Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

Grayton Beach State Park, FL

Grayton Beach State Park Boardwalk

Grayton Beach State Park

A hidden gem among Florida State Parks, this is a great little family park! It’s close proximity to Seaside Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, and Watercolor make it an ideal place to get out and explore these darling towns along historic 30A Highway that meanders along the gorgeous Gulf Coast. Known for white sandy beaches and emerald green waters, the Florida Gulf Coast does not disappoint. Find more information about Grayton Beach State Park here

The Campsites

This is our 3rd stay at Grayton Beach State Park. We like site 43 because it is close to the bathhouse, it is a large site with a campfire ring and picnic table. All the sites are roomy- we just like the paved road to keep our dogs clean on their daily walks. There isn’t much shade in this park. That does not deter us because we love to come in October when it is a little cooler and less crowded.

There are no bike trails here, although you can ride all along the paved path along 30A to Watercolor, Seaside, Blue Mountain Beach and beyond! There are some hiking trails in the park but we haven’t explored those. I’m leery of trying the scrubby trails with rattlesnakes and copperheads in the area. Just not for me!

There are only 2 loops in this campground! The first loop is the “new loop” and the road is paved. The second loop is crushed shell and gravel. All of the sites were recently upgraded with new gravel and sewer. This is a great value at only $30 per night with electricity, water and sewer!

The Beach

Powdery white sands and crystal clear water greet you as you cross the boardwalk to the Grayton Beach. This beach is accessed through the State Park entrance. Visitors pay $5 per vehicle unless you are camping or staying in one of the charming cabins onsite. You can ride bikes, walk or drive to the beach access area where there is a large parking lot and bike parking available. A covered pavilion, outdoor shower, and clean bathrooms are available at the beginning of the boardwalk and only a few steps from the beach. It’s a short walkover to the beach area where you will find plenty of private beach in either direction.

The Weather

I am a fan of the beach in every season, but Fall is probably my favorite. The water is still warm and the air is cooler. There are some drawbacks to visiting in Fall though. Hurricane season is very active. We have been evicted/evacuated from our vacation the past 4 years! Cutting your vacation short is no fun!

Another drawback to Fall is the biting flies. We experience these every year for at least a couple of days. They are incredibly irritating. Sometimes we make the most of it, and sometimes we just give up and go play games back at the camper. The flies are only a problem AT the beach, not in the campground. Sometimes bug spray works, sometimes it doesn’t. I haven’t figured it out yet!

Fun game of Dominoes, even if I lost!

Although there are drawbacks, we think it’s totally worth the risk! This year has been amazing weather, even if we did fight the flies for a couple of days. We had a great visit to Grayton Beach and we will be back!

Seaside Beach

This is by far the most charming planned development I have ever visited. I love everything about it from the architecture to the string lights that are hanging in the trees at night. It’s as if I have stepped back in time! Children and parents throwing a frisbee or kicking a ball in the common area that is the center of the small beachside village.

Food Trucks to fill your belly!

Along the street, amid the perfectly planned trees that line the sidewalks, you will find some of the best food in the area! Who knew food truck cuisine could be so delightful! I am drawn back here every year to enjoy Barefoot Barbecue, and my new favorite Cubana Cucina. We’ve never been disappointed in a meal here!

Somehow I think I am late to the game in the discovery of Cucina Cubana. How have I never seen this place? We come every year! I love Cuban food. A good Cuban sandwich or bowl full of roasted chicken, rice, black beans, avocado, pineapple salsa and mojito sauce? Can you say delicioso! And their plantains were absolutely the best I have ever had! Perfectly cooked and seasoned with a sweet cinnamon sauce. Just writing this makes me want to go back again tomorrow! It was so, so good!

But wait! That’s not all!

Barefoot Barbecue serves some of the best BBQ in the south with a deliciously unique purple slaw topped with fresh pineapple AND some of the best southern baked beans! Your mouth will thank you! Follow it up with some fresh fudge at the candy store or Gelato in the square!

Don’t Forget Grayton Beach!

Is this a review of Grayton Beach? Yes! Just outside the campground you will find several fine dining establishments. Two of our favorites are Crackings and Aj’s Grayton Beach. Crackings serves breakfast and brunch. This is a must when we are in the area. I’m thankful they take reservations because the wait here is always so long. Noah always gets chocolate chip pancakes and I like to get their seasonal special, although this year they did not have a special due to Covid-19. Jamey and I ended up ordering Banana Fosters Waffles. Just look at it! YUM!

Last, but certainly not least, is Aj’s Grayton Beach. Here is a link to the other locations and menu items: Jamey ordered Shrimp and Grits, Noah had popcorn shrimp and I had the prime rib special with She Crab soup. Everyone raved about their meal and we were so hungry I forgot to take any pictures! Here’s Aj’s at Grayton Beach:

The Sunsets

What’s a beach trip without a beautiful sunset? We enjoyed one every evening this week! It’s been such a refreshing week. Truly a time to recharge and relax after an incredibly hectic year!

Join me next week as I explore another Florida State Park just fifteen minutes down the road at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park!

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