Buttonwood Bay RV Resort, Sebring Florida

November 26th, we pulled into Buttonwood Bay RV Resort in Sebring, Florida. We had called several days earlier to reserve a spot until December 1st as we weren’t able to reach Highland Wheels, the park where we had reservations for the winter; our phone calls and emails went unanswered.

As we pulled into the driveway, we were impressed by the beautiful landscaping, lush flowerbeds, a fountain, and a very well maintained office and driveways. The receptionist was welcoming, very professional, and gave us several handouts about the resort and the surrounding area, a calendar of activities, and map. Many different types of activities were offered, art and music classes, crafts, cards, dominoes, bingo, exercise programs, many types of sports, and various forms of entertainment. The resort had two swimming pools, a hiking trail, direct lake access, shuffleboard & bocci ball & tennis courts, a mini golf course, a small cafe, library, mailboxes, two recreation halls, craft rooms, billiards and card rooms, a large laundromat, an exercise room, and many more amenities. We had an escort to our site, and after setting up the motorhome, we headed for the Recreation Hall to sign up for the Thanksgiving Dinner the next day.

Neighbors near our site told us that our friends from Platteville, Richard & Laurie Graney had the spot reserved right across the street from ours; they also told us the site we were given was available for the winter-the people who reserved it had to cancel due to illness. We were anxious to check out Highland Wheels to make sure it was a place we would want to stay for several months, and to find out why we hadn’t heard from them. We arrived at the park shortly before 5:00 pm and the office had a closed sign in the window. We drove around the park and were dismayed to see many concrete slabs cracked and broken up, weeds and trees/bushes in need of trimming, a general unkempt look to the park, and several mobile homes and campers that were unsightly or had junk in their yards. After seeing Buttonwood Bay Resort, it was such a contrast in extremes; we knew that we wouldn’t be happy staying at such a rundown place.

We talked about our misgivings all the way back to Buttonwood, and decided to ask if our site was available for the winter, and if it was, we would cancel our reservation at Highland Wheels. We were elated to hear that we could have the site, and reserved it for December through February. The rates were quite a bit higher than what those at the other park, but considering all the activities and amenities offered, the atmosphere and well maintained condition of the resort, and because electricity and water were included in the monthly rate; we decided the cost was worth it. We were willing to cut back on entertainment and eating meals out; we could ride our bicycles to the various buildings in the park where events were held. This would save quite a bit of money on gas as we wouldn’t have to go to town for mail or movies or to restaurants.

After a few days at Buttonwood Bay, we realized our decision to switch parks was right on. Highland Wheels had finally called us back, and agreed to refund our deposit. Joan’s brother Lyle and his wife Cindy had decided to join us at Buttonwood Bay and reserved a site for January and February. We were ecstatic to hear this, as we missed family so much last winter. It will make time away from our family much easier to bear this year.

Our friends, the Graneys arrived at Buttonwood Bay the Monday after Thanksgiving, and we were happy to see them again. They will be staying for at least 3 months, and we have camped with them many times in the past and really enjoy their company. Their dog Teddy gets along well with our cat Smoke. We have met so many people already since arriving at this park, and am sure we will enjoy our time here. The weather has been beautiful, and it has been sunny most days, only raining once so far. The park has so much to offer, a person could be busy every minute. So far, we have attended only two activities; one was the Thanksgiving dinner and the other was Coffee & Donuts on Monday. People here are generally very friendly, some are naturally more outgoing than others. All seem to be very happy here, and many have lived here in the manufactured homes or park models for many years. Altogether there are almost 1000 lots, including the RV sites. Yesterday, December 1st, many RVs came in for the winter; people tell us that even more will arrive after Christmas. They expect the park to be full, and more events will be added after January 1st.

lake

Buttonwood Bay has direct access to Lake Josephine.

neighbors

A couple we met shortly after arriving; we ate Thanksgiving dinner with them and her parents.

picnic area

Covered picnic area near the lake.

birds

Many varieties of birds call this area home with marshes near the lake.

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2 comments on “Buttonwood Bay RV Resort, Sebring Florida

  1. Wim says:

    It was very nice for me to read about your experiences on travelling and camping out with your motorhome. ( Have not read it all in detail yet, but i am determent to do so in the near future.)
    However living abroad (the Netherlands, Europe), i do have some family living in the States and Canada and was thinking about the possibilities of doing a sightseeing trip with car or motorhome, while visiting them at certain points.
    Therefor i seek answers to the following questions:
    Can you camp anywhere in every State? (Particular North and SouthCarolina, Illinois, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and in between States and Canada (eastern part))
    To some extend i know already that in some States you are obliged to camp on special campgrounds, which as you have pointed out can be a struggle to keep costs low.
    {Maybe you have good pointers for me how to find it out myself.}
    Is traveling and camping with a motorhome cost-effective towards traveling by car and staying in motel or hotel?
    How did you arrange for the formal things like pension/ income, public registry and this sort of things? (As i know it is near to impossible to do a thing like that overhere without at least a postal adress.)
    As you noticed, beside the interesting side of your adventurious travels, i am truly interested in the practical side(s) of it all, so i can determent for myself whether my plans in that direction are worth pursueing or not.
    Do hope you are willing to answer this.
    Anyway, i wish you all well and lots of good and uplifting experiences during your travels.

    • jkramer48 says:

      Will try to answer your questions. We have our retirement income and other income deposited electronically into our checking account& have online access. We use “shared branches” when traveling which can be found on the internet. We use a mailbox at a UPS store in Iowa for our mail. We call them and have our mail sent to us by general delivery to a post office in whatever area we are staying in. It takes only a few days to receive mail. We use an app on our cellphone to find campgrounds as we travel; it is “Allstays Camp & RV” available for android or iPhone cell phones. Or if you have internet access, you can go on their website for free. We have a senior pass to National Parks and can use that also for 50% off at Core of Engineer and National Park campgrounds. We also belong to Passport America and get 50% off at private campgrounds; the yearly fee is less than $50.00.
      We spend less traveling in our motorhome than it would cost to rent a motel/hotel and eat meals at restaurants. You can camp in a tent, as long as you travel in the warm months. There are numerous places to camp in the United States no matter where you travel. Some campgrounds have cabins to rent. Go online to the states you are interested in, and read about campgrounds in those states. The Allstays app for your phone works like Google Maps. You will see what is available near you and you can click on these and get websites and info about the campgrounds. Good luck, Joan

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