Florida State Park's "Grayton Beach"/ St Joseph Peninsula review .....

Discussion in 'Camping Community Board' started by BigDaddyRog, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    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?
     
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  3. LMC

    LMC <font color=green>aka 3senuf<br><font color=dark

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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
     
  4. bama_ed

    bama_ed New Software Calls For A New Avatar...

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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. :3dglasses
     
  5. Born 2 Fish

    Born 2 Fish I'D RATHER BE FISHING.

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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 !! :thumbsup2
     
  6. des1954

    des1954 DIS Veteran

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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. :thumbsup2
     
  7. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    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.

    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!!!

    Good point Deb...beats sitting at home watching The Suite Life on Deck and I-Carly reruns!!!

    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...
    [​IMG]

    ...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...
    [​IMG]

    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:


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    and some shots from Gulf State's beach:

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    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!!
     
  8. LMC

    LMC <font color=green>aka 3senuf<br><font color=dark

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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!!!
     
  9. bama_ed

    bama_ed New Software Calls For A New Avatar...

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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! :wizard:

    Bama ED
     
  10. Born 2 Fish

    Born 2 Fish I'D RATHER BE FISHING.

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    Rog,
    dude, that looked like a AWESOME good time, :thumbsup2
     
  11. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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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!!!
     
  12. OK GRUMPY

    OK GRUMPY <font color=darkcoral>And that is some useless chi

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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!
     
  13. disney4dan

    disney4dan DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  14. des1954

    des1954 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  15. OK GRUMPY

    OK GRUMPY <font color=darkcoral>And that is some useless chi

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    Rog,
    Have you been yet? I hope you have a good time!
     
  16. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    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:
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    view into rear of site...I believe the scientific term for this is TREES:
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    the campground as seen to the left of our site:
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    to the right:
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    and the empty site directly across from us.I think this was site #76:
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    Some shots from the beach:
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    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:
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    I highly suggest visiting this park if youre ever in the area...and dont forget to BRING THE GOLF CART!!!!
     
  17. LMC

    LMC <font color=green>aka 3senuf<br><font color=dark

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    First off, I'm glad you had a great time! I have heard of this park from other camping friends of ours but we never want to drive the extra time.

    Could you walk to the beach or was it too far? The pictures of the bay were not what I had envisioned but the beach looks really good!!!!
     
  18. OK GRUMPY

    OK GRUMPY <font color=darkcoral>And that is some useless chi

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    It's been a long time since I have been there it so reminds me of Destin many many years ago and I'm so surprised it has not changed much. It's a Florida Jewel! OK I have to ask did you get invaded by racoons at night? I'm glad you had a good time!
     
  19. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    The beach wasnt more than a 5 minute walk from ANY site.There was a boardwalk entrance from the back of both camping loops. We carried the umbrella and chairs and crap with us and it still was a very nice, short walk

    You're right, I bet......it doesnt seem like this park could have made many changes in many years, there really not much there to change....the Shadey Pines campground does have a few paved sites in the rear of the loop, but the rest is basicly JUNGLE, and although the paved sites looked convenient for the larger RVs, the simplicity and RAWNESS of the unpaved sites really added charm and kept the atmosphere real.

    In our 4 days at the park, I only saw 1 raccoon...he was big and healthy, and very comfortable with me watching him....I think he even nodded and waved at me!!!;) All reviews Ive read boasted about armies of coons taking food out of coolers,and out of your hands, and Im sure that there are alot more than 1 coon there...but thats all WE got to see. We DID see alot of the cotton-rats...they were actually amusing to watch.they didnt really walk as much as they hopped around....so it was kinda like watching tiny kangaroos. They have cute rounded faces, so its not like seeing a city rat that sends a chill down your spine when you see it....you almost react the same way you do as when you see a deer....strangely enough!!

    The bay wasnt what I was expecting either...although I didnt really have any expectations...reading about all the marine life that it harbors....I definately had a different vision in my head. But it just kinda looks like a regular lake or large pond.....an afternoon exploring in it is REALLY fun since the water rarely ever goes above your knees and you can see clearly to the bottom.
     
  20. auntie

    auntie <font color=darkorchid>It's a really lovely way to

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    Oh Lord.."cotton rats" :rolleyes2..what the h-e- double hockey sticks are they?:confused3...and they jump like kangaroos?..:eek: Another charming creature natural to the southern portion of these United States. :confused:

    I'm thinking this animal is one I need to add to my list of "creatures I don't ever want to meet up with personally" You know..the one that Mister Alligator, Sir..is at the top of.:rolleyes1
     
  21. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    Im literally Laughing Out Loud here...you crack me up!!!

    They HONESTLY aren't that bad, they are very timid, but dont neccessarily freak out & run when they see a human.

    They are at least as cute as hampsters....here are a few pics I googled for you.
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