Our very own Martian, Ric, wrote the following review for the South Florida Gay News:
Camp David, Mars is mostly covered by enormous Live Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss. There are green pastures, lush tropical
foliage, nature trails, ponds, creek, and oak hammock. Campsites are scattered hither and yon without apparent planning. These
days most sites are occupied by permanent residents with new sites located in an adjacent field and backed up to the swimming
pool available for transient rental. Many snowbirds flock to Camp Mars in winter and even those sites can be difficult to
On visits to
Mars over several years I have made friends and often find those friends in other gay campgrounds. Mars is a real treat, a
few hours drive from South Florida, there is a great community and it’s as quiet as Florida can get. Bring everything
you want or need because anything worth stopping at is 30 minutes away.
The heated inground swimming pool is large with ample lounges, a shade area, appropriate music
and unlimited sun. Mars is not a clothing optional property and caters to both men and women over the age of 21. Wi-Fi is
available free throughout the park. There is no restaurant or bar service and the location of the property 30 minutes from
the nearest retail requires good planning prior to arrival.
A recreation hall is the social center of Camp Mars. The Saturday night potluck dinner is not
to be missed. I am amazed at the food a gay man or lesbian can cook up in a camper. I am lucky to get a decent ziti done.
Bingo is a mainstay of many gay campgrounds and each has its ‘rules.’ Beware erroneously calling Bingo at Camp
Mars. After bingo on weekends the recreation hall dims the lights and turns up the music for disco or country depending on
the weekend theme. Thursdays and Sundays are movie nights.
Though Camp Mars was my first gay camping experience the opportunity to visit in the past years
has dwindled as on each of the past three occasions I was told the park was sold out. On each of those occasions I was called
midday Friday, while on the way to a different gay campground, and offered space.
Gay Travelers Magazine 2012
Have you ever dreamed
of camping in the real Florida - the old Florida - where it is so quiet that you can hear every bird chirp and every cow moo,
where giant live-oak trees covered in drooping Spanish moss and clinging air plants provide beautiful shade and amazing scenery?
Then Camp Mars in Venus, Florida is your dream come true. If you'd like to see what Florida looked like before theme
parks and tourist traps, this is it. Camp Mars is situated on 40 beautiful acres in the undeveloped center of Florida with
green pastures, lush tropical foliage, nature trails, ponds, a creek, live-oaks, a resident alligator and heated in-ground
clothing-optional swimming pool.
Dunston and Tom Costello opened Camp Mars 9 years ago. "Dale and I purchased a non-operating campground and Camp Mars
was created. We offer a true camping experience that makes us unique. Our repeat business rate and our long waiting lists
for permanent weekend sites speaks to our reputation and popularity with our 7,000 members," said Tom.
You don't have to be out of touch with the
rest of the world at Camp Mars - unless you want to. We had a enough cell phone signal to send and receive both phone calls
and text messages. Camp Mars also has complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the campground!
ANOTHER RAVE REVIEW FOR CAMP MARS!!