I'd rather have dumb luck than no luck at all. More often than not, the first sort (certainly coupled with recommendations from well-meaning, enthusiastic locals) leads us to a great spot like this one.
We were headed for Wakulla Springs to camp and swim again today, but when we arrived at the state park (listed in the state's guide as a campground, among other things), we found instead that the only lodging here is a 27-room lodge. At $95 to $150 per night, it wasn't really what we were going for when we headed for a state park campground. Further, we discovered the springs wasn't accessible for our type of recreation, and the boat tour to the spring would be had only at additional cost.
The girls had the option to drive 30 minutes down the road to the next closest state park (which we were assured by the friendly ranger really does have camping) or press on 150 miles or so to the camp intended for the next night. The benefit of moving on, they agreed, would be that we'd stay at the beach camp two nights and have a day out of the car. Plus, they could continue listening to "Pollyanna," (again, ala Librivox.org).
So, to Grayton Beach we headed on the resort coast of Florida, known better for the plush condo village of Destin. What a find. Beautiful state beach park, affordable camping, full hookups (for those who need them), hot showers, flush toilets and all 1/2 mile walk (or drive) from the park's own stretch of white-sand beach. Clean, green, warm, translucent Gulf water, and sand that, when tossed in wet piles or scuffed with bare feet, "barks" like shoes on a basketball court.
We built a fort and a mermaid, watched the mermaid wash back into the sea and enjoyed leaping and running as the sun set.