“Top RVJedeye Spots for 2018” – Season 3: Episode 25 [RVJedeye]

What an RV Year! 2018 saw a switch in travel philosophy. In the past I tried to take the rig out twice a month, even if they were short, 3-day weekend trips. This year I went out less, but stayed out longer, which turned out to be pretty nice because that way I got to really explore a location and get some rest and relaxation in on it as well.

Now I’ve been out on the road for three years and if you want to see some of the past Top-RVJedeye-Lists, click here for 2016 and here for 2017.

 As the tradition continues of letting you know some of my favorite places this year, like in the past, I’m ranking my stops, showing a couple of pics and giving you my take as to why… for me… it rated where it did in my top list for 2018.How am I breaking it all down? Well, I’m using a mixture of things to put my list together. For example: overall beauty, cleanliness, friendliness at the park, price per night (including taxes), and if I would go there again. All of these items and more will factor into how I build out my, “Top RVJedeye Spots for 2018.”

So without further ado, here is my list along with a video for the first time!

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9)                                 “Ginnie Springs”

Location:                     High Springs, FL

Month Stopped:          November, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $36.16 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/12/10/exploring-ginnie-springs-in-the-rv-season-3-episode-23-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqd7M6zQGDY&t=8s

Notes:

If the area seems familiar it is, because I hit this part of the state a couple of times this RV season. Near Gainesville Florida in High Springs Florida, it’s a relatively easy spot to find and this is what I call a “Mega Park.” I hit up the spot in November, outside of the regular season and I can only imagine what this place is like during the summer. Before I came, but after I booked the spot, I looked at some YouTube videos and this place really is about tubing, enjoying the springs, diving and snorkeling. During the summer I can see this place being packed. And even though I was there in November, there we still a lot of folks.

Now what I mean by this place being a “Mega Park,” it’s really designed for people to meet up in groups and party. Taking advantage of the springs. The park has large camping sites for both RVs and tent camping and that’s what a lot of folks were doing. Meeting up in small and large groups and hanging. Unfortunately for me, since I wanted a quite spot, this was probably not the park for me. The sites are not laid out well so people walk in and out of your site going to wherever they’re going and not having a lot of courtesy. People are playing music way too loud and later than it needs to be.

Now the water is nice. There are a lot of places to get into it and enjoy. Lots of places to rent tubes and other devices to enjoy in the springs. The Wi-Fi is good and for the most part the park is clean and well maintained. If I’m being honest, this was just not my type of park, but I can see people, families and groups really enjoying it.

8)                                 “Cracker Barrel Parking Lot”

Location:                     Gainesville, FL

Month Stopped:          April, 2018

Cost Per Night:           FREE

VLOG Link:

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK6Rf-A7jqc&t=4s

Notes:

This was my first, overnight camping in a parking lot. I was going to a work meeting before hitting the road for a bigger trip, so I stayed overnight in the “Cracker Barrel” parking lot in Gainesville and it was great. They have sites specific for RVers. I went in to eat and let the manager know I was staying and she thanked me and then said, not a lot of folks even bother with that, but thanks.

The sites are a little tight width wise but length, even if you had a 40 footer you could park there. There wasn’t a lot of odd noise and in the morning I picked up some more breakfast before hitting the road. It really was one of the best stops in 2018.

7)                                 “Gilchrist Blue State Park”

Location:                     High Springs, FL

Month Stopped:          May, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $21.85 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/08/06/gilchrist-blue-springs-in-the-rv-season-3-episode-13-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcsYYC9VIzg&t=3s

Notes:

Kicking off the list in 2018… “Gilchrist Blue State Park”

Just a little outside of Gainesville Florida in High Springs Florida, as you can imagine from the name, this spot is known for its beautiful water. I usually love to hike a ton when I’m at a State Park and in this case, I got some in, but spent far more time in the springs. It is a wonderful way to cool off and have a lot of fun, because the water stays at a constant temperature and once you get acclimated to the water, you don’t ever want to come out! That by far is the best part of this park.

However, the park itself is much more of a “day-use” park. Folks and camps and tons of kids and families flood it during the day and that’s cool because everyone should really enjoy it, but t also made it hard to keep things clean. The bath house wasn’t very tidy and there was a lot of trash on site. When I rolled into my spot, clearly someone had been partying because in the fire ring there were all sorts of bottles and trash.

The actual spots for RV’s are away from the bulk of the noise, but most of the sites are very uneven so you’re going to have to do some leveling for sure. The road coming into the park is also very rough on the vehicle. It’s dirt for the most part and a lot holes and bumps you just can’t avoid.

The other bummer about the park s there are no dumping facilities for RV’s. You actually have to drive about15-20 minutes to another State Park to dump your tanks. So depending on where you’re heading next, you might have to backtrack.

All in all, the springs make up for a lot and it’s fun to be in and on the water. Not sure I’d spend a ton of time at this park again, but for a day trip… an overnight or two stay it’s not a bad place to hang out.

6)                                 “Lake Griffin State Park”

Location:                     Fruitland, FL

Month Stopped:          April, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $26.43 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/05/07/back-on-the-road-first-stop-lake-griffin-state-park-season-3-episode-05-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVmcvIXz-4Y&t=4s

 Notes:

Number…. “Lake Griffin State Park” in Fruitland, Florida.

A small State Park, worth a quick stop at if you’re looking for a quick getaway. It’s about 40 miles outside of Disney World. It has a boat ramp and dock. A play area and pavilion for events. The sites are pretty easy to back into. They have a mixture of both 30 and 50 amp sites. There are not a lot of hiking trails, but some, enough to get a good workout in, although if you stay more than a day, you’re probably going to have to do at least a portion of the same hike multiple times.

The bathrooms are clean, showers a little tight, but the hot water comes up quickly. Because this is a smaller park, there is really only one bathhouse, but there is enough room to handle the whole RV campsite area.

Now the park is right off of Highway 27 and you can sometimes hear some of the road noise, but I’ve found using a sound machine/app you can drown it out at night and you don’t really hear much.

5)                                 “O’Leno State Park”

Location:                     High Springs, FL

Month Stopped:          May, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $26.43 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/06/18/did-i-just-make-a-huge-rookie-mistake-season-3-episode-08-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KerI-TT6UG0&t=444s

 Notes:

Number…. “O’Leno State Park” in High Springs, Florida.

A nice medium sized State Park, outside of Gainesville, 6 miles north of High Springs Florida. They say the park is one of the first State Parks in the state.

There are about 61 two family style camping sites a good mix of RV spots and tent camping as well. There are also 16 cabins for group camping.

The RV spots are towards the back of the park and there are lots of good hiking trails around. You can hike or travel up to the Santa Fe River where you can canoe.

The bathhouse is clean, showers a good size and hot water that comes up pretty quickly. Cell service is OK, not a lot of bars, but I was able to use my AT & T.

A nice park, I was there on Memorial day weekend, so there were a lot of folks around and although the sites are a nice size, they are close together so if the folks to your right are having a little party and the folks on your left are arguing about the best “Real Housewives” franchise, you’re going to be in the middle of it all and hear it all as well.

4)                                 “Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park”

Location:                     Niceville, FL

Month Stopped:          September, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $18.64 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/10/08/rving-in-western-florida-season-3-episode-19-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnQU4xGdv5A&t=10s

Notes:

Number 4 on the list this year is, “Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park” in Niceville, Florida.

And while it may be a mouthful to say, this was truly one of the best parks for the year. It’s a nice medium to small sized State Park, West of Tallahassee right off of I-10, just a little East of Pensacola and very easy to get to.

The park is easy to get in and out of. 42 spots to RV or Tent camp. One bath house for the entire park, but it is well maintained. Nice and clean with laundry and even a book/DVD donation library.

The sites are very easy to get in and out of and are very large. Most are gravel, but there are a few paved spots as well. There are three hiking trails which were a nice workout, wished there were more, but here’s a tip I always use when I’m at a spot longer than a couple of days and need to hike, I’ll do the trail one directions one day and then the next doing again, but going through it in the other direction.

Cell service was good. I was able to get over the air TV as well. Not a lot of noise in the place and there were lots of kids over the weekend I was there.

Here’s the other thing, at just over $18 bucks a night, this is a really good park for the value and one worth checking out.

3)                                 “Florida Caverns State Park”

Location:                     Marianna, FL

Month Stopped:          September, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $18.64 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/10/22/rv-troubles-rv-spot-rv-pizza-season-3-episode-20-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQkAvZEawU&t=402s

Notes:

Number 3 on the list this year is, “Florida Caverns State Park” in Mariana, Florida.

And while it may be a mouthful to say, this was truly one of the best parks for the year. It’s a nice medium to small sized State Park, West of Tallahassee right off of I-10, just a little East of Pensacola and very easy to get to.

The park is easy to get in and out of. 42 spots to RV or Tent camp. One bath house for the entire park, but it is well maintained. Nice and clean with laundry and even a book/DVD donation library.

The sites are very easy to get in and out of and are very large. Most are gravel, but there are a few paved spots as well. There are three hiking trails which were a nice workout, wished there were more, but here’s a tip I always use when I’m at a spot longer than a couple of days and need to hike, I’ll do the trail one directions one day and then the next doing again, but going through it in the other direction.

Cell service was good. I was able to get over the air TV as well. Not a lot of noise in the place and there were lots of kids over the weekend I was there.

Here’s the other thing, at just over $18 bucks a night, this is a really good park for the value and one worth checking out.

2)                                 “Suwannee River State Park”

Location:                     Live Oak, FL

Month Stopped:          April, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $26.43 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/05/21/way-down-upon-the-suwanee-river-no-seriously-season-3-episode-06-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD1Fegufbdk&t=591s

Notes:

OK, this easily could have been number 1 or tied for number 1 or 1 B… “Suwannee River St. Park”

An absolutely fantastic spot! First, you get to sing the song, “Way down upon the Suwannee River,” and no matter how much you SAY you’re not going to do it, you end up doing it anyway and you smile.

The park itself is not too large, but has a nice mix of RV sites…gravel and paved and tent sites as well. The sites are really easy to get into, no matter what size of rig you have. There are also play areas for the kids and a couple of really nice swinging benches for you to sit on and gaze over the Suwannee River. Oh and the bathhouse in the RV park is immaculate, large and one of the cleanest I’ve seen in a while.

As for the hiking and you know I love a good hike, it’s really good, lots of places to hike right along the river and more inland as well. One of the things I love on a good hike is seeing interesting pieces along the way and the trails here didn’t disappoint. Easy to navigate, a good mix for those who want a good work out and those who just want to explore.

The facilities at the park are nice. They have washer/dryers and a place to donate books and videos and other materials for other campers. I left my copy of, “You’ve Got Mail!” for others after I watched it again and realized this film doesn’t hold up at all and it starts off on the wrong foot with two people cheating on their “sig-others” via a technology that doesn’t even exists really any more… but I digress.

The surroundings are gorgeous and this is definitely worth a stop and a place I WOULD return to!

1)                                 “Seminole State Park”

Location:                     Donaldsonville, GA

Month Stopped:          July, 2018

Cost Per Night:           $38.00 w/tax

Blog Link:                    https://rvjedeye.com/2018/08/13/geeyorgia-on-my-mind-in-an-rv-season-3-episode-14-rvjedeye/

Episode Link:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Pb-eZBqho&t=674s

Notes:

This one was tough and I debated back and forth about where to put this one, “Seminole State Park” in Donaldsonville, Georgia is fantastic.

It is a perfect size park, with a mixture of RV spots, tent camping and Cabin camping. There is a beach and lake to swim in. Lots of boating and fishing and yes signs for gators, but it’s worth it for being right up near the water. A lot if not all of the spots are pull through and that makes it really easy to get in and out of spaces.

There are a lot of trails to get your hike on and places for kids to jump on the playground and hang out. There’s even a miniature golf area as well.

The bathhouse is relatively clean, showers a good size. Cell service is spot on and easy to get coverage.

It was extremely hot the days I was there, so the AC was working full time and you’re going to need it! This was a stand-out park and I would easily recommend it to anyone and even come back!

So there you have it, the “Top RVJedeye Sports For 2018.” This is the third year doing the list and I will continue the tradition next year as well. I hope you enjoyed the list and if you get out and hit up some of these spots, shoot me a note and let me know what YOU think of them as well!

Happy 2018… Here’s to an even more amazing 2019!

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One thought on ““Top RVJedeye Spots for 2018” – Season 3: Episode 25 [RVJedeye]

  1. I’ve not been to the Donalsonville park, but have most of the others and I think you are spot on. I especially like the Marianna Caverns. Not only is it a great place to camp, but if you are a spelunker, they have open tours there as well.
    But I disagree on “You’ve Got Mail.” I don’t think they were happy in their relationships, and they weren’t married. There was something missing, and they were looking for a different thing that they weren’t, and would never get, from their relationships. BUT the way that Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) KNEW that Kathleen Kelly was his pen-pal and that he kept it from her, well, that was deception. He was manipulative, and I hated that. It rubbed me the wrong way. So I DO agree with you leaving it!

    Like

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