Camping is not for everyone, let’s get that out of the way first. But if you are one of those parents who won’t mind getting immersed in nature with your family, at least for a couple of days, this post is for you. And, we have the perfect place recommendation for you to do it. Camping at Hanna Park with kids can be just the outdoorsy adventure you’ve been looking for here in Jacksonville.
My husband and I enjoyed camping even before we had kids. So 7 years ago when we decided to move to Jacksonville with two small children, we were searching for great camping locations near Jacksonville. It took us a while until we found Hannah Park. We could have never imagined that only 10 minutes from our home we would find our favorite spot, even for a beach day or a Sunday picnic. Camping is by far our favorite activity there and my kids absolutely love it!
Hanna Park is located at Mayport in the Jacksonville Beaches area and consists of 447 acres of mature coastal hammock. When you enter the park you start feeling the magic. Embellished by tall Spanish moss trees, and a 1.5-mile public beach, you can always find something to do, any time of the year. If I haven’t convinced you so far, I will tell you 5 reasons why camping with your kids in Hanna Park is an absolutely great idea:
Hanna Park is Safe and Kid Friendly
During your stay, you are not going to find loud crowds. The security of the park not only does a great job ensuring a peaceful staying but also, a safe one for your family. You can see kids riding their bikes freely since the early morning till the sun goes down, and you will always find large groups of families that want the same as you. A way to escape from routine in a peaceful and safe environment. Its camping areas are a great choice for celebrations and family reunions!
There is Beach Access Within the Park
The climate is so favorable in Jacksonville to enjoy the beach all year long, including during our cold months. Even when you can’t get in the water, you can still have a nice walk, or find time to star gazing at night. The beach at Hanna Park is also a popular spot to hunt for shark teeth and sea glass. It’s so close to the campground that you can get there easily on foot. One of our favorite beaches in Jacksonville, the park has a lot of spots to choose from for you to spend the day with fair public facilities if you need them. Kids can have both things, the wilderness environment, and the beach. Trust me, they won’t need their electronic devices (although bring them along, just in case!)
Camping at Hanna Park offers a Variety of Activities
Walking or biking with your kids is going to become one of your favorite activities while camping at Hannah Park. You have so many choices that you will definitely come back to explore other parts of the park. They have trails for different levels of hikers and bikers, your little ones are going to have so much fun going through nature. You can enjoy the picnic areas close to the playgrounds, and in the summer let the kids play in the splash pad zone. There is also time for some fishing, kayaking, and canoeing, and then come back to your campground at night for some grilling under the stars.
Thanks to its nature the campgrounds are somewhat private despite being next to each other so you won’t feel uncomfortable about disturbing others. The spaces are pretty comfortable for 2 to 3 tents in each campground. You have other options like RV camping spaces or cabins as well, which will make it even more comfortable and private. Some spaces are for primitive camping which will make your experience a little wilder, especially with kids.
Location, Location, Location
You are just 5 minutes away from civilization, even when you feel you are immersed in the middle of a tropical jungle. Just 8 minutes away you can get to Mayport Ferry, or to Atlantic Blvd. If you feel like your kids can’t have any more hotdogs and smores you can drive to a close local restaurant, or you can go to the supermarket of preference if you forgot something (you most likely will).
Tips for Camping at Hanna Park with Kids
So if you don’t mind changing the comfort of your house for a few nights under the stars, even if you know your kids are probably going to be dirty for the entire trip, this is a perfect staycation place. Here are some other extra recommendations:
-Book in advance. The place gets booked fast, especially around holidays. With kids is always convenient to choose a campground relatively close to the bathrooms. Reservations are available on the city website.
-Don’t be afraid to spend an actual holiday in the park. Thanksgiving and Easter can be very fun at the park.
-Consider staying an extra night if you are planning to visit during weekends. The park gets almost empty by Sunday afternoons, which will give you a more private experience at least for the extra night.
-You can also do a late check out on Sunday so you can still enjoy the day without rushing to pack all the things you are taking with you.
For all your camping adventures, right here in Jacksonville, Hanna Park has tons to offer!
Paola is an award-winning author, originally from Colombia. Her first novel El Lago de los Milagros (2016) (Spanish version) is an Award Winning Book at the International Latino Book Awards 2017. Paola also published Shorty Tales (Cuentitos) a collection of short bilingual stories, and in 2021 she released her first Non-Fiction Book, The Anxious Mom Manifesto: 18 Lessons to Control Your Anxiety Monster. An original, provocative, and honest take on motherhood, anxiety, and facing one’s own monsters. Currently, she lives in Jacksonville with her husband and kids. You can follow her @paobsur and reach her at www.paolasur.com.