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Old 12-18-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Anastasia vs Topsail Hill state parks FL

We're daydreaming about a week in Northern FL in January.

A friend recommended Topsail Hill Preserve state park FL.
A quick look via reserve america shows this RV campground
nearly empty for a week in late January.
WHY????
It's got full hookups and is $42 night.

Just out of curiosity I checked Anastasia SP in St. Augustine
for the same week and they are totally full.

Weather channel shows average temps only about 5 deg
warmer for St. Augustine. (mid 60s vs low 60s)

Why is one park virtually empty and the other absolutely
full???
What am I missing here?
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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WELL..... We live relatively nearby the area, and we've been to Anastasia two or three times. It is a very nice park, near the St. Augustine attractions, on the beach, large shady sites, very nice recently remodeled bathrooms. Never been to Topsail, so I really can't say anything about it, pro or con. However, one thing I can say about Florida's state parks, and I've been to many that have camping, is that almost ALL have dump stations, NOT sewer hookups, EXCEPT for Suwannee River state park, off of I-10 past Lake City,near I-75(20 miles west from here.) We love to camp at state parks, and NORTH Florida has very few parks on the beach with camping, which probably explains why Anastasia is full. Good luck, and any more Fla. questions, just ask! Randy
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
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Here's a copy/paste from Topsail Hill preserve SP.

"Camping, Full Facility
The Gregory E Moore RV Resort has 156 sites with water, 30 or 50 amp electric, cable, sewer, (non-heated) swimming pool, laundry facilities and shuffleboard courts. Bathrooms with showers are heated and cooled. Big rigs welcome."

It must be something else.
Maybe nothing.
Maybe just too far north.
I know the weather in FL has been crummy lately.
We'll see if anyone chimes in who has been to this park.
My feeling is they are so empty I'm not going to worry about
reserving anything.
We'll wait until the midweek before our hoped for visit and check
out the long range forecast.
If it's decent, we'll bug out.
If it's more of the below freezing nights with cloudy days
you've been having we'll pass.
(We haven't seen the sun in a week ourselves).
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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Parks FL

KYDAN, we have a 10 day reservation at Topsail in early Jan. We have rented condo's in Destin for the last 3 yrs and last year was awful. We are going to give it a shot and if it is like last year, we are going South.

I will post a thread in Jan and let y'all know how it is...

Bill
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bend302 View Post
I will post a thread in Jan and let y'all know how it is...
Great Bill,
We'd love any guidance you can give like--
The west loop is more private or the north end is next to
the road etc.... anything like that would be appreciated.
We "HOPE" to go but weather seems rough nearly world
wide this winter.
Look at all the snow in England!!

I want to get away for a week but really need a one
day drive and northern FL or gulf shore area is about
as far as we can go in one day.
(600+ miles)

Some years this is a great plan and some years it's not
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:51 AM   #6
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Topsail hill state park!

Topsail hill state park is located in the "PANHANDLE" or western part of Florida in SANTA ROSA. Florida. During the winter months the "panhandle" of Florida is cold and virtually a non tourist area. Where Anastasia park is near St Augustine, Daytona, days driving to Disney, Space Coast area. If you are planning your trip to Florida in the winter, The Panhandle is not for you. I know, because I live in Jacksonville, FL.

Right now 8:00 AM 12/19/2010 there is a difference of 10 degrees between the two places, St Augustine being the warmer. That means a lot for outdoor activity!! There is nothing to do in the TOPSAIL HILL area, culturally or for entertainment. Summertime, now that is a different story especially if you are a beach person. It has the most beautiful beaches you can find anywhere. The whitest sand and the most emerald green
waters of anywhere.

Look up Hanna Park in Jacksonville, FL. It is on the ocean in the north east corner of the state.
I had to reread your question about you needing a days drive from KY.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Topsail is our weeks vacation destination each year. Topsail has full hookups. Every site has sewer hook ups. I can't say enough about the park and staff! We spent Thanksgiving week there (Tues to Tues). The Monday after Thanksgiving, it was dead. There really isn't much to do in the area in the wintertime. It is to cold to go in the water (I say that now but growing up in New England I would have spent the whole day in that water temp, but not now). Walks on the beach were great though. When we go to Topsail in the summer, it is always to hot to go hiking on the trails. We did a great deal of hiking while there at TG (even found access to the very West End of the beach, beautiful!!). I can not speak for Anastasia as we have never been there, but if it's a FL State Park, I'm sure it's nice!

Enjoy whichever place you decide.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the insight.
I was really puzzled why one park in northern Florida would
be jammed full while another was virtually empty.
I guess the gulf stream warms the east coast better than the
gulf coast.

We spent a good week in Gulf Shores AL in January 2009.
It was 32 deg on two mornings but days warmed nicely and we hiked
and walked many times in shirt sleeves or just wind breakers.
I guess we were lucky. Gulf shores is a walkers paradise!!
There were paved bike/walking trails everywhere.
Restaurants and souvenir shops were open. Many "welcome snow
bird" signs.

Are you saying Topsail area is not like that?

I know it all depends on the weather.
It can be real decent or it can be nearly as wintry as
we have at home in Kentucky.

Like I said, we got lucky and had a good week in Gulf Shores
(almost) 2 years ago. That experience made us want to go back
to the gulf again.

South Florida and or South Texas and other winter destinations
in that direction will have to wait
until my lovely wife retires and we can take more
than a week during the school year.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:10 PM   #9
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Anastasia Vs Topsail

Topsail is on route 30A just past the turn-off from US98.

30A is very walking and biking friendly (bike rental is available) all the way through Watercolor to Seaside. If you ask, you can find hiking trails that are easy and picturesque. The entire area welcomes Snowbirds since the winter is off season and this season was awful due to the oil scare. They will be thrilled to see the Snowbirds arrive this year. There are great restaurants in Destin and Sandestin. If you are into breakfast, try "Another Broken Egg" in Sandestin (North Side). There are also some restaurants along 30A but we haven't eaten along there much because we usually stay in Destin.

When the weather is cold, there is little to do. But, it usually warms up each day. Although last year was really cold. If you golf, there are usually discounted greens fees available at some of the nicest courses and, if you stay long enough, join one of the Snowbirds Clubs and you can get lots of golf discounts.

Bill
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:00 PM   #10
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X2 on Hanna Park in Jacksonville. Next to Mayport Navy base, Hanna has like 300 full hookup sites, and lots of bike trails, and hiking trails, too. Around 45.00 a night, and they have some 50 amp sites, if needed. Another very nice State Park is O-Leno S.P. in high springs area. Lots to do, as state parks go, close to Ichetuknee springs S.P. where you can ride innertubes down a 5 mile spring run-(summer activity, for sure!) No sewer hookups, though. We camp from Jax south, and haven't meandered up to the Panhandle area camping, as of yet. Gulf stream incidentally is about 70 miles offshore from St.Auggie, and even farther from Jax! The farther south that you go on the Atlantic coastline side, the closer it gets, and that is why the water is so beautifully clear in the keys, which it's only 5 miles offshore there. Randy
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