Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Anastasia State Park, St Augustine

November 7-11, 2017                                                                               Most Recent Posts:
Anastasia State Park                                                       Fort Caroline Memoria is a Lot More than a Fort
St. Augustine, Florida                                           Beyond Fort Clinch – Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

IMG_5788These are the travel days I love.   It’s 80 miles from Fort Clinch to Anastasia.  We arrive at the Ranger’s Station for check in and as I walk across the parking lot to go in side this gopher tortise is there to greet me.  Well maybe that’s not his intention since he’s headed away from me but it seems like a good omen anyway.   He takes up a spot by the curb and lets me study him for a while before heading up onto the grass and off on his merry way.



We pull in to our site in the larger campground area and set things up.  The site is spacious with nice vegetation on three sides.  The path to the bath house in the center of the loop is just across from us. 


You can barely see the campsite entrances from the campground road.  Great privacy.


The following morning when we take the kayaks off the car so that David can head over to his clinic appointment, he notices we have a hitch hiker.  Not sure when he came aboard but if it was at Fort Clinch, he’s had an exciting ride.


He looks a little worried or maybe I’m projecting.


We’re really having a run of close up wildlife sightings between yesterday and today.  While David is gone, I’m doing a bit of straightening and cleaning the inside windshield when I look out and on the fence directly across from us, this is what I see.



I think he’s a juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk.  He’s certainly majestic.


He sits on the fence for a long time, looking this way and that.  Boy would it be convenient to be able to turn my head 180 degrees around in both directions to see what’s behind me.  Real eyes in the back of your head.



When the hawk flies away, I start the one mile walk from our camp site to the beach.  As I mentioned earlier, we’re in the larger of Anastasia’s two campgrounds you can see on the map.  The older is in the lower area and called the Coquina Loop with 32 sites fairly close together.   The newer area has 105 sites on loops of various sizes and shapes.  As you are coming in the road to the loops, the first two are reserved for tents and popups or very small casita type trailers.   We are in the very next loop. The red star marks our site. With a bigger rig, that’s as close as you can get to the beach.  The Coquina loop might be slightly closer bu not much.

In either case, it’s a long way to the barrier peninsula that is the beach.

You can walk out to the beach directly onto the sand behind the building with the gift shop, grille and restrooms or you can take the boardwalk from the parking lot which is what I do.  The boardwalk is labeled and doesn’t look on the map nearly as long as it is.

It is a LONG boardwalk over the dune and protects it very well.



From midway up the boardwalk, I’ve zoomed in just a tad so you can at least see the St. Augustine Lighthouse on the horizon.


It’s a yellow flag caution day on the beach.  The waves are strong.  Next step up is a red flag meaning only idiots swim or surf on a red flag day.


The beach at Anastasia is most likely the widest of all the State Park beaches on the East Coast of Florida.


The sanderling and sandpiper are combing the beach.

Folks are in the water.  I’m rather surprised since it is only 77 degrees with a cool wind.  Maybe they are Canadians!


Those who know David understand that he likes to go out for Breakfast and diners are his favorite.  So on Thursday morning, that’s what we do.


Happy Camper with his plate full of food.


Returning to the campground, as we reach the park check in gate David swerves over into the parking lot instead of going in through the gate.   He’s seen a really unusual tow vehicle and has to check it out.


Like us, the owner has just come from Acadia.  We can hardly believe it.  He’s made some modifications to his Model T to be able to do that.


Later in the day we decide to head over to the beach.  David chooses to drive the car over.  I need to walk off that breakfast so I put my things in my backpack chair and off I go.  My back pack chair is a Tommy Bahama and I hate it.  It’s poorly made and even though it is the large chair with a supposed capacity of 250 lbs, after less than 2 years the seams are splitting and I weight about 110.  Not sure if I can mend the seams once they totally rip.  This chair was a gift and I know it was not inexpensive so I’m very disappointed in the quality of Tommy’s product. 


But I’m not disappointed with my view from the chair.



David’s is not a back pack chair, was much less expensive and is over 7 years old and is doing fine.  Just goes to show that you don’t always get what you pay for.


Our neighbor has no need of a chair.


We spend a pleasant afternoon reading and walking on the beach enjoying the waves and the birds in the air and on the shore.


Those who follow along with us kmow that Brusters is our favorite ice cream and Jamaica Me Crazy is our favorite flavor.   Anywhere we stay, we always look to see if there is a Brusters near by and St. Augustine has one.  When I call they agree to make up some JMC for us.  “well then, we’ll be right over”

As usual, our selfie is a miserable failure but you get the point.  David takes a regular picture of me at the table with my dish of TWO scoops.



On Saturday morning I’m out early but rather than walk the mile to the beach for sunrise, I walk the campground Nature Trail.   It basically connects the two campgrounds and goes up and down over some ancient dunes.  At the time of their creation, the ocean was nearly a mile closer in from where it is now so that the Coquina campground would have been under water and the larger campground would have been behind the dunes.  Global warming may recreate that situation.


Over time, the maritime forest has covered the dunes.


The only way you know you are on a dune is when you begin to climb up which the path does.  When you get to the top, steps are provided for you to descend.  Not sure if it’s for your safety or the protection of the dunes.

Among the nice things about Anastasia State Park is that there is a farmer’s market just barely outside the gate.  That means very easy access from the campground especially from the newer area that we are in.   David’s favorite whole bean Ethiopian coffee is sold here so he is anxious to go on Saturday morning.

On the walk over I smell this glorious sweetness and look around to find magnolia blossom petals on the ground.  We each take one each and find the perfect hands free way to keep that glorious smell close to our noses.    This one is for you Carrie!!


The market is bustling.


David gets some sort of raspberry pastry from this booth.  He eats it immediately.  No picture.


The Fish Chics were selling the larges claws I have ever seen.  This batch cost $42.00 I heard her tell the customer as she wrapped them up for him.



I’ve done other posts on this market from previous stays so today I’m just including some things we hadn’t seen before like this pepper roaster. 


He turned the barrel round and round and the smell of peppers roasting filled the air.  I guess this is what they mean by fire roasted.


That pretty much takes care of the first helf of our stay at Anastasia.  We’ve got a few more things planned for the second half including a visit to the St. Augustine Lighthouse. 


  1. Anastasia is such a nice park. Your photos make me miss Florida!

  2. The Magnolia Blossom photo of you two is a riot!! Made me think of "Human Ibis;o))"

  3. The hawk is a beautiful one!

    Those waves look fierce, but quite a beach to sit out at.

  4. Great pictures, we stayed in that park a long time ago.

  5. Glad to see you got a JMC fix, it's been a long wait! ;c)

  6. Nice pic of the hawk, he's eyeing you! I laughed at the selfie of you two with the magnolia blossom. Good way to smell it longer! Ahhh, Bruster's! Haven't found a chain here in California that beats out their ice cream.

  7. Quite the wildlife morning. Interesting tow vehicle. The magnolia selfie is the best.

  8. Anastasia SP is one of our favorites. You got some great wildlife shots -- love the photos of the tortoise, and of course, the beautiful hawk. Those stone crab claws -- yum! But so expensive. I hope Santa is reading your blog so that he knows you need a new beach chair.

  9. Great spot! Love that little hitchhiker:) He does look scared to death. Lucky you looked out the window to find that beautiful hawk. November is a nice time to visit the beach without all the winter traffic. Florida has some of the nicest small farmers markets. Roasting peppers seems to be the up and coming new trend at all the markets. Now that was a different vehicle to take camping. But a smart/cheaper way to do car shows. Motorcycle people we knew pulled a camper like that. It folds open to be six feet at one end so you can stand to dress.

  10. I agree the little guy looks freaked out!! I hope he made new friends :-) That is quite the boardwalk. You must have to really plan your liquid input while on a beach that far from the facilities!! Gorgeous beach, especially with no others in sight. The magnolia noses are the best :-)))) Fresh roasted peppers sound wonderful.

  11. This stop will be on our list. We have never been here and you have given me lots of information and will also check your archives of your past visit.
    You have nice noses :) I mean what a great idea to place Magnolia petals up on the nose!

  12. Well, I'm way behind, but I love the petal picture. Lol! At first I thought they were shells before reading. Great wildlife pictures in a nice big site! Love the ocean and the market. Neat place!


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