RV Park Review – Jolly Roger RV Resort, Grassy Key, FL
A pricey but very relaxed and super friendly spot in a great location (mile-marker 59) to explore the Middle Keys, FL
Link to park here: Jolly Roger RV Resort, Grassy Key, FL
Link to map location here: Jolly Roger RV Resort, Grassy Key, FL
- Site quality = 3.5/5
Sites are on the rustic side here and there is definitely some variation in quality & size. All sites are bare ground/grassy with decent “sitting areas” containing picnic table and full hook-ups plus cable TV. Sites are typical side-by-side arrangement with limited privacy, but dispersed vegetation plus trees provide a natural setting throughout. Cost and size vary by what type you chose:
- Interior Sites – These are the cheapest ($84/night in winter) and also the smallest although there is some variation in size/quality. The sites closest to the road (#112-130) get consistent road-noise while sites along the right-middle (#140-145) were too small/short. Both of these were not to my liking and would be my least preferred choice in the park. On the other hand, the sites in the middle (#17-38) were pretty decent in size, nicely quiet and an easy walk to both the dog park and the water. This is where we stayed (#27) and we liked it here and would chose the same again. Note that unless you get a corner/end site you do have rigs both to the side and behind you, but we didn’t find that to be a problem.
- Interior Plus – These are larger sites, some of which get slices of water-views. Sites #1-16 are super LONG sites with lots of space for any-sized rig and would be my second choice in the park. Sites nearest the seawall (#1, 5A-D -> nice and large, #172-182 -> smaller) get decent slices of water-view through the front, whereas the sites along the right back of the park (#146-#156) are shorter and my least favorite. They all cost $90/night. in winter.
- Premium – These are very long, large, spacious sites on the left-side of the park. Lots of space here to spread out, but no water-views. They cost $93/night in winter.
- Seawall – All these sites are right on the water and provide full, lovely water-views, but they do vary some in size. Sites #159-170 (Main Seawall) are somewhat short and close together and they are back-in only, so if you’re a Class A you can’t get a view out the front. The Harbor-side sites (#H1-H5) are much larger, set a little further back from the main seawall and have the ability for Class A’s to park in head-first. I would consider these latter sites “prime” and the very nicest in camp. All these cost $95/night in winter.
NOTE/ There is also a small motel on-site ($90/night) as well as a set of tent-camping sites ($65/night, 7 sites by the dog-park area which were OK, and 2 sites by the Tiki Island area which looked more interesting IMO). For ALL sites weekly/monthly and off-season discounts are available.
- Facilities = 4/5
On-site facilities were impeccably clean and nicely modern. Several flush toilets and 2 large, individual shower stalls with inside bench (for clothing etc.) and outside changing area. Only ding? Showers are push-button type to conserve water, so flow is time-limited.
- Amenities = 4/5
The amenities here were quite nice and pretty extensive for such a small RV park. There is a lovely on-site pool (water is kept warm!), on-site laundry room with plenty of machines (expensive at $4/wash, but very convenient), on-site book-swap, tiki huts by the water, sunset viewing area, small harbor & boat slips (free for campers). Plus there’s a fishing pier and small snorkeling area. The only ding? Free on-site WiFi, but it is strictly monitored (no video streaming) and did not work very well while we were here (too slow for any real use).
- Location = 4.5/5
This is a great location with just a minor ding. The park is at MM 59 on Grassy Key (just north of Marathon Key) which is a perfect location to explore the entire Middle Keys with lots of nearby shopping, grocery, eating & sightseeing. Plus you’re on the bay side of Hwy 1 which means you get a waterfront sunset every evening. Lastly you’re only ~1/2 mile down from the bike trail that goes into Marathon and through downtown to the 7-mile bridge. The only small ding is that the park is right off Hwy 1 which means the sites closest to the road do get some road noise -> further into camp and by the waterfront you don’t hear it.
- Pet friendliness = 4/5
This was a great place for dogs, with just a few small dings. There is decent space in camp, a spacious off-leash doggie park (very nice indeed) and plenty of space to walk doggie around the campground. Free poo bags on-site, lots of other doggies in camp (almost everyone seemed to have a dog and love dogs here) and everyone is very respectful when walking/playing with their dogs. It was a very pleasant dog experience! The only dings are that there is a strict 2-pet limit, plus you cannot take doggie onto the Tiki island area or into the water for a dip/swim. Nearest dog-friendly beaches are Coco Plum Beach (just ~5 miles away) and Sombrero Beach (~11 miles away) both of which are excellent places to take doggie for a dip. NOTE/ there is also a $30 per pet deposit.
Overall rating = 4
BONUS ALERT = A relaxed & friendly spot with easy access to all of Middle Keys, FL!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Check out our short ~11 min overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyOSR9Cla2g
Summary: We wanted to spend some time in the Middle Keys between State Park reservations and Jolly Roger RV Resort fit the bill perfectly. It’s a super relaxed little park on Grassy Key (just north of Marathon Key) and although it was pricey (all private parks are down here), it’s one of the cheaper options in the area plus the amenities are nice, the staff are super friendly and the vibe was lovely. The campsites are definitely not fancy. All sites are just grassy/bare-ground sites with full hookups (including cable TV) and somewhat varying size and quality. Pretty typical private park side-by-side arrangement although there’s decent vegetation/trees throughout to break up the monotony, plus each site has a nice “sitting area” with picnic table. Interior sites are the smallest (and cheapest) and many rows here have RVs both to the side and in the back of them. The sites closest to the road (#112-130) get quite a bit of road noise and would be my least favorite choice, but the sites in the middle are quiet, decently roomy and much nicer. Interior Plus and Premium sites are the longest/widest and almost all provide plenty of space for any-sized rig. Seawall sites have best water-views, but vary a bit in size -> sites #159-170 are somewhat short and close together whereas sites H1-H5 are “prime” with lots of space and some of the very nicest views in camp. We had an Interior site smack in the middle of the campground (#27) and really enjoyed it. We had trees/shade, a lovely “sitting area”, zero road noise and were close to both the dog park and the water. From the park we enjoyed easy sightseeing trips into Marathon & Big Pine and took a few longer day-trips into Key West. We also enjoyed daily dips in the heated pool and sunsets by the water (complete with traditional Conch Call). This is a seasonal park with folks who come back every year so it has a really nice community vibe. We loved how dog-friendly everything was (everyone seems to have a dog here, everyone loves dogs and everyone is very respectful while walking & playing in the off-leash dog area) and we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed and very friendly atmosphere. Our neighbor played his guitar every evening, everyone gathered for sunset by the Tiki hut and there were regular events (dances, potlucks) for anyone who wanted to join in. We would certainly return!
Extra Info: Excellent cell signal (5 bars ATT LTE, 4 bars Verizon LTE and T-Mobile BingeOn worked great). Free on-site WiFi, but we did not find it usable. Sites are Full-hookup with cable TV and in high season (winter season) they cost $84/night for Interior sites, $90/night for Interior Plus, $93/night for Premium, $95/night for seawall. Weekly & monthly booking discounts available. Summer rate is $65/night (all sites), plus Passport America is accepted for 50% off Interior sites in the low season (5 nights only, April-July 14, Aug 16-end Nov).
Extra, Extra Info – OTHER CAMPING: There are several other camping options just a few miles down the road:
- Grassy Key RV Resort – A lovely-looking resort just a mile or so down from Jolly Roger with some of the most beautiful waterfront view camping in Marathon. Sites cost $110-$185/night in high-season, but there are significant discounts in the off-season. Click HERE for more info.
- Curry Hammock State Park – This is just a few miles down the road and it is IMO the nicest State Park in the Keys. Lovely, large, quiet sites with a beautiful nearby beach. Plus at $38/night the price can’t be beat. Only ~27 sites however and it is POPULAR so book well ahead (11 months ahead) if you want to get in. Click HERE for more info.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
We got to stay at Jolly Roger for a five-day getaway before we started full-timing. We were by the seawall (H4) and the evening sunsets were absolutely beautiful. It’s not particularly price-friendly for a long-term stay, but we absolutely loved our getaway. Very nice review. Agree with you all the way down the line. Safe travels! Dawn at http://www.randombitsoftrialanderror.com
SWEEET! You had one of the best sites in camp. Yup, definitely not a long-term kinda stay place, based on price, but great for a few days and some good Keys exploration.
David Atkinson says
We stayed at the Grassy Key RV Resort when we were there (the entire month of May 2015). Right on the water – what a view! If we had it to do over again, we’d find a place much closer to Key West, since that is the real draw of the Keys (at least for our liking). It’s a long (and slow) ride to Key West and back! Two suggestions. First, if you like to golf, there is a Par 3 9-hole course just down the road at Key Colony Beach Golf. They’ll rent you a bag of irons, and you can chase a white ball around while iguanas provide comic relief as they scurry across the fairways and greens. Also further down the road, directly across the street from Publix Market is the Crane Point Museum and nature trails. Very cool place, TONS of hand-sized spiders suspended in the canopy above the trees. We spent a few hours walking all of the trails there.
Totally agree on the location. The park is in the perfect location to visit the Middle Keys, but it’s a bit too far (59 miles away) for Key West. We did a few day-trips down there, but they were looong drives. Great tips! Cheers for sharing.
Jerry Ericsson says
Thanks so much for the information, I have tried to follow you two for a long time, but suddenly, you simply dissapeared. To tell the truth, when this happened we were so involved in real life that I simply did’t notice you were gone. I know that is harsh, and I do in fact really enjoy your posts, but things happened so fast. Suddenly, today, I found one of your emails!!! It was stopped by my ISP, flagged as junk mail. I righted the wrong, and once again, I can enjoy your travels. Our travels are on a hold, probably for most of the summer as we settle from a damn accident. We were just through Bryce Canyon Utah, and approaching I70 when I crossed a cattle guard. I didn’t hear our Jeep follow, and looked in my rear camera display, and there it was. Our tow bars dragging the hookup for the Jeep. My heart skipped several beats as I pulled our rig over on the side of the on ramp, and looked behind us. There sat our Jeep, atop some large boulders about half way down a steep embankment that lead from SR72 to the OFF ramp of I70. The welds had let go on the Jeep, so all those safety cables were of no use, and our little Jeep Liberty was a total wreck from her lonely trip down the sandy rocky embankment, she rested tangled in 30 feet of barbed wire belonging to the State of Utah. I am sure going to miss that little Jeep, she is now in the wrecked vehicle auction yard in Salt Lake City, and we are looking for another towed. Then to top it off, Workers Comp called me to “congratulate” me on my “Presumed retirement!” Yep, I hit 66 and they cut my paycheck in half. Still trying to figure out exactly how we will be able to afford getting back on the road. Oh well, life goes on, we still have our rig, and both of us are still healthy enough to travel so I am in high hopes that once the whole thing is settled with the two insurance companies (one on our rig, the other on the Jeep) we may have enough to make a down payment on our next towed.
Terry McKnight says
Another good review. Here’s a pet question for you. We travel with two cats. We have friends that travel with three or more pets. They report more campgrounds listing a two pet limit. Our friends position is a don’t ask, don’t tell policy on the number of their pets. Do you have any comments or advice on this situation? Thanks.
If your friends have cats (or fish or lizards or some other type of pet etc.) that never go outside I’d say it’s not that big a deal if they don’t always list all of them them. We generally declare all our pets, but in places that have a strict 2-pet limit we don’t always tell them about our “extra” cat. Only one of our cats (Taggart) really likes to go outside whereas Rand is a scardey cat and prefers to hide inside, especially in busy campgrounds. Dogs are a bigger issue since they go out everyday. I would find it very hard to travel with multiple dogs and not declare them.
Oh, and I should add that we never stay anywhere that doesn’t allow pets. Some campgrounds (especially State Parks out East) have pet and non-pet loops. We only ever stay in the pet section. That’s just something I could never be comfortable doing any other way.
Ralph E. says
I like Paul’s T-shirt!!!! As always I enjoy your campground reviews. Just one suggestion though on the campground reviews would be to give the actual campground site dimensions.
Yeah sorry, only so much I can do. Each campsite varies in dimension and you can get those from the park. I will always make a note in the review if there’s any sites that don’t accept 40-footers, but I can’t give individual site sizes.
Pete Mac says
Another comprehensive review as always! When they designate the Seawall sites as back-in only, is that a hard rule from the camp or just because of the location of the hookups? If one carried extended connections to run under the motorhome to the hookups could you then park nose-in?
Yes I believe it is. Because those Seawall sites (on the right) are quite close together, and because of where the hookups are located they only allow back-in. Some parks will allow you to park the “wrong” way and we do carry extensions for those situations, but I didn’t see anyone doing that at Jolly Roger. I think you would encroach too much on your neighbor’s site (especially their “sitting area”) if you did that here.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane Nina, we love the Jolly Roger. even though its cheek by jowl, its a great place.
Can’t believe how many empty sites there were in your pics. WE have been twice and it was jam packed each time.
The park really thinned out in the time we were there. It started jam packed and then thinned out suddenly. Must be the start of the low season! We did the review at the end of the our stay when there were lots of empty sites.
Ralph E. says
Your ice cream cone looks small compared to what one of my local ice cream shops puts out (triple scoop).
Yes, I saw the Watkins Glen auto races on TV when I use to watch that sporting event once in a while (I used to watch Jim McKay and WWOS back when I was younger, but really not that interested in sports anymore except at the high school level now).
“And Then We Veged” – that is what I told the wife if we full time RV and don’t feel like sightseeing or hiking for the day as full time RVers can always make a return trip the very next year.
BTW I had 4 trips less than 1 hour on my first year initial list. Plus the family owns a Honda CRV. One time I got over 40 mpg on one trip and usually can get 32 – 33 mpg provided that the trip isn’t a short trip.
You said no politics on the blog, but I saw a political link on your blog being advertised.
Ralph E. says
I apologize for the blog post going to the wrong post. I thought that I hit page 1 and hit the first post then posted, but I guess that I made a mistake.
They should rename the place “GRUMPY OLD LADIES” after the ladies that run the front desk. Nothing Jolly about them!!!