Campground Review: Pine Island KOA in Florida

By on January 30, 2019

We had no idea what to expect when planning our stay at the Pine Island KOA because we couldn’t find much about it online. We wondered – what is there to do on the island, is there water access, is the campground nice, and are we going to be happy driving to see all that we want to see in the area?

Let’s begin with the fact that the campground is called the “Fort Myers/Pine Island KOA” on the KOA website. This is deceptive because it’s an hour by car to get to Fort Myers, probably a much shorter ride by boat but we didn’t have one of those on hand. That being said, most people would look on a map and realize this basic information. We knew when we decided to stay at this campground that we would need to travel a bit to see the tourist spots but we liked the almost “secluded” feel of this island.

Another big draw for us was that we wanted to stay somewhere that had a pool and a hot tub, because in late December/early January we were hoping for warm days and expecting cool evenings. Let me just say the pool and hot tub were fantastic and hit the spot! We ended just about every day here and could have spent more time here.

I don’t have a photo, but I have to tell you about the laundry room. It is actually worth bragging about because it was clean, had a reading room, and was just off the pool so we could hang out in the pool while our laundry was washing. But the best part was the credit card machine. We have seen a lot of laundry rooms, even a lot of credit card machines, but none like this one. When we put our credit card in, we picked which washer or dryer numbers we were using, and for the dryer we picked how much time we wanted. The best part was that we could download an app on our phone that would notify us when our machine was done and if the machine was stopped or opened. How cool is that? Needless to say we using the laundry room twice while we were there. Great job KOA!

Image taken from KOA.com

This campground is huge. A lot of KOA campgrounds are big but this one felt a bit crowded, especially up front. We chose to stay on the big lake in the back of the campground because we wanted a lake view vs. a view of RV after RV. We were so happy with our decision to stay on the lake. We enjoyed listening to the water, watching the ducks play, and enjoyed the turtles playing in the water next to our site. The only problem we had were the bugs. This area of Florida has no-see-’ems which, in my opinion, are more intense than mosquitos and don’t care about your Deet. The bites last 2-3 weeks so you’ll take home the memory of them for sure. Once we learned what we need to have to prevent/get rid of those bugs, we were much happier.

Let’s talk about wi-fi. If only campgrounds were more generous with their wi-fi, we would be so much happier. This is an ongoing challenge for us because we are not willing to spend a lot of money on wi-fi at this point. We want it to work on our blog posts and to stream Netflix but we don’t “need it” so we are stuck with whatever free wi-fi a campground has to offer. Obviously, it is nice that there is any wi-fi at all but if the wi-fi is slow why even have it? We had better wi-fi in small villages throughout Spain then we do in most campgrounds and this place was no exception. Unless you are paying for wi-fi, you are not getting much.

Let’s talk about location! Don’t go to Pine Island if you want to feel like you are in a tourist area because you will be unhappy. We loved spending New Year’s Eve at Fort Myers Beach and then coming home to our quiet island. The great part is we planned a couple trips to Cape Coral (which is the closest bigger town), a day at Sanibel Island, and a day on Fort Myers Beach. We got to enjoy the tourism of these cities without the noise of them. The best kept secret is the little village you have to drive through in order to get on Pine Island, the village is called Matlacha (pronounced Matt-la-shay, not the obvious Matt-latch-a). This is a great place to spend an afternoon or all day if you want to rent kayaks.

If you want to visit Cayo Costa State Park, you need to come to Pine Island which was great because we were already there! This state park is quiet, has a beautiful sandy beach full of shells, and a great way to spend the day. We took the Tropic Star Ferry from the town of Bokeelia which is on the north end of Pine Island. You could tent camp there, but be prepared because there is nothing except a small camp store on the island.

Pine Island KOA and Pine Island itself kept us busy. We had 16 miles of biking/walking trails, a pool, a hot tub, a lake view, and each other. At the end of the day, we loved this campground and will definitely be back. If this review helped you, click the “like” button. If you have questions about the campground or the area, leave us a comment.

Our philosophy is anytime you are camping together is a good day, we are happy we had a campground to facilitate that joy. For now, it’s back to teaching until we can get back into our rig and camp again!



4 comments on “Campground Review: Pine Island KOA in Florida

  1. You mentioned the NO SEE UMS or as I call them flying teeth! How did you manage to avoid them? We are heading to Port St. Joe in May and I know there will be those nasty things. Please help!

    1. Off or Deet don’t work, but we were told that Thermacell does. They have a couple of different styles that range from a personal size that you can clip to your backpack to area ones that look like a lantern or torch. They are available at most big box stores or Amazon. We plan to buy some before heading back next winter.

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