Enjoy a Night Under the Stars
October 20th, 2018 by Pamela A. Keene

The sound of the surf crashing to the shore sets the scene for a great night’s sleep under a blanket of sparkling stars.

Florida has more than 900 campgrounds at state parks, attraction-related campgrounds and private camping facilities.

With relatively cooler temperatures this month, it is fine sleeping weather by the shore. In some parts of the state, the mosquitoes are on holiday.

From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean and the Keys, you can choose from tent camping to glamping, RV parks to cabins.

Florida’s state parks are a sure bet. You can book your retreat for camping or marinas through the national reservation system Reserve America.

The website offers tips for camping, access to hunting and fishing licenses, recommended hikes and bike trips, information about gear and even suggestions for family activities while camping.

Panama City Beach’s St. Andrews State Park has 176 sites for RVs and tent campers under tall pines near Grand Lagoon.

The facility offers two bathhouses—just in case you want a fresh-water shower—fire rings, picnic tables, a playground and electric/water hookups. The park will undergo maintenance November 26 to December 17. During that time, camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

South of Boca Grande near Captiva, Cayo Costa State Park offers camping on one of Florida’s many barrier islands. The only way to get there is by boat or ferry.

The island is heavily protected to preserve its ecology, so be prepared for primitive camping with picnic tables, an in-ground grill and potable water. Restroom facilities offer cold showers and flush toilets, but that is offset by the chance to meander the pristine beaches and see dolphin, manatee, birds and turtles.

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach has 68 campsites that offer visitors either riverside or beachside overnight stays and can accommodate tent and RV campers. All sites have electric and water. Several are ADA-accessible.

New of Note
Architectural Digest magazine announced its best-designed museums by state. The Miami Children’s Museum represents the Sunshine State.

Designed by Arquitectonica, the museum’s whimsical yellow, blue and white exterior with a tepee-shaped entrance is the just beginning of immersive, colorful, engaging exhibits for children and adults.

Air Travel Insider Tips
Atlanta-based travel guru and consumer writer Clark Howard, clark.com—who started his consumer-advocacy career as a travel agent in the late 1980s—offers several newsletters that contain travel tips, consumer information, financial guidance and the latest on special offers. Recently, he suggested booking flights on Sundays for the lowest average price.

If you use airline sites for fares, search incognito or delete cookies to “hide” your former searches for the same routes. Sometimes airlines bump up fares if you search for the same route on the same device.

Include the words “discount,” “coupon” or “code” when using sites such as Google Flights, Kayak or Orbitz to search for fares.

Florida native and travel enthusiast Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who specializes in travel, gardening, personality and feature writing. She is also a photographer and accomplished sailor. Her website is www.pamelakeene.com.