I Stayed at Margaritaville’s New Florida RV Park in a Cabin

Cindy Apt

And when I arrived, I wasn’t greeted with margaritas and a drunken crowd like the brand’s name might suggest.

Sets of lounge chairs around a pool with a waterslide.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Instead, I found a family-friendly oasis of pools, palm trees, and peace.

A bathhouse and laundry room building.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Before my trip, I didn’t know what to expect: I’d never been to an RV park.

An outdoor garden with a small pond, palm trees.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Actually, let’s backtrack. I don’t even own an RV.

RVs parked at a RV park.



Brittany Chang/Insider


If you’re scratching your head and wondering why I decided to visit an RV park without an RV, I understand. But let me explain.

RVs parked at a RV park among palm trees.



Brittany Chang/Insider


You might be familiar with Jimmy Buffett’s iconic “Margaritaville” song and the expanding chain of restaurants and resorts that have spawned from the simple “wasting away again in Margaritaville” lyrics.

two signs hanging from a ceiling that read "The Original Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe" and "The Original Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Store"

The Margaritaville Cafe and Store in Key West, Florida


Chuck Wagner/Shutterstock



It seems like Margaritaville businesses are now popping up everywhere, but one of the hospitality empire’s quickest growing segments isn’t its recognizable bars or all-inclusive resorts.

A group of people sitting around a table drinking at a Margaritaville Bar

A newlywed couple and friends drinking at a Margaritaville bar.

Alison Wright/Getty Images


Instead, it’s Margaritaville’s growing chain of RV resorts that bring the promise of tropical relaxation and booze to life on the road.

A row of cabana cabins with palm trees in between.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The hospitality empire currently has three RV resorts: one in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.

The logo of a reception area of a Camp Margaritaville.

A Camp Margaritaville.

Margaritaville


But it’s not stopping there.

A small food trailer next to a building.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The Florida resort I visited is one of the 30 to 50 RV parks Margaritaville plans to launch through the next five years, Wiseman told Insider in 2021.

Sets of lounge chairs around a pool.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Source: Insider

The brand’s previous RV parks have seen “off the chart” receptions and reviews, Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, told Insider in 2021.

A bar under a wooden and thatched roof.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Source: Insider

If current locations are any indication of how future markets will perform, Camp Margaritaville’s growing chain could become a staple for both RV owners and general travelers looking for an outdoor resort.

RVs parked at a RV park on a blue sunny day.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Source: Insider

And I wanted to see what the big deal was for myself.

A pier leading out into the lake.



Brittany Chang/Insider


As I said, I had no idea what to expect.

Lounge chairs surrounding a fire pit in front of a roof with a thatched pattern.



Brittany Chang/Insider


But after spending a day and night alone at Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Cabana Cabins in Auburndale, I completely understand the hype now.

Lounge chairs surrounding a fire pit in front of a roof with a thatched pattern.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The central Florida getaway isn’t just a place to park your RV while you visit nearby attractions like Walt Disney World Resort.

walt disney world florida



AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


Camp Margaritaville Auburndale is its own theme park-like destination.

A pool with lounge chairs surrounding it.



Brittany Chang/Insider


When I arrived, I was surprised to find an amusement center of family-friendly activities juxtaposing the pockets of relaxing outdoor lounge spaces.

A play area with a red ball in the middle.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The blue skies, slow golf carts, and strolling families who waved hello as I passed made the RV park feel like a small utopian community.

RVs parked at a RV park on a blue sunny day.



Brittany Chang/Insider


And although I traveled alone, I had an absolute blast wandering around, enjoying the sun, and lounging by the pool.

Lines of cabanas on with some trees, plants.



Brittany Chang/Insider


As an RV-less visitor, I had to stay in a cabana cabin.

A line of cabanas on a blue sunny day.



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These cabins function as a six-person tiny home starting at almost $195 a night, which is around the same price as the premium RV site.

The patio on the cabana cabin.



Brittany Chang/Insider


A basic RV site ranges from around $70 to $200 and includes a grill, hookups, and a picnic table …

A Camp Margaritaville sign denoting the slots.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… while the more expensive premium iterations have the same amenities plus a “tiki hut,” an outdoor television, and outdoor lounge seating.

A shaded seating area on a bright blue day.



Brittany Chang/Insider


But who needs an RV at an RV park when you have a tiny home all to yourself.

A line of cabanas under bright blue skies, fluffy clouds.



Brittany Chang/Insider


I was only on-site for less than 24 hours, but my cabana cabin had everything I could’ve wanted for an extended stay.

A cabana with a golf cart under bright blue skies.



Brittany Chang/Insider


There was a bedroom, bathroom, separate bed, kitchen …

A full kitchen with countertop, stove, microwave, oven, sink, and cabinets.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… living room, and outdoor deck …

The patio on the cabana cabin with a blue lounge chair.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… which proved to be more space than I needed.

A sign that says "Here, we salt margaritas not sidewalks" under a window.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The WiFi was good, my deck chairs were comfortable, and my kitchen’s coffee maker worked great. What more could I ask for.

Two coffee K-cups.



Brittany Chang/Insider


My cabana cabin was the perfect retreat from the resort’s shared amenities.

Two cabana cabins with palm trees.



Brittany Chang/Insider


But to access these, I needed to use the golf cart waiting for me at the front of my cabin.

A cabana with a golf cart. Both next to a car.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The property is walkable but sizable enough to fit 183 RV sites and 60 cabins, most of which looked unoccupied during my mid-week visit.

A RV park with empty slots.



Brittany Chang/Insider


While using a golf cart wasn’t a necessity, it certainly cut back on my commute time between the pool and my cabin.

A golf cart with the Camp Margaritaville logo.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Outside of the RV sites and cabins, there are several pockets of leisure activities, including a basketball court, pool with a boardwalk over the lake …

Lounge chairs on a deck looking over a lake.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… and the main entertainment area, the hub of fun activities located right by the entrance.

The check-in building at Camp Margaritaville.



Brittany Chang/Insider


I found most of the on-site guests in this latter area playing mini-golf …

A sign that reads "parrot island mini golf" besides trees, turf.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… sipping on booze at the outdoor bar …

A bar under a wooden and thatched roof.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… venturing down the water slide …

A waterslide into a pool next to palm trees.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… playing in the children’s playground and shallow water play area …

A children's play water area.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… and just lounging under the sun. It was idyllic as it sounds, and felt like the perfect center for the RV resort.

A waterslide into a pool next to palm trees. There's a building next to the pool.



Brittany Chang/Insider


There was also an arcade, gym, corn hole, and dog park, but all of these were unoccupied.

An empty arcade with games.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The guests who weren’t in the main leisure area were lazing at the second pool, which has full views of the lake …

A swimming pool in front of lounge chairs on a bright blue day.



Brittany Chang/Insider


And as I laid alone in the setting sun, I found a slice of respite from the busier main area.

A dog park with a fence, toys and games inside the park.



Brittany Chang/Insider


https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-i-stayed-at-margaritavilles-new-florida-rv-park-cabin-2022-6

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