Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, December 23, 2013

RV Park Review – Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Gregory E. Moore RV Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)


Overall, this is a great state park that has the feel and amenities found in a private RV park.  Sites are paved, level, full hook-up and have tons of comforts including: cable (75+ channels), free wifi (in designated areas), a non-heated swimming pool, beach access with tram service, club house, camp store, bike/kayak/canoe rental, laundry, shuffle board, and a host of park activities and ranger-led tours.



The park has 156 sites with full-hook-up (mostly 50 amp but some 30 amp) that can fit rigs up to 45’.  There are 22 tent sites with an elevated tent pad, fire ring, water spigot, and electric hook-ups. There are also one and two-bedroom cabins for rent year-round.  
cabins
cabins have screened in porches with rocking chairs and a picnic table and grill outside 
Park roads are paved and easy to navigate in a big rig.  Camp sites and patios are paved with picnic tables.  There are no fire pits but you are allowed to have a fire if you bring your own pit.  All sites are level but some of the concrete is cracked and pretty uneven.  The fair majority of sites are back-in but there are a handful of pull-thru sites.  The water sewer and electric hook-ups are all well-placed at the site.

typical back-in site
Most sites have towering pine trees offering shade and hedges provide privacy, although some sites are fairly close together.  We were able to get satellite at our site (#75) and the Verizon cell service and hotspot worked great.    

typical pull-thru site
The restroom and laundry facilities are clean and seemed adequate to handle the crowds.

restrooms
laundry
The campground is located ¾ mile from the beach which is accessible via a walking/biking trail or a tram operated by the park.  During the winter months the tram runs every two hours, but during peak season it runs once an hour.  Once you are on the beach you have miles and miles of unspoiled white sand and blue water to enjoy.

Walkway over the dunes to the beach
The beach!
bike path
Park activities and ranger-led talks/tours occur multiple times during the week and we eagerly took advantage of these.  There is an on-site camp store offering everything from t-shirts, drinks, RV supplies, books, souvenirs, etc.  For the active type, you can rent bikes, stand up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.   There are numerous ponds and lakes scattered throughout the campground for the fishing enthusiasts.

The park is located within a mile of a Walmart (with food), gas station, Subway and other restaurants. Within 5 miles are tons of shopping opportunities, movie theater, restaurants, grocery, etc. 

What we really liked about this campground are the level, paved, full-hookup sites and the fact that it is in a state park so you have access to miles of hiking/biking and a gorgeous beach.  The beach here is the most beautiful in Florida and can be completely empty in the winter.  The park is 1,640 acres so hiking/birding opportunities abound.  Yet, within just a few minutes drive are plenty of restaurants, shops, and grocery that make life easy.  

The not so good things about this park are the cost and how crowded it can be in the peak season.  During peak season this park is very busy.  With all the amenities it attracts lots of people and some sites make you feel right on top of your neighbor.  The pool can be super crowded and you may have to walk farther down the beach to find a quiet spot.  The cost is $42/night (unless you are a Florida senior resident and then it is half price) which is high for state parks . . . but compared to other private parks in the area that is reasonable.  

Spirits two cents:  the trails are great for letting her run and sniff whatever her nose finds.  (Dogs are required to be on a 6-foot leash.)  Dogs are not allowed on the beach in the state park so that is a bit of a bummer but there are plenty of places to walk dogs in the campground and on the miles of trails.  In addition, there is an off-leash dog park just a few miles away.

More pictures . . .
shuffleboard
outdoor amphitheater

swimming pool
playground
tram stop in the campground

4 comments:

  1. Wow! I've heard that Topsail SP was a great place, but now I know why. It sure isn't your typical state park.

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  2. From what I read, this used to be a private campground at one time ... hence the different look and feel. We considered this park for a stay last year, but were turned off by the proximity of the sites to each other. But that was during peak season, perhaps we'll give it a shot during off-season as we've heard good things about it.

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