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Saturday, January 22, 2022

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A Parent’s Review of Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

What do you think is the best part of living in Central Florida? If your family is like mine, we cherish the fact that we can get away to so many spectacular destinations all around Florida.

Tucked almost halfway between Tampa and Orlando is Camp Margaritaville Auburndale, formerly named Cabana Club RV Resort and Cottages.

I found about this family-friendly RV resort in Central Florida through the Visit Central Florida office. When a Black Friday discount code popped up I jumped at the chance for my family and I to celebrate our son’s birthday with a stay in one of the charming cottages.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our stay took place while this family-friendly RV resort remained as Cabana Club. Just a few weeks later the name officially changed to Camp Margaritaville Auburndale.

We’ll be back once more of the Camp Margaritaville changes are put in place. For now, it is a great place for a Central Florida family getaway.

Tiki Bar, Firepit, and Mini Golf at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

What’s Included at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale RV Resort?

If you’re used to Orlando family-friendly resorts and hotels, you’re used to fees and costs that add up. Although we love the theme parks and enjoying staying overnight from time to time, I craved something budget-friendly and family-friendly too.

Camp Margaritaville Auburndale offers multiple categories of RV sites and one bedroom cabins. Our family has traveled to quite a few campgrounds around Florida, my favorite so far is Jetty Park.

We relish the atmosphere of folks enjoying the outdoors, families walking and biking around the grounds, and the slower pace. Most of the campgrounds we’ve stayed in are state parks, which are nature-centric without a lot of frills. You’ll find relaxation and community at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale, plus lots of included activities.

A father in gray t-shirt, baseball hat, and wearing tropical print shorts and flip flops holds a putting tee in his hands as his four year old son faces him and also has a putting tee in his hands, as they are both about to put a golf ball down the green at Putting Course at Cabana Club Resort
Putting Course at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

There is a $10 activities fee automatically added to each reservation, but you do get lots of included amenities.

  • Mini golf
  • Kids activities like basketball, cornhole and more
  • Resort pool with water slide
  • Water playground
  • Regular playground
  • Charcoal grill and picnic tables
  • Fitness center

Besides the above included amenities, Camp Margaritaville Auburndale has other features that are an additional cost.

  • Tiki bar
  • On site market
  • Arcade
  • Showers and laundry facilities

With these features and amenities we were able to enjoy the resort without feeling like we needed to leave multiple times to find something to do or get what we needed.

Most of the amenities are located at the front of the resort, throughout the massive common area. The check-in building also houses the market, a living room plus business center area called The Hideaway, restrooms, the arcade, the fitness center, and a shower station for those using an RV site.

Plus, the large common area has lots of outdoor features like the tiki bar, the pool with waterslide and zero-entry, a seperate water playground, a regular playground, 9-hole mini golf, multiple firepit seating areas, and more. This resort is also dog friendly with two dog parks.

To access these resort amenities you’ll need to keep your wristband on throughout the duration of your stay. Truth be told, our wristbands irriated myself and my son at the end of the first day. We removed them, but held onto them. The next day I visited the front desk inside the market with both wristbands and photo identification, explained our discomfort the night before, and the friendly staff gladly reissued new wristbands.

Playground at Cabana Club RV Resort hjas two structures with slides and hands on features and a blue top providing shade. The playground is on green astroturf. A four year old boy in a beige shirt and grey shorts plays on the structure closest to the camera and has his back to the camera
Playground at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale RV Resort

Besides the $10 activities fee, there is a $55 cleaning fee per reservation. And just like all other hotels, resorts, and accomodations there is sales tax and tourism tax.

Our family loved playing the 9 hole putting course — we did so each of the three days of our stay. The playground and water playground quickly became favorite spots as well, especially since they both are fully fenced in, allowing us parents to relax even more.

Camp Margaritaville Auburndale Local Area and What’s Nearby

We headed from Orlando to Auburndale, and actually went a bit further past the resort since check-in time is 3:00 pm. Keel and Curley Farm and Winery in Plant City is a favorite destination for our family anytime we are near the area.

A father and preschool age son walk hand in hand with their backs toward the camera, past a the entrance to Keel and Curley Farms and Winery, which has a white farm style fence and a large green and white sign
Keel and Curley Farms and Winery is family-friendly

Even though Auburndale is just over an hour from the Tampa Bay area, you may want to consider a pit stop on your way in, especially if you want to eat up some time before check-in time.

Keel and Curley Farm has delicious food and a wide variety of fruit wine, beer, and cider – all made with fresh ingredients. Our family loves the crudete plate to start, with lots of fresh veggies, hummus, pita crips, and dips. The burgers are fresh and indulgent, salads are farm fresh, and flatbreads are great for sharing. Stroll around the farm and let the kids play on the playground after your meal.

Camp Margaritaville Auburndale Resort is not in the middle of the action. Auburndale is a farm town that has grown and changed in recent years. Still, there’s not a ton of fresh development right near the resort. However, there are plenty of parks within 15 – 30 minutes from the resort.

There are also bigger attractions about 30 – 45 minutes away.

Family Time at Bok Tower Gardens - a family of three pose facing the camera, each wearing a t-shirt and shorts, as the Bok Tower stands behind them and its reflecting pool shows the reflection of green trees and blue skies
Family Time at Bok Tower Gardens

After waking up from our first night in our Camp Margaritaville cabana cottage, we took the back roads to Bok Tower Gardens. This drive allowed us to better understand the immediate area and we enjoyed seeing some citrus groves. This part of Central Florida has lots of manufacturing and distribution centers, and it made me thankful for all those that work in such industries that keep things going for all of us.

I am an Orlando area native and Bok Tower Gardens holds many special memories. I’ve been with my son before, but this was my husband’s first time. Bok Tower is one of my favorite destinations to recommend to couples and families.

The grounds and the tower itself provide breathtaking beauty that only Florida can offer. There is plenty of nature to enjoy. As you walk to the tower, see if you can spot the palm tree planted by President Calvin Coolidge nearly 100 years ago.

Hand-played music bellows out of the tower every 30 minutes. Before you head to the tower, grab a picnic from the lovely cafe to bring with you. Let your kids roam the magnificent children’s garden with multiple play areas.

Children's Garden at Bok Tower Gardens has multiple areas for kids to play and a little boardwalk that curves over natural Florida landscape. A four year old boy dressed in a white shirt and gray shorts walks away along the boardwalk with his back to the camera

Pack some snacks and some water, wear comfortable shoes and make plans for a visit. Winter is the best time of year to go. December is Camelia season and Azalea season follows it.

The Visit Central Florida website is very helpful for understanding what there is to see and do near the Camp Margaritaville RV Resort, especially the cities and towns section.

Features of our Camp Margaritaville One Bedroom Cabana Cabin

There are lots of cottages lined up around the perimeter of the RV resort. Each cottage-style cabin has one bedroom and a large living area with a sleeper sofa. The maximum capacity is four persons, and our family of three felt very comfortable throughout our three night stay.

Although every cabin at Camp Margaritaville is a one bedroom, there are some different layouts based on where the cabin is located. Every cabin is part of a row of 8- 10 cabins which line the peremeter of the resort.

Exterior of a Cabin at Cabana Club Resort - a whie wood porch with a circular fan hanging on the ceiling is at the front of the cabin, the exterior is grey and the front door is a bright peach color, there is tropical landscaping around the perimeter of the cabin
Exterior of a Cabin at Camp Margaritaville Resort

Our cottage was located at the very back, which had some pros and cons. On the plus side, we enjoyed the overall quiet. Our cottage faced the basketball court, so there was activity there, but nothing intrusive. The resort is near the Polk Parkway toll road, and our cabin’s location did result in lots of highway noise. It did not disrupt our sleep nor our enjoyment.

Each cabin has a porch. We loved relaxing together at the end of the day on ours, though it is configured a little differently than the ones located at the front of the resort. The kitchen welcomed us as we walked into the cabin – practically everything we needed awaited inside the cabinets.

To save money, and to help with our son’s multiple food allergies, we had most of our meals in the cottage, using the kitchen and the charcoal grill to cook. We found a helpful grill set and a set of plastic food storage containers. The one thing I would change is the Keurig coffee maker. My husband and I much prefer a traditional coffee maker, we find the quality to be much better.

Living Area and Kitchen at Cabana Club Cabin has gray painted walls, gray and black furniture including a black sleeper sofa with white pillows and a painting of brightly colored beach chairs hanging above it, the kitchen has white cabinets and the vinyl style floor has gray and tan tones
Living Area and Kitchen at Camp Margaritaville Cabana Cottage

The living area provided plenty of space for our family of three. Our son had ample space on the queen size sleeper sofa. The massive television impressed us, though we nor the staff could get the smart apps like Netflix or Prime Video to work.

The bathroom has lovely natural light and a quality shower. However, there is no shelf or any place for soap or shampoo to sit inside the shower. We ordered groceries from a Wal-Mart Super Center about 8-10 minutes down the road and added a $8 suction-cup shelf to help us during our stay.

The bedroom is cutely decorated, but is the tighest quarters of the cabin. This is in part to having a king bed which I will gladly choose over having a little extra floor space. The amount of drawers and cabinets throughout the entire cottage impressed me and came in handy.

Cabana Club Cottage Bedroom with King Bed has gray and blue soft tone painted walls, a floral comforter blanket and white pillows on the bed with a white wood headbord and a long window show blue skies above it, and a yellow sign that reads "hello sunshine" above the headboard
Camp Margaritaville Cottage Bedroom with King Bed

We made good use of the picnic and grill area alongside the cabin. A sidedoor near the back of the cabin came in handy so we could enjoy the outdoor space. We made great memories enjoying meals, games, and rest here.

Important Things to Remember at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale RV Resort

  • Pack utensils, coffee mugs, wine glasses or tumblers if you use them
  • Bring kids’ camping chairs to use on the porch, there are two Adirondack chairs for adults
  • Bathroom towels are provided in the cabins, pool towels are not
  • Mosquitoes can be bad in the evening so bring along some spray and citronella candles
  • Currently there is no on-site restaurant. There is usually a local food truck on weekends and busy periods. There are plenty of options nearby, the resort usually provides a list upon check-in, and some food options inside the market.
  • There are often discounts available during weekdays. I found a nice “Black Friday” discount on Cabana Club’s Instagram, which is now Camp Margaritaville Auburndale. Although we booked our stay completely on our own, the folks at the resort have provided me a code to share with our readers. Use “FLDani” for 10% off.

One Bedroom Cottages at Cabana Club Resort Florida line the streets of the resort. They have metal siding in soft gray colors, a white wood front porch, and brightly colored doors and deck chairs.
One Bedroom Cottages at Camp Margaritaville RV Resort Florida

Important note, this resort is in the process of becoming a Camp Margaritaville resort. It is still independently owned – by a local family in fact. All the existing amenities will continue to be offered plus new enhancements. This does also mean that there is construction happening at the resort.

You’ll also probably notice how new the trees are around the resort, which means there is not much shade. Now that the name has offiically changed from Cabana Club to Camp Margaritaville Auburndale I look forward to my family’s return, hopefully soon.

For a Central Florida family spring break getaway, this is a perfect fit.

All images by Dani Meyering

dani
Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando native. She loves sharing her hometown with others from the theme parks to Florida's natural beauty. With work experience in Orlando's theme parks, and hotels, she uses this expertise to help Central Florida couples and parents enjoy quality time together throughout Central Florida. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife.

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