Looking for a beautiful and peaceful camping trip in an area rich in history, wildlife, and ecosystems? Anastasia State Park is a popular destination for sun-seekers, nature lovers, surfers, and… well… pretty much anyone. Each year hundreds of thousands of souls visit Anastasia to take in the birds, plants, miles of beach, and starry night skies.
Camping at Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is open year-round, essentially promising an endless summer. Visitors will find ample parking and low admission prices. The park’s 7 campgrounds (Loop AWNG, COQU, QCON, SAND, SEAB, SEAU, act SEYE) house 139 campsites that can accommodate RVs or tents. Each campsite offers electricity and water, as well as a picnic table, in-ground grill, and fire ring.
The park offers four bathhouses that offer showers with hot water, as well as laundry machines. If you require supplies, the Island Beach Shop offers firewood, ice, and bait, as well as the really important stuff like smoothies and ice cream. The walk-up restaurant sells tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and other items. Wi-Fi is available at the grill area and day-use parking lot.
Groups can access the Hilltop Picnic Area, Watersports Picnic Pavilion, and Sea Turtle Picnic Pavilion (the latter two require reservations), which contain tables and restrooms. There are three playgrounds for kids to enjoy. Golf Carts can also be rented on-site—in case you feel the need to shuttle yourself away from noisy children. 😉
Those with accessibility requirements can access wheelchairs made available on site. These wheelchairs are in some demand, so, you can also contact St. Johns County Beach Services at 904-209-0331 to have a wheelchair delivered (requires three days notice). Mobi-mats provide access to the main beach, where accessible kayaking and canoeing are offered. The park offers ADA-accessible sites, and some sites are paved. You may bring service animals to all areas in Florida State Parks.
Location, geography, and history
32 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida on a peninsula on Anastasia Island sits all 1,600 acres of Anastasia State Park. The park is just across Matanzas Bay, from the historic town of St. Augustine. Founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565, St. Augustine is America’s oldest city.
This Spanish outpost was built using palm and pine trees, which resulted in it being destroyed many times by storms and raiders. By the turn of the 17th century, coquina rock from Anastasia Island was being used to build more resilient structures. This rock (made of broken shells) was easily cut, but hardened when unearthed. As a result, the walls of Castillo de San Marcos could absorb cannon balls from besieging ships.
In the early 1940’s the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged a new inlet to link Matanzas Bay with the Atlantic Ocean. In time the tip of this bisected peninsula grew into Conch Island, which doubled in size as currents brought sand from the Jacksonville Beach area to the peninsula’s tip and it engulfed a shoal called Crazy Bank. Hurricane Dora deposited even more sand in 1964. Conch Island is now linked to Anastasia Island. Anastasia State Park was acquired by the state of Florida in 1949.
Features, wildlife, and vegetation
One might consider Anastasia State Park’s unspoiled shores its most notable natural features. These spread over approximately 4 miles and are home to estuarine tidal salt marshes that teem with plant and animal life. Also notable to the area are the lagoon, ancient sand dunes, as well as the marine and upland hammock.
Anastasia’s beach and waters are home to shorebirds, crabs, and other marine animals including the Leatherback Sea Turtle, Easter Spadefoot, Carolina Anole, and Short-Finned Pilot Whale. Along the Salt Run, Roseate Spoonbills and other wading birds hunt for food. You might spot Painted Buntings and warblers in the hammock forests. Look above to see owls, osprey, and bald eagles in the skies or tree tops. Did you know that the endangered Anastasia Island beach mouse is found in the park’s dunes?
Given the park’s warm climate, the growing season extends throughout most of the year. As a result, visitors to Anastasia State Park will find a wide variety of notable foliage including American Beautyberries, Firewheel, Bushy Seaside Tansy, Chamaecrista Fasciculata, and Standing Cypress. Iconic Pink Muhly Grass can also be found in the park.
Activities at Anastasia State Park
Beach activities are king at Anastasia, given the park’s beach breaks and (sometimes) warm water. Surfing? Kayaking? Swimming? You’ll get your fill here! Those looking to practice sailing will find steady winds and calm waters in Salt Run. An on-site concession (Anastasia Watersports) rents paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats—as well as beach chairs and umbrellas. If you’re a novice, sign up for their available watersport lessons.
If you’d rather keep your feet dry, consider a walk, hike, or bike ride. The campground is near the beach, which is 4 miles long—none-to-mention the many miles of park roads (some with dedicated bike lanes). Bikes can be rented from the concession. Please wear a helmet. Cyclists 16 and under are required to do so by law.
Anastasia is located on The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. So, explore the area, take in the sights, and learn about the park. The Ancient Dunes Nature Trail (0.7 miles) crosses a footbridge into the ancient sand dunes. The Marsh Trail (0.9 miles) offers water and wildlife views along the Salt Run banks. Those looking for a somewhat longer trek can take the Cape Francis Beach Walk (7.3 miles) to find a bird sanctuary and possibly see a sea turtle.
The park’s kiosks and displays will inform you of various park-related topics. Join a ranger-led campfire circle, to participate in sing-alongs, park stories, and campfire cooking. Campers aged 4 – 9 can participate in Anastasia’s Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library. Visit the Ranger Station to request picture books containing stories about the sights and sounds found in the Anastasia State Park.
Anglers appreciate the abundance of trout on the east bank of Salt Run. Some also catch redfish and flounder. The park offers bait for sale in the Island Beach Shop, as well as areas to clean your catch, near the main beach area. A Florida fishing license may be required. Please learn and conform to any regulations (e.g., size, number, method of capture, season).
Done with all that pristine nature and local wildlife? Consider a day trip to St. Augustine as it’s a scant 1.7-mile drive from the park. Unique shops, restaurants, and attractions await you, including Castillo de San Marcos, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the Lightner Museum, St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, and Fort Mose Historic State Park (15 minutes north of the park).
As the park is directly behind St. Augustine Amphitheatre, live music sometimes spills over. The facility hosts many concerts each year, so, you might just get a free show. (Don’t worry—the music will stop by 10:00.) On Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the amphitheater is home to a farmer’s market where you’ll local vendors offer food, produce, and handmade crafts.
Policies, cautions, and notes
An entrance fee (additional fees may apply) is required to enter the park, which is open every day from 8 a.m. through sundown every day. The park is a smoke-free area. Fireworks and hunting are also prohibited.
Avoid disturbing or damaging the park’s plants, animals, or property. Do not feed the animals. Just feeding chipmunks can be life-threatening to them. Pets (other than service animals) are not permitted on beaches, in buildings, or on boardwalks.
Ocean waters always present some risk. Lifeguards are on duty at some times, but can’t be everywhere. So, check posted warnings and heed advice on the threats presented by rip currents.
Trash is harmful to wildlife, so, place all trash in the compactor near the campground entrance. If you spot waste left by other visitors, please help pick it up so it can be properly disposed of.
Information about Anastasia State Park
300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080, United States
Anastasia State Park is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. From St. Augustine, travel east on US-1 and turn right toward Florida A1A N/AIA. Follow AIA for a short distance and turn on to Anastasia Park Road.
3 ft (1 m)
1,600 acres (647 ha)
Up to 11 months in advance of arrival date
Number of sites
Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a six-foot leash. Dogs are not allowed on the beach, buildings, or rental boats. Service dogs are welcome in all areas. View Florida State Parks’ full Pet Policy.
In designated areas only
Max. site occupants
8 people (children under 6 not counted)
Vehicles per site
No more than 2
Maximum vehicle length
Gravel or concrete
Picnic table, grill, campfire circle
Number of accessible sites
Wifi hotspots are available at Island Beach Shop and Grill, and day use parking
4, 55, 66, 80, 84, 111, 114
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Contact Anastasia State Park
- Florida State Parks
- Booking site: https://reserve.floridastateparks.org/Web
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Such a great location
I’ve stayed here many times and have always enjoyed it. Most sites are wooded and private with elec/h2o hook ups. But my favorite part is walking next door to the Amphitheatre for a live show! There are also plenty of restaurants, breweries, bars and shops just a short drive or bike ride away. Can’t wait to visit again soon!
One of Florida's Best Parks
This is a beautiful park with an excellent, well-maintained campground. It's located VERY near St. Augustine and beaches. I highly recommend it.
Very close to St. Augustine, FL, where there is plenty to do. Beach is gorgeous. Most campsites have privacy and shade. You can rent kayaks. Walk from the campground to a Farmer's Market on the weekend. Loved it here - would definitely come back.
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