Now in the Phoenix area itself, there are well known basketball, football and baseball teams. And don’t forget spring training games that you can attend too.

If you enjoy gardens, they have botanical gardens and desert gardens nearby. If you are into more indoor activities, they have museums and historical places in the area too.

Open air flea markets are very common. In fact there is a great one about 15 minutes from the Mesa Spirit park.

Shopping Nearby To Mesa Spirit RV Resort

And if you enjoy retail shopping, there are plenty of places to go and do some shopping. Also, Tucson is only about 1 1/2 hours away. And that opens the door to many other activities. We could go on and on about things to do in Arizona, but this should be enough for now.

But how about places to provision? Not a problem here. There are 3 grocery stores within about 5 minutes from the Mesa Spirit park.

There’s a Safeway, Albertsons, and Fry’s. There is also a Walmart about 10 minutes away. And Home Depot is just down the road, if you need those kind of supplies.

And there is either a Walgreens or CVS on about every other corner in the area. There is also an actual mall about 10 minutes away as well. So as you can see, plenty of places to get anything you may need.


So what is our overall opinion and rating for Mesa Spirt? Well we would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

We really do enjoy the park very much. It has an overall homey appeal as we mentioned earlier in this review.

We have stayed there a number of times. Because we like to spend our winters in Arizona for the most part.

So why did we not give it a higher star rating? Mainly because we have been to other parks in our travels that have a little larger sites.

Or perhaps full concrete pads on which to park your rig. Or maybe more amenities that some may be looking for.

But we feel that this is a very nice park and we certainly enjoy its location. We also like the gated safety it provides, and the warm feeling we have when we visit it.

Thank you Mesa Spirit for offering a nice option for places to put down roots for a little while when visiting the Phoenix-Mesa area.

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