Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orlando

We headed towards Orlando yesterday morning to meet with Al’s cousin Jack and his wife Karen. 

They were supposed to be touring Epcot yesterday, but took the time to meet with us for lunch.  They took a cab to Downtown Disney (thanks Margie for the suggestion) and we spent a few hours together.

We had never been there but it’s basically a bunch of shops, and restaurants all along a boardwalk. 

Jack and Karen wanted to try Bongo's Restaurant for lunch.  It is a Cuban restaurant/club and it turns out is owned by Gloria Estefan.  There is another one in Miami’s South Beach.  It was relatively quiet yesterday during lunch but I understand it gets quite loud when the entertainers are playing.  Jack and Karen had a shrimp meal with rice and Plantains.  I had pork with plantains (yummy) and yellow rice, and Al had a Cuban sandwich.   Thanks Jack and Karen for treating us to lunch!  We really enjoyed visiting with you!

Karen, Jack, and Al

IMG_1784

IMG_1777

Another Restaurant-Fultons Crab House

IMG_1774

Jack wanted to get a Harley t-shirt for a friend.

Jack, Karen, Al and me

IMG_1769

Karen (the other one) on a Harley

IMG_1771

Planet Hollywood

IMG_1766

We had a good lunch and enjoyed visiting with Jack and Karen.  They live in North Dakota, so we don’t get to see them very  often and unfortunately, usually at funerals.  After we parted ways, they headed back over to Epcot and we took a drive to check out a few campgrounds in the area.

 

Since we just bought a Thousand Trails membership, we wanted to check out the park in Orlando.  It’s actually in Clermont, but they call it the Orlando Thousand Trails…???  With the discount they offered at the Rv show, this campground could be $6 a night.  We chose to add 6 additional Florida parks so it would cost us about $12.

ClubhouseIMG_1744

Pool & Hot tub

IMG_1747

IMG_1748

Both were heated and pretty warm! 

It was a very nice campground and we were impressed.  The campsites are pretty large and you’re not crammed in right next to your neighbor.  The people were friendly and there appeared to be a lot of activities.  The people seem to be a big younger than geezerville where we are now :)

This isn’t a good picture of the campground.  I felt funny taking pictures of peoples homes (when they were looking) and most sites were full.  The sites are spaced pretty far apart, but there is no privacy between campsites.  All the sites looked to be angled nicely for ease of getting into.  The lack of trees is a plus in January, not so much in July!

IMG_1755

Cabins

IMG_1757

There were other campsites that reminded me of state parks (our favorite).  They were wooded and there was a lot of privacy between sites.  There were a lot of them as well.  These would be the ones we would prefer.

IMG_1760

IMG_1761

Another Pool picture

IMG_1752

With the Thousand Trails membership, we can stay up to two weeks at a time here.  After 14 days you have to vacate for 7 days before you can come back.  We definitely like this park and it is one of the nicest “regular” campgrounds we have seen.  We usually prefer state parks, but since we’ve been snowbirds and living in the motor home so long, we’re finding we really like sewer hook-ups :)

After we left the Orlando/Clermont Thousand Trails, we decided to head to the Thousand Trails park in Wildwood.

On the way we ran across Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont Florida.  It’s evidently a new park and has been designed very well.  The campground reminded us of Silver River State Park.  It was designed right and with the larger rigs in mind.  The sights are angled correctly so you can get into them easily.  I didn’t see a bad site there.  It’s a huge park, some 4500 acres, I believe.  Here is the description from the website.

A short drive from Orlando, this park is noted for its six beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and scenic landscapes. Lake Louisa is the largest in a chain of 13 lakes connected by the Palatlakaha River, which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. Lake Louisa, Dixie Lake, and Hammond Lake, the park's most accessible lakes, provide access for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Anglers can fish in four of the park's six lakes, but gasoline-powered boats are not allowed; only boats powered by trolling motors or without motors are permitted. Camping facilities and more than 15 miles of horse trails are available for equestrians. For hikers and backpackers, the park has over 20 miles of hiking trails with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. Dixie Lake has a fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch, and a picnic pavilion.The park also has a full-facility campground, fully furnished cabins for rent, and primitive campsites. Lake Louisa State Park is located just seven miles south of State Road 50 in Clermont on U.S. 27.

campsites

IMG_1798

IMG_1794

IMG_1801

cabins on the lake

IMG_1807

IMG_1820

You have to drive a long way to reach the campground.

IMG_1821

IMG_1789

This part of Florida is in the main citrus belt.  There are acres and acres of citrus trees on rolling hills.  It’s a very pretty part of Florida and one where we had never been until recently.  It’s nearby where our friends Margie and Roger winter on their Rv lot.

IMG_1822

IMG_1824

Lake Louisa State Park is a great place to camp.  There are 20 cabins, and an Equestrian campground with a 4 horse paddock. 

There are 60  50/30 amp campsites and some have sewer hookups!  The campsites are $26.64 with taxes and no extra charge for the ones with sewer connections.  Since it’s a new park, there isn’t a lot of shade because they are trying to restore it to it’s natural state and have planted native trees/shrubs which are still very small.   It’s close to Orlando so it would be a nice location for seeing the sites.  The lake looked to be pretty nice to kayak.  I don’t think any site would be bad and they can accommodate rigs  up to 115 feet!  

After we left Lake Louisa, we headed to the Wildwood Thousand Trails park. It was nothing like the one in Clermont and certainly would not be our first choice.  The first impression was not nearly as nice as Clermont/Orlando, but once you got in, it wasn’t so bad.

IMG_1829

IMG_1830

IMG_1831

We never did go to the clubhouse or even find the pool.  It would do in a pinch, but since it’s only about 50 miles from the other park, we would only use this one as  a last resort.

Phew…long post….sorry.

8 comments:

  1. Good to hear about these campgrounds in Florida, Karen. Comparing anything to Silver River State Park would be a big plus for me. I love that park.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good list of campgrounds. We did not eat in any of those places while we were at Disney. I guess we need to get out more :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post. Really appreciate all the information. We also love the Florida State Parks and been considering Thousand Trails. Your post gives us good ideas. The pictures were great. Thanks!

    Sherry
    www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have read some good things about Lake Louisa and now since you were there first hand we'll have to check it out. Thanks for the report & pix.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Florida seems so far from here!

    We went to Orlando with our kids when they were little. The youngest is 40 now!

    The dream seems so thin these days!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lots of nice campgrounds for you to choose from! Good pics of them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so glad you found Lake Louisa! It is one of my favorite state parks and I was going to recommend it if you hadn't found it. Just once while visiting Clermont, I suggest a trip to the Citrus Tower. It's touristy, sure, but totally worth it for the views from the top. Clermont is also home to a wonderful U-Pick blueberry farm. In the summer it's a lot of fun picking your own fresh blueberries! I love taking my daughter there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. So glad you are getting the MH to Lazy Days before March. We had a lot of rain last night and this morning. Hope you don't drown before the repairs.

    Glad you got to see Lake Louisa - good place to move to after Thousand Trails. Glad you liked it at TT in 'Orlando'. Have only seen it from the road. Sorry to read that the one in Wildwood isn't as nice - might do for an overnight stay I guess.

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to rvtravels2@yahoo.com

Due to the amount of spam I was getting, I had to stop allowing anonymous comments. You will have to have a Google account to be able to respond. Sorry.