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Westshore Estates South , FLORIDA

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Most Recent Westshore Estates South Camping Reviews
First to Review
Rural Country Rest

I'm the owner, but we camped out for you so we can share with you what to expect.  Very primitive currently, but great for tent, or car camping, you can pull a small rv or camper trailer through but I wouldn't go too big.   We loved sitting around the campfire listening to the call of the owls, crickets and night sounds.  We've heard Bobwhites as well.  You wake up to the call of the Sandhill "Whooping" Cranes and they can be quite loud, but they are peaceful to watch as they walk through the site looking for food.  It's quite restful with a great view of the towering pines against a bright blue sky with puffy clouds. And loads of shaded areas to escape the Florida heat beneath the sprawling oaks.   There is an old abandoned house next to the site, I recommend steering clear of that, it appears to be about to fall.  There's 2 mini pigs in a cage next to the site as well, they bite, the owners encourage you not to feed them and to keep fingers out! 

The toilet is just a bucket right now w/bags and sawdust or catlitter, they are looking to upgrade soon to a composting toilet and working on adding some solar showers as well as an outdoor soaking tub for a relaxing epsom bath for weary travelers.  About a mile to the east is the Withalacoochee River State Park for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and a tower you can climb for great views.  Dade City has some great shopping and local restaurants that will keep you fed if you need, or the owners are happy to prepare meals if you make arrangements with them.

Huge park with nice sites

We stayed for one night in site 83 in the Palmetto Ridge loop. Absolutely loved this site. It’s HUGE - tons of space in this site with privacy from the neighboring sites. And there are full hookups - just note that the sewer is elevated (4-6 inch block) and all the way at the back of the site, so plan to park accordingly if you’re using the sewer or want to dump before you leave. There is also a dump station if you’re at one of the other loops or prefer that over the sewer hookup. As one other review mentioned, you can’t access the trails or sites directly from the two front campground loops. And this park is very large, so plan to ride a bike or drive to the canopy walk (which we didn’t do - was crowded and we’re social distancing), the bird walk (which was a bit disappointing on wildlife, but pretty and most people wore masks and kept their distance), or the boat tours/gift shop (which we didn’t do - distancing). I’ll also mention that the highlight, and it seems others agreed considering it was always crowded with people, was a bridge where there were always alligators and birds. Not sure if the bridge has a name, but you’ll know it by the people standing in the road. The site was nice and quiet and dark enough to see stars. There were armadillos foraging behind the site though, so we had to keep our dog inside after dark. We would absolutely stay here again. Good cell coverage as well for remote work.

Wonderful trails

We stayed at site 6 for two nights in early February. The park is beautiful and has a great selection of trails. We saw (from a distance) a bald eagle’s nest, as well as two juvenile eagles fighting in flight - both from the trails. My husband also stepped on a snake on the South Creek Nature Trail, so keep your eyes open! The site was nice and private with a little leveling needed. The electric hookup is in its normal spot, but be aware that the water is in the woods on the opposite side (one pedestal feeding two sites). Make sure to bring a longer hose, or park closer to the water than electric. There were armadillos foraging behind the site at night, and a very brave raccoon that didn’t seem to care I was shining my flashlight at him or telling him to get leave (and as anyone knows, where there’s one raccoon…). We had to keep our dog inside after sunset to avoid issues with these site visitors. I’d also recommend to be very careful with leaving food out (this is a good recommendation no matter where you are). We also loved that fellow campers pointed out a pair of screech owls just above our site. We really liked this campground, especially for the trails.

Nice site - no cell service

We stayed at Colt Creek for one night at the beginning of February. We were lucky to have a very large site with good separation between neighbors - site 31. Note that you can see the entry road from the back, but this wasn’t a big deal for us since it was just an overnight stay. A lot of the other sites looked closer together with a little less privacy, but all of the sites looked well maintained. The tent sites were some of the best maintained sites I’ve ever seen. Our site was completely level. The trails looked nice, but we unfortunately didn’t have time to explore. One item of note - we had zero cell service (Verizon) which is normally a good thing on vacation, but a bad thing when working remotely. Would definitely stay here again when we’d have time to do trails and not worry about cell service.

Good stay. Sites are tight.

Well maintained. Good amenities. Very clean. Lots of full timers. Older crowd.

Packed in like sardines tho and there is a rules list a mile long and people WILL complain. But I did have a pretty good stay. Prices are fairly high.

Nice place

Nice place. Lots of permanent residents. Older crowd. Great place to dump, fill tanks, shower, laundry and fill up propane (very competitive pricing…was like 40 cents a gallon cheaper than loves). With passport America it was 22 bucks total. Without 50.

Great free spot in the Green Swamp wilderness preserve

Free. Fire pits, picnic tables, pit toilet and non-potable water. Nice shade. Not crowded at all during the week. Weekends can get pretty full. Manged by the south FL water district. Reserve on their website and if approved get an email with the gate code. Access road is hard packed sand, about a mile long. Filled with monster potholes. Drive slow all will be just fine.

Peaceful!

The park was beautiful. The campsites were clean! Everything was so nice and conveniently located. The offered ice and firewood as well.

First to Review
Nice encore

Nice encore. Friendly staff. Spots are sand base. Restaurant. Clubhouse.

Wow, Who Knew?

This was our first visit to Oscar Scherer State Park, why I’m not sure as we only live a few miles away. I literally drive by it whenever I go to the grocery store or ride my bike on the Legacy Trail. I’ve boated past on the Intercoastal Waterway, paddled past on South Creek and flown over in an airplane countless times. 

I guess being Sarasota residents I felt I already knew everything about it. I WAS WAY WRONG. This is a fantastic Florida State Park. I can understand now why it is so popular. The facilities are very good considering how many people visit. And it’s not too polished that it doesn’t have that camping or state park vibe. No Disney here. 

The campground is very large even for State Park Standards, over 100 sites. Many are along South Creek with water views although they are no pet sites as maybe there are gator issues. 

We camped in site#69, the last pet site before the restricted sites along the creek#70- 90. The sites are quite large and private as the campground is mature with lots of native Florida foliage. We didn’t see any evidence of Raccoons or other campground mooches. 

Lots of hiking in this park, if you cycle the Legacy Trail built on an old railway doesn’t offer much contour as it is pretty much a strait shot but runs from Sarasota to Venice and from Venice you can take the Venetian Waterway even further. Soon the Legacy Trail will go all the way to downtown Sarasota. 

Finally the best part for visitors to the Sarasota area. You will probably not find a State Park as close to the US#1 Rated Beach Siesta Key, just a few miles or Sarasota and all her arts and culture(15 minutes) including The Ringling Museum, Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, St. Armands Circle, Lido Beach, award-winning restaurants, tiki bars, dinner cruises, and more. 

In fact as I write this the US Olympic Rowing Trials are going on at Benderson Park about 15 minutes away, next door to the Apple Store. This is no joke the premier rowing facility in the world. And did I mention if you forgot anything there is a Publix about 1/2 mile front the front gate of the park? 

OF NOTE: Of all the state parks we have visited, this had the most unfriendly group of campers we have ever encountered. Surly in fact. It was difficult to extract a return greeting of any type. 

Perhaps it’s because this isn’t your normal group of happy wanderers, and those who truly enjoy the outdoors. More like COVID refugees or visitors doing“Florida on the Cheep” who have the time and resources to escape those areas of lockdown. 

Our first clue was the amount of “resort wear” being donned in lieu of the normal camping duds and the overall lack of activity inside the park for the amount of campsites during the day. Well the park is smack in the middle of a major resort destination and it is high season. This all left the park less crowded for us. 

Whatever the reason I hope the park guests can find some joy after all in the blessings that nature gives us no matter what the situation. Life is short. As the late, great Warren Zevon once said“enjoy every sandwich”.