Thursday, March 17, 2016

Anastasia State Park - St. Augustine, Florida

We left the Canopener Rally in Topsail Hill State Park and headed east on I-10. Our next planned stop was Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine, Florida.

Near the water in St. Augustine

This is a park that keeps coming up in our conversations with other campers. Several people said it was one of their favorite places to camp. We decided to investigate for ourselves and reserved a site for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Rosie at Anastasia State Park

Our first impression of the park wasn't positive. Two very rude drivers practically ran us down as we entered the park. Maybe they were hosting a road-rage rally that day.

Once we were checked in, we started looking for our campsite. We were thankful that Rosie wasn't any larger because some of the turns are very tight in this park. We camped in the Coquina loop, which probably has the larger individual sites in the park.

All of the Anastasia sites are dirt based and the dirt in our site was softer than I would have liked. That meant the blocks we used to level Rosie would slowly sink into the sand during our stay. That just meant that Rosie would slowly start to lean to one side.

We think the big draw to this park lies outside the front gate. Sure, the beach is a nice Atlantic shoreline, but St. Augustine is just outside the park's front gate.

Lighthouse outside the park

Old St Augustine

Flagler College

Flagler College in St Augustine

Another view of Flagler College

St Augustine

A church in St Augustine

St. Augustine is a positive childhood memory for us. It was a school field-trip destination for us as children. Although we attended different schools in Florida, we both made the trip to St. Augustine with our classmates to see the fort, old school, old jail and the Fountain of Youth. In talking with other campers in the park, the main topic is always St. Augustine. The nation's oldest city still has the same draw that beckoned Florida elementary school teachers back in the '60s to schedule field-trips there.

The old school

The fort

In case you are wondering, St. Augustine has much to see and do. We enjoyed exploring the town without worrying about having to stay in our group with our teacher.

But what about the park? It is smaller than I imagined. It is very close to a busy highway, meaning you can hear road noises. The sites in the Coquina loop were very shady and larger than most state park campsites. And while the park was nice, we still prefer our favorite parks along the Florida and Alabama Gulf coasts.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • It was a challenge to level Rosie in our campsite. We had to use lots of leveling blocks to help erase the left-to-right slope in our site.
  • Staying level was impossible. Our site had lots of soft sand and the leveling blocks simply sunk into the ground.
  • Our site had 50, 30 and 20 amp service. Several times while parked here, our electrical service stopped for a moment and that was long enough for our surge protector to cycle through a two minute restart cycle.
  • Be careful with your electronic gear. We noticed that the park's power would occasionally dip below 100 volts and this can damage your electronics and your air conditioner unit.
  • Our site had a water connection. Unlike some parks we stayed in, the water tasted good here.
  • Our site did not have a sewer connection.
  • There was a dump station in the park.
  • Some of the camping loops shared a bathhouse. Our loop had a bathhouse in the middle of it and it was a hike to get there.
  • The bathhouse was not heated. With "freeze warnings" all around us, that meant the bathhouse was very cold.
  • AT&T placed "two-bars" of service for voice and data over the park.
  • The park provided Wi-Fi service near the camp store.
  • Speaking of the the camp store, it had a limited stock of camping and beach supplies.
  • We were able to watch CBS, CW, Fox and PBS using Rosie's TV antenna. We also received Bounce, Decades, Get-TV, H&I, ME-TV, Retro and THiS digital channels.
We are glad we finally made it to Anastasia State Park. While we enjoyed being there, I don't think this will be added to our "Frequently Revisit" list.

The beach at Anastasia State Park

A manatee warning sign

This would look great inside Rosie!

French onion soup

Trees inside Anastasia State Park

Having a Cuban sandwich from the Columbia Restaurant

No comments:

Post a Comment