Thursday, November 28, 2013

Grayton Beach State Park, Florida

Our visit to Grayton Beach State Park was unplanned. We were going to stay a full week along Florida's Gulf coast at another popular park, but discovered our original park was not the natural paradise we thought it would be. A camper there suggested we might be happier at Grayton. After a quick check, we found that we could check out of the first park and move to Grayton Beach State Park.
Grayton Beach State Park

Within moments of arriving, I knew that this park was much better suited for us. The main attraction at Grayton is nature and not the park itself, although the park is excellent. We had a site with shade and it had bushes on the sides of our spot, meaning we were not staring at our neighbors. We felt we were in the woods along the Gulf coast.
Rosie in the Grayton Beach State Park

Our moods immediately changed as we started setting up Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer. Instead of parking on a level concrete pad as we did at our last campground, we had to use our levelers because our site was gravel and dirt. While some people love concrete pads, we are OK with a natural site.
One of the trails in this park

As we were pulling in the park, we noticed that there were several other Airstream trailers there. During our stay, 11 different Airstreams visited the park. We first thought we stumbled into an Airstream rally. It turns out that we are not the only Airstreamers who enjoy Grayton Beach State Park.
One of the views from Grayton Beach State Park
Park literature claims that Grayton Beach is consistently ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the United States. While our ability to compare all of America's beaches is limited, it is difficult to imagine too many other beaches better than this one. If you like beautiful beaches, you will love Grayton Beach.
The beach area
The Gulf shore

We noticed that we were not finding sea shells along this beach. We were told that an offshore reef keeps the shells from washing ashore. That is interesting because we have camped along the Florida Gulf coast less than 50 miles away and found lots of shells.
While there are some good bicycle trails in the park, we enjoyed following the bike trails a mile or two outside the park to the Seaside Beach area. If you are wondering about what Seaside is, think up-scale tourist beach. For example, the Seaside community invited about a dozen artists there to paint during the week then had an art show and sold their work over the weekend. A spare couple thousand dollars could have landed you some amazing paintings created in the area that week. We ended up munching on the food served at the art showing and enjoying the paintings without taking one home.
Artist at work in Seaside

There are two camping loops in Grayton Beach State Park. One has sewer connections and the other one doesn't. We noticed that the side with sewer connections didn't have the amount of shade found in the other loop. When adding the sewer connections, the construction team clear-cut the camping sites in that loop. While the trees are starting to grow back, it will take a few years before they can start providing the needed shade in that loop. Sadly, sewer service is going to be added to the second loop one day at the cost of the trees there. We will miss the shade in that loop when the State of Florida decides it has enough money to complete this project.
Make sure you bring your water filtration system to this park. We have a water filter on the main water connection plus another water filter on the kitchen sink. With the dual filters, the water tasted fine, unfiltered water didn't.
Both camping loops had well-maintained bath houses. These were located in the center of each loop.
The one element of the park that didn't make sense to us was the dump station. There is only one and it is in a strange location. Anyone using the dump station blocks the road so that no one can pass. If you are caught by another camper using the dump station, you simply need to be patient and wait until they finish.
Campers know that this has been a banner year for ants in many parks. We had legendary battles in some of the parks we visited trying to keep the ants outside Rosie. We lost the battle in a couple of parks and held our own in others.
As soon as we started setting up, I walked over to our neighbors and asked them about the ant problem only to find out that they had not seen any ants at this park. It was nice to not worry about ants while camping at this park.
Some specifics about this park:
  • Electrical connections in our loop were 20 and 30 amps. We didn't have 50 amp connections.
  • AT&T provided stong 4G service over the campground.
  • There is no WiFi service in the park.
  • There is no WiFi service close to the park. If you need WiFi, plan to travel 20 minutes to find a restuarant with free WiFi.
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC TV stations from our antenna. We also saw ME-TV and CW digital signals while in the park.
  • While you feel as though you are in the woods when camping here, you are very close to shopping. We were able to ride our bikes to several shopping areas.
Painting by Becky while at Grayton Beach
Grayton Beach was not the park we planned to camp at on this trip. In fact, we hadn't heard that much about Grayton Beach. As it turned out, Grayton Beach was a great find and a park that we will return to in the future.
Here are some additional photos from Grayton Beach State Park:
A trail in the park

The famous pines
Prayer of the Woods


  1. Looks like a good move!! Hope you all enjoy your time at Grayton Beach!

  2. We have been visiting this park for years. It is always a great destination and popular with Airstreamers. I hope they don't ruin the old loop with sewer connections. Most state parks don't have them anyway. We like to split our time between Grayton and a wilder spot like St. Joseph Peninsula. Enjoy your time in Florida.