Anastasia is one of the only Florida State parks on the beach that allows overnight camping. It’s just a short drive from our hometown of Atlanta and the weather is perfect for Spring and early Summer camping.
We’ve never been on a “real” camping trip together as a family. We’ve done a few soft camping overnight experiences at our local nature center and my husband backpacked before we were married. Anastasia State Park will be the first time camping with the kids.
We reserved our campsite a year in advance. It’s a very popular campground and it gets sold out quickly, especially during school breaks. Reserve America makes Florida State Park campsite booking online easy and painless.
Unlike other State Parks, at Anastasia you can select your campsite online. Tent camping and RV camping are also in separate areas of the park. This was great for us since we are tent campers. I wasn’t interested in having an enormous RV parked next to my family’s tent emitting tons of CO2 and emissions.
Check in time is at 3 pm but when we arrived at 2 pm we were allowed to go to our site. We spent the first day unpacking and setting up our tent and space.
There’s enough space on the site for a full family tent and a medium sized tent. Our neighbors had three tents, including one for just hanging out, but I thought it looked cramped.
All of the sites are semi private. There’s a clear divider (see wooden fence in photo below) between sites and light bushes, however you can still see and hear the family next to you.
At Anastasia the restroom stations includes toilets and showers. I recommend bringing shower shoes and a caddy for your soap and shampoo.
Located outside of the restrooms is a coined washer and dryer (quarters only), a large sink for cleaning pots and pans, and a line dryer for hanging wet towels.
Camping with little ones we were fortunate to be right next door to the restroom. Not so fortunate at night with the loud hand dryer or the rickety dryer in the early morning. Next time we will reserve something just a little further from the bathroom. Most of the sites in our loop was a reasonable walking distance to the bathroom.
There’s plenty of wildlife at Anastasia State Park. Lots of birds, turtles, lizards, and raccoons that are not shy. On our first day the neighborhood raccoon came by our site.
There is a water connection and power outlet on each site that made life easy for us as new campers. We did our dishes on our site and even washed a few clothes by hand.
The power connection came in handy for charging our devices. We brought an extension cord so we can connect things easily. Next time we may bring one of those pocket water hoses so we can have water near the cooking area. I’m sure on hot days a little sprinkler action for the kids would be a real treat.
The temperature in April was mild, high 75 low 55. The first night I was a little cold, but the kids were fine in their sleeping bags. For bedding my husband and I used sheets and a bed spread. The temperature eventually warmed up and I was comfortable by the second day.
I could see how it could get really hot on a summer day. My husband and I both agreed to get a tent fan for next years camping trip.
Anastasia State Park is perfect for long walks and bike rides. You get to see lots of natural sand dunes, wildlife, and plants up close.
We took a small hike through the quarry trail located at the front gate. At the end of the trail, on the other side of the service road, is a huge pond filled with turtles. The kids got so excited to see all the turtles swim up to us as we stood on the pier. They tried counting them but it was too many to keep count.
Island Beach Shop Rental, Anastasia’s rental and supply store is located near the beach. They rent bicycles, beach chairs, Boogie boards, surfboards, and water tubes. Two beach chairs and umbrella is $15 for a half day. Bicycles are $18 for half days. There are only 4 kids bikes available for rent and it’s first come first serve with a special overnight rate for campers.
The shop sell lots of other things including souvenirs, snacks and grocery items, and camping supplies.
There’s also the Island Beach Grille located next to the Beach Shop. We didn’t have a chance to eat there but there are lots of good items on the menu including blackened fish tacos, which are my favorite beach food. There’s also a slushy machine and hand dipped ice cream in several flavors.
There’s plenty of parking for the beach. If you’re camping the parking fee is included.
Anastasia State Parks has a rental shop for water sports. On our second day we rented a small catamaran for our family. My husband and I have never sailed and they offered us some basic instructions. It was pretty easy to get the hang of. It wasn’t too much wind so the sails were easy to control and allowed us to maneuver easily. The 1 hour rate for the catamaran is $35.
The shop also rents single and double kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and windsurfers. The life jackets are included in the rental and they offered us a wet bag to bring on board for our personal items.
Anastasia has one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen on the eastern seaboard. It has natural sand dunes with lots of wildlife and birds. The beach is huge and it’s a long walk down to the shore at low tide. The sand is pale not as white and powdery as Destin and filled with seashells, though not as much as Tybee island.
The camp sites aren’t that close to the beach. It is, however, very accessible by car or bike. Since we stored all of our camp food and supplies in our vehicle it was very easy for us to drive our car to the beach and have lunch there. In fact, the only thing we left at our campsite during the day was our tent. Everything else was packed in the car out of fear the raccoon would pick through it.
There were only a few people on the beach which was a big surprise because it was Spring Break week. The kids enjoyed flying kites, picking up seashells, building sand castles, and riding the waves with their boogie boards. My husband and I just kicked back and enjoyed the blue sky and warm breeze. The water was a little too cold for us about 66 degrees to be exact.
There was so much for our family to enjoy at Anstasia state park. We plan to make it our annual camping trip. On the way home we spent a few hours in St Augustine which is a 5 minute drive from the park. We visited the fort, ate a great lunch, and walked around a bit before the drive back home.
Thanks for checking out my review of Anastasia State Park. I hope you consider this location for your next, or first, camping trip.