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Old 07-09-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
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St Andrews State Park or Topsail State Park

We're thinking about heading out to Florida in a couple weeks, looking at somewhere around Destin and Panama City. Anybody have any suggestions about St Andrews State Park or Topsail State Park? Any good space number recommendations that are nicely shaded. Some place that is dog friendly. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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At Topsail, there is a newer section (spot numbers starting 101). Most spots in that section have some shade. Anything along the perimeter of that section have more shade. I think the rear corners of that section are best shaded.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
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Top Sail is a great park but a bit sterile for camping alone, great beach but a mile from the sites. If you have a kayak or canoe you want St Andrews another great park but one that you are more apt to find friendlier folks at. On balance there is more shade and many sites are on the water.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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We stayed at both in the last two months. Topsail has a nice little swimming pool that we enjoyed in the afternoon. Full hookups are available there as opposed to St. Andrews- take a tote tank. The beach has a dedicated paved path for bicycles and walking only, and the park runs a tram on the hour during the summer if you want a ride. I think there was a sign that said it is .7 miles to the beach one way. Ike T is right about the sites there. My only complaint is that it is NOT gated, maybe because of the new cabin construction right now. Our suburban was broken into and someone attempted to steal the airbag (or whole car) while we were there. We were in site #5 near the front. Even with that incident we would go back, since we will have the car alarm. There were a lot of upscale rigs there at the time, as well as about a half dozen airstreams including us. We met a lot of friendly people.

St. Andrews is really neat too. You can get sites on the bay side there. Some are sort of tight to back into, but we had site 127 and it was very large and easy to get into. It seemed worse in the Pine Grove section because of the narrow road. The Lagoon campground had a wide enough road for two way traffic so there is more room to manuver, especially from site 100 to about 71. You still have to drive to the beach but it is not far. We noticed the beach parking lot would completely fill up on the weekend from the day use people so go early. There is a natural "kiddie pool" lagoon that is great for kids, but we took our daughter to the regular beach since the conditions were calm. Either place- make a reservation ASAP- this time of year they stay booked!
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:49 PM   #5
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Topsail or St Andrews

I like Topsail because of the extras such as a pool.Also Topsail has full hookups.It also has a small store and ranger programs.Plus the beach is really great although you have to go a mile .There is a tram that is very nice and takes right to the beach.I know I drove the tram as a volunteer one winter.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the input...
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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Where to stay

Both are great parks,however Top Sail is $40+ and St Andrews is $20+
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:06 PM   #8
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Haven't stayed at St. Andrews yet, but we have stayed at Top Sail several times. We always stay in the 101+ sites and love the camp ground...love the sewer connection!

We are going to Grayton State Park the week of July 20-25th for the first time. We will miss the sewer hook up but I have heard some nice things about GBSP. Supposedly, Grayton Beach State Park is undergoing a rehab and will have all the ammeneties that Top Sail has except cable when they are finished next year. That should make it really nice. We are taking the satellight dish in case it rains.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Guess I just learned my first something about RVing...if your not able to make reservations months/years in advance your screwed. Wonderful! Since we happen to be spur of the moment trip taking folk. I thought I was doing good trying to make reservations 12 days ahead of time. St Andrews and Topsail only have walkup avail. on their reservation site.

So my question is do we take a chance and drive hundreds of miles and hope that they will have an opening? We ran into this at one of the parks in Arkansas and I thought they were crazy when they said we have a couple of sites left...but you better hurry. My thought was we better hurry down very twisty roads to chance that there would be a site left when we got there...heck with that, we ended up staying in a nice little private campground by the Buffalo river...ended up being the only ones there the last night...it was great! Already checked out the Camping on the Gulf private campground...are they crazy? @ $100+ a nite for a site.

So does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm about ready to go back to arkansas. lol

Just curious...how far in advance should one make reservations for a state park?

Thanks guys! This is all new to me.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:53 AM   #10
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From what I've seen, their best sites book up 11 months in advance. That's the earliest you can make reservations. We've been able to reserve a site with just a few months notice in the past.

I'd check thier site frequently and watch for any cancellations. If you see one, book it fast. Good Luck.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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You might try looking at port saint joe state park it has been rated high on the list as best beach in the area it is probally 45 miles further than st. andrews also check a web site I look at all the time it is RV Park Reviews :: Home but the 2 you are talking about are the best I believe you may check out graton beach it is really nice the one in st. joe is nice but the town is really small not much to do some nice resturants though.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #12
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Photos of campsites at state parks from Port St.Joe to Mobile.
Including St.Andrews and Topsail

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...era-37772.html
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:42 PM   #13
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I didn't realize you hadn't made reservations yet. If you think Camping on the Gulf is expensive you won't like Ft. Wilderness at Walt Disney World during the holidays...any holiday.

But seriously, the beach front sites at Camping on the Gulf are the most expensive. The others should have been cheaper. Especially as you move further from the beach. However, they may have already booked all of the cheaper sites.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:44 AM   #14
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Thanks all for your comments. I finally found somewhere to stay in Panama City Beach. We're going to try out the Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort. It looks nice, shady and only about a mile from the beach and a couple of miles from ST Andrews State Park. Will update you all on how it turns out. Of course we plan on checkin out St Andrews and Topsail sites for future trips.
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