Last updated on September 22nd, 2023 at 08:38 pm
Manatee Cove, the Patrick AFB FamCamp, offers military veterans an unparalleled camping experience. This gem of a campground is in a prime location on the Banana River, just a hop and skip away from Atlantic Ocean beaches. Plus, there’s always something to do on the renowned Space Coast! So, let’s dive into the top reasons why military veterans should plan their next camping adventure at Manatee Cove.
Full Hook-Up Campsites
Manatee Cove offers 156 full-hookup sites (electricity, water, and sewer) and a wide range of amenities to cater to the diverse needs of its campers. There’s something for every kind of camper: RV sites or tent sites.
The nightly rate varies by season and they even have a monthly rate if you’d like to save money. You can even choose to pay a little extra for a site with an incredible view of the waterfront!
Right after the turn for the office, is the new section of the campground. The older sites are all gravel, but there are many paved sites in the new section when you pass the office. However, there is no shade and many of the neighboring sewer connections are extremely close to the adjacent patios.
When you camp at Manatee Cove, you’ll have access to the following facilities:
- Clean restrooms and showers
- Laundry facilities
- Community Center with free Wi-Fi
- Two dog runs
These modern and well-maintained facilities ensure an enjoyable and comfortable camping experience for all campers.
Waterfront Walking Paths, Dining Facility, and Outdoor Recreation
This spectacular campground is nestled along the serene Banana River, with an opportunity to marvel at some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see.
One of my favorite parts of the campground is its accessibility to two walking paths. Every morning I walked along the one at the edge of the camp. The other begins right after Chevron Park and is a paved path that leads to Dining Facility and Outdoor Recreation.
Retirees can eat at the Dining Facility and it has a screened veranda overlooking the water. We rode our bikes over to the Dining Facility a couple of days a week for a bargain-priced waterfront dinner.
Be sure to check out Outdoor Recreation while you’re at Patrick. They rent bicycles both regular and elliptical bikes, as well as boats, kayaks, fishing gear, and stand-up paddle boards. You can rent items by the hour, day, or weekend to use over at the FamCamp.
Base Marina and Beach House
Finally, in addition to all the usual amenities of an Air Force base, there are two that stand out. First is the Marina over by the south gate, which has live music every weekend. They also offer sailing lessons and boat rentals. Next, is the Beach House and base beach. Directly across A1A from the east gate, it has food, beach rental items, and live music to enjoy right on the beach.
Access to Atlantic Ocean Beaches
And speaking of beaches, drive north or south on A1A and you’ll have access to all the stunning beaches of the Atlantic Ocean just a short distance away. Explore the very best of Florida’s coastline by visiting Florida’s famed Cocoa Beach just 15 minutes north of the base. Take a dip in the blue waters, try your luck surfing the waves, soak up the sun on shore, cast a fishing line, or simply relax by the water’s edge. This famous surf spot is home to the impressive Ron Jon Surf Shop and the Florida Surf Museum. There’s something for everyone here, so make sure you take advantage of this amazing location!
Activities on Florida’s Space Coast
We absolutely love all the activities on Florida’s Space Coast! From out-of-this-world fun at the Kennedy Space Center to the Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures at the Brevard Zoo, you are bound to have a great time in the local area.
They do not take reservations unless you are on active duty, but as you can see in the video above there are plenty of open spaces in the summertime. However, if you want to stay here for the winter, you need to arrive early in the season. You can stay for up to 179 days at a time, and then you have to leave for 48 hours before returning.
A Note About Arrivals
Before I tell you more about the base and campground amenities, let me explain about your arrival at the base. Patricks has the maze style entry and no size of RV can get through the main gates. Instead, you have to go to the commercial gate off of A1A. If you are coming from I-95, take the Pineda Causeway to A1A and turn left. You’ll see a sign on the right in front of some brown buildings that tells you the commercial gate is the next left. There is a turn lane that you can get into. This is important because the driveway to the gate is not very long and depending on the size of your RV, you may have to wait in this turning lane for someone to open the gate. If you are arriving outside of traditional Mon-Fri duty hours, you will need to call the law enforcement desk at 321-494-2008 to get someone to meet you at the gate.
No Check-ins After Dark
Once you get through the commercial gate, you’ll turn right and drive around the flight line to the FamCamp. There are signs along the way to direct you. If you are arriving at night, you will have to pull into Chevron Park for the night because the campground doesn’t allow check-in after dark.
Camp Host or Office
Continuing on past the park, you will approach the campground. Another important thing to know is that the campground office has very unusual hours. I’d recommend checking the website to verify, but at the time of this posting they were from 9am to 1pm 4 days per week. If you arrive outside that window, you will check with the camp host. When you enter the campground you will see a large area to pull over. The first spaces on either side of the road are camp hosts that rotate duty schedules. There will be a sign indicating which one is on duty. If the sign is not flipped up, you can proceed to the office, which is straight ahead.
A great source of information for the Patrick AFB campground and others is the website US Military Campgrounds and RV Parks. It provides a wealth of information including which gate to enter the installation, as well as reviews.
We plan to post reviews of all the campgrounds we stay at from now on, so please subscribe to get updates. To see a recent review of the MacDill AFB Campground in Tampa, FL click here.