Back in July, we took our camper on a maiden voyage while our friends Dustin and Bekah were visiting from Georgia. (We already talked about taking them to the food truck rally and Jacksonville Zoo.) We originally planned to spend one night at Blue Spring State Park but we quickly learned that the Xterra does not pull the camper very well so we hopped off the highway and decided to take the backroads to a campground a little closer to home.
We were lucky to find a last minute site at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine. We had a great time hanging out on the beach and exploring the park.
Anastasia State Park encompasses 1,600 acres and offers many activities including hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. The St. Augustine Amphitheater is adjacent to the park and if you’re lucky (or perhaps unlucky), you can enjoy the sounds of a ticketed show. (We enjoyed bits and pieces of Flight of the Conchords during our visit.)
Once we got camp set up, we ate lunch and then headed over to the beach. The boardwalk leading to the beach was long and we quickly realized we’d brought way too much stuff. But we popped up some chairs, cracked open a few beverages, and enjoyed the beautiful day at the surf.
After a couple of hours, the Florida afternoon thunderstorm started to roll through so we packed up and headed back to camp. (Kudos to Dustin for lugging the heavy cooler up the beach. We definitely got our cardio in that day.)
Back at camp, we rinsed the sand off and hung out deciding what we wanted to do next. The guys were in favor of more exploring while Beckah and I both had books we were dying to read. (Introverts unite!)
Lima and Bean were obviously very content with our decision to stay behind at the camper while Adam and Dustin explored. They are the best little camping and traveling companions.
That night we cooked dinner in foil packets over the campfire which turned out surprisingly good. Dessert was s’mores, naturally. Bean tried to sneak sips of Dustin’s beer. We had drinks, told stories, and laughed until our sides were splitting. And thanks to Dustin’s headlamp, we got to witness something really cool.
On any given Summer evening in Florida, the air is filled with the songs of cicada bugs. But on this night, we got to witness a cicada emerging from its nymph skin. Basically the bug became an adult. We all geeked (and creeped) out at this bug emerging from it’s skin exposing vibrant green wings. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots hoping to capture this exciting moment.
We eventually called it a night and headed into the camper for some sleep. I have to say, that wasn’t my best night’s sleep ever but it was nice to be in the AC on that particularly muggy and hot evening.
The next morning we decided to do a bit more exploring before packing up camp. Dustin and Adam took us to a trail they’d discovered the previous day. The trail leads to a Coquina Quarry where coquina was mined to construct the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
The trail also leads to the amphitheater as well as a fish and turtle pond encompassed by an antiquated fitness course.
On the way out of the trail, I discovered a very large and elementary geocache, but a geocache nonetheless. We love looking for geocaches while we’re out exploring parks. I signed the ledger in the box and returned the cache for the next person to find.
Even though we didn’t get to spend much time at the park, we had a great time staying at Anastasia State Park. Anastasia would also be a great place to stay if you want to explore historic downtown St. Augustine since it’s right over the beautiful Bridge of Lions. We are looking forward to our next visit, hopefully in November since we have tickets to a concert at the amphitheater.