One April when Five of Hearts was just a baby we fled a particularly snowy Maine in search of sunshine. We drove straight to South Carolina before deciding that it wasn’t warm enough and heading into Florida. Through some lucky Internet searching we found a campground on the coast of Jacksonville that had camping cabins. We spent a very enjoyable week soaking up the Florida sun with baby Five of Hearts and drove back to Maine making plans to return again someday.
With only a week left in Florida we knew a perfect ending would be to go back to that campground. Hanna Park is run by the city of Jacksonville and features over a mile of sandy beaches as well as multiple hiking and biking trails. The beautifully wooded campground accommodates everything from tents to large RVs. However, we prefer staying in their camping cabins. For only $35 a night you get an empty cabin with an air conditioner/heater and a screened in porch. Five Ball has severe dust mite allergies so this type of lodging suits us best. There are no beds, rugs, or couches to set off his allergies and we can set up our air mattresses and the kids’ PeaPods while staying out of the rain and bugs. The screened in porch is great for serving meals on and comes in handy during the rainy Florida afternoons.
Besides the great cabins you can’t beat the proximity of the campground to the beach. Just a minute drive from the campground and you are at one of the many parking lots and boardwalks to the beach. As we were visiting during the week that schools started back up we virtually had the beach to ourselves. Except of course for the dolphins who make regular appearances just off the beach and often put on spectacular shows while diving and jumping to catch fish. The kids happily spent a week jumping and riding the waves or playing on one of Hana Park’s many playgrounds.
Due to hungry mosquitoes during our visit we didn’t utilize the hiking trails as much as we did during our previous visit. However, the park has an extensive network of hiking and biking trails that are worth checking out. It is also a popular area for surfers. As tropical storms made the seas rough we were able to watch the surfers riding the towering waves on our last day at the beach.
It was a good thing that the stormy weather ushered us on our way or we would have had a hard time leaving this amazing place.