Park: East Point, FL
Website: Coastline RV Resort
We choose this area because of its proximity to Mexico Beach, where we have extended family. We wanted to see them, but also wanted to get in some R&R. We planned this trip very early, like a year early. Site 15 was not even our original site. Our original dates had to be changed due to work and other issues, so we took what they could offer on our next available days. Their rental policy doesn’t allow for refunds but will allow for a date change with enough notice. Which was fantastic, because we didn’t want to cancel. Maybe they took pity on us and gave us their best site, Things do happen, life happens. Originally our site was Site #1 or 5, I think, which are literally closest to the water, but, right on Hwy 98. I can say, I think we lucked out by not being on the road, but would have probably gotten really good sunrise photos. The toy haulers with the decks REALLY benefited from being I. The 1-5 sites, because they could pull out the porch/patio and stare straight out into the bay.
Our trip started late in the evening after work and we decided to split the difference. Our travel trailer is easily accessible with the slide in, so we try and take advantage of that in the cooler months. Unfortunately, the rest stop we were going to sleep at, was packed full. No spaces available. A first for us. But we found the closest Walmart down I-10, and joined 1 rig and 3 other campers for an overnight stay. It was weird, but not so weird we couldn’t sleep. BUT being in the Walmart parking lot already, we stocked up and hit the road. As we went through an hour hour half of national forest, and got close we called, and our site was empty. It’s $15 to check in early, but well worth it. We were set up and eating lunch by the time we would normally have been allowed to check in. Some state parks will let you check in early, without charge. But I do see why they charge, because everyone would try to squeeze an extra day in.
Campground: Its really hard to judge how privately owned campgrounds will be. You truly do not know what to expect. With state parks, and even Army Corp of Engineers parks, once you have been to one, you pretty much know what to expect.
The entire campground was kept meticulously clean. I say campground, but I should really say resort, as the name implies. Someone really takes pride in what they have, or they have hosts that really enjoy what they do. Probably both. I think the East Park is the newest section, so of course everything is fairly new, but its definitely getting maintained.
Amenities: On site store. Grills, paved patios. Ocean (bay) views and a fishing pier. There’s a clubhouse in East Park, and a pool. They allow fire pits, but the sites do not have fire pits. I’m guessing the temperatures don’t really call for a fire the majority of the time.
Privacy: Not really alot. Which is ok. We are getting used to it, and the benefits by far surpass having more space between sites. We had some neighbors playing corn hole one night, and could pretty much hear the entire event, but they didn’t stay up all night, or long enough to be a bother.
Dump Station: None that I saw. All full hook ups.
Site Specific: Site 15. We were told this was the best site in the East Park. And I believe it is for the most part. I really don’t want to tell anyone that, because it will be harder to book, but it really was. We are located on the end, facing an open field, and facing the bay. The site does come with disadvantages though, as all spots do. The fence line next to us, is the largest of the grassy areas, and a short walk to the back of the campground to the dog park. It’s also the site closet to the trash bin so there was a lot of foot traffic. The dog walk lane was fine for a couple of says, but then Harley had decided it was his area, and started to bark at every passerby.
Level-ness: Nearly perfect. Only had to use one leveler. Air conditioning run off drained perfectly to the backside. Tables sat smoothly.
Condition: Excellent. Well cared for, maintained. New picnic tables. You can barely see where fire pits have been used on one section of the brick patio, but it was not messy or ashy. We brought our own fire pit, but we used it with a grill mat because we really didn’t want to make a mess.
Maneuvering: Perfect. It’s a back in, not a tight squeeze. Works well for our 32ft without complaints or issues. Being in the corner we are even able to angle the truck so we really don’t even see the other campers.
Bonus: Love the concrete borders. So nice and neat. Clean and well defined camp areas. It really touches the heart of any OCD campers. Coastline also plays 80s music by the pool, which is nice because it keeps all the visitors from playing something different. After 5 days, it was a little wearing, but it was not bad.
If you love seafood, there are several markets to get oysters, and everywhere we went had an option for oysters. Long story short on the oysters, they are good, but there are issues with the bay being shut down for 5 years or so. I believe most of the oysters come from elsewhere right now. They may be farm raised, but in my non ouster eating experience, they were just fine.
We were literally treated like locals everywhere we went, and even got some info about the bay being closed.
You can read more about the closure here. Seems it was due to over harvesting the oysters. So what once was their primary income, is closed. The town seems to be hit pretty hard by it, although I not aware of how it was before. I imagine there was a lot more going on. Then you add in a pandemic and you can really understand the impact we have, and the pandemic has had on a small town of less than 2400 people.
Small town, very little traffic, everyone was friendly. Plenty of dog friendly spots (even the dollar general allowed pets). Not alot of tourism. We did spot a mini golf place up the road though. We were not close to anything we would normally depend on, like Kroger or Walmart. You don’t realize how much you use and take these stores for granted until the closet one is an hour away.
Cons: There is not a walmart for 43 miles. 😫 Which isn’t bad per se. We don’t live our life based on the walmart, but they are definitely handy to have when you need something. It really takes you back to a time before walmart, when everything was mom and pop stores. Just be sure to stop and get your things before you head in, like an hour or maybe 2 hours before. We stocked up at the “not” overnight Wal-Mart parking in Marianna, but still ended up searching for things we needed, like flip flops and a hat. There is a hardware store, and Taylor’s Building supply, which is a local mini Walmart except better, but that’s about it. There was some traffic noise at dinner, but thats because Hwy 98 runs along the coast, and you can’t be on the coast and have great views, without being near the road. It is what it is.
None of the sites have fire pits. You can bring one, or purchase one, but they are not built in.
It’s not actually camping. We are somewhat out of our element here. It’s truly a resort, and I love it. I love what they are doing and how they have designed it. It’s a RESORT. it’s not wilderness camping. It’s a different level of camping, along the lines of just Rving. Like bringing your own hotel with you. It has taken me awhile to see the difference. I really enjoyed spending an extra few days here, because I felt like we got to know the area, the people and still got to relax.
To sum up the cons about the resort:
- Trash is picked up by 5pm. Because of black bears. Which is a little rough because that is about the time your doing dinner. But the black bears are a legit issue, and 5pm is a good quitting time for the host, and I cannot blame them for that.
- The oysters aren’t local right now
- Bo big box, name brand stores close by
- Not much privacy.
- Well maintained
- Close to water and fishing
- Full hookups, including cable
- Patio/paved sites
- Very affordable
- Easy check-in
- Not a constant squad of concierge staff running around
- Local, locally owned stores with a lot of great items and most of what your need. (We even picked up a few Christmas gifts)
- Friendly and helpful staff, even when making reservations
Overall, there were more “specific” rules than we are used to (like good and clean and newer RVs only), and the sites are closer than we are used too. None of their rules were beyond crazy, and not anything we couldn’t rationalize. Their rules made sense, and it was a non issue to follow them. We had to change up a few “camping” habits like dumping our dish bucket outside. It didn’t seem to make sense when we have full hookups.
It was so clean, and maintained, it made me want to keep it clean, and clean our little camper up more. We really felt like the dirtiest, country camper compared to some of the rigs. But that was just us. No one said a word, or did anything to make us feel that way, I just wanted our camper to be shiny like the others. Sigh, one day….
I really enjoyed spending an extra few days here, because I felt like we got to know the area, the people and still got to relax.
A real downer for the area, is that the red tide was off St George Island. This is my 1st experience with it, and was not prepared. Really didn’t know that much about it, but now I do. We took a moment to walk out to the water, and there were dead fish everywhere. ALOT. Red tide is not safe to swim in, or fish in and can cause respiratory problems. Good thing it was October, so I didn’t mind the not swimming, but we briefly entertained some fishing, but after seeing that, decided not to.
I highly suggest a visit to Eastpoint and Coastline Rv Resort.