Date of Stay: July, 2008
When we first arrived, my wife and I did not like the place at all. This is probably one of the least appealing places we've ever stayed. The sites were very small, and it is basically setup like an alley with dirt camp-sites on either side and one small paved road through the middle. The campsites on the right backup to a 6 foot wood privacy fence with a couple 2 story condos/houses right next to it. One of the houses overlooked the campground. The left side backed up to a chain-link fence with a parking lot for beach access to Turtle beach and a boat ramp. Not very private. There was only one bath-house/laundry and it was showing it's age and had a slight odor of bleach. The toilets were clean and it was air-conditioned, but the place just look dilapidated, with rusty hinges on doors, broken shower latches, pitted shower heads, elongated toilet seats on round toilets, etc... We stayed for a week, and after a few days at the beach the convenience started to grow on us and we began to overlook the shortcomings of the campground. The people in the campground were very friendly, although a couple were inconsiderate blasting their TV's outside and talking very loudly to relatives on speaker-phone. The beach was nice, although some may not like the sand which is brown and black with a rough consistency and tends to stick to everything. There is a white-sand beach further down Siesta Key called Siesta beach if you don't mind driving, but if I were going to do that I would've stayed somewhere else. The park next door had a boat ramp on the inter-coastal water-way. I tried to fish the canal, but had no-luck. There's also bait shop and boat/kayak rentals at the marina across the street. I give it a 7 overall but only because of the beach, the campground would have only gotten maybe a 3 or 4. Also, for some reason they closed off the first 6 sites closest to the beach (the best ones), maybe for environmental reasons now that the county owns it. We paid a weekly rate of $205, plus $14/week for cable and $14/week to run your AC.
Date of Stay: May, 2006
We stayed here over the Memorial Day holiday and purchased a package that included 4 nights, 4 two-day tickets to Lion Country Safari, a pancake breakfast, barbecue, and ice cream social for 159.95 (up to 4 people). I though it was a pretty good deal - they are running the same special for July 4th and Labor Day, as well as something similar for Halloween. The events were pretty simple - plain hamburgers and hot dogs, pancakes only, no side items - but still seemed like a fair value. The tickets to Lion Country are worth around $20 each so that alone was a $160 value. The Safari was great, we had a lot of fun driving through and taking pictures of all of the animals. Each ticket is good all day so we went in the morning and in the evening two different days. Also there is a very well kept small amusement park inside with a petting zoo, paddle boats, boat ride, giraffe feeding gazebo, bird sanctuary that you can walk through, Ferris wheel, and a large water play area for the kids. The campground was nice but I would not recommend our site (#56) as it was very tight and adjacent to a cypress head. I had barely enough room to park our tow vehicle. We arrived in the evening and it was raining, but a security guard met us at the gate and stood in the rain to assist backing into the site. The staff was friendly and the bathrooms were clean. Also every morning around 9am you could hear the lions roar - very cool. I would recommend this park if you have never been, and especially if you have kids.
Date of Stay: April, 2006
We stayed at the Periwinkle Campground on Sanibel April 21-23 of 2006. We had a pretty good time. The campground: Average with full hookups, no cable. Our campsite was average size, backed up to a small creek and across the creek, hidden by trees but still visible, was what appeared to be a water or sewage treatment plant. Not sure if it was the water in the creek or the treatment plant, but we noticed a faint sewage/sulfur smell. The bathrooms were not air-conditioned and were a little old, but clean. The aviary was impressive with lots of parrots and different species of birds. They also had some Madagascar Brown and Ring Tailed Lemurs. The Ring Tailed Lemurs looked exactly like the ones from the movie Madagascar. I kept singing "I like to move it, move it" every time I saw them (my wife was not impressed by my singing). This would be a big bonus if we had children. We had tent campers on both sides of us, which doesn't bother me except at night I worry that my TV might be too loud with the AC running. Overall we would stay there again. We didn't really like Sanibel that much though. The people we interacted with outside of the campground seemed to be very uppity. We loved the convenience of the beach and the bike trails all over the island, but we will probably try a few more FL beach destinations to see if we can find one we like better.