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St Joseph Peninsula State Park, FL

T. H. Stone Memorial

Located in the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City, St Joe Peninsula SP is one of our favorite spots. We've spent up to 5 weeks there some years. There are two campground loops: Gulf Breeze (GB) with 59 sites, and Shady Pines (SP), with 60 sites. GB is a more open area, although some sites are rather shaded, while SP, as the name implies, is located in a pine grove, where the shade would be very welcome in the summer. GB is closer to the beach. A delightful boardwalk along the edge of a marshy area connects the two loops. A brand-new bath-house for the GB loop opened in 2004; there are two nice bath-houses in the SP loop.

Tel 850-227-1327

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This shows how close the Gulf Breeze loop is to the beach. Shady Pines loop is in the distant pine grove. Miles and miles of pure white sand to walk.

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The picture above was taken in 2002. Five years later, here's another view from the same location. The dunes have really been worn down and the beach is broader. The state just finished planting some 30,000 sea oat plants in an effort to hold the sand in place.

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A sampling of the dunes.

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Our first visit to St Joe in 2001 was part business, part pleasure. I had to attend a weeklong meeting at Hurlburt Field, so Liz decided to stay at St Joe for the week. We unloaded the truck camper for her to use while I took the truck west to Hurlburt. This is site #7.

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Our favorite site, #37. Just to the left of the site is the boardwalk that leads to Shady Pines camp loop.

When we first started coming to St Joseph, they offered a VERY reasonable rate with a liberal length of stay policy. A few years later they eliminated the weekly rate and starting adhering to the 2-week limit. Some folks started to game the system, making consecutive reservations in husband's name and then wife's name, so they could wrangle some extra time. I don't think the state should allow that.

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Site #36

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Site #52

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Site #51

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Sites 53-58.

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Sites 18-21, 23-25.

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Sites 31 - 32 (r-l).

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Sites 47, 41, 48, and 49.

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Sites 42, 44 and 46 are in a small cul-de-sac.

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The big motorhome is on site 39, the fiver on 40.

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Sites 8 and 7 look back over a tidal lagoon.

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Over in the Shady Pines CG, sites are more shaded and, in general, a little more separated than sites in Gulf Breeze CG.

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Sites 69, 67, and 65 (r-l).

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Sites 114 and 115 (l-r).

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In late 2004 the park built a new bathhouse in the center of the Gulf Breeze loop. It's biggest feature is that it is climate-controlled, so showers are a little more enjoyable on those cold, windy days. There is also a washer/dryer available.

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A winding boardwalk provides a foot path between the two campgrounds. Along the way there are some benches where one can relax and watch the abundant birdlife.

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At sunset, folks gather at the dunes overlook to enjoy a sight such as this.

Amenities

119 sites with W/E(30) (59 in Gulf Breeze, 60 in Shady Pines)

Fee: $24 + tax

Dump Station

Verizon National Access Service - cell service is poor. Outside the campgrounds proper in the open you can sometimes get a signal.

Attractions/Activities

Miles of white sand beach

Fishing, kayaking, bicycling, hiking

Historic Apalachicola

Coord: 29.75748 N, 85.39645

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