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Old 03-22-2019, 09:15 AM   #1
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September Southeast Suggestions?

We're planning a trip from Texas to western NC and the Florida panhandle. Just us and the two dogs.

It'll be two weeks plus or minus. I figure we'll spend about 4 or 5 nights in each location. I've been looking at the Grandfather Mountain area of NC. The park doesn't have trailer campsites so I suppose we'll have to find an RV park. Any suggestions?

Also, our preference would be a beach campsite in the Florida panhandle. Any suggestions? There was some serious damage there last year. Hopefully by the fall it'll be repaired.

Looking to depart the Dallas area on September the 2nd.

Thanks,
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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Go to Pensacola Beach and stay at the Pensacola Beach RV Resort. Small but nice place in a great location. Drive across the bridge to Pensacola, lots to do and good places to eat. Also some good places to eat at Pensacola Beach.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:41 PM   #3
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Florida Panhandle............note still hot in Sept.........since you said "beach camp site" then you need to look for reservations at the Campgulf.. https://campgulf.com/ Note if you have a dog you can't have a beach camp site.

Topsail Hill State Park, or Grayton beach state park might have a less tourist feel to the sites. note you need reservations NOW for these state parks. They are likely already full. Grayton Beach is two miles from the airstream food truck park.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattRox View Post
We're planning a trip from Texas to western NC and the Florida panhandle. Just us and the two dogs.

It'll be two weeks plus or minus. I figure we'll spend about 4 or 5 nights in each location. I've been looking at the Grandfather Mountain area of NC. The park doesn't have trailer campsites so I suppose we'll have to find an RV park. Any suggestions?

Also, our preference would be a beach campsite in the Florida panhandle. Any suggestions? There was some serious damage there last year. Hopefully by the fall it'll be repaired.

Looking to depart the Dallas area on September the 2nd.

Thanks,
What kind of campground are you looking for near Grandfather? Need full hookups or just facilities?

You will be near Julian Price Lake Campground and Linville Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but they have no hookups, only water and dump station at the entrance. Of the two, I like Julian Price better, because of its proximity to restaurants, fuel, etc. Julian Price Park has a large lake. No swimming, but there is canoe rental and fishing with a permit.

Grandfather Campground in Banner Elk is the closest private campground to Grandfather Mt, with full hookups, but I have never stayed there. It is visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway as you drive by, but you cannot get onto the parkway directly from the campground.

While you are in the area check out Mt Mitchell State Park, entrance from the Blue Ridge Parkway. IMO, it is a better adventure than Grandfather. Grandfather $$ at the entrance and it is more of a tourist trap, Mt Mitchell State Park is free and the view is AWSOME (take a jacket, I've seen snow flakes/frost in July. There is a descent restaurant mid way up MM, with a view. Both Grandfather and Mt Mitchell are accessible by driving up, then a short hike to the summit. (the mile high bridge at Grandfather is not really high above the ground, the mile high is its elevation above sea level)
Linville Caverns is a good half day trip.
A hike into the Linville River Gorge can be a short and easy hike from the visitor center to the falls, or it can be as strenuous as you are up for if you go further in.
There is an interesting mineral museum at Little Switzerland.
Don't waste your $ going to "the Blowing Rock", another tourist trap. There are the same views everywhere around.
Boone is a nice place to visit for a half day walk around downtown. Don't miss the Mast General store. You might catch a football game at Appalachian State U while you are in the Boone area.
Horn in the West is at Boone if you are interested in a live show. There is a farmer's market in the parking lot of the Horn in the West.
If you get hungry for a good pizza and a craft beer, look up the Mellow Mushroom at Blowing Rock. Take a walk around downtown while you are there.
I spend a lot of time in that area during summer. If I can answer any specifics, I'll answer if I can.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:19 PM   #5
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Oh my Pensacola..my choice and reserve soon is Fort Pickens..Campground A is across from the beach. We go every year and are full-timers. On the road to Fort Pickens is a restaurant Peg Leg Petes...and if you want to cook great seafood do not miss Joe Patti's..biggest seafood market in the US.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:53 PM   #6
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Western NC

Another nice area in the NC mountains is Hendersonville, NC just south of Asheville.
If you want full hook-up the Lakewood RV Resort is nice.
http://www.lakewoodrvresort.com/

If you like a scenic campground with less amenities Davidson River Campground is nice. It is located in Pisgah National Forest
https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/231993

Both are close to some beautiful scenery and waterfalls, Dupont State Forest (much of the film, The Last of the Mohicans was filmed here), the Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock State Playhouse, the NC Arboretum to name a few.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:28 AM   #7
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We are reasonably familiar with the area. We have yet to go to Grandfather Mountain ($$). We went to Blowing Rock ($) and it was ok. The town of Blowing Rock is very nice with lots of shops. I enjoyed the Town Hall with all the wild flowers in front pictured with my crew.

Lots of short nice hikes off the BRP. Linville Falls is wonderful and not to be missed. We donít care for the campground at Linville Falls. One of our favorite campgrounds is Carolina Hemlocks, but no hookups. We also like Mama Gerties in the Asheville area.

Donít miss eating at the Mount Pisgah Lodge with the wall of windows.

September would be a great time to camp at Cadeís Cove in the Smoky Mountain NP.

Dan
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:29 AM   #8
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Wow. A bunch of great suggestions. Many thanks.

After our experience at Monahans Sandhills SP we have decided that too much sand is not a good thing so we’ll probably not camp ON a beach, instead look for full hookups near a good one.

Thanks,
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:55 PM   #9
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Ended up going with:
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
for the second half of our trip. Still haven't pulled the trigger on NC, yet.

Thanks,
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:17 AM   #10
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Hi Matt and Roxanne,

Good advice so far . . . some thoughts about the distances and timing . . . FWIW.

Lewisville to Grandfather Mountain to the Florida Panhandle, and then back home, involves about 2800 miles in 14 days, to use some rounded-off numbers.

Towing an average of 200 miles per day is going to be tough IMO.

If you only travel on alternate days, the daily tow would be more like 400 miles per day.

You might want to consider doing either North Carolina or the Florida Panhandle, if two weeks is really a limiting time frame -- in my opinion.

In any event, have a great trip!

Peter

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Old 03-30-2019, 09:48 AM   #11
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I agree with peter above. Unless you donít plan on seeing much of anything on your driving days too. You have some pretty cool stops you can do along the way too. Pensacola is our home base and itís the home of the blue angels, naturally they have one of the greatest aerospace museums and you can watch blue angles practice when they are in town. Two days is comfortable drive one way from Houston TX (I have family in Houston, not sure where you are at)

In between Houston and Pensacola you have Tabasco plant, New Orleans, golf shores, orange beach AL, florabama, some cool parks near the battle ship Alabama and finally Pensacola.

I guess you can fill up your two week trip how you want. Do you want to spend it all driving or do you want to check out what some of the cities and areas have to offer with attractions and nature.

Itís a lot to take in. My wife and I full time and try to stick to 200 miles a day and stay in places for 3-4 days or maybe longer depending on what we want to see and do.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:59 AM   #12
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PS: you can do the drive in one day from Houston to Pensacola. When towing, we plan out 1.5x what GPS tells us for time (just in case).
528 miles between Houston and Pensacola is 7:35 hours per GPS. I think we ended up doing it in 9ish hours with stops for gas ,restrooms, and food included. it wasnít enjoyable but it was necessary as we were traveling in between hurricanes last season. One came in and hit New Orleans area we only had days before the next one was slated to come in. We had only enough time to drive in and resupply before we drove north in Alabama to avoid the potential direct hit that ended up taking out Mexico Beach FL.

Youíll love Pensacola. The RV sites that people are mentioning are great and very close to beach or on the sound side of the barrier island that Pensacola beach is on.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
<<snip>> We went to Blowing Rock ($) and it was ok. The town of Blowing Rock is very nice with lots of shops. I enjoyed the Town Hall with all the wild flowers in front pictured with my crew.
<<snip>>

Dan
Attachment 336328
I've spent a lot of time people watching while setting on those park benches in the background of your photo, while DW is across the street shopping. I was sad to see that those big maple trees that used to shade the benches are gone . I guess they got broken (ice storm? or wind?), so had to be removed.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:21 AM   #14
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In Florida September is one of our probable hurricane months. Keep a weather eye on the five day forecasts and be flexible. Best to be somewhere else when the 'cane arrives.
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