The feeling that you’re camping in a state park, but have a full hook-up? Count me in!
North Beach Camp Resort is located in St. Augustine, Florida. The campground is located just 5 miles from downtown St. Augustine, on a barrier island between saltwater North River and the Atlantic Ocean. The campground offers 160 campsites (50 amp, 30 amp, and 20 amp) and three cabins.
The obvious attraction to North Beach Camp Resort is that it is located across the road from the beach. It was a short walk to the sand and the beach did not get crowded in September. We took our wagon every day with all of the beach gear, which really helped with the short walk.
The perk of staying at North Beach Camp Resort is that it feels like you are camping at the state park. The moss-ladened oaks and palmettos line each site creating shade and privacy. Each site does have a sandy camping pad which adds to the feeling you are camping at the beach, but does cause you to have to sweep more often.
We booked site 129 a couple months ahead of the reservation to round out our trip from Reed Bingham State park and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. A pull-thru site, 129 is 41 ft long and 15 ft wide. All of the sites have sewer hook-ups and cable connections. This particular site did not have much shade from the trees, however it was not a problem for us since we had our awning and shade tent. A perk to site 129 is that it is a closer walk to the beach and pool, being located at the front of the campground.
North Beach Camp Resort has one pool at the front of the campground that we did not use. Our family tends to spend every minute on the beach, but if we did want to swim in the pool it looked very inviting. Near the pool was a basketball court and shuffleboard court. The playground was roped off with caution tape and in desperate need of replacement. The front desk ladies said that the playground would be replaced sometime next year, as there are other projects higher on the list.
The building at the front of the campground where check-in is located has the most well stocked camp store I have ever seen. They have every beach & campground item you might need, plus snacks and alcohol. On the other side of the building is a common room with a tv, couch, fireplace, table, and chairs. Through a door you will find one foosball table that seemed to make up their “game room.” Downstairs in this building is the laundry room. Prices are $2 to wash and $2 to dry.
Parts of the campground seem to be in disrepair, but it hasn’t affected their occupancy. The ladies at the front desk said that they are working to add more campsites in the area behind campsite 110. There are also plans to add an additional pool on that side of the resort.
I noticed that many people preferred to book the sites in the back of the campground that had a view of the North River. The campground advertises that you can enjoy the sunrise on the beach or sunset over the marsh.
North Beach Camp Resort has been around for more than 50 years and three generations of owners. Currently the owners also own/operate the two restaurants on the property, The Reef and Aunt Kate’s. We never got a chance to check out The Reef, but the parking lot was full for lunch and dinner every day. We walked from our campsite to Aunt Kate’s at the back of the campground. Keep in mind if you sit on the back porch the sunset is gorgeous, but it’s also hot! The service was good and the food was fantastic. Now I’m craving that crab cake sandwich all over again. Heather raved about her bacon and pecan crusted flounder all night. She also enjoyed a Tropical Heat; jalapeño vodka, mango liqueur, and pineapple juice.
Thursday evening we ate at Cap’s on the Water, less than a mile down the road. This restaurant is also located on the river with a beautiful view of the sunset. They require complimentary valet parking and usually you would need a reservation. Fortunately we were seated right away, inside (no view of the water.) The food was great here as well, but comparing crab cakes—Aunt Kate’s was better.
Friday evening we drove into town to eat at Sunset Grill. This was about 20 minutes away from the campground, but the food was delicious. We enjoyed the crabby fries, oysters, salmon, and Nina’s shrimp toast (a seafood version of chicken and waffles.) We were able to sit in one of the few seats upstairs that had the ocean breeze, but no view of the ocean behind all the hotels. This restaurant is best known for their award-winning chowders.
During our stay, we spent all our daytime hours at the beach. The water in late September was still warm enough to swim in. Thankfully, our daughter napped on the beach so we didn’t have to go back to the camper. The Bungalow from Baby Delight is perfect for naps on the beach. It has a canopy roof over it and we draped towels on top of it to cover the openings. It was cozy enough that she didn’t even need her usual white noise to fall asleep. We know that we will get a lot of use out of this toddler cot and it’s a great accessory for RV camping as it is lightweight. I reached out to Baby Delight for a discount code to share and they came through with 15% off your entire purchase with the code imaginecamper15.
The only tourist attraction we visited was the St. Augustine Distillery. Highly recommend visiting as the tour and tasting is free, but you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll leave with some of their spirits. The tour was self-guided and as you walk throughout the distillery you will come upon four different employees who pour you a taste of a cocktail made with their spirit. You can explore how they make their spirits from farm to bottle. Tour hours do end at 5:30 pm and we made it just in time. It is located in the same building as the Ice Plant Bar that was highly recommended, but we didn’t have time to check it out. The tour ends in their store where we purchased a t-shirt, a bottle each of the Florida Straight Bourbon, and Florida Cane Vodka. I also love the St. Augustine Distillery Mixer Series.
Things to do next time we visit:
St. Augustine Lighthouse
Anastasia State Park
Fountain of Youth
Walk through Flagler College Campus
We enjoyed our beach vacation at North Beach Camp Resort. It was a great place to relax after the busy days at Disney World. If we are ever camping in St. Augustine again, we will look to book at North Beach.
Things we learned at North Beach:
1. North Beach Camp Resort does not have wifi throughout the campground. I got used to this at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Hopefully that’s something North Beach will consider adding in the future.