We only had about 110 miles to travel today so we made a leisurely morning out of it and did not leave the campground until 11am. Today's drive took us along US98. This took us through quite a few beach towns such as Destin and Fort Walton as well as the intriguingly named towns of Mary Esther and Watercolor. John Newton (a minister and teacher) settled in the area now called Mary Esther during the mid 1850's. He seems to have named the town after family members (either his wife or two daughters or some combination thereof). Watercolor is an unincorporated master planned community near Destin. I haven't been able to learn how it got the name.
On the political front - early voting is underway in Florida. We saw many polling places on our drive today and all of these places were packed with cars. There is a whole lot of voting going on in Florida.
I am not going to say that I thought any of these towns charming. I want my Florida beach drives to look like this view at the National Seashore.
But most of it looks like this; featuring high rise buildings built improbably on little spits of sand.
Or this with more high rises built cheek by jowl with shops and amusements taking every last bit of land right up to the edge of the sea. I believe this is Destin.
So my quest during my visit to Florida is to seek out places that do not look like the above but better suit my own imagination. That is one reason why we have been trying to stay at the state parks. They tend to be located in more remote or natural settings which we prefer.
Today we came to St. Andrews State Park and scored what I think is a very nice campsite. We had to do some unorthodox parking but managed a lovely view of the Grand Lagoon.
I think that I can successfully ignore the high rises on the other side of the water. We had time to take a little bit of a walk around before it got dark. The campground seems quite large and, as seems true for most of the parks during the week, not too crowded. Some of the sites have nice buffers of trees between them and others (mostly the pull thrus) are more open with less privacy from your neighbors. I think that ours will do very nicely for the next 4 nights.