Home » 2009 Southeast Coast Trip

Anastasia State Park, FL

Sunday, August 16, 2009 - 12:45pm by Lolo
414 miles and 7 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Mom and Dad on Anastasia Beach - TJGMom and Dad on Anastasia Beach - TJG7 hours of driving was just about enough. That would give us some time to have fun today, and only leave us with another 6 hours to get to Huntington Beach tomorrow, enough time to have some fun there as well. The flat tire we had along the way didn’t exactly improve our timing.

Since it was already close to 4:00 when we arrived at the park, we headed directly to the beach rather than stop at the campground. That’s the nice part about RV camping—there is no need to check-in and unpack. You’re always checked in.

As we walked towards the beach, we noticed the two pretty flags flapping in the breeze at the end of the walkway, one yellow and one purple. Florida uses a system of warning flags to alert beach-goers to any possible hazards. The yellow flag indicated a moderate hazard due to high surf and strong currents, probably the result of the tropical storm that had chased us from Key West. That one I could deal with. It was the purple one, which meant “Dangerous marine life” that I didn’t like. Marine life is a pretty broad term; I wanted specifics.

Not sharing my sense of urgency in the matter, the Gaidus men settled into their beach chairs, while I, and my maternal need to protect the family, strutted off down the beach towards the lifeguard stand. “Excuse me, but exactly what kind of marine life are we concerned with here?” I asked the young lifeguard, fully expecting to hear the dreaded word “sharks.” I think it was even Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. “Jellyfish,” he replied. “But don’t worry, they can’t kill you. It’s kind of like just getting a bee sting.” I didn’t want a bee sting.

Herb on Anastasia Beach - LEGHerb on Anastasia Beach - LEGI reported back to the men. They told me they weren’t going in anyway. It was late in the afternoon and they were going for a run—two of them anyway. Herb would have a beer and man the beach.

I decided to ride my bike along with the boys to get some exercise while still keeping up with them. Since today was their long run day, I suggested running the 4 miles into the Old Town of St. Augustine.

Just getting from the beach to the park entrance was over a mile and a half. This was a very large park. From the park entrance we made a right onto Anastasia Boulevard and ran, or rode, another mile and a half to the Bridge of Lions into the Old Town. I must say that the section along Anastasia Blvd was a bit dicey. Finally at the Bridge, where you could look across the inlet to the historic buildings of Old Town, things got pretty interesting. It was like entering a totally new—or more appropriately old—world. The first landmark on our right as we came over the bridge was the Castillo de San Marcos, a huge military fortress built by the Spanish in 1672. We continued through a nice park and then along some cobblestone streets past several Spanish Colonial era buildings. A little Fountain of Youth juice would have hit the spot about now, but I knew from a previous trip here that that was well over a mile north of the bridge. Then it was back over the bridge, along the same cheesy Boulevard, and back to the campground. Before actually entering the campground, we made a side trip to see the Lighthouse.

Herb and Boys on relaxing on beach - LEGHerb and Boys on relaxing on beach - LEGOnce we entered the State Park, I rode ahead and told the boys that I would meet them at the campsite. We hadn’t been there yet, but we knew the site number. I had to ride over a mile back towards the beach to get to the campground road. From there the campground road doubled back so now I was going the exact opposite direction that I just come from. The campground road seemed to just go on and on and on. It was the kind of campground that had loops off the main road, and our site was on the 6th and final loop. The 6th loop was another mile from the start of the campground road. Ironically, when I looked at a campground map, I saw that we were literally just about 100 yards away from the campground office near the entrance. If only I had known and could have cut through the forest, I could have saved myself 2 ½ miles. This really was going to be a long run for the boys.

The campsite really was quite nice and very private. However, I think the park brochure is exaggerating a bit when they say the campground is a short walk to the beach. That’s certainly not the case if you’re in loop 6.


Mom and Dad enjoying surf - TJGMom and Dad enjoying surf - TJGAnastasia State Park is located on Anastasia Island, just south of historic St. Augustine. The park has 4 miles of pristine beaches and a lagoon bordered by rich tidal marshes.

Activities in the park include:

  • Ocean swimming at a beautiful white sand beach
  • Windsurfing in the lagoon
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Fishing

The park contains a large wooded campground within bicycling distance to the beach.

Anastasia State Park location map in "high definition"

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