Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life-and travel-leaves marks on you.
----Anthony Bourdain

Friday, January 20, 2017

St. Andrews State Park (Florida)

St. Andrews State Park is just outside of Panama City Beach, Florida. After visiting The Keys for several years (and having "our" campground plowed down to make way for condos), we started looking for somewhere to visit between Christmas & New Year's. We have been wanting to go to St. Andrews for a while, so we thought ahead (for once) and were able to get reservations.
 We had an inner site; not the best, but definitely not the worst, either. (Site 161) It was a good size for our little trailer. Robert had no trouble getting into the campsite.
The water-side sites appeared narrow, but then they opened up to give you plenty of room.
The bathhouses (there are 4) were big, nice, and clean.
3 toilets, sinks, and showers are included.

The showers are a bit unique: the control is outside of the shower, which seems like a good idea at first, but the pressure is so hard that it blows the curtain. Not only is the pressure really hard, but the shower head is stuck in one position. Not so much stuck, but it's designed in a way that you can't move it. The drains in the women's showers in #4 bathhouse don't work well, so make sure you don't put anything on the floor.
Each bathhouse has it's own laundry and Coke machines.
They also have a dishwashing sink, which we're always happy to see at a campground since our trailer doesn't have water.
A playground is in the campground, so if you have kids, it's a great place for them to stay busy.
Just across the road from the playground, there's a firepit and a little amphitheater. We were a little bummed that they didn't have anything scheduled for New Year's Eve, but one of the state rangers said they may have something next year.
The campsites have a fire ring, electricity, and water. There are some sites with hook-ups, so if you need them, make sure you get a site with that offer.
 This is another example of in inner site. Deer roam freely throughout the campsite. There were signs of raccoons, but we never saw any animals other than deer in the campground.
We had good cell signal while we were there, and were able to use the hot spot. There didn't appear to be any wi-fi. 
Make sure you take your bike; there are several things that are too far to walk, but are within biking distance:
Take a hike around Gator Lake. We didn't see any gators, but we did see birds and a rabbit.
 And a lot of fauna.
There were a few people fishing on the jetties. And, a few brave souls were actually in the water.
The State Park has a pier. It's a little farther away than the jetties, but would be very easy to bike to.
Another point of interest is Shell Island. The state ferry doesn't run in the winter, but we did see some private ferries at the marina.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay. The campground was fairly quiet; not as friendly as others that we've been to, but the people we talked to were very nice. It's very close to shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. Pets are allowed and are to be on a leash at all times. There were plenty of bag dispensers around the campground for the pet owners to pick up after their dogs. 

Oh, and a definite perk of having the beach close by:

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