Thursday, March 29, 2012

The amazing Topsail Hill State Park

March 26-30,  Destin, Florida
Site 127 at Topsail
Wow! Now we understand the rave reviews this park consistently receives.  It turns out it used to be a private RV resort, which explains why there is cable, a pool, sewer hook-ups, and luscious landscaped sites.  The drive in to the park takes you along two large ponds filled with water lilies which were in full bloom this time of year. 

There is shuffleboard by the pool area and bass fishing in the ponds.  The park also runs a tram to take you to the beach which is less than a mile away on a private trail (also an easy bike ride or walk). And what a beach it is, no condos here, only lush white sand and crystal clear waters. 

We set up everything on our patio and took off on our bikes for the beach as soon as possible, Vic carrying the two folding chairs in their canvas bags and me carrying our beach umbrella and backpack.  Within fifteen minutes, we were relaxing in our chairs, squishing our toes in the sand.  What a luxury to be so close to a phenomenal beach.  I could get real used to life at Topsail.  We definitely plan to return for the full 14 day stay they allow—and more if we can do back to back reservations. 

The park really was full, especially with families on spring break.  It made us miss our grandchildren as the last time we saw the boys was at a state park on the ocean in Oregon.  We couldn’t help but think all our kids and grandchildren would love this place—who wouldn’t.  The positive energy flowing out of this place seems to create a happiness vibe that is palpable. At least I noticed I had trouble wiping the smile off my face. 

To add to the happiness vibe, Vic and I ventured south what is well-known in this area the 30A, a scenic highway which extends all the way back to Panama City Beach. Along the 30A, unbeknownst to us, are planned communities which look absolutely idyllic.  The first planned community is Watercolor, then Seaside, and Rosemary Beach.  The most famous of these villages is Seaside, the place where the Truman Show was filmed. All three have unique architecture centered around beach life with a town center full of small cafes, boutiques, and art galleries.  We were blown away by how attractive the lifestyle appeared to be with bike trails everywhere and inviting accesses to the sea.  The idea of a planned community does not typically appeal to us, but the intimate size of these villages makes living here seem very alluring.

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