Anastasia State Park is One of Florida’s Best Kept Secrets

Great White Egret bird in the tall grass in the Salt Run at Anastasia State Park, Florida

Anastasia State Park is one of our favorite things about Florida. We’ve visited three times at different times of the year and found amazing natural beauty in each season. During our last visit we saw a great white egret, pelicans, dolphins, snowy plovers, black skimmers, elegant terns, least terns, willets and even a giant turtle. The beach was picturesque and fun for our entire family.

This state park boasts wildlife, ecosystems, and 1600 acres of beaches, tidal marshes, and nature trails. You can find maritime hammocks, ancient sand dunes, and a historic coquina quarry. Its pristine white sand beaches border the Atlantic Ocean.

3f452d37-1cc4-44e7-b93c-e624784cb34cA lagoon sits in between the ocean and the sandbank for children to play and explore with tiny sea creatures. You’ll find tons of birds feasting in less human populated areas of the lagoon. It’s a long enough stretch of water that you may need to cross through it to access the beach from the parking lot. You can walk around, but you might find it easier to go through, especially on a hot summer day. (We found the water just above knee level when the tide was at its highest.)

48d9700d-32ca-400b-9779-f3741f7cdeb6This park’s natural beauty is abundant. You can really see Mother Nature at work here! Our favorite finds were the trees affected by the prevailing winds (growing sideways) and the layers of seashell sediment in the sandbanks. This was also the first time we have seen a pelican in nature and we were excited to see the dolphins swimming near us (but just out of reach). Despite the other park and beach goers, it felt like a paradise.

History Made Here

b08444c2-d40e-4839-970c-d0327e1b66e6The old Spanish Coquina Quarry is an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to help construct the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (1672-1696) in nearby St. Augustine. The Castillo de San Marcos has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Definitely worth a visit!


Anastasia Water Sports

06766f54-c023-456e-af4f-774eda687fbfWe rented kayaks from Anastasia Water Sports and paddled in the Salt Run which does open up and run towards the Matanzas River, the Tolomato River and the Atlantic Ocean. We stayed in the marsh and enjoyed our time. We were hoping to spot dolphins in here possibly giving birth in the more shallow waters, but no luck. (A few had been spotted the day before.)

Anastasia Watersports, located right at the park, provides guests with rentals for bicycles, paddleboards, kayaks, sail boats and canoes. They can be reached at 904-460-9111.


c08d35c6-faa8-4784-9e09-b159334b9984Playground, Recycling, Restroom Facilities, Shower Station, Ampitheater, Beach, Concession and Restaurant, Gift and Supply Shop (Island Beach Shop and Grill)

Bicycling, Birding, Paddling, Boating, Fishing, Geo-Seeking, Hiking,  Picnicking, Shelling, Surfing, Swimming, Weddings, Wildlife Viewing


  • Florida State Park website
  • The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
  • bff3c534-9edb-431a-ab9b-e14aef5e2dddEntrance Fee:
    • $8 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
    • $4 per single-occupant vehicle.
    • $2 per pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
  • Camping- $28 per night, plus tax, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee. 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. 139 Campsites. Book through Reserve America
  • Pets are welcome at Anastasia, but they are prohibited from the beach and inside the facilities. They must be leashed, no longer than 6 feet at all times.

Family Rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Cost– This, like any beach trip, is a low cost adventure—beach entry, travel, and a little extra for the concession stand is all you need. A family of five can enter for $8 and add travel and food costs.

c4a94379-b94d-4708-9505-a7e3127534d0Parking & Transportation– There is a variety of parking and a good size lot at the beach. The area of St. Augustine is very popular, so getting around is easy if you don’t have your own car.  They do have taxis in St. Augustine. You can even rent a fun scooter!

Location– This area of Florida is a terrific destination for a vacation, especially for families. The area of St. Augustine has a lot to offer.

Day Trip or Overnight– If you’re not within commuting distance, this is an overnight adventure. Plan a vacation or even just a weekend get-away—you won’t be disappointed.

E475FF65-5E2C-4CC4-A32B-AB152832D163Experience– This is an awesome area for fun, food, and adventure. There’s something for everyone here and it’s super family friendly. We make this a regular stop whenever we take a trip to Florida.

Combination– There is so much to do in the nation’s oldest city! Visit the Tourism website for more info.  Our favorites—Castillo de San Marcos, downtown St. Augustine shopping and food, Marineland Dolphin Adventure, Pirate & Treasure Museum, Ripley’s Museum, and the Alligator Farm! If you’re staying awhile, check out Canyon Zip Lines! It’s a bit of a drive west (about 90 minutes), but so worth it.


Published by newyorkfamilyadventures

Momager, New Yorker, Travel Blogger, Actress, Martial Artist, Amateur Photographer, Writer, Conservationist

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