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Old 03-13-2015, 05:37 AM   #29
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To those who've been to both, which do you prefer, Grayton or Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in same area and why?
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:38 AM   #30
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Grayton

This is one of our favorite parks. We go at least once a year from SC.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:38 AM   #31
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This is one of our favorite places! Very low key and one of the best beaches in the world. I can't say enough good things about the place. If you are cyclists, definitely bring your bikes.

Check out the town of Grayton Beach next door. A real cute "old Florida" beach town with a great local foodie place called the Red Bar.

Also, check out the Airstream food trucks in Seaside about 2 miles to the east of the State Park.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:08 AM   #32
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I think it is a close call between Topsail and Grayton but I give a slight edge to Grayton. Grayton is more centrally located for biking to restaurants and other off site activities and the beach is closer to the campground. Also cheaper than Topsail. Topsail is a prettier park, all sites are full hookup ups, has swimming pool and it provides cable. Grayton had fire rings but Topsail requires you bring fire pit.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:42 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by jbroedlow View Post
To those who've been to both, which do you prefer, Grayton or Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in same area and why?
I live right in between both of these parks and have been in both many times.

Topsail is a little different than other Florida State Parks. It was originally developed as a commercial RV park. It was purchased by the Sate of Florida about 15 years ago. This is the only Florida State Park that I know of that has Cable TV hook-ups. The sites in the back section are probably the nicest. These are almost all back-ins. They are fairly easy to negotiate and have enough greenery in between them to lend an air of privacy. The front section is also nice with mote pull-throughs. These sites are not as private feeling, but are also pretty nice. The State has not done a real good job of maintaining some of the concrete parking pads on the campsites. Some are so distorted and broken by tree roots that these sites are barely usable, if at all.

The distance to the beach at Topsail is probably approaching one half mile from the campground. The Park does have a shuttle during high use times. The beach is gorgeous. Both Publix and Wal-Mart are very close by. This is the site of the Annual Airstream Canopener.

Grayton Beach State Park is about five miles east of Topsail on the same Highway 30-A. There are two campgrounds at Grayton. They are connected but quite a bit different. The old section is comprised of sites with water/electric only. These sites are heavily wooded and very private. These sites are all back-in, but are easily negotiated. These sites are closer to the beach, but none have an actual ocean view from the site. These are the sites original to the park.

The new section of campsites was developed about 7 years ago. All of these also have a sewer drop at the site. These sites are wide open to each other, but it is still a pleasant atmosphere. Some of the campsites in the new section are directly on Western Lake. Western Lake is one of the larger of the quite rare Coastal Dune Lakes that are found along this coast.

Western Lake is great for kayaks and canoes. If the lake's outfow happens to be open, you can kayak right from the lake into the ocean. If the outflow is closed, you can easily portage the berm and move from the lake to the ocean and back.

The Beach at Grayton is absolutely world class. The beach sand is absolutely white and the natural dunes are spectacular. There may be a nicer beach somewhere, but I have not seen it.

Grayton is also fairly convenient to Publix and Wal-Mart. Grayton is within two miles of Seaside and its Airstream food truck row.

As to which one is better for camping, it's a toss-up. If I were really pressured to choose, I think that I favor Grayton, but only slightly.

Brian
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:28 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I live right in between both of these parks and have been in both many times.

Topsail is a little different than other Florida State Parks. It was originally developed as a commercial RV park. It was purchased by the Sate of Florida about 15 years ago. This is the only Florida State Park that I know of that has Cable TV hook-ups. The sites in the back section are probably the nicest. These are almost all back-ins. They are fairly easy to negotiate and have enough greenery in between them to lend an air of privacy. The front section is also nice with mote pull-throughs. These sites are not as private feeling, but are also pretty nice. The State has not done a real good job of maintaining some of the concrete parking pads on the campsites. Some are so distorted and broken by tree roots that these sites are barely usable, if at all.

The distance to the beach at Topsail is probably approaching one half mile from the campground. The Park does have a shuttle during high use times. The beach is gorgeous. Both Publix and Wal-Mart are very close by. This is the site of the Annual Airstream Canopener.

Grayton Beach State Park is about five miles east of Topsail on the same Highway 30-A. There are two campgrounds at Grayton. They are connected but quite a bit different. The old section is comprised of sites with water/electric only. These sites are heavily wooded and very private. These sites are all back-in, but are easily negotiated. These sites are closer to the beach, but none have an actual ocean view from the site. These are the sites original to the park.

The new section of campsites was developed about 7 years ago. All of these also have a sewer drop at the site. These sites are wide open to each other, but it is still a pleasant atmosphere. Some of the campsites in the new section are directly on Western Lake. Western Lake is one of the larger of the quite rare Coastal Dune Lakes that are found along this coast.

Western Lake is great for kayaks and canoes. If the lake's outfow happens to be open, you can kayak right from the lake into the ocean. If the outflow is closed, you can easily portage the berm and move from the lake to the ocean and back.

The Beach at Grayton is absolutely world class. The beach sand is absolutely white and the natural dunes are spectacular. There may be a nicer beach somewhere, but I have not seen it.

Grayton is also fairly convenient to Publix and Wal-Mart. Grayton is within two miles of Seaside and its Airstream food truck row.

As to which one is better for camping, it's a toss-up. If I were really pressured to choose, I think that I favor Grayton, but only slightly.

Brian
Brian,
You must be close to us.
We live in Houston, but bought a beach home off Thompson Rd. last June.
We're actually here for the weekend celebrating my birthday.
I am in the process of rebuilding a '74 Overland and eventually hope to bring it to the beach.
We love the 30A lifestyle and all the especially the West end.
George
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:41 AM   #35
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Brian,
You must be close to us.
We live in Houston, but bought a beach home off Thompson Rd. last June.
We're actually here for the weekend celebrating my birthday.
I am in the process of rebuilding a '74 Overland and eventually hope to bring it to the beach.
We love the 30A lifestyle and all the especially the West end.
George
Hi George,

Welcome to the neighborhood. We are south of Goatfeathers' in Gulfview Heights. We are probably only about a mile from Thompson Road. That's our route back from the Post Office. We've been here almost twenty years, and we still prefer this end of 30A.

Brian
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:09 PM   #36
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To the op that asked initial question, don't forget to look at Campsitephotos.com to see if a photo of your site is listed. Most state parks are included and the photo is bigger than the thumb nail you see on reserve america.com. In this case I would do a google search like graytonbeachcampsitephoto and see what comes up. Before booking a campsite my thought process is usually (1) choose area of country (2) look at rvparkreviews.com and see what parks listed and the rating (3) choose a park then see what sites are available (4) see if campsite photo can show me a picture (5) book it. What is everyone's else's thought process?
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:21 PM   #37
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If you can't locate a photo of site #2, I can swing by there and check it out and take a picture.

Brian
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:27 PM   #38
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Someday I will be that organized. Actually I should be that organized right now. But my excuse is I'm too busy, but here I am on line.. Ha
So for this trip, and our COLO trip this summer, I dig thru CGs looking for open dyes in the areas we want to visit. With all the "stuff" going on finding something that works out time wise is our #1 priority. I actually was looking at all FL SPs for openings around the dates we wanted. Then I narrowed it down to our preferred areas. Then looked at the site. Then pulled the trigger. Then posted here to find out what the heck we had signed on for. Ha.
We win far, far more often than we lose. We don't always have the best site in camp, but we are there!!
I will look at your website for pics of our camp site.
Thanks!


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Old 03-13-2015, 02:43 PM   #39
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It's been a few years but I've stayed twice at Top Sail when it was a private campground. It was known as Emerald Coast at the time. We enjoyed ourselves while there. We've also stayed at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. Very nice there with water and electric sites only. We stayed the week before Thanksgiving and I remember the place was like a ghost town, both the campground and Destin itself. Weather was cool and there was a chill in the air if you went down to the beach. If you want to be there at a quiet time of the year, this was it.

Jack
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:43 PM   #40
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We prefer Grayton over TopSail (except for th Canopener) it's more rustic and closer to the beach, less like a resort. We like sites in the old section that backup to the lake. Private and amazing sunsets. You'll have a great time regardless of the weather. We usually hit it in cold January but nothing a campfire can't fix!!
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:32 PM   #41
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Great photos! -- Packing now; save us a spot!
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:16 AM   #42
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I found the picture of site #2 on campsite website. Looks great.

Now we have two more parks to go for in the future. (Henderson and Top Sail)
Thanks all, for great info.

Jeff
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