We would like to take our 2013 vacation to the beach. Our kids have never seen the ocean. I have no idea where we want to go though. I'm thinking anywhere from Virginia down through Florida, Atlantic or Gulf coast. It would be neat to find a campground right on the shore. The kids will be 16 and 13 that summer. We enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, swimming but wouldn't mind doing some sightseeing if there is something interesting to see. I could really use some suggestions! Thanks!
Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach, Edisto Beach or Hunting Island State Parks in SC. Of those 4, I'd vote for Hunting Island. Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach both have a some full hookup sites if that's important to you. At all of those you are either adjacent to the beach or within a few yards of it.
We have stayed at the Outer Banks, Edisto Island State Park ( South Carolina, Anastasia State Park ( Florida), and Topsail ( Destin, Florida). They are all on the beach, and we enjoyed all of them. There are pros and cons to each of them, but they all have plenty of other things to do and see in the area.
Good suggestions by ljr and others. If you get down to N. Florida, try Anastasia SP (easy walking distance to the beach), and visit St. Augustine, the "oldest city". Gatorland, an alligator farm and attraction is nearby. Between the beach and attractions, you can keep the kids busy there for a week. Great shrimp at O'Steens between Anastasia and St. Aug. It's been a landmark among locals ever since I can remember which goes back 60 years. Just go early. St. Augustine is a great place with education and fun for all.
You might like to consider Gulf Shores S.P. Alabama. Lots of attractions for kids (take $$$'s), beautiful beach, large swimming pool, miles of hiking trails + paved bicycle trails. Several attractions to go to in the area. This destination might be closer for you and save money on gas that could be spent on mini golf, bumper cars, etc. Sites are large and many are quite private.
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Panama City is a real "teenager hangout" during the summer, but this time of year it's fairly tame. Even in the summer, the State Park is close, but isolated, from all the crazy-ness.
The campground itself is on backwater, but there is State Park access to the Gulf water and lots of beautiful beach. There are two different areas - one for swimming the other is best for fishing along the jetties.
The campsites along the water are RIGHT on the water - within 10 feet. Some of them in areas you can swin in, others not. There are lots of very tame deer in the park. Lots of good seafood in the area too.
One caution - If you select a site on the water, make sure it's long enough - some are not (on the water side).
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I would also add these: Kiptopeke State Park in Virginia.Full hookups,cable and a quick walk to the beach. You are close enough to Assateague National Wildlife refugee in Kiptopeke so you could make a day trip to there.If you have bicycles,take them along as they have paved trails where you can ride bikes and see the ponies.Kiptopeke has several nice restaraunts and two great ice cream shops,Mr whippy's and the Creamery.They also have a movie theater and Wallops Island NASA Visitor Center which are good places to go if it rains.
Or you could stay at Kiptopeke a few days and then a day or two at Assateague National Park at the north end of Assateague Island. Although they have no hookups,they have other things that make up for it.They have great ranger programs everyday durring the summer.You have your choice of bayside or beachside camping and the ponies will come right into your site looking for food.They have a nice beach with life guards. You are very close to Ocean City ,Md and the kids would enjoy the boardwalk.
North Beach Camp Resort in St Augustine has the Atlantic Ocean across the street on one end of the campground and the IntraCoastal Waterway on the other. Three restaurants withing walking distance; plenty of vegetation between large sites; historic district an easy, pretty 3-mile ride away. Lots to see and do. Camp on!