Topsail and Grayton Beach State Parks - in Florida Panhandle - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: 21' Escape - former owner of 17' "other brand."
Florida
Posts: 699
Registry
Topsail and Grayton Beach State Parks - in Florida Panhandle

Topsail State Park:

Topsail State Park is actually named “Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Gregory E. Moore RV Resort.” It is near Sandestin Florida and takes about an hour to get there from Interstate 10. The campground used to be an upscale private RV park but somehow the state took it over and incorporated it into the State Park system. The campground is very plush for a state park - pool, shuffleboard, cable TV, sewer hook-ups, and well-manicured open lawns with pampas grass and azaleas as the main vegetation - not much of a natural feel, particularly in the front section (sites 1 to 91), where we stayed. The sites are large and well spaced out but there isn't much natural growth and there isn't much privacy due to the open lawns. There is partial shade from large pine trees. There aren't any fire pits or grills provided, but some people brought metal above-ground fire pits and they were allowed to have fires in them. You aren't allowed to park on the grass or put any stakes down because of the underground utilities and sprinkler system. The sites are all paved as are all the roads. We were surrounded mainly by top of the line, bus-based motor homes. There were very few small trailers and I only saw two pop-ups; perhaps there would be more of those if school weren't in session or if it were the week-end. The back section, (sites 101 to 168 and second picture), is the same except it has more bushes and natural growth between the sites so you would have more privacy and natural feel in those sites. If we ever return we're going to pick a site back there. There were only two bathhouses for the RV areas, but they had heating and air conditioning, and were very clean and nice. The showers were a bit cramped and only had a tiny shelf for all your things. There was no bench and no soap dishes or hooks so it was awkward to shower and keep things off the floor. Prices were high for a Florida State park: $42/night, (as always, half-off if you're a Florida resident 65 or older).

There is a separate area for tent campers and I was very impressed with it, it's about the best laid out tent camping area I've ever seen in a developed park. Tenters don't have to camp among the half-million dollar motor homes. Tent camping spots are accessible by short paths from central parking areas and each one is isolated and would have somewhat a feeling of actually being in the woods. Each site has water and electricity and is reasonably close to all the facilities. The central tent area shower house is very nice and has roomy showers with plenty of space for your things. Prices here were $24/night.

The campgrounds are nearly a mile from the beautiful beach. You can't drive to the beach but there is a free tram that leaves every hour during the day - or you can walk or ride a bike to it on the paved road that meanders through the woods. Bikes are available for rent in the park. The beach is isolated and barely in sight of all the condos and crowds located on either side of the large state preserve. Showers and a bath house are available. Although we saw no sign of nature trails or hiking paths during our stay, I later found out that some do exist. A complete listing of the 83 cable TV channels was provided – which might indicate the type of older, more sedate patron they cater to at Topsail.
Attached Thumbnails
Topsail Front Section.JPG   Topsail Back Section.JPG  

Topsail Tram.JPG   Topsail Beach.JPG  

__________________

__________________
Ray N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: 21' Escape - former owner of 17' "other brand."
Florida
Posts: 699
Registry
Grayton Beach State Park:

Located about ten miles to the East of Topsail, Grayton Beach State Park is not nearly as upscale and the prices reflect it: $30 for a site with full hook-ups including sewage, or $24 for a site with only water and electricity, (but a dump station is near). Here you can drive to the beautiful beach, which again is somewhat isolated from condos and crowds and has a nice bathhouse with showers. The park isn't as attractive as Topsail, with scrub brush being the main vegetation. There are two sections to the campground, the full hook-up sites (37 – 59), are in the “new” section, which we found quite unattractive, consisting of open sites with little privacy and no shade. The old section (sites 1 – 36), has some shade and good isolation between sites because of all the vegetation. Some of the sites in the old section back up to a small lake. The sites are all gravel, not always perfectly level and, particularly in the older section, on the small side. Fire rings and tables are provided. We didn't check out the bathhouses but from the outside they looked good - as is typical in Florida State Parks. While both parks have hiking trails, Grayton Beach seemed proud of theirs and advertised them, while at Topsail you had to ask about them.
Attached Thumbnails
Grayton Old Section.JPG  
__________________

__________________
Ray N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
That sand is so white, the picture made my eyes hurt just kidding, it looks like a wonderful place.

Thanks for sharing your story and pics!
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: 21' Escape - former owner of 17' "other brand."
Florida
Posts: 699
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
That sand is so white, the picture made my eyes hurt !
If you think that looks bright you should see the beaches in the Pensacola and Perdido Key areas. They make even the Topsail and Grayton beachs look somewhat drab.
__________________
Ray N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
Ray, when I was a youngster, my father was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama. I spent lots of time on the powdered sugar white, white sands on the Gulf. It was tough on a kid to come to the Pacific NorthWET where the sand on the Pacific is more like ground up rocks and the water is freezing cold
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any one been to these Tenn. State Parks? RichA Camping, Campout Reports 0 05-23-2011 05:38 PM
Florida Proposes Closing 53 State Parks Ray N Camping, Campout Reports 8 02-05-2011 07:17 PM
Feds to Take Over CA State Parks Steve Dunkel General Chat 11 07-02-2009 06:45 PM
Florida Panhandle availability? Fred G. Camping, Campout Reports 7 06-17-2009 08:53 PM
Illinois State Parks pjanits General Chat 8 02-26-2009 12:35 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.