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Old 01-16-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
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Northern Florida / Southern Georgia? What do you recommend?

We're planning a migration down to Hollywood, Florida via the Georgia coastline and wondering if anyone has any recommendations for cool towns and/or state parks or really whatever in Northern Florida or Southern Georgia.

We've already done St. Augustine in the past which I think was very cool. We're into quaint little cities like that. Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA are pretty ideal for us as far as cities go, too, but we've got 3 kids 1yr, 2yr & 11yrs and are into great state parks too. Manatee Springs State Park in Florida would be an idea of "ideal" for us.

But basically we just want to find somewhere new to check out and are looking for suggestions.

So what do you think?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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Try this if you think it would work. Springs and river are really nice.
Blue Springs Park, High Springs, Florida - 386.454.1369
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Fort Clinch State park, Fernadina Beach, Fla., just inside the Fla. line. Great park. Old fort, river, ocean, neat town. They have an ocen front loop if you're luky enough to get a site. Florida is crowded this time of year.

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:27 PM   #4
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It would be hard to compete with the quaintness of Charleston and Savannah, but we enjoy Fernandina Beach (north of Jacksonville), a small town nestled between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It is also located between Fort Clinch State Park (where you can camp either on the ocean side or the river side) and Little Talbot Island State Park, which has beach access. The drive from Fernandina south through Amelia Island is a pretty one. South of St. Augustine, there is camping directly on the ocean at Gamble Rogers State Park, but you should check their website for site sizes as many are quite small. They also book up very quickly, as do most Florida State Parks. We also like Tomoka State Park if you can get out on the water; I believe they rent canoes. The waterways wind through the marsh and would remind you of the area around Savannah. Your kids would see lots of large alligators! Farther inland, between Ocala and Orlando is the small town of Mt. Dora. It's kind of cute, with lots of antique shops and restaurants and older historic homes. Another interesting place to stop is the area around Merritt Island where Cape Canaveral is located. The Canaveral National Seashore is there as well. We've never camped there, but I did an internet search a few years ago and found some regional/county parks in the area if you want to visit the Kennedy Space Center. If you don't mind roughing it, check out the Ocala National Forest where there are campgrounds (no electric) near some of the many springs in Florida. We've been to both Juniper Springs and Alexander Springs. As I recall, there is swimming available in both springs (the water is pretty cold at 72 degrees!). Enjoy your trip, and if I think of more places, I'll post again.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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FDR State Park (Pine Mountain, GA) is one of our favorites; trails to hike with the kids, Callaway Garden nearby, Pine Mountain is a cute little town.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Fort Clinch State park, Fernadina Beach, Fla., just inside the Fla. line. Great park. Old fort, river, ocean, neat town. They have an ocen front loop if you're luky enough to get a site. Florida is crowded this time of year.

John
Are any of those spots in the beach loop really oceanfront or are they like most of the sites at Gamble Rogers, where they're protected by dunes and sage brush and you don't have a view of the ocean? Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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Check out the Golden Isles of Georgia .... Specifically St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

Both are about 45 minutes north of Jacksonville, Florida. St. Simons Island is a small island with a beautiful natural beach (East Beach), gorgeous live oak trees, and a cute village area with pier and a kids play area with brand new pool. The kids may like going to Ft. Frederica National Monument, too! There is no place to camp on St. Simons, but the next island over (30 minutes away) is Jekyll Island which has a campground: Campground « Jekyll Island Jekyll also has the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which the kids would like and a water park called Summer Waves that is opened seasonally.

Hope you enjoy your time in our neck of the woods.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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Ocean Lakes CG, Myrtle Beach, SC

It's not Georgia or Florida, but the sites are literally steps away from the beach. There are dunes but they are low, you can see over them even from the windows of a low lying Airstream.

The sites in the beach loop at Fort Clinch are a pretty good walk across a board walk, and there are some large thickets between the sites and the view in some places. My avitar picture was taken there.

For pure OCEAN FRONT camping, Ocean Lakes is hard to beat. It is a mega park but extremely well managed and works perfectly.

John
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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We just did this trip! We stayed at Ft Mcallister state park just south of savannah. We drove in to savannah and walked it one afternoon. We left there and went to little talbot island one night and then hit Gamble Rogers. FYI we were in site 21



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The ranger told us we had the best spot, I thought she was required to tell everyone that but she explained there wasn't anything in the way in our spot. She was right.

We left there and hit manatee springs for a night and then went to topsail hill for Canopener.

The only spot we had reserved before two days ahead was our Canopener spot. Everything else was luck of the draw and "let's try this place out"
If I had to pick my favorite, Little talbot island state park was my favorite. We felt like our spot was carved out of the jungle.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pdozanne View Post
Check out the Golden Isles of Georgia .... Specifically St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

Both are about 45 minutes north of Jacksonville, Florida. St. Simons Island is a small island with a beautiful natural beach (East Beach), gorgeous live oak trees, and a cute village area with pier and a kids play area with brand new pool. The kids may like going to Ft. Frederica National Monument, too! There is no place to camp on St. Simons, but the next island over (30 minutes away) is Jekyll Island which has a campground: Campground « Jekyll Island Jekyll also has the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which the kids would like and a water park called Summer Waves that is opened seasonally.

Hope you enjoy your time in our neck of the woods.
A&D
2nd the golden isles!
There is another good campground near the interstate at blythe island if the jekyll campground is full.
Both st simons and jekyll have lots of bike paths. Jekyll has miles of beaches!
If you dont mind roughing it, huguenot city park in jacksonville is on the ocean....no hookups but nice
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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We left there and went to little talbot island one night and then hit Gamble Rogers. FYI we were in site 21

The ranger told us we had the best spot, I thought she was required to tell everyone that but she explained there wasn't anything in the way in our spot. She was right.
Hahahaha, go to reserveamerica.com and try to reserve that spot. I dare you. It's not available for a year. You most certainly lucked out and found a cancellation. I've been trying to get that particular spot forever. Good on ya!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:00 PM   #13
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I second Fort McCallister State Park in Savannah, great marsh views, good trails, nice camp! Another well kept secret is Crooked River State Park at Kingsland/St Marys Ga (Exit 3 off I-95). Very woodsy, large camp sites, good nature trails. If you're lucky you can catch a Trident Submarine tour at Kings Bay Naval Base.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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Hahahaha, go to reserveamerica.com and try to reserve that spot. I dare you. It's not available for a year. You most certainly lucked out and found a cancellation. I've been trying to get that particular spot forever. Good on ya!
Absolutely. We know we filled a hole between reservations or grabbed a cancellation. Either way we took it willingly and gladly.
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