If you’re a Florida local, you’ve probably heard of Anastasia State Park (also known as “South Beach”). Garnering over 1,100 reviews on Google, this 1,600 square foot park has a rich and diverse ecosystem. Wake up to the scent of the ocean and the sound of crashing waves at one of the 139 campsites, then hop on a bike or take a short walk through the bush to the sea.
Launch a kayak and go dolphin-spotting, or explore the plant and animal life by foot among the sand dunes. Whatever you choose, you’ll have no trouble keeping busy. St. Augustine shops and restaurants are a short drive across the peninsula.
Camping in Anastasia State Park
We’ve put together some advice from The Dyrt campers who have visited Anastasia State Park. Here’s what they recommend.
1. Enjoy a Concert
St. Augustine Amphitheater hosts outdoor concerts during the summer behind the campground. Follow a path from the park straight to the gates for venue access. But don’t get your hopes up for last minute tickets. Shows book weeks, if not months in advance. Check out their summer calendar to plan your trip and festivities in advance.
“What I love about Anastasia is it backs up to a music venue. There is a path through the woods with a coded gate just for campers to enter the venue.”–The Dyrt camper Laura F.
2. No Alcohol Allowed
According to Florida State Parks, there’s no alcohol consumption permitted in the park, but campers can drink alcohol at their campsites. It might be tempting to take your equal parts Jameson and Ginger down to the beach, but doing so could incur a hefty fine from Park Rangers.
“This place is awesome! […]However there is technically no booze allowed at the park.”–The Dyrt camper Alex K.
3. Set your alarm for sunrise
How often do you get to watch the sun rise over the ocean while camping? If you live in a landlocked state, maybe infrequently or never. Take advantage of this prime location and get to the beach to watch the sun come up. Then return to your campsite, or perfectly strung hammock, for a mid-morning siesta.
“The beach is a short walk from the sites and is a great place to watch the sunrise.”–The Dyrt camper Sarah C.
4. Beware of (furry) visitors
Raccoons call Anastasia State Park home, and if you’re not careful, you could wake up in the middle of the night to furry friends scurrying through your campsite. Secure your food in a sealable container unless you feel like sharing. And please, don’t intentionally feed the raccoons.
“Had some raccoons try to get in our coolers… but this wasn’t our 1st rodeo 😁” –The Dyrt camper Daniel B.
5. Cross the river to St. Augustine
For those looking to explore more than the park, the oldest occupied city in the United States, St. Augustine, offers historical landmarks like the Avero House and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument within a fifteen minute drive, or hour long walk. Even if you’re not a history buff, spend hours shopping at the local boutique shops or walking the boardwalk with a cone from Tedi’s Olde Thyme Ice Cream. Soak up the Spanish architecture, have a nice meal, then make your way back over the bridge to your campsite.
“If you’ve never been to St. Augustine, I highly suggest checking out this cute, historic city along the coast in Florida. Amazing ocean views and sandy beaches. Some of the best restaurants and shops found among the streets of St. Augustine.”–The Dyrt camper Leasa W.
6. Bring the whole family and Fido
While you’re cooking up Smokey Sausage Mac and Cheese, the kids can run over to the playground and ware themselves out on monkey bars and swings. Pets are allowed in most areas on a 6′ leash, however, there are many areas in the park that don’t allow pets. Bring your own gear (bikes, kayaks, SUPs) or rent what you need at Anastasia Watersports or Kayaking St. Augustine.
“The best parts of the campground include clean sites, nice trails to the ocean and also an inlet for kayaking, canoeing, etc.”–The Dyrt camper Chad P.
7. It’s one of the prettiest state parks in Florida
Located on a barrier island, Anastasia State Park offers 360-degree ocean views. The campground itself includes wooded, private campsites, and nature trails that leave directly from camp. Catch even better views from the seat of a kayak as you paddle around the maritime hammock.
“Beautiful State Park, probably the prettiest one we’ve stayed at and we’ve stayed at a lot of state parks. There are 139 campsites which are very private and beautiful.”–The Dyrt camper Laurie F.