Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my special-needs dog, and my traveling habit. All opinions are my own.
I love camping but I’m at the age where hotel camping is more my speed. Needing to reconnect with nature and center my soul, I used HipCamp to find a sweet Florida glamping spot near Jacksonville called the Good Karma HoneyBee Bnb.
Merriam-Webster defines glamping as “outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping.”
Knowing I’d be celebrating Thanksgiving alone with my dog because of the coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to go somewhere near family. I chose the Jacksonville area. Although I knew I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with them, at least I could say “hello” in a socially distanced way.
Tent camping is appealing for a night or two, but for this getaway, I wanted something a little bit more comfortable, yet more economical than a hotel room. I searched the website HipCamp which is basically the Airbnb of camping. I found what must be one of the best glamping spots in Florida!
I Found The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB Through HipCamp
Called The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB, this sweet place was perfect for my holiday getaway. Located in Callahan, Fla., accommodations are in a vintage camper on Karma Acres Farm, a five-acre honeybee farm. The camper has a spacious wood deck with comfortable lounging chairs, grill, fan, and other comforts. Inside, there’s everything you need for a getaway. Running water, heat and air conditioning, comfortable bed with linens, hot shower, dining area, television, and WiFi. It is has every utensil and comfort imaginable, including a marshmallow roasting fork!
The camper is appropriately themed, too. First, it’s located on Karma Lane. Second, bee-themed décor is everywhere ranging from the key chain to welcome mat and throw pillows to wall art. The hosts left me delicious baked goods made with their honey, too. This is Florida glamping at its best!
Resident Donkeys at Good Karma HoneyBee BnB
The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB is dog-friendly and they have two resident donkeys who are sweet as can be. Bonnet is the female older one and she’s an American mammoth donkey. Mason, the younger male, is a Jerusalem donkey. This breed are identifiable with a cross on their back.
Instructions to the vintage camper included opening the gate and closing it so the donkeys don’t wander off. When I arrived, I promptly shut and chained up the gate and proceeded to my accommodations but didn’t see the donkeys. Once my car pulled up, out of the barn, the pair sauntered up to welcome me.
During my stay, we spent some quality time together, especially after I found the donkey treats hosts Lisa Broward and Lee Hughes left in my welcome pack. Every so often, the burros approached the deck and brayed, which I imagine is the equivalent of, “Hello human. Give me a treat.”
This pair is gentle and curious. Radcliff, my dog, wasn’t sure about them. When we first arrived, I kept him the car as I unloaded. He barked in terror when he spotted the mules. Eventually, he warmed up to them and at one point he touched noses with one of the burros.
This is a great time to mention although the accommodations and property are dog-friendly, dogs should not run freely, especially around the resident donkeys. My dad always taught me to never stand behind a horse because their kick can be deadly. Dogs are smaller than donkeys and could easily get caught up in their legs.
From Flower to Honey
Being an urban bee farm was another reason I booked my stay. The world needs to nurture and protect our pollinators and I applaud those proactively doing that. Lisa is a well-respected beekeeper and educator and offers campers a lesson in beekeeping (additional cost).
Before slipping on a white bee suit to inspect hives, she shared some background on beekeeping, types of honey including how a beekeeper determines what type of honey they have. On this farm, the bees produce Gallberry honey with nectar from the slow-growing evergreen holly bush called Ilex Glabra, commonly called inkberry or gallberry. The nearby Four Creeks State Forest is optimal habitat for inkberry and Gallberry honey, which is produced in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast United States. Basically, Gallberry honey is a treat.
We walked through her beautiful flower garden where some bees buzzed and butterflies fluttered about. In a head-to-toe bee suit, we walked to the hives where I heard a low buzz. Lisa used a smoker to calm the bees and pulled out a tray where we looked for the queen.
A Stay Good for the Soul
Neighborhood roosters crowed me awake each morning which allowed me to catch the rising sun. A gopher tortoise moseyed across the lawn and past the camper and donkeys. At night, I looked up into the dark sky to admire the sprinkling of twinkling stars. There are plenty of parks and recreational areas a short distance from the farm, like Four Creeks State Forest. One day I explored Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia.
Spending a weekend on this urban farm was restorative for my soul. The hosts’ home is on property but there’s plenty of privacy in the camper. Mother Nature’s good vibes and peaceful Zen wrapped around me. The experience gave me the equivalent of a hug, something I missed the most during 2020 because of the pandemic.
Nuts & Bolts About The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB
Located about a 30-minute drive northwest of Jacksonville, Karma Acres Farm and The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB is glamping at its best. It’s offers a retreat from a busy and hectic world with modern comforts and peaceful vibe. Book a stay at The Good Karma HoneyBee BnB on HipCamp. Order their sweet, delicious Gallberry honey via the Karm Acres Farm website.