Mid-Bay Shores Campground in Niceville, Florida. Maxwell/Gunter Recreation area near Destin, Florida. Campground photos and things to do in the area.
When you’re trying to bring the entire family on vacation (and I’m talking about the fur babies), you begin to see how much camping and the emerald green waters of Destin, Florida, go together.
After a little bit of searching we found Mid-Bay Shores Campground. An annex of Maxwell/Gunter AFB in Alabama.
This campground is perfect! Spaced out campsites, tent camping, RV camping with full hookups, fully furnished bungalows and trailers that are pet friendly.
However, since it’s part of the Maxwell/Gunter Recreation area, only military personnel are permitted to stay. This includes Active duty, Retired, Reservists, DOD, DOD Contractors and DOD Retired.
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Even though we live in Arkansas, we weren’t about to let a little thing like that stop us from finally seeing the ocean after five years.
So we booked the trip back in February and were committed to the 10 hour drive to get there. Since we were pulling a travel trailer we decided it was best to make an overnight stop at Lake Walker Family Camp, at Camp Shelby, before heading out early the next morning.
Mid-Bay Shores Campground
Mid-Bay Shores Campground is located in Niceville, Florida. It sits just before the Mid-Bay Bridge that leads into the beautiful Destin, Florida.
As you near the destination you’ll come to a gate leading into the campground. You’ll need to pull over to the side and check-in before entering the campground.
RV Camping Area-
- 19 Sites- Water/Electric/Sewer
- 7 Sites- Water/Electric
- Bathhouse within walking distance
- Laundry with change machine
- Picnic table
- Grill area
- View of the bay
- Beach access (swim at your own risk)
- No fires allowed at this campground
- No pets allowed on beach
- No hanging lights
Mid-Bay Shores offers 26 RV campsites with 19 of them having full hookups. Some of them are pull through with most having gorgeous views of the Choctawhatchee Bay.
Campsites 8, 9, 10, 28, 29, 30 & 31 are water and electric only. So be sure pay attention when making reservations.
You’ll also find that sites 28, 29, 30 and 31 sit very close to the Mid-Bay Bridge. Although the bridge does have a sound barrier wall to help combat the noise pollution.
Bungalows are also available to rent and come fully furnished. Most bungalows sit right on the water and offer a beautiful view of Choctawhatchee Bay. You’ll find several staircases that lead down to the beach area for easy beach access.
*No lifeguard on duty- Swim at own risk
Looking for a pet friendly Bungalow? Rentals 1, 2, 3, 4, 22, 23 and 24 are all pet friendly Bungalows.
*note- Although these rentals are fully furnished you are expected to bring your own towels, bedding and toiletries.
All of the Mid-Bay Shores rental trailers are pet friendly and furnished. You are expected to bring your own towels, bedding and toiletries.
All trailers offer beautiful views of the water and have easy paths that lead down to the beach area.
*No lifeguard on duty- Swim at own risk
Here you’ll also find 3 tent campsites available with tent pad, Adirondack chairs and picnic table. Just behind these campsites is a nice short walk through the woods that circles back to the tent campsites.
Unfortunately, the tent sites are located directly behind the RV dump station. Although, since most of the RV sites offer full hookups the dump station was never very busy.
At the Mid-Bay Shores Campground you’ll find two coin operated laundry facilities with change machine. One is located in the RV camping area and the other is located behind bungalow 21.
- Free Wifi available
- Beach area
- DVD’s to borrow at front office
- Playground behind bungalows 22 &21
- Sand Play area in front of bungalow 22
- Paddle board, kayak, adult and children bike rentals (including helmet) available at front office
- Little Free Library located just outside the laundry facility in the RV area
- Boat launch
- Fishing pier
The boat launch and fishing pier is located past all of the bungalow rentals and is on the waters of Pippin Lake. There is a small channel to the right that leads from Pippin Lake to the Choctawhatchee Bay. Due to the alligators in the lake there is absolutely no swimming allowed in the lake area.
Things to do in the area:
With the campground being just minutes away from Destin, Florida, there are so many family activities to enjoy nearby. Enjoy the emerald green waters of Henderson Beach State Park or rent a pontoon boat at Eglin AFB Outdoor Recreation (best to make reservations in advance.)
You can also try your luck at the Destin Army Recreation Area where they have several pontoon boats available to rent on a first come first serve basis. Be sure to check their hours of operations and you will want to arrive early to wait in line.
With both options being military affiliated you will need a boating license. You can get a free Boater Safety Certification with the course being available online. -BoatUS Foundation’s online course
Once on the water make your way over to Crab Island. A popular spot to park your boat on a sand bar and enjoy the surroundings.
Tips- Boat parking on Crab Island is all the same direction. -If you’re wanting to get further onto the island, walk the boat in but watch for anchors. -The tide can be strong. For more safety tips visit- 10 Safety Tips for Crab Island
If you have younger children with you, you might enjoy a calmer shoreline. Facing the Destin Bridge from Crab Island, look to the right. That is a peninsula that you can make your way down and pick a quiet spot to park your boat. The waters and atmosphere are a bit more calm and relaxing.
Also in the area:
- Henderson Beach State Park
- Eglin Beach Park
- The Village of Baytowne Wharf
- The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island
- The HarborWalk Village
- Places of Interest
- Gator Beach Alligator Show
- Buccaneer Pirate Cruise
- Mini Golf and Go Karts
For a complete list and more information, including indoor rainy day activities, be sure to check out;
Can you hear traffic from the Mid-Bay Toll Bridge at the campground
Yes, you can. But with the sound barrier wall it’s very muffled and not an intrusive noise. During our stay we were in campsite number 20 and we didn’t have a problem with the sound of traffic.
We also went on quite a few walks to the fishing pier where we had to walk under the bridge. Not only was it surprisingly quiet, it was really more interesting then anything else.
- Bring cash for the toll bridge. It’s 4$ each time you cross.
- The closest on-ramp to get to the Mid-Bay Bridge to bring you into Destin, Florida, is closed Saturday’s from noon until 6:00pm from May 28- September 3rd, to help with traffic congestion. Plan your day trip into Destin accordingly. -View more info on the ramp closures-
- Traffic in Destin can get heavy during the day, you may want to plan for extra travel time
- The Publix grocery store over the bridge is a great place to pick up a salad or sandwiches for a picnic lunch at the beach. Be sure to get a cookie from the bakery for the kids
Campground Photo Gallery
This campground is absolutely gorgeous with trees dripping with Spanish moss and watching the lights turn on over Destin. The RV area is nicely spread out and is a great spot for kids to ride their bikes and make some new friends.
It’s a quiet campground but with it being only minutes from Destin, Florida, there are plenty of places to explore for some family day trips. The water in the bay isn’t the emerald green that Destin is known for, but it is clean, warm and shallow for quite a way out.
Best Wishes ~Sara
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