Continuing our journey heading north, we left central Florida and went back to the Atlantic coast. We both wanted to visit St. Augustine and this was a good place to get back to the beach and water.
Anastasia State Park is a beautiful 1,600-acre park located on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine. It’s strange to be so close to a major tourist attraction and still feel like you are out in the woods removed from all the hustle and bustle.
We really enjoy this type of campground, our large site was set back in the oak trees with moss hanging down, with a few palms mixed in. The downside was the oak pollen was everywhere and made a mess on the RV and Jeep.
A short walk out of the campground loop there is a boardwalk leading to the ocean beach area. A small camp store is nearby with basic items.
There is also a protected bay with kayak, SUP, and small sailboat rentals.
On one of our bike rides we left the park and rode to the local lighthouse. The St. Augustine Light Station is an active lighthouse built in 1874. The lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps to reach the top. The views from the top are great. The light keeper’s home is now part of the museum and the walking tour.
Driving into St. Augustine’s old town square is fun and frustrating – there is plenty to see with the historical sites and buildings, but the narrow streets filled with tourists makes for a slow crawl through the area. Add a draw bridge that opens for every sailboat coming through to the mix and you don’t move at all.
Being close to fresh seafood markets was nice, it gave us a chance to splurge on stone crab claws and fresh shrimp again.
Anastasia State Park is located adjacent to the St. Augustine Amphitheater. On one of the evenings during our stay there was a free concert at the amphitheater. After asking for directions from the park ranger, we took our bikes out and headed to the event. It wasn’t much, it appeared that the band’s family and friends were the main part of the audience. We hung out for a little while and then decided it would be better to take off on another bike ride. On the bike ride, Norma was riding in front and I noticed what looked like a big stick in the road had started to move. I called out to her to go left and avoid the moving stick – which turned out to be a rattlesnake, about 4 feet long. The snake just wanted to be left alone, by the time we turned the bikes around to go back for a look, it was sliding off into the ditch. Are the number of rattles an indication of the snakes age? This one had seven.
Camping in a beautiful location, with a lot of fun activities to explore steps away (or within a bike ride) – simply awesome!