We left the peace and quiet of the Forgotten Coast and followed the sea shore to a much more built up and touristy Emerald Coast. And we left a closely packed commercial campground for a spacious state park. It was hard to take a decent photo of this campsite; we are totally surrounded with trees and can't see our neighbors without taking a stroll. But the greenery isn't too tall and the newly repaired satellite dish has a great view of the sky and is working perfectly. For the first time since we left home, we have a fire ring - s'mores are definitely on the menu.
This area, east of Pensacola, looks like it's just waiting for all the tourists to arrive. 10º more and they'll be here parasailing, deep sea fishing, buying new bikinis, playing mini golf and eating out. The beach front along this part of Florida is amazing - wide, white sand and bright turquoise waters fringed with palm trees and green vegetation. Every few miles beach access is readily available without the high parking fees charged in southern Florida.
There are four air force bases along the Emerald Coast. As we've traveled around the country we've often found the military perched on some of the most desirable real estate around. The peace and tranquility of this camp site is upset regularly by the sound of jets taking off and landing.
The local guide book has a section called "Since You Were Here Last." It lists the new stores,restaurants, and road improvements that we might expect, but also mentions that "The beach store in downtown Destin that posted a 'going out of business' sign two years ago, is still going out of business." We'll have to check it out!