TH Stone Memorial St Josephs Peninsula State Park

STJosephsSP07162013 (1)TH Stone Memorial St Josephs Peninsula State Park is a long title for a state park that many people just call St Josephs State Park or St Josephs Peninsula. It is a large park set on a small peninsula off the west coast of Florida jutting out from Port St. Joe. Most of the peninsula is referred to as Cape San Blas with lots of beach style houses, most on stilts, in many shapes, sizes, and colors. The county has a park at the beginning of the peninsula called Salinas Park that is opened to the public and free of charge. It, like the State Park, is split with a “bay side” and a “gulf side”. They have picnic areas, screened in pavilions, volleyball court and a fishing dock on the bay side. The gulf side also has picnic areas and access to the Gulf Of Mexico. One local company uses this area to bring in horses for customers to gallop up and down the beach. Canoeing and Kayaking are big in this area as St. Joseph Bay is a large area with a lot of shallow areas and mostly calm waters. The state park itself is located at the very end of the peninsula with picnic area, boat launch, and cabins facing the bay. There are numerous trails for hiking, plenty of wildlife and lots of camping spaces. The camping areas are separated into Gulf Breezes (where we stayed) and Shady Pines campgrounds. Between them, there are about 95 campsites you can reserve of various shapes and sizes with water and electric (30 amp only and doesn’t include the cabins or tent only areas) but no sewer connections on sites. There is one drive-through dump station outside of the Gulf Breezes Camping area and a walk-up dump station located near one of the bathhouses in the Shady Pines Campground. (You will need a “Blue Boy” for that one folks.)

We enjoyed our stay at the park and, for the most part, the volunteer work, but being at this particular park during the hottest, wettest time of the year was probably not such a great idea. We knew that there would always be a chance for a hurricane and that the park would be busy with all the summer vacationers but other than the rain and one occasion where the wind off the Gulf beat our RV back and forth for about 30 minutes it wasn’t too bad. Don’t get me wrong it was hot, buggy and muggy most of the time we were there. The Gulf Breeze campground area has two bathhouses. One is older with separate bathrooms from the shower room as well as one side for females and the other for males. This old bath house doesn’t have air conditioning or heating. From what we were told it is slated to be torn down and replaced with a more modern facility. The second bath house is newer with air conditioning and heating, a separate family bathroom/shower between the male and female sections as well as a washer and dryer. It is much bigger than the other one and, of course, more popular with the guests. The campsites were sand drives with patches of scrub between most of the sites with a fire pit, picnic table, laundry poles as well as the water and electrical hookups. There is a walkway from the campsite directly to the beach area for the guests. There were also two water features on both ends of the camping area. One, where we were staying, facing the Bay and the other was a separate pond between Gulf Breezes and the Shady Pines boardwalk area. You have to keep an eye out for snakes, ghost crabs, vegetarian rats, frisky raccoons as well as the multitude of mosquitoes and gnats. Wondering throughout the park are several families of deer that make their appearance in the early morning and late afternoons. You can also watch the many species of birds flittering around in the trees or walking in the title creeks near the bay. Of course, the sunsets were pretty spectacular. Watching the sun go down (when there weren’t too many clouds) seem to be one of the favorite things to do with the campers. That and boating, swimming and fishing are pretty much all you do while you stay there. We will say one thing though, almost every single day we were there we had a pretty decent breeze that helped keep most of the bugs away.

We can’t really report on the camping in the Shady Pines area. We were originally assigned to that campground but due to unforeseen circumstances of a couple of incoming volunteers, we were assigned to the other one. We did visit the campground area a couple of times and noticed that the campsites seem to be pretty tight getting into. There are lots of palmetto bushes around and that makes for some interesting times when the local snakes get a little rambunctious. They also have two bathhouses with washer and dryers, a walk-up dump station in the center of the camping area, trails with boardwalks to the beach, an amphitheater area and a picnic house with coke machines. The campsites all have water, electric, picnic tables, fire pits and laundry poles at each of their sites. Being located between the Gulf and the Bay and separated by lots of trees and dunes there wasn’t as much of a breeze but lots of shade in this area. We got some good pictures of the area and include them in our movie below.

The park also boasts a convenience store called Scallop Cove II right inside the park located at the marina on the bay side. It has a little bit of everything for boaters, swimmers, campers and fishermen such as snacks, ice, bait, tackle, floating devices, etc.. They also have Free WIFI but the signal is pretty weak. This area is probably the best place to get cell phone reception as the rest of the park has little to no cell phone or internet service. The rangers and volunteers have strong walkie-talkies to keep in touch with each other while they are working. There are several picnic tables located in the marina area but not a lot of shade. Across from the marina is a boardwalk for day visitors to get to the beach with a bathhouse and outside shower. Most campers bring bicycles and/or golf carts to get around inside the park.

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Road
Port St. Joe, Florida 32456
(850) 227-1327
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/St-Joseph

RV and Trailer Campsites

16ft 30amp – 4
20 Back-In 30 Amp – 7
22 Back-In 30 Amp – 2
24 Back-In 30 Amp – 9
25 Back-In 30 Amp – 2
26 Back-In 30 Amp – 5
28 Back-In 30 Amp – 9
29 Back-In 30 Amp – 2
30 Back-In 30 Amp – 9
32 Back-In 30 Amp – 15
32 Pull-Through 30 Amp – 1
34 Back-In 30 Amp – 1
35 Back-In 30 Amp – 11
35 Pull-Through 30 Amp – 2
38 Back-In 30 Amp – 10
38 Pull-Through 30 Amp – 1
40 Back-In 30 Amp – 5

Washer/Dryers at the bathhouses in the campgrounds for $2 per load per machine.

Admission Fee:

$6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in the vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Boat Launch & Entrance Fees:

$9.00 for one person with a boat.
$11.00 for 2 – 8 people with a boat.

Camping Fee:

$24.00 per night, plus tax. Includes water and electricity. Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older or who hold a social security disability award certificate or a 100 percent disability award certificate from the Federal Government are permitted to receive a 50 percent discount on current base campsite fees. Proof of eligibility

Cabin Fee:

$100.00 plus tax, per night.

Picnic Pavilion Fees:

$35.00 per day, plus tax: 70-seat pavilion is available for rent at the Bayview picnic area. Water and electric are available. The pavilion overlooks St. Joseph Bay. Restrooms, a nature trail, and playground are conveniently located close by. Access to the Gulf Beach is approximately one mile south of the pavilion. For availability and reservations, please contact the park office.

PLACES TO VISIT IN THE AREA

Constitution Convention Museum State Park
200 Allen Memorial Way
Port St. Joe, Florida 32456
(850) 229-8029
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Constitution-Convention

The museum visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission Fee: $2.00 per person, museum admission fee. Children 5 and younger are free

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St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Center
3915 State Road 30-A
Port St. Joe, FL 32456
(850) 229-1787
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/stjoseph_buffer/

Office hours: 9am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday
Trail/Gate hours: Sunrise to sunset

Friends of St Joseph Bay Preserves Inc
http://www.stjosephbaypreserves.org/

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All the County Parks in Gulf County Florida
http://www.gulfcounty-fl.gov/countyparks.cfm

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WHERE TO GET WHAT YOU NEED

GROCERIES

Piggly Wiggly
125 W Hwy 98
Port St Joe, FL 32456
(850) 229-8398
www.durenspigglywiggly.com/

Cape Tradin’ Post
4979 Cape San Blas Rd
Cape San Blas, Fl 32456
(850) 229-8775
www.capetradingpost.com/
Full Line of Groceries, Deli, Pizza inside with a beer and wine shop, an ice cream shop and Fresh Made Donut shop in the same building

Scallop Cove – BP Station
4310 Cape San Blas Road
Port Saint Joe, FL 32456
(850) 227-1573
www.scallopcove.com/

The offer groceries, gas, a deli, fresh donuts, clothes, bait-n-tackle, laundry facilities, Souvenirs, and gifts as well as kayak and canoe rentals.
***Scallop Cove has a mini store located inside the state park****

Walmart Supercenter
725 N Tyndall Pkwy
Panama City, Fl 32404
(850) 785-6011
www.walmart.com

MEDICAL SERVICES

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf
3801 E. Hwy 98
Port St. Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 339-5600
www.sacred-heart.org/gulf/

RV SUPPLIES

Bayou Storage & RV Supplies
2880 State Rd 30-A
Port St Joe, FL 32456
(850) 229-8397
www.bayourvsupplies.com/

PROPANE

Bayou Storage & RV Supplies
2880 State Rd 30-A
Port St Joe, FL 32456
(850) 229-8397
www.bayourvsupplies.com/

RESTAURANTS

Scallop Cove – BP Station
4310 Cape San Blas Road
Port Saint Joe, FL 32456
(850) 227-1573
www.scallopcove.com/
Subs and Pizza

Cape Tradin’ Post
4979 Cape San Blas Rd
Cape San Blas, Fl 32456
(850) 229-8775
www.capetradingpost.com/
Subs, Sandwiches, Hamburgers, and Pizza

Burger King
601 Monument Ave
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 229-7060
www.bk.com

McDonalds
115 W Hwy 98
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 227-9075
www.mcdonalds.com

Hungry Howie’s
418 Monument Ave
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 229-9222
www.hungryhowies.com

Subway Restaurants
101 1st Street
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 229-8883
www.subway.com/subwayroot/default.aspx

GAS

Scallop Cove – BP Station
4310 Cape San Blas Road
Port Saint Joe, FL 32456
(850) 227-1573
http://www.scallopcove.com/
(***the gas prices on the penisula are usually $0.10 more than on the mainland)

Chevron Station
609 Monument Ave
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850 229-2585
www.chevronwithtechron.com

Exxon
701 Monument Ave
Port St Joe, Fl 32456
(850) 229-2700
www.exxonstations.com

LINKS OF INTEREST

Gulf County Chamber of Commerce
406 Marina Drive
Port St. Joe, FL 32456
Phone: (850) 227-1223
Fax: (850) 227-9684
info@gulfchamber.org
http://www.gulfchamber.org/

Visit Gulfhttp://www.visitgulf.com/

Friends of St Joseph State Parkhttp://www.friendsofstjosephpeninsulastatepark.org/

Our St Joseph Peninsula State Park Movie on YouTube