Travel: Vitambi Springs

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Photo: Steve McCloud, Vitambi.com

Dropping off US 27, a narrow two lane county highway, CR835, heads south from the east side of Clewiston along twenty one miles of endless sugarcane fields to Vitambi Springs. Watch for the entrance, the sign is a horned V logo with no name. Google maps tried to take me .8 miles too far. Looking down the road there appeared to be no good place to turn around a big rig if the entrance is missed.

The resort is a beautiful well-maintained property with picturesque views, gorgeous sunsets and wide-open spaces. They must do a great deal of mowing. To the south of the two main loops encompassing eighty acres, are miles of mowed bike trails through the back one hundred and eighty acres. Be warned, the trails are not marked well and it’s easy to get turned around. Watch for the microwave tower for orientation.

Accommodations include a wide variety of private cabins, private rooms with shared bath, bunkhouse, sunny primitive tenting sites in large meadows, deeply shaded tent camping around the clothing optional pool, primitive tenting sites in a military theme area with outdoor showers, open air huts with queen beds, several single family homes and a limited number of RV sites.

Solid roads are laid out with good turning radius for big rigs. Being off grid can be refreshing and with limited cell service and Wi-Fi only at the main lodge it is easy to come by at VS, though is accessible outside on the furnished back deck during closed hours.

Sewer has been added at RV sites recently. There appear to be additional RV sites though Vitambi Springs owners declined to comment for this piece so there is no reportable data of how many RV sites are available. A year and a half ago there were seven. All the occupied RV sites are easy to back in with plenty of space surrounding each.

Clothing is optional on the south loop. No campfires are allowed at campsites and designated fire pits are located here and there. Community fire pits cause campers to meet other campers around designated fires.

The VS staff is friendly and helpful. A beautiful dining room with large stone fireplace is open even when the kitchen isn’t. The restaurant and bar are open Friday through Sunday.

Mountain bikes are handy for getting around, VS is 260 acres and the south half of the property is a quiet and secluded stretch of Florida scrub. There is plenty to do at VS, work out in the gym, walk the two loops of solid packed sand roads, talk with your neighbors, and get some sun at the clothing optional pool in the clothing optional section.

Simply swimming is not the intent of the beautiful pool area. The pool is sized and of depth for socializing while cooling off. In the immediate area is a deep sand volleyball court including ball catching mounds at each end. Also in the pool area is a tether ball pit, ladder golf range, paved paths, the mist room and an elaborate shower house. There is no pool bar, and food service is on weekends only.

The remote Everglades location means VS is teaming with wildlife. On a recent two night visit we saw hawks, a pair of bald eagles, numerous deer, a possum waddling around in the dark just outside of the light ring, and of course mosquitoes. Bring your insect repellant.

There is no swimming in the lake, reserve that for the pool. The dock in the lake has canoes for anyone to use. Also at the lake is a screened shelter, a good place to watch the sunset or enjoy a few moments respite from the incessant mosquitoes.

A clear night brings beautiful stargazing. Also, on Friday and Saturday, Hanger 10, an air-conditioned multiuse room, comes alive with music you can dance to.

VS is a member of Friends With Benefits, an association of gay campgrounds whose members offer half price memberships for holders of valid memberships at other associated campgrounds. In addition, VS offers half price memberships for non-Florida residents.

Located south of Lake Okeechobee, VS is an easy trip from South Florida.

http://vitambi.com28280 Etumakee Way
Clewiston, FL 33440
863-983-8488
Located twenty one miles south of Clewiston on County Route 835, Evercane Rd.


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