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Old 07-23-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
BigDaddyRog
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Florida State Park's "Grayton Beach"/ St Joseph Peninsula review .....

Anyone ever been there? We're goin Sunday afternoon thru Tuesday morning because it seems like a decent place according to what little I could find on it on the web....have any of you florida crackers been there? Pictures? Warnings? Praises?

Last edited by BigDaddyRog; 08-01-2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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I have not been there but the general area (beaches, traffic, dining) will be good. We usually stay at Topsail Hill since they have a pool. You should pass Topsail so you may want to stop by and take a look at it for future reference! About $32/nite
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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Rog,

I've heard good things about Grayton Beach. Supposedly one of the prettier state park/beach combo's in the country. Never been there but in doing my research this is what I've heard. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Bama ED

PS-I'm thinking of picking up some "pop-up gizmos" for my camper. They cover the bunk end tops to keep the heat out (reflects) and keep the inside cooler which helps your a/c unit keep up. Being in LA you may experience this phenomina. Ever heard of them? Lots swear by them. Also can be used in cold weather camping to keep heat in. I'm probably going to get a pair before next summer.
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Apr 1979 Off-site...................... Jan 2001 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Dec 2007 FW 900 loop (pop-up)...............................Mar 2014 FW 400 Loop (popup)
Apr 1981 FW Creekside Meadow... Jan 2002 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Nov 2009 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Nov 1987 FW 100 Loop(tent) ...... Oct 2003 FW 2000 Loop (tent).........Mar 2011 FW 900/1500 loop (pop-up) to/from KW
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May 1988 FW 1200 Loop (tent).... May 2006 FW 900 Loop (pop-up) .... Mar 2012 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Dec 1995 Contemporary.............. Mar 2007 FW 1000 Loop (pop-up).... Apr 2013 FW 100 Loop (pop-up)

plus countless WDW day trips, DL 3X, DLP 2X - TV: 2005 Chevy Suburban - Camper: 2014 Aliner Expedition - Nights Camped: 182
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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Rog, I've never been there either,,but it has to be better than going to work with those WORTHLESS dingleberries at the donut shop !

Have a great time !




sun on the buns and sand where the sun don't shine,,Yeah Baby !!
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:08 AM   #5
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Dude, you're CAMPING!! There's bound to be fishing. So who cares what the CG is like? The beach will keep the kids occupied. Let's just hope the comfort station is to Gina's liking.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMC View Post
I have not been there but the general area (beaches, traffic, dining) will be good. We usually stay at Topsail Hill since they have a pool. You should pass Topsail so you may want to stop by and take a look at it for future reference! About $32/nite
I was going to make a reservation at Topsail for the Tuesday and Wednesday night following our stay at Grayton Beach...but I thought the $42/night was kinda high..but I didnt realize they had a swimming pool with that price....I may rethink my decision now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Fish View Post
Rog, I've never been there either,,but it has to be better than going to work with those WORTHLESS dingleberries at the donut shop !
Have a great time !
sun on the buns and sand where the sun don't shine,,Yeah Baby !!
I never had a clue how getting my own little camper would make me wanna go out with it as often as I do....this is the last week we'll be able to take advantage of since the kids start back to school on August 7th. From there on...I guess the camper stays locked up in the garage for the rest of the year until maybe Thanksgiving break. Im 41 years old and I STILL hate school!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by des1954 View Post
Dude, you're CAMPING!! There's bound to be fishing. So who cares what the CG is like? The beach will keep the kids occupied. Let's just hope the comfort station is to Gina's liking.
Good point Deb...beats sitting at home watching The Suite Life on Deck and I-Carly reruns!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bama_ed View Post
Rog,

I've heard good things about Grayton Beach. Supposedly one of the prettier state park/beach combo's in the country. Never been there but in doing my research this is what I've heard. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Bama ED

PS-I'm thinking of picking up some "pop-up gizmos" for my camper. They cover the bunk end tops to keep the heat out (reflects) and keep the inside cooler which helps your a/c unit keep up. Being in LA you may experience this phenomina. Ever heard of them? Lots swear by them. Also can be used in cold weather camping to keep heat in. I'm probably going to get a pair before next summer.
Ed,Ive seen the same reviews...one guy said the beach rivaled some of the natural beaches of Hawaii....I think that may be a real stretch of the truth, but it sure caught my attention!!

I have heard of the Gizmos. Ive copied the idea with a couple of silver tarps clipped to my roof for now...


...but Home Depot sells a product called REFLECTIX that I will buy soon...its about $40 bucks for a roll thats 4'x25', highly reflective and has some real insulation value (its about 1/3" thick).
Here's a shot of what it looks like...


its saves a few buck when compared to the real Gizmos price. And YES....even the cheap tarps Im using right now make a HUGE difference in how much cooler the pop-up stays in the middle of the day.

That picture of my pop-up with the tarps clipped to it is from Gulf State Park....I took your advice and stayed their last week....BEAUTIFUL PARK, especially if you can nab a waterfront site!!! Thanks for the suggestion, Ed....we will most likely stay there again for the two days after Grayton Beach, unless I decide to pay the $42/night at Topsail. Thanks for the heads up on that park.....We will definately be regulars there!!

heres a couple of more shots of our site from Gulf State Park:






and some shots from Gulf State's beach:







Sunsets were beautiful...water was as clear as a swimming pool....not very crowded at all...and a cool breeze constantly flowing through...great place to stay!! Thanks again Ed!!

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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I think you will love topsail. it was a private resort years ago and I guess the guy that owned it donated it to the state upon his death. very kid friendly. everything is paved. great biking area for the kids. we put a helmet on them hand them a walkie and let them loose! Did it go up to $42/nite. I made my ressies summer of '08 for May '09 and it was $32/nite back then. I have not made my ressies for May '10 yet but really need to cause they book up fast!!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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Rog,

Those are some great pictures of your setup at Gulf. I'm glad to see you getting out and using your camper as much as you are - that's great. The one thing I will say about those lakeside sites at Gulf is don't get one in the winter (Dec-Feb) because the wind is pretty stiff that time of year. We also get a spot way in the back then.

I've thought about going over to some of those panhandle campgrounds in Florida but have never gotten around to it. We like going to Gulf Shores too much.

I've heard of Reflectix but need to check it out. Maybe someday - right now I'm busy getting things lined up to tailgate for the Alabama games in Tuscaloosa for the fall. RTR baby!

Gotta go and get to my Sons Of Saban (SOS) secret meeting. It'll be another tough year for the Aubs at the Barn!

Bama ED
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Apr 1979 Off-site...................... Jan 2001 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Dec 2007 FW 900 loop (pop-up)...............................Mar 2014 FW 400 Loop (popup)
Apr 1981 FW Creekside Meadow... Jan 2002 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Nov 2009 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Nov 1987 FW 100 Loop(tent) ...... Oct 2003 FW 2000 Loop (tent).........Mar 2011 FW 900/1500 loop (pop-up) to/from KW
Jan 1988 FW 700 Loop (tent).......Jan 2004 FW 2500 Loop (cabin)....... Apr 2011 FW 2000 Loop (pop-up)
May 1988 FW 1200 Loop (tent).... May 2006 FW 900 Loop (pop-up) .... Mar 2012 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Dec 1995 Contemporary.............. Mar 2007 FW 1000 Loop (pop-up).... Apr 2013 FW 100 Loop (pop-up)

plus countless WDW day trips, DL 3X, DLP 2X - TV: 2005 Chevy Suburban - Camper: 2014 Aliner Expedition - Nights Camped: 182
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #9
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Rog,
dude, that looked like a AWESOME good time,
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:33 PM   #10
BigDaddyRog
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It really was, Frank...we are really enjoying our time in the pup!!

That is...untill Gina spends a week in Tina's 5er.....she may never want to step into the pup again after that!!!



We've cancelled our Grayton Beach reservations......I read about another state park just 2 hours east of Grayton called St Joeseph Peninsula State Park....the beach looks like something Ive never seen before.....like a real tropical paradise...but on the downside...I hear the yellow flies there have a license to kill!!! But.....I guess ya cant get to heaven without going through hell!!! I have a feeling this one may make for a very interesting trip report!!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:05 PM   #11
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I would say Henderson, Grayton Topsail or St Joseph are really great parks. I've been to Henderson and St. Joseph and liked them both. I haven't been to St. Joseph SP since the storms. One really fun thing to do there is scalloping. We rented a pantoon and went had a great time. I think you can rent kayaks too!
Have Fun!
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:16 PM   #12
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Rog, the photos of the Gulf camping area look great. I am so jealous now, we took a ride through our local state park last night on the bikes, wishing our TT was not in the shop being checked for leaks.

They were all set up for a triathalon that happened this morning. We've had so much rain over June and then again last week (5-inches this week since Thursday) that the lake was higher than normal, with water flowing back into it from the creek. They must be holding water back in the flood control dams to slow down the water and flood potential for the Connecticut River valley.

Oh well, many weeks of camping left to enjoy.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:10 AM   #13
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Southern Living magazine had a little "blurb" about Grayton in the September issue. It was focused on the cabins they rent, but the picture of the beach itself was awesome! I didn't realize the beaches were so pretty in the panhandle. The sand was just as beautiful as Siesta Key beach. Surprising to me!! You might want to try it sometime, Rog.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:32 PM   #14
OK GRUMPY
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Rog,
Have you been yet? I hope you have a good time!
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:03 PM   #15
BigDaddyRog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OK GRUMPY View Post
Rog,
Have you been yet? I hope you have a good time!
We did go...it was really nice and we had a very relaxing time...without much drama to report on!!! The yellow flies I had read so much about were greatly exaggerated, and maybe its because Im from Louisiana and am fairly used to mosquitoes already...but the mosquitoes weren't as bad as the reviews I had read would have lead me to believe.

I DID go swimming in the Gulf for about 2 hours before I realized my cell phone was in my pocket!! So I figured Id let it dry out on the hood of my black truck since it gets so hotwhen sitting in the sun...then drove off with the phone still on my hood!!! Most of the pictures I had of deer were on my phone...andwho knows where that may be at this point!!! But heres a few pictures that were taken with a regular camera (Im surprised I didnt find a way to lose, destroy,or blow that up in some way).

The beach was as beautiful as all of the reviews said....very Gilligan's Island like. Plush, tropical foilage, 60' dunes, soft white sand,....the only disappointment was that the water itself wasnt as clear as I had hoped(at the beach, not the bay...the bay's water was practically invisible!), but not a big deal at all, and the comfort station nearest to us was very outdated....pretty clean, but no A/C or anything.

THEY ALLOWED GOLF CARTS!!!!!!!! And THAT may make this one of the best state parks Ive ever been to!!! I only wish I had known BEFORE we got there!!

Anyway...I am honestly SEARCHING for things to complain about here...because,the overall picture was GREAT, and we will very likely return for another stay in the future.

Heres a few random pics:

our site as we were tearing down to leave:




view into rear of site...I believe the scientific term for this is TREES:






the campground as seen to the left of our site:



to the right:


and the empty site directly across from us.I think this was site #76:



Some shots from the beach:




















And a few from the bay...the water in the bay was crystal clear and there were tons of crabs,and starfish,seahorses, stingrays...even a couple of snakes (so we were a little scared to spend very much time there) but it was indeed very pretty:







I highly suggest visiting this park if youre ever in the area...and dont forget to BRING THE GOLF CART!!!!
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