Index Florida Panhandle State Parks

Mike & Joyce Hendrix's Index for

Beach Front State Parks In the Florida Panhandle

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Index of Beach Front State Parks in the Florida Panhandle

State Parks in the Florida Panhandle:

Although this will primarily be about the Florida Panhandle I am going
to mention that while in the area one should also consider spending
some time in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Alabama has a wonderful State Park
with many RV sites all less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico. When
in the Gulf Shores one should visit Ft. Morgan and even consider
taking the ferry from Ft. Morgan over to Dauphin Island and back.
Some individuals just ride the ferry over and back for the boat ride
and leave their automobile in the parking lot at Ft. Morgan.

After mentioning the State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama I am going to
cover the Florida Panhandle from East to West (St. George Island to

Between Pensacola and St. George Island in Florida's Panhandle you
will encounter possibly the most pristine 200-mile stretch of beach in
the world. RV'ers on a budget can enjoy these sugar white beaches on
a shoestring. The State of Florida has a string of State Parks
scattered along that stretch of coast starting with St. George Island
State Park in the east Cape San Blas SP, St. Andrews SP in Panama City
Beach, Grayton Beach SP and 10 more miles west is Topsail Hill Resort
(State Park) then another 10 or so miles west in Destin there is
Henderson Beach SP. Then you have a 50-mile skip to Fort Pickens
National Seashore near Pensacola and finally Big Lagoon State Park in
Pensacola. Each of these State Parks, and Fort Pickens National

St. George Island State Park is just east of Apalachicola, Florida. While the
beaches are not quiet as white as you will find 100 miles to the west
the unspoiled beaches in the state park are unequaled anywhere. If
long walks on a secluded beach are your cup of tea this is the place
for you. Snowbirds like the RV campground in the winter. Do not look
for commercial activities like restaurants and theme parks around

St Joeseph State Park near Port St. Joe is the beginning of the
snow-white pure quarts sand that make these beaches famous. The RV
campground will hold around 60 units. During the summer the
campground is full of families in tents, pop-ups and travel trailers.
During the winter Snowbirds with their fifth wheels and motorhomes,
steak their claim to this beach. Like St. George Island there are not
any amusement parks and restaurants to entertain you. You are
20-miles from Port St. Joe. From the RV-park to the end of the State
park you can take a leisurely 7-mile walk on one of the countries most
pristine beaches.

St. Andrews State Park has several hundred RV sites and is located on Grand
lagoon in Panama City Beach. You are an easy walk to the Gulf. St.
Andrews SP is located a few short miles from everything available to
hundreds of thousands of vacationers paying BIG money for their
condominiums and motel rooms. Unlike State Parks to the east St.
Andrews is within easy access to hundreds of restaurants, and a
multiplicity of other entertainment not to be equaled outside of
Disney World.

Grayton Beach State Park returns to rustic. The RV spaces are adequate but
are on hard packed sand. Sites are "natural" with a lot of

Topsail Hill Resort State Park appears to be a typical "high-end"
private RV-Resort. During the summer tourist fill the park, in winter
it fills up with snowbirds. Unlike other State Parks Topsail Hill
does not have a maximum stay (in Florida RV'ers are usually limited to
14 days) in fact in the winter they offer drastically reduced rates
for 30, 60, 90 and 120-day stays. As one would expect, this park has
paved sites with manicured grass lawns cable TV and full hookups with
50-amps. This ain't your typical State Park campground!!

Eden Gardens State Park is located a few miles from Grayton Beach
State Park. Anyone in the area would enjoy visiting this place. The
name "Eden Gardens" is a bit misleading. The actual attraction is a
6,000 square foot restored Southern home full of some of the finest
antique furnishings anywhere. The "gardens" consist of around 12
acres of manicured grass under a canopy of beautiful live oaks replete
with Spanish moss and resurrection fern. To find Eden Gardens from
highway 98 turn north on SR-395 and follow the signs (less than
5-miles). The home's original owner was an early 1900s lumber baron.
In the 1960s a wealthy northern spinster (Lois Maxon), residing in the
area, purchased the house and "restored" it to look like one of the
plantation homes common throughout the antebellum South. She needed
the house to display her collection of heirlooms and antiques. In
addition to Lois Maxon's collection of antiques the State of Florida
is using the residence to store other donated significant period
pieces awaiting placement in other museums and places of public
display around the state. An excellent docent gives tours every
couple of hours. Don't miss this if you are in the area. Note that
Eden Gardens SP does NOT have accommodations for RVs. In fact I would
not venture into Eden Gardens with an RV over 25 feet in length
because there is no parking for anything larger.

Henderson Beach State Park in Destin is across the street from the super
Wal-Mart and in the middle of the action yet tucked away in several
thousand acres of undeveloped dunes surrounded by top end
condominiums. They sport 60 brand new RV sites with level gravel
spots. These sites really look good and only a slight step down from
having a concrete pad. Unlike most State Parks they also have a
number of pull-through spots and they can accommodate largest RV's.

Ft. Pickens National Seashore with several hundred RV sites is located near Pensacola.If it is beautiful beach
that you are looking for this is the place for you. During the summer
it is full of tents and pop-ups. During the winter Snowbirds fill it
with motorhomes.

Big Lagoon State Park is located South West of Pensacola. While not
on the Gulf of Mexico it is located on the Big Lagoon and is only a
3-mile drive to the gulf and a large public beach (National Seashore.
It is also only a few miles from the Naval Aviation Museum located on
Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Be aware that there are other campgrounds in the area. I have just
covered the State Parks lining the coast in Panhandle Florida plus
Gulf Shores State Park in Alabama. These are the places most visitors
are looking for.

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