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Local campsites hanging"No Vacancy" signs
LOCAL AREA -- It's the first day of spring and local campgrounds are booked solid.
Both Fort Pickens and Big Lagoon State Parks are hanging virtual "no vacancy" signs up for the next few weeks as campers fill the available spaces.
Big Lagoon State Park has 75 campsites on this property, and every one is booked at least through April 7th. Add in daily visitors and they average 700 people a day on the weekends. That's big business, especially at a time when people are looking for alternatives when they plan a getaway.
Camping for spring break. Not your typical vacation. But it's an option more and more families are choosing.
"It's nice because they can get up and run around and you don't have to sit in a hotel room and wait for the day to start. Kids can just get up and start going."
But it's not just families here at Big Lagoon. College students are making this their choice for spring break, too.
"During school you can go out and party anytime but it's nice to have a week off where it's just quiet and it's just nature ya know?"
One college group known as the "Navigators" drives every year from Wisconsin to enjoy the outdoors of the Gulf Coast.
"It's a great opportunity to get to know one another more an grow in our faith so we come here and start out with Bible studies in the morning and start the day in God's word and worship around the campfire and enjoy our spring break."
Whatever the reason for choosing camping, everyone agrees its a different atmosphere here.
Leo Granger/Campground host
"They come here so they can behave here. If they don't want to behave they go to the beach."
Another attractive aspect of camping instead of a hotel stay is the cost.
A camp site runs $20 a night here.
Of course it's a little farther to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.