We arrived at our destination with little traffic and in a much smaller amount of travel time than we anticipated. Our destination was St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida to celebrate New Year Eve in style at the famous Beach Ball Drop! The schedule is family friendly, so if you don’t necessarily want to stay around until Midnight, you certainly do not have to and can still enjoy New Year Eve festivities!
|5:30pm||LIVE MUSIC: Barry Fish Band|
|8:00pm||Kids’ Beach Ball Drop: 10,000 Beach Balls drop down from nets above Pier Park Drive
|8:15pm||LIVE MUSIC: Terry Brock & Friends|
|10:00pm||LIVE MUSIC: 12South|
|Midnight||Beach Ball Drop from the Celebration Tower
This will be our second time attending this event and we were hoping to share it with another family we often camp with this year, but the flu had other plans for our friends. When we found out they would be unable to attend, we asked the girls if they wanted to change our plans and camp somewhere a little closer to home. We offered up Fort Wilderness or Yogi Bear Campground (assuming we could squeeze in of course), but they both agreed they wanted to revisit Panama City Beach, FL. So here we are!
We were fortunate enough to get a waterfront site this time. Last year we had a nice paved spot, but it was close to the bathhouse and dump station so there was a constant flow of traffic at all hours. Although, I am one of those campers who despise dirt and sand filtering into Mini Pearl because of an unpaved spot, and am constantly sweeping the carpets and cleaning the floor, we decided on a more serene view!
The site is easy to get into, but we were a little disappointed that they have let the vegetation grow up so you lose a lot of your view of the beautiful water, boats, kayaks, and wildlife that frequent the water. You do have some nice privacy, and if you like to fish the site next to ours has an open space with a small amount of beach you can fish from. We met our camping neighbors, who we spent a few hours chatting with on the first night. They told us the previous people fished from our site by walking out onto the fallen tree trunks. It looks a little yucky to me, so we will gladly skip that and use our neighbors site should we decide to fish.
We were really bummed when we found out friends couldn’t make this trip, so it was a very nice surprise to meet such great camping neighbors and hopefully some new friends!
There are several opportunities for entertainment here while camping including, kyaking on the Grand Lagoon. The Grand Lagoon is the body of water that our campsite is located on and can be used also for fishing and geocaching.
In addition, there are a few playgrounds and plenty of open space for play. It is also a pet friendly campground. Video of Play Area
A little bunny must live somewhere on our site, because it was constantly out and about and clearly used to humans.
Not all sites have a perfect view of the lagoon, but there are several that have more unobstructed view of the water. None the less, it has been a nice place to camp and beautiful park to walk around as well.
The sound does carry across the water, so don’t be surprised if you hear music in the late evening as there must be a restaurant or bar because we could hear music the last few nights. It has been cold (in the 40’s at night) so we spent late evenings inside the camper with the space heater on. Luckily, our small space heater drowned out most of the noise, so it wasn’t bothersome to us necessarily.
More details on our visit to Panama City to come in my upcoming posts.