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Old 09-09-2015, 02:18 PM   #1
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Camping on the Emerald Coast

Interested in best campgrounds and best area for family of 4 with 2 teens. Looking at Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, and Panama City Beach. Camping in a 2012 Outback Sydney 5th wheel.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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The answer depends on what you and your teens like to do and how long you'll be in the area. The farther east you go, the less I know because I live at Pensacola Beach.

Pensacola Beach - camp either at the Naval Live Oaks at Fort Pickens or the newer RV park in the core area of the beach. Hanging out on the beach, fishing in the Gulf or Sound, exploring an old fort, trying out a SUP board or a kayak, riding go-karts, renting a jet ski, going for a parasail, taking a dolphin cruise, deep sea fishing, miniature golf and during the late Spring through early Fall free concert every Tuesday night in the core area. Add in a day trip to the Navy base to Naval Aviation Museum and a lighthouse. If it's air show season, you can watch the Blue Angels practice while you're on the base. Go inland a bit north and tube or canoe the Coldwater or Blackwater rivers, a zipline up that way, too. A few other things but that's the general idea. More relaxed and natural area.

Navarre - no place to camp on that end of the Island but just across the bridge is a nice newer campground on the Sound. Farther to do any of the things above except for those in the northern part of the county. There is a turtle sanctuary at Navarre Beach and a couple of nice snorkeling reefs.

Ft. Walton, Destin and Panama City Beach are all much more built up than Pensacola Beach and Navarre. Which means there's a lot more in the way of attractions the teens might like. Big Kahuna's water park and the Silver Sands outlet mall are just two I'm familiar with. I'll leave it to people who know those areas better to fill you in on them. As for where to stay, I don't know. Since I live so close, we don't normally camp over there. Plus, we hate crowds and traffic and all 3 of those locations have an abundance of both unless you go out to one of the State Parks - which are beautiful - to get away from it.

Hope this gets you started and helps a bit.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:48 AM   #3
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St. Andrews State Park at the east end of Panama City Beach is a fun place to stay. The campgrounds are on the channel side of the island and there is plenty of parking for gulf beach access.
The beach at the state park is also a bit less populated than the city beaches. They also have what my wife and I affectionately refer to as the "Kiddie Pool". It is a beach area between the jetties where the water is calm and shallow. Plenty of cow-nosed mantas meandering about.
Just really a relatively peaceful area with the tourist trap fun of PCB just minutes away.
Also, keep in mind, the state parks along the Emerald Coast fill up quick in the prime time months, so advance reservations are a must.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:59 AM   #4
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Lots of people really like Camp Gulf in Destin. Lots of kids and right on the gulf. Top Sail state Park and Henderson SP are also great options. In Alabama, Gulf Shores State Park.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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With teens I'd suggest either Pensacola Beach or Destin. Navarre has some very nice RV parks, but is a ways from the "action" in either of those locations.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:00 AM   #6
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Top Sail State Park is in the Destin area and accommodates big rigs. FHU/50 amp
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #7
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Go to Destin West on Okaloosa Island, it has nice pool on the bay with a nice beach. and located next to a great resturants and several high end oyster bars, for familys. You also get the use of the largest Ramada Resort in the US on the Gulf Of Mexico across Hwy 98. Many pools and workout rooms etc. Same folks own both places. You are 3 miles from Destin to your East.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lault View Post
Go to Destin West on Okaloosa Island, it has nice pool on the bay with a nice beach. and located next to a great resturants and several high end oyster bars, for familys. You also get the use of the largest Ramada Resort in the US on the Gulf Of Mexico across Hwy 98. Many pools and workout rooms etc. Same folks own both places. You are 3 miles from Destin to your East.

Hush - it's getting too crowded there! Just left - had to - someone else had our spot!Click image for larger version

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Old 09-11-2015, 08:42 PM   #9
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When it was built locals said it would not make it, How wrong they were!
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:39 PM   #10
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Decided on Destin West. What is the easiest route to take from Birmingham, AL?
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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I65 to Georgiana exit to 106 then Hwy 55 a great 4 lane to Andalusa Al. Let the GPS take over.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:15 PM   #12
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Thank you i will do some research on the State Parks
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:52 PM   #13
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We started creating a map of the U.S. based on all the bloggers detailed travel reviews at each campground.

In the map each of there travel reviews are documented. THis is for 40+ footers and above but it is applicable for everyone else as well

There a alot on the emerald coast.

check it out on MHRig | Helping Big Rig Full-Timers find all the cool stuff to do across America
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