We just got home from Camp Margaritaville Auburndale (literally a few hours ago), and I am sitting down to share our experience now that we’ve been there as a family of 5. Keep reading for our favorite parts, best tips, what to pack, things to do in the area, and more!

Camp Margaritaville Auburndale Overall Review

Overall, we loved Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale and can’t wait to go back! I’ll give you a general review now, but be sure to keep reading for all of our favorite parts, our best tips now that we’ve been there, what we suggest packing for our trip, and more!

We are experiencing a colder and rainier Winter than usual for us in Florida, so while we envisioned bathing suits and hot, sweaty days, it was actually really cold for our trip. I really thought this might put a damper (no pun intended) on this choice of stay because I had mostly envisioned us staying in or around the pool all day.

To my pleasant surprise, we still had tons of fun! There is so much to do at Camp Margaritaville! Not only are there activities for kids and families going on basically all day (more on that below), but even hanging out by the fire pit and meeting people from all over the country was so fun!

We had so much great quality time as a family, did so many fun activities, and met some great people. All of the food from the on-site restaurants we had was great (try the pork nachos and the Chill burger)! The staff were all so friendly and helpful, the place was really nice, and I’m really happy we checked it out!

Overall, I have only good things to say about Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale. I found myself checking the website for possible dates to return before we had even left. So, 5-stars, Camp Margaritaville!

I do have a few tips based on experience now, so keep reading!

picnic area between two cabana cabins

Accommodations

We rented a pet-friendly cabana cabin with bunks. For our family of 5, this meant that Chris and I had the bedroom with the king-size bed, Alana and Koa took the twin bunks, and Kai slept on the pull-out sofa.

The cabana cabins (honestly, these are really just trailers, but they’re cute small trailers) are small, but here are some things I appreciated about our cabin:

  • Storage space: While the cabin itself is small, with just enough room for our family, I feel like they did a great job maximizing storage space so you could put most of your stuff “away” somewhere in a cabinet or closet and have space to move about.
  • Full Kitchen: We had a full kitchen, so we could have made our trip a lot more budget-friendly by cooking most of our meals in the cabin (instead, we wasted money on eating at the restaurants too much – more on that below).
  • Outdoor Space: Each cabin has its own cute front porch with chairs, and then a little side area with a picnic table and grill. We didn’t use it this time since it was pretty cold, but I could see us using it if we returned in warmer weather.

The Kids’ Favorite Part About Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale

Kai’s Favorite: “Leaving to play games without parents.”

Alana’s Favorite: “Hanging out around the fire pit/tiki bar area.”

Koa’s Favorite: “Fire pit when I was cold, and the pool, and the slide.”

Our Favorite Parts of Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

Now let’s get into the details! Here is more info on things to do within Camp Margaritaville, and nearby!

Things to do Within the Campground

One thing I loved was that they have an app you can download to your phone that gives you access to all the info you need. I mostly used this for the Activities section, which gives you a full schedule of each day.

This helped us plan our day and other things we wanted to do around the activities that the kids really wanted to do. For example, my oldest, Kai, loved this game called Gaga ball they played there, and Alana and Koa didn’t want to miss any of the arts and crafts like bracelets, slime and all that.

There were so many things to do within the campground, including:

  • Kids activities: The activities staff had something planned basically every hour of the day, whether it be gaga ball, tag, volleyball, arts and crafts, musical hula-hoops and more. There is a huge covered turf area that they played all of these games under. They even did a “stuff-a-plush” just like Build-a-Bear. Note: Some of the arts and crafts are paid activities, and they charge the card on file for your cabin for those.
  • Events like bingo, painting and more: There are activities and events for adults and the whole family, too. You just have to check the app to see what’s on the schedule for the day.
  • Nightly music: There was either live music or a DJ every night we were there by the tiki bar and fire pits.
  • Fire pits: We loved hanging out by the fire pits, which are conveniently located between the tiki bar and the huge activities area, so the kids could go play games where we could see them!
  • Putt-putt: On the other side of the tiki bar is a putt-putt course. Any time you want to play, all you have to do is go inside the camp store, and they’ll give you clubs and balls (no cost).
  • Basketball courts: There are basketball courts in the campground as well.
  • Ride around on bikes/Scooters: We didn’t know this was a thing, but most of the kids there had their bikes or scooters and would ride all around together. Everyone drives super slow, and there are tons of people out walking and riding bikes all the time, so it feels safe.
  • Pools: There is a big pool with a fun water slide and a smaller kiddie pool. The big pool is heated, so we were even able to enjoy it a little bit during our cold-weather stay.
  • Playground: There is a playground for the kids with astro-turf off the side of the kiddie pool.
  • Dog Parks: There are dog parks in the campground as well. We didn’t bring our dog this time, but we might on a future visit!
dog park in camp margaritaville auburndale

Things to Do Near Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

We also ventured outside the campground. We took an hour trip over to Zoo Tampa one day, and also explored the area and found a cute park/playground. Another great thing about Camp Margaritaville Auburndale is that it’s within an hour or so of a lot of great parks and things to do.

Here are some things to do near Camp Margaritaville:

  • Common Ground Park: Chris found this playground nearby, I think it was about 17 minutes away, and it was one of the best playgrounds I’ve ever been to.
  • Legoland: Legoland is nearby in Winter Haven
  • Aquariums and Zoos: We were looking up other things to do when it would be rainy/cold and we found that the zoos and aquariums we looked up were all within an hour-ish of the park, whether it was in Tampa or Orlando. See more below.
  • Springs: We had originally planned to visit some of the Florida springs that are more North in Florida (we are in Southwest Florida) while we were there, but because of the colder weather we didn’t do that this trip.
  • Bike trail / soccer fields: Right outside the RV camp is a park with soccer fields and a 37-mile bike trail.

More Things to Do in Nearby Winter Haven:

  • Peppa Pig® Theme Park
  • Cypress Gardens Water Ski Shows
  • Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park
  • Fantasy of Flight
  • Theater Winter Haven 

More Things to Do in Nearby Lakeland:

  • Polk Museum of Art 
  • Bonnet Springs Park 
  • Lakeland Escape Room 
  • Florida Children’s Museum 
  • Safari Wilderness
  • Circle B Bar and Reserve 
  • Florida Air Museum

More Things to Do in the Orlando Area:

  • Disney World
  • Disney Springs
  • Universal Orlando
  • SeaWorld
  • Fun Spot America

More Things to Do in the Tampa / St.Petersburg Area:

  • TampaZoo at Lowry Park
  • The Florida Aquarium
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

What to Pack for a Stay at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

kids on the playground at camp margaritaville auburndale

Here are some things you might not think to pack, that I would definitely pack after staying there and knowing what I know now. This packing list is mainly for those staying in the cabana cabins:

  • Trashbags: Depending on the length of your stay, bring some extra trash bags. You can place your trash outside on the curb every morning before 9am. Especially if you try to make your meals at “home” to save money, you’ll need more than the one trash bag they seem to provide (I am used to this because we rent a lot of AirBNBs and this is always the case).
  • Dishwasher detergent: They provided 2 pods, but if you’ll need more than that, I always pack a ziploc bag with a few dishwasher pods to any house we rent because we go through a lot of dishes.
  • Paper plates: If you’d rather not spend your trip doing dishes, bring paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Cups + marker: This is a general trip thing I started doing, especially if you have a lot of kids in the house, which is to pack red solo cups and a black permanent marker. Write each person’s name on a cup and that is their cup. This cuts down on people not knowing whose cup is whose and wasting water and creating lots of dirty dishes.
  • Towels: Definitely bring pool towels! They have a laundry facility right beside the pool, so when our towels were still a little wet and we got in the heated pool when it was chillier out, I threw our towels in the dryer so everyone could have a warm towel when they got out.
  • Mattress pad: If I had a complaint, it would be that the king size bed we had was very firm. I told Chris if we go back I would bring our pillow-top king size mattress pad for the bed. Not joking, it would make a difference.
  • Bikes, scooters: As I mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to use these in and outside of the campground.
  • Food: Since there is a full kitchen, you can eat a lot of your meals in the cabin to save money. I baked banana bread ahead of time and brought that for breakfasts, plus packed a lot of snacks. When we go back, I’ll do more food in-home to save money.
  • Shampoo/conditioner: I normally pack these for AirBNBs but I didn’t this trip. They did provide small bottles but it wasn’t quite enough.
kiddie pool at camp margaritaville auburndale

Tips & Things to Know for Your Stay at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

Here are some important things to know if you plan a trip to Camp Margaritaville Auburndale:

  • Download the app: Definitely do this, at least once you get there, you don’t really need it beforehand.
  • Rent near the pool or rent a golf cart: When you book your cabana cabin, or even I think once you’re already there, you have the option to rent a golf cart for your stay. We chose a cabin that was right beside the main activities area, so we didn’t rent a golf cart. This was perfect for us because everything was right there, and I would definitely do that again versus being farther away and needing a golf cart. We did worry it would be loud, but the music, etc has to be off by 11pm so it was fine for us.
  • Laundry App: There are not washer and dryers in the cabins, but they do have a laundry facility. You can put in cash or you can use this app you can download while you’re there and pay that way. It was super easy to scan the QR code on the washer/dryer I wanted to use and start it. Then it would ding my phone when the cycle was done so I could walk over and get it.
  • Camp store: There is a camp store that has a lot of basics you may need, plus souvenir-type things.
  • Cashless facility: We didn’t know until we got there that they are cashless. Plan to use a card to pay for everything!

Why Did We Go to an RV Park When We Don’t Have an RV?

This year is the first year that our kids are in school 5 days per week. (I promise this is related, just bare with me). If you don’t know, we homeschooled Kai and Alana after preschool for a while. Then they went to a hybrid school that was only Monday-Thursday, and Koa was in preschool only part-time.

So, now they’re in public school and Koa is full-time in his last year of preschool. When we made the switch, we decided that if they would spend more time in school throughout the week, we would take advantage of every break they had from school for some sort of trip.

With that in mind, we have planned ahead for each school break and done really well with it so far! I’m excited to keep this travel going! (And start sharing more about the places we go and the things we do).

With all of that said, we had just been to Blue Ridge, GA over the holidays. That was a long drive, so we were looking for something closer to home for a long weekend getaway. (Kids had MLK day + a teacher planning day, creating a four day weekend.) A friend suggested Camp Margaritaville in Auburndale, Florida to Chris.

You can book cabin rentals at many RV parks!

I will admit, at first, I was thinking, “RV Park, huh? Interesting choice…” (thought inside my head in my most suspecting tone). But, after looking at the website, I thought, eh, this could be cool.

We searched the website that night. We realized we could rent a “cabana cabin” that was big enough for our family. They were almost fully booked, so went ahead and booked it right then! So that, my friends, is how we decided to stay in an RV camp without an RV.

This may sound silly, but I honestly never realized you could stay in an RV camp without an RV. Apparently, there are many RV camps throughout the US that have cabin rentals in some capacity as well!

Final Thoughts on our Stay at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale

Camp Margaritaville, we’ll be back! We met several families there who said it’s their 3rd, 4th, 7th time there and I can see why! It’s fun, friendly, relaxing, and just overall a good time at Camp Margaritaville Auburndale. I hope this guide will help you plan your trip and make memories!

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