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.