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Panama City Beach, Florida


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Ready to escape the winter blues? A visit to Florida’s Panhandle is worth the trip!

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Ready to escape the winter blues? A visit to Florida’s Panhandle is worth the trip!


Frigid February temperatures found me longing for sun, sand, and surf. So I pointed the motorhome in the direction of Florida’s Panhandle and found a wonderful winter retreat at Panama City Beach.


The sun was glorious and temperature in the 70’s as I rolled into St. Andrews State Park, at the tip of Panama City Beach peninsula. I took a slow drive around the park and stopped to admire the pristine dunes and the sugar-white sand.


The campground is located on the lagoon side of the peninsula, and I parked right on the water’s edge. Campers were bustling about, nearly every site was full in February, and I had many friendly conversations with my fellow snowbirds.


The campground is deliciously dark at night, with a spray of stars overhead and a glow on the lagoon from the lights across the bay. At night the tree frogs chortle and chip from the palm trees and the campground settles down to quiet. I left the cab curtains open to enjoy the waterside view, and dawn broke with a golden glow. An early morning walk was a great opportunity to watch herons stretch from their slumber and dolphins glide noiselessly by within 10 feet of shore. 


Between the campground and the beach area is Gator Lake. It’s a brackish pond that’s home to large white egrets, blue herons, googly-eyed frogs and a good population of alligators. I stood some time on the visitor boardwalk checking for gator-like movement in the pond before I was brave enough to venture out on the nature trail. Hearing a quick rustle in the margin, I stood still until a small gator about two feet long revealed itself. He looked puny and unlikely to attack, but I did give him a wide berth!


The beach at St. Andrews State Park is all that I expected from Florida’s Emerald Cost and more. Blinding white sand, rolling green surf, and miles of coastline to explore. Reaching the beach from the campground is a long to walk – this is a large state park – so a bicycle or car would be recommended if you’re a lazy bones like me.


This campground can accommodate big rigs, but advance reservations are recommended. If you can fit your camper in a tighter spot, look for the sites that back up to the Grand Lagoon and you won’t be disappointed!


Are you ready to stop dreaming and start rolling? Head out to Panama City Beach and the splendid St. Andrews State Park!







January 15, 2023


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