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Old 11-05-2020, 08:27 PM   #1
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2014 27' FB International
Bon Air , Virginia
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Headed to Topsail Hill Park

We’re headed out Sunday from Virginia to Topsail Hill Park (by way of Savannah) for reservations made (pre COVID) 10 months ago. We’ll spend 2 nights in Savannah on the way down (and 1 on the way home) and 5 at Topsail.

This will be our 1st visit to Topsail, does anyone have advice or recommendations they’d like to share about the park or nearby environs? We are so excited, this long-awaited trip is just what 2020 ordered!

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Brenton
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:42 PM   #2
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A trip to Stinky's Fish Camp for lunch or dinner (try both) is a must. Great raw oysters and my favorite gulf fish tacos.

At the park, hiking or biking to the beach or the lakes makes for a great day. Enjoy your stay at Topsail it is a fantastic place to stay.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:09 PM   #3
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Topsail Hill Preserve

Be sure to make the short drive down 30A to Seaside, Fla. It is a really neat little planned community. Be sure to check out the vintage Airstream food trucks.
https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/e...e-florida.html

Also the Donut Hole is a great place to eat breakfast or grab some fresh donuts. The key lime donut is fantastic. There is one really close to the campground in Santa Rosa Beach or visit the original location in Destin.
https://whereindestin.com/donut-hole-destin/

Our Avatar is a picture of our 'Silverbee' made at Topsail Hill Preserve at Canopener 2015.
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Old 11-06-2020, 05:33 AM   #4
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If you’re into biking, there’s a paved bike path that runs the length of 30A. Nice scenery, and you can stop in all the little towns (Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, etc.) Check before you ride, because occasionally a section of road is closed for bridge replacement.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:11 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We live along 30A about three miles east of Topsail State Park. We have lived here since 1994. This area has grown tremendously in the last several years, but still has a lot of neat stuff to see and do. Seaside is about 7 miles east of the park. it is a must see with its many vintage Airstream food trucks.

There are a few good restaurants, but most here have mediocre food at a high price. The previously mentioned Stinky's Fish Camp Restaurant was recently (October 20, 2020) temporarily closed by the Walton County Health Department due to a live roach infestation in its kitchen. It has reopened and the flock of tourists are back. I never particularly cared for Stinky's. It is quite pricey with food comparable to the Hardee's drive-through up on Highway 98.

The only restaurants that I would confidently recommend are the Red Bar in Grayton Beach and the Surf Hut over in Miramar Beach near the outlet mall.

Another item to be aware of is the early sunset time. As we are in the extreme eastern end of the Central Time Zone, sunset is at about 4:45 PM. We usually go down to the beach walkover for a sunset happy hour. If you would care to join us during your visit or have any other questions, please shoot me a PM with your contact information.

Brian
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:21 AM   #6
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Smile Top Sail Hill State Park

go to YouTube and do a search for Long, Long Honeymoon channel. Sean and Christy Michael-we have followed them for years and they are fellow Airstreamers!
They have a wonderful, informative episode all about 30A , which is the Topsail area.

We had reservations for September 2020, made last January after watching this episode. Our reservations were cancelled due to Hurricane Sally hitting the area! So we hope to try again next year!
We are envious of your trip. Have fun and keep us posted.

Been to Savannah too, 2019- stayed at Skidaway Island State Park-absolutely fabulous place to stay!!!

Steve and Gail
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:25 AM   #7
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I've stayed at Topsail albeit at that time it was known as Emerald Coast and was under private ownership. There was as I remember a pond/lake near the entrance and occasionally when there were hurricane or bad storms, an alligator may find it's way into the pond. The owners told me they would occasionally have to hire someone to remove them and to be observant when I walk my dog in the dark.

Not sure if things are different today.

Jack
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:16 AM   #8
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My wife and I camped there once. several things to be aware of to me. I believe it is a formerly private park, so the spots are parked in pretty tight. You can hear others conversations from their sites when sitting at yours.
Also, the beach is not super close....too far for a walk unless you are really up for some exercise. Not too far on bikes though. they had shuttles running sporadically when we were there (March 2019) but not sure about schedule etc.

The thing that was a big surprise is that you cannot have on ground campfires....i.e. no fire rings at the sites, so you have to have some type of above ground wood or gas burning fire pit structure.....necessitated a quick run to Walmart to round one up....which is only about 3 minutes away thankfully.
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:23 AM   #9
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If you like to fish, I have caught many fish from that beach - redfish, sharks, king mackerel, pompano, ladyfish, etc. It's a nice little hike to the beach though. About .7 miles to walk, bike, or take the shuttle - no vehicles allowed. We have seen alligators and black bears there. One of our favorite places ever. My wife just said to tell everyone it's a terrible place, lol.

The Fort Walton state pier is about 30-45 minutes west if you prefer pier fishing.
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #10
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Hi Brian/moosetag,
Thanks for the intel on Top Sail area. We really enjoy that area and will try your recommendations next year. BTW, how did that area do with all the storms recently? Also, a very nice gesture to “meet and greet” your fellow Airstreamer.
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:15 PM   #11
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30A Resources

Topsail is a beautiful state park, you will enjoy being there.

Our family lives on 30A, Grayton Beach and in P'cola. Check out @30AEats (www.30aeats.com) for local food and restaurant reviews. Disagree with Stinky's Fish Camp - good spot, and of course Red Bar is open again and is fun.

Lots to do in the area...as mentioned, check out the beach towns (Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, Seagrove, Grayton Beach, etc. Modica market in Seaside is always a good stop.

Outlet malls are in Sandestin, and P'cola is only 90 minutes (or so) away. Be sure to check out Camp Gulf in Sandestin while you're there for possibly a future stay...private campground on the beach. Lots of good places to check out!

Have fun!
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marciekaput View Post
My wife and I camped there once. several things to be aware of to me. I believe it is a formerly private park, so the spots are parked in pretty tight. You can hear others conversations from their sites when sitting at yours.
Also, the beach is not super close....too far for a walk unless you are really up for some exercise. Not too far on bikes though. they had shuttles running sporadically when we were there (March 2019) but not sure about schedule etc.
TopSail Hill SP is my favorite spot. I understand it was once a private campground, but the spaces now are large and wooded, so you might not see your neighbor.
Each spot has 50 amp, water, sewer and cable. There's so many cable channels it's daunting to find things.
The beach is a hike, but the folks who run the shuttle are great. I'm not sure there's a real schedule, maybe once an hour. I've stayed in three different areas, and each has good features, so I wouldn't worry too much about location.
There's a Walmart and Publix grocery nearby.
Destin is just to the west and has everything.
BTW, on Reserve America it's not called TopSail Hill campground. The campground has a different name, (Gregory E. Moore RV Resort) but it's in TopSail Hill SP.
Be aware the check in time is 3 pm, and the gate is locked at 5 pm. The gate has a code, but you need to be in to get the code. Come early and wait in the large parking lot just past the checkin station. Check out time is 11am, so your spot may be open. Be patient, the rangers have their system and they're not changing it. Everyone is super friendly.
Here's one of my spots (109)
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Old 11-06-2020, 01:08 PM   #13
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Just returned to Tennessee from Topsail, and loved it. I was told we were very lucky to get a site for 3 days last week on a week's notice. I ride bikes quite a bit at home, usually on the road, but when we go to Florida I usually expect to ride sidewalks and bike paths, and there are an abundance there. We have stayed at several different places in the Florida Panhandle, and I have never heard of Topsail. It's probably my favorite now because it has a remote feel inside the park, but it's close enough to anything you could want. We weren't there long enough to recommend many restaurants, the only one we ate at was Steamboat Grille and I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 11-06-2020, 01:37 PM   #14
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We love Topsail, but keep an eye on tropical storm Eta. I'm thinking you'll be OK, but things may get windy and rainy.
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lets go View Post
Hi Brian/moosetag,
Thanks for the intel on Top Sail area. We really enjoy that area and will try your recommendations next year. BTW, how did that area do with all the storms recently? Also, a very nice gesture to “meet and greet” your fellow Airstreamer.
Sally was the recent storm that had the greatest impact here. We had some wind, but nothing damaging. We did get 20" of rain, which had some roads closed for a short while. The other storm was not felt at all.

Brian
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:09 PM   #16
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Beach shuttle has not been running this year due to Covid. It’s a pretty decent (long) walk to the beach. Bikes are the way to go. If you have a cart to pull behind a bike for chairs, umbrellas, etc, even better.
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