Sunday, March 1, 2015

Grayton Beach State Park (Florida) - Winter Camping

It was too soon to head home after the 2015 Canopener, so we hitched up Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer and moved 17 miles east to Grayton Beach State Park. This would give us time for more adventures.

Grayton Beach State Park, Florida

There are many contrasting things between Topsail and Grayton Beach state parks. Topsail is listed as a resort RV park and it is very evident that the park is meticulously manicured by its staff. Grayton is a state park and it is well maintained by its staff. Every site at Topsail has a level concrete pad for your RV. There are concrete pads in one of Grayton's loops, but the loop we prefer is mostly beach sand and gravel with a few sea shells worked in for stability. In other words, you get a better feel for the natural beach setting at Grayton.

Rosie at Grayton Beach State Park

Although we had camped at Grayton several times before, this was our first time there during January. You should also know that we are rookies at winter camping.

Because it was January and the temperatures were predicted to be below freezing during our stay, several sites that we would rate as "premium" were available. The premium sites in our opinion are the more rustic ones along the water. The ranger checking us in said that it was unusual for the site we reserved to be open.

The view outside Rosie's rear window was of the lake separating the camping area from the Gulf beach. We thought our site was one of the two best in the park and a park ranger agreed.

Selfie taken behind Rosie

This trip was different from our previous spring and fall visits. We had to run Rosie's heater to stay comfortable and it rained several days, limiting our activities. Having camped many years in tents prior to the days of Rosie, we appreciated being able to move around and stay dry during rain showers.

Annie wanting something while inside Rosie

We took advantage of the clear days by riding our bikes into Seaside. There are excellent bicycle paths along the roads giving you many places to explore. One of our few disappointments was that our favorite restaurant near the park was closed for the month of January.

Seaside, Florida

Park in Seaside, Florida

Beach access at Grayton is a short bike ride away. We noticed that some campers seemed to enjoy walking along the beach road and others drove there. Grayton's beach is excellent and is what draws many people to the park. We always enjoy walking along the beach and watching the clear surf of the Florida Gulf coast.

Beach at Grayton Beach State Park

Path to the beach

Here is some specific information about Grayton Beach State Park:
  • Sites have water and electrical service. Our site had 20 and 30 amp service.
  • The newer loop has sewer connections and and concrete pads. The older loop is nearer the water and it doesn't have sewer connections and the sites are dirt and gravel.
  • There is a dump station in the park. It is not very conveniently located and you are guaranteed to have to circle around the loop twice to use it.
  • AT&T provided strong 4G service over the campground for both voice and data.
  • There is no WiFi service in the park.
  • There is no WiFi service near the park. If you need WiFi, plan on creating a hotspot with your iPhone or Android or you will have to drive about 20 minutes to find a restaurant with free WiFi.
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS TV stations using Rosie's antenna. We also saw ME-TV, CW, Bounce and Grit digital channels while at the park.
  • There is lots of shopping near Grayton Beach State Park. There is a Publix grocery story a few miles away and a factory outlet mall about 10 miles down the road.
While we enjoyed our winter visit to Grayton Beach State Park, spring and fall are times with much better weather and that gives visitors more opportunities to enjoy the park and community. Yes, we will return and we may even come back in the winter. We will definitely be back next spring.

Western Lake "trees"

A heron resting along the road


Along the dunes at Grayton Beach

One of the trails at Grayton Beach State Park

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