Florida pan handle, Destin, hurricane damage - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2021, 02:59 AM   #1
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Name: Ed
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Wisconsin
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Florida pan handle, Destin, hurricane damage

Hi, We are contemplating a family trip to the Florida pan handle this month (September 2021) as ocean beaches are on my daughter's wish list.

Question- With the hurricane is this a viable destination? Web search doesn't give me a good answer. I've seen a web cam with people on the beach. We were hoping for state park camping.

Thank you.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:41 AM   #2
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Name: Gordon
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Good luck finding a place! Demand is crazy. You should go on the booking sites and see what is available.

You just never know in hurricane season. I just make plans and reservations and hope for the best. I have did cancel before starting the trip a few times because of tropical storms threatening but its only about $14 I lose if I cancel. Nothing if the State Park closes. Its a gamble.

BTW, at the end of July I decided to try and get a beach campsite at Edisto Beach State Park in SC for three or more days. The earliest I could manage was the very end of November. This is another place where demand is high and one needs to reserve well in advance.. maybe shortly after the reservation window opens (which I think is 9 months in advance).
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wisconsin View Post
Hi, We are contemplating a family trip to the Florida pan handle this month (September 2021) as ocean beaches are on my daughter's wish list.

Question- With the hurricane is this a viable destination? Web search doesn't give me a good answer. I've seen a web cam with people on the beach. We were hoping for state park camping.

Thank you.
Hi: Wisconsin... In 2019 we "Panhandled" in Florida but actually stayed in Lillian Al., just across the state line from Pensacola Fl. Nice Pensacola West KOA. Spent a week there then up I65 to I71 to I75 and home. In 2020 we stayed at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou St. Pk. just N. of Destin Fl. Had to watch my tailgate cause the guy with a white Ram across the path bent his when his mega 5th. slid off the hitch!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-05-2021, 12:50 PM   #4
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Name: Randy
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As a Florida Resident (with Casita), I have a lot of experience with camping most everywhere in FL, including the Panhandle. My first information for you is that it is very hard to find campsites during the summer before school starts. Perhaps now there might be some availability.

Secondly, I would stay away from Pensacola and even Alabama, as they are very touristy. There are a couple of Florida State Parks near Destin (about an hour drive east of Pensacola). They are very nice. Further East about another hour is St. George Island State Park. It is awesomely beautiful and the campground is very nice. Half way between the two is my favorite, St. Joseph Peninsula St. Park...awesome, but the campgrounds have been closed for a couple of years because of the hurricane. There are a few other state parks that are not on the Gulf, but within driving range of beaches. They might be your best shot.

It is very difficult to get a camp site near beaches until about the end of October. You can check the FL State Park Reservations system. Sometimes you can cobble together a stay if you are willing to move from site to site after a few days at any one site...a PITA, but I have done it. It is not too bad if you do not set up a lot of stuff outside and have to move it all. Check the Reservations regularly, and you can look not only for a cobbled together stay, or you may get lucky and find that a reservation opens up due to a cancellation. Be aware that the system does not make it cost more to cancel reservations up until about 2 days before the start of the reservation, so most do not cancel until the last minute. That means if you are not tied to other reservations, you should look at preferred parks the last day or two before you arrive in the area. You can do this online, even while you are in enroute to FL. Send me a message if you want more information about the Panhandle or other campgrounds in FL. There several that are very nice, and could have openings this time of year. Look at Manatee Springs State Park -- beautiful springs for swimming, excellent camp sites.

Oh, and I do not think the hurricane would have affected anything in FL so far this year.

Good luck,
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Old 09-05-2021, 01:17 PM   #5
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Name: Randy
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I just looked, and there are no sites other than a couple single days at St. Georoge. However, here is an option...Ochlocknee St. Park... It is about a 35 min drive to the Gulf of Mexico. I looked at the reservations site, and you could easily cobble together a week or more, if you are willing to move to two sites after the first one. The main problem is finding open sites during the weekend. I think there is only one now..others may open up, but who knows. If you are interested, I would jump on it by reserving that weekend (Sept. 17-18 and up to four days on either side of the weekend. Actually there are one or more sites that are open for a full week depending on when you want to arrive....https://reserve.floridastateparks.or...vailabity.aspx
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:51 AM   #6
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Name: Ed
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Looks like I have some good ideas suggested and am firing up the desktop to see what we can put together. Thank you
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:45 AM   #7
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We got in Topsail and Big Lagoon for a split stay. Giving us a chance to explore two different areas. This is our first visit so all will be new.

As a few mentioned open spots were hard to find and sometimes you have to take what is available and not wait to long to reserve.

If anyone has any tid-bits we will gladly take them.

Thank you to a helpful bunch.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:25 AM   #8
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Want ocean beaches in September? Think North and South Carolina, maybe Georgia. Panhandle can be a zoo. The fall is hurricane season so its best to remain flexible.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:08 PM   #9
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Name: JD
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We have been staying at Avalon RV south of Milton on Indian Bayou. The campground is just south of I-10 at exit 22 (Hwy 281.)
It is a nice small campground with clean restrooms and grounds and quiet.
There is fishing in the bayou, but I have not been serious about the fishing and have had no real luck. (not a very good fisherman, really).
Reasonable rates compared to the other sites neat by.
Not close to the beach, but just across the bay from Pensacola.
It is about a 45 minute drive to the beach at Navarre and a little quicker to the beach at Pensacola if you are willing to pay a $5.00 toll across the bridge to Hwy 98 along the beach.
We are staying here because we are letting our children and grandchildren use out house in Navarre while their house is being renovated.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
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Name: Penny
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Topsail Beach state park is beautiful but you might not get in, try private campground Raccoon in PCB walking distance to beach.
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisconsin View Post
We got in Topsail and Big Lagoon for a split stay. Giving us a chance to explore two different areas. This is our first visit so all will be new.

As a few mentioned open spots were hard to find and sometimes you have to take what is available and not wait to long to reserve.

If anyone has any tid-bits we will gladly take them.

Thank you to a helpful bunch.
Hi: Wisconsin... One bobo we made was going over to Gulf Shores Al. to buy groceries. They TAX everthing!!! Hub Staceys at the point is a nice getaway and not to far from Big Lagoon St. Pk.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:55 PM   #12
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Name: Melissa
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Ochlockonee is an awesome park. Small...on a beautiful river. We drive to Bald Point for beach, St Mark's Refuge, and Wakulla Day use Park all nearby. I have not returned to St Joseph's and St George since that one hurricane a few years ago. Too painful to see what was damaged since I only visit ever so often.
Ochlockonee has a forest road for walking and regular biking...
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:16 PM   #13
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Name: Ed
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I enjoy all the tips. It'll gives us good references.
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:36 PM   #14
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Name: Melissa
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Glad to hear Topsail is open. I think it was one that we've attempted but was closed because of damage. I may be mistaken. I hear it's great.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:06 AM   #15
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Try Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:08 AM   #16
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Name: Gary
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Florida Panhandle trip

Try Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:38 PM   #17
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I'll put it on my list! Thank you!
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