Savannas Recreation Area (Ft. Pierce, FL)
As we continued south from Crescent City towards Miami and Key West, we decided to stop for a couple nights in the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce area. We chose to camp in the campground at the Savannas Recreation Area, part of the St. Lucie County parks system.
The campground is situated between US-1 and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s too far away to actually hear or see the ocean, but no more than a 2 minute drive to be able to see water. The drive in on Indian River Drive is beautiful, with water, docks, and boats on one side and incredible houses on the other.
Unfortunately, you are next to water in the campground…a nearly motionless creek full of wildlife. There are a few gators, a lot of really vocal frogs, and tons of birds (primarily egrets and sandhill cranes [I think…see picture below]).
All that is well and good. The part that is no good are the bugs, which are especially active in the morning and evening. Between the mosquitos, gnats, and flies, it doesn’t take long to get covered in bites and there isn’t a bug spray we tried that worked. It took five days for the bites on our feet and ankles to stop itching and fade away.
Note that this was in December. The summer would likely be nearly unbearable. Luckily, it was warm enough that we just skipped the campfire and hung out in the tent with computers and books during the evening. The Location rating only takes a hit because of the bug problems, which I can’t see being any better at any other time of the year.
Each site has its own set of electric and water hookups that are close-by and easily accessible. The water tasted fine. The campground has wi-fi that actually works very well. There’s really nothing to complain about with the hookups.
The bathrooms are very clean and lightly used. Just like in Crescent City, most people are RV camping, not tent camping, so they have full sewer hookups in their RVs. The bathrooms are actually fairly small, only two showers, two toilets, and one sink in the men’s; three showers, three toilets, and one sink in the women’s. There was also another restroom building with no showers that we didn’t visit, so that adds some space as well.
The water was warm enough for a comfortable shower, but never got really hot. The showers were big and the showerheads were nice and actually put out tons of water, unlike Crescent City. The only real negative was the distance to the bathrooms, particularly at night, though the campground is well-lit.
The campsites are packed in fairly closely together, though it was sparsely populated while we were there, so there was no one within a couple sites of us. If it were a full campground, you’d probably be pretty close to the people next to you.
These aren’t the smallest sites we’ve been to, but also not the biggest. In the picture, that’s actually the picnic table for the campground next to us that you’re looking at. Our picnic table was on the other side of the truck.
A site with water and electric runs $20/night (you can also get a $10 primitive site for a tent…no hookups), which is really cheap, especially considering we were in southern Florida. The bug situation is rather unfortunate, but everything else about the place is very nice. It’s close to beaches, restaurants, coffee shops, and a great little farmer’s market. We were able to score tons of local oranges and grapefruits, plus some fresh sweet corn, cucumbers, spinach, and various other things for a grand total of $9.