Sunday, July 17, 2011

The art of finding places to stay…

Reddish EgretWe are currently staying at Wickham Park Campground in Melbourne, Florida. This park is one of the many parks managed by Brevard County. We didn’t know what to expect when we booked this place as we were just trying to find an inexpensive spot along the space coast of Florida near Melbourne. Melbourne is another town that is in an area we are considering retiring to in the future.

When we are looking for a campground we are doing one of two things when we are seeking a new place to stay:

  • we are looking for a inexpensive place to stay for a short period of time as a transition from one campground to another – 1-5 days stay
  • we are looking for a place to stay for a longer period of time to get to know the area better to see if we may want to live there in the future – 1 or more weeks stay

Armadillo at Wickham100_5420

Once we have identified a potential area we research the area for campgrounds and for things to do, places to visit, unique places to eat or imbibe etc. Once we have identified a place we want to stay at we look for a campground that offers us close proximity to all the things we want to do while visiting.

We don’t always find a perfect place but a longer stay campground for us ideally will have the following:

  • 50 amps of service (we can live on 30 but prefer 50)campsite number 1 at Wickham
  • larger spaces for camp sites (not the KOA model)
  • sewage connections
  • hike and bike trails nearby
  • additional recreational opportunities nearby
  • water such as a lake or stream or other scenic feature making it a pleasure to be in the park
  • reasonable proximity to grocery stores
  • not bust the budget

frisbee golf hole at WickhamWhen we first get to a new area we have a pattern of behavior that has developed within us. On the first day of arriving at a new site we usually just stay in the campground after setting up and get to know the immediate area we are in. The second day we reconnoiter the surrounding area in to get to know more about what it has to offer for things to do and places to see or visit.

After staying in a place for two days we usually have a pretty good feel for how long we will stay in the campground or the area. When we came to Melbourne Florida we had planned to stay a while to get to know this area since it was on our list of potential future retirement areas but after our initial two days here we have a feeling that we won’t be here much longer. We will probably stay a little longer here to see if we are right in our initial thoughts.

Reddish EgretSquirrel in PalmAs an aside, we must say that Wickham Park is a really nice place by itself. This nearly 400 acre park has something for everyone. Yesterday there was a horse show (they have an equestrian area), a triathlon (they have hike and bike trails and swimming areas) and a live concert (under one of the many large pavilions). Combine this with an onsite archery area, dog park, softball field, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, soccer fields and fishing lakes there is always some good people watching to be had. The bird and critter watching isn’t too bad either. It even has a disk golf course and a senior center on site!

campsite number 1 at WickhamHowever, there doesn’t appear too much to see or do in the immediate area other than going to the beach. The beaches here are super nice and the parking is free at most of them but you can only go to the beach so many times. Melbourne just isn't the place we thought it was. But as I said before we will give it a bit more time and see what happens. However, that little storm in the Atlantic may cause us to change our minds…


  1. Could you list the price when you talk about the places you are staying? That would be helpful to me, and perhaps others. :)

  2. That sounds like a good selection method. Good place to visit if not for retirement. Safe travels.

  3. WOW Heyduke that must be a BIG park to have so many things going on. How many sites??


  4. "Finding a park" has been on my mind lately also. Last year we stayed at some nice, pricey ones and bruised the budget. This year, so far, we are staying at less expensive, less attractive parks. Picking a park would be so much easier if we were wealthy.

  5. This sounds very familiar. I would love to do a year of camping throughout Florida. We've not had our fifth wheel in that state as yet. Have fun! And watch out for the storm.

  6. Judy and Emma - sorry the price is 21.09 per night but with seven days prepaid you get 15 percent additional off the price

    Gin and Syl - indeed it is a good place to visit

    Karen and Al - see above - and I will try and remember to include prices in future camp listings

    Sherry - only 88 sites as much of it is for day use - we even played on a 18 hole disk golf course that is in the park

    Margie and Roger - yes it is all about balance

    Levonne - Yes there really is a lot to see in Florida as we are focusing on the east coast of it and have not been to its west coast yet.

  7. Florida seems so far away, but we will get thee someday.

  8. One can never spend enough time at the beach!! :)