Whether you want to camp beach front, alongside the wooded banks of the Blackwater River or in the heart of farmland, Santa Rosa County offers a variety of settings and accommodations for RVs, tents and even camping cabins.
RVs rule at the Farmer’s Opry in Chumuckla, which is a popular stop for caravaning clubs. During the Beaches to Woodlands Tour, campers come for the Classic Country Music Festival and use the campground as a home base as they venture out to nearby attractions such as the Jay Peanut Festival and farm tours at Holland Farms and the Sweet Season corn maze, said owner Sandy Wyatt. Thy can kick off the day with a country breakfast at the Opry, then come back after day of adventure for dinner and music.
The campground has 176 spaces for RVs with a mix of full hook-ups and water and electricity sites.
“We have a lot of regulars that come several times a year,” Wyatt said. “They come for the weekend and enjoy the shows and dinner. A lot of the camping clubs come and get together with 10 to 30 campers. They come do their club-associated activities like dominoes, square dancing, cooking out – and go to the show together.”
The campers at Adventures Unlimited come for the zip line tours, canoeing, tubing and other outdoor sports and for the peace and quiet of the woodland setting and the scenic river views, said owner Jack Sanborn.
The park offers tent and RV parking, but Sanborn said they get the most inquiries about their cabins.
“Our cabins get more usage than our campsites,” he said. “They don’t have TV or computers, but they do have porch swings rocking chairs. We have cabins on the river and on the creek. They are set up with everything you need, and we have rustic camping style cabins.”
The campsites in the park are all natural with no pavement and include places for campfires, grills and electricity. “We can accommodate any size RV,” Sanborn said.
At Avalon Landing RV Park, visitors can enjoy free saltwater fishing without a license from the campground pier. Other amenities include waterfront sites, cable TV, free wireless internet access, pool, private boat ramp and a pet-friendly policy. The RV-only park has space for rigs up to 45 feet long.
“We’re halfway in between everything,” said park manager Wendy Behnke. “We’re 25 minutes to the beach and 25 minutes to the freshwater and the woods.”
“During Beaches to Woodlands we’re offering free fishing every Sunday to everyone,” Behnke said. “We have a licensed pier, so you don’t need a license. And we have loaner rods and tackle.”
Visitors frequently catch mullet, redfish and speckled trout off the pier. The water is brackish, but more toward salt, Behnke said. The park is also offering discounted rates for weekend stays during the tour.
Behnke has been in the RV park business for 15 years, and says more and more people are living full time in their RVs – and the campers are getting younger, too. “We have a lot of baby boomers and even Gen X,” she said. The campground is getting ready to add 42 sites to accommodate the increase in RV visitors.
Want to park your RV closer to the white gulf beaches? There are several RV campgrounds in Navarre including Emerald Beach RV Park, Navarre Beach Campground and Magnolia Beach Campground. Each offers a range of amenities close to the beach.
Tent campers and RV-ers alike can find a spot at Blackwater River State Forest in Munson. The state park offers lakeside camping spots, nature trails, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing and more on over 600 acres of wilderness. The park is home to the Munson Community Heritage Festival .
Beaches to Woodlands camping
Here are a few of the Beaches to Woodlands events that offer a place to camp in Santa Rosa County:
Avalon Landing RV Park Free Saltwater Fishing – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays in October. 2444 Avalon Blvd., Milton, just south of I-10. The park provides loaner fishing poles and bait and lures for visitors to explore the inlets and marshes at the resort. Also offers special Beaches to Woodlands RV rates in October. Details: www.avalonlandingrvpark.com.
Adventures Unlimited Fall Foliage Zipline Tours, Canoeing, Ropes Course, Camping and Kayaking – Fall is a great time to enjoy the many natural attractions at Adventures Unlimited located just north of Milton, Fla., in the Blackwater River State Forest. October is a great month to absorb the changing colors through a Fall Foliage Zipline Tour. Weekend stays at the resort’s camping sites or wooded cabins are available along with the ropes challenge course, canoeing and kayaking majestic Coldwater Creek. Details: www.adventuresunlimited.com.
Sept. 28-Oct. 1
Classic Country Music Festival – Farmer’s Opry House, 8897 Byrom Campbell Rd., Chumuckla, Fla. Weekend of food and fun with beginning and intermediate country music performers. Nashville background artists Brent Mason, Doug Jernigan, Charlie McCoy (Hee Haw) “leaders of a group known as the best country music band to ever play” among others over the weekend. Tickets: $20 per day or $50 for all three days. Serving home style breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Camping Goodtimers of Alabama will be hosting camping groups will help greet and meet and park campers. Campground on-site. Details: www.farmersopry.com.