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Your adventure in Northwest Florida Beaches isn’t over yet. For insider insight on what else to do in this stretch of coastal towns, we caught up with our biggest supporters in the region.
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Third Friday of the month
Downtown Pensacola Gallery Night
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1. Rent a Beach House There may be no place like home, but when you’re hunkered down in a beach house with 30 of your closest friends, does it really matter? ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Northwest Florida’s largest vacation rental company, offers units ranging from small studios to lavish penthouse suites. Kick back, and stay awhile.
2. Toast the Sunset Save your appetite for sunset, and you’ll be treated to a double dose of indulgence at the Fish Out of Water restaurant at WaterColor Inn & Resort in South Walton County: You’ll not only enjoy dishes like grilled diver scallops but also get a front-row seat to dusk settling in over golden dunes.
3. Play at a Classic Beach Club If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing, then you have an idea of what Watersound Beach Club, in the South Walton County community of Watersound, is all about. Managed by St. Joe Club & Resorts, this sprawling setup is open to guests who stay at any of the company’s properties, which include two boutique hotels and more than 270 luxury vacation rentals along Scenic Highway 30A. Think of it as a giant clubhouse on the beach, complete with a lagoon-style pool, kids’ camps, golf courses, beach bonfires, and more.
“People don’t realize how serene Cape San Blas is. It’s one of the few places left where you can truly unplug.”
—Julia cunningham Owner, Coastal Realty Group
4. Experience Incredible Sand The stuff found on most beaches contains a mixture of about 20 different minerals. That’s not the case on powder-white Mexico Beach. Because river silt never gets deposited here, the sand is solely composed of evenly sized, highly reflective quartz crystals that keep the beaches cool, even in the hottest months.
5. Invest in a Home Out-of-town visitors to southern Gulf County have been known not to leave. If you find yourself thinking that a vacation to this area just won’t cut it, talk to the experts at Coastal Realty Group, the area’s go-to source for investment properties and vacation homes.
6. Go Horseback Riding There are only four places in Florida where you can ride a horse on the beach, and Cape San Blas is one of them. Saddle up year-round with either Rockin M Ranch or Broke-a-Toe, two companies that offer daytime, sunset, and moonlight rides.
7. Unwind, Tiki-Style When in Mexico Beach, do as the locals do. That means a trip to Toucan’s, a two- story, thatched-roof seafood joint situated right on the beach. Opt for the seafood platter for a combo of shrimp, scallops, oysters, and crab cakes. Got your second wind? Volleyball courts, swings, and seesaws are located behind the restaurant.
8. Taste Tupelo Honey How sweet it is to be located near the country’s largest concentration of Tupelo trees, the source of that prized nectar, Tupelo honey. Pick up a jar at many Gulf County establishments, including grocers and book stores, or pay a visit to Smiley Honey in Wewahitchka, where you can tour the bottling facility and score free samples.
9. Score Stellar Views When you stay at One Seagrove Place, the ocean is never out of sight. Every condo rental at this getaway in South Walton County’s Seagrove Beach comes with a private balcony facing the Gulf so you can soak up the beach life discreetly before exploring the other top-notch amenities available on-site.
10. See New Urbanism Rosemary Beach in South Walton County is one of the country’s finest examples of New Urbanism, a design movement that focuses on community. Here, neighborhoods are connected by footpaths and bike trails, minimizing the need for cars.
11. Have a Drink:
Paradis Pull up a chair at this come-as-you-are restaurant in Rosemary Beach and order the blueberry lemon drop martini, made with blueberry vodka and lemon juice and finished with a sugar rim. Plan your visit for happy hour (between 5 and 6 p.m.), when this and two other martinis—classic cucumber and classic rum daiquiri—are just five bucks a pop.
Summer Kitchen Café What began as a walk-up window inside a tiny, red shack has grown into one of the most beloved hangouts in Rosemary Beach. Established in 1999, the community’s first restaurant cools guests off with its Green Smoothie, made with kale, banana, cayenne, lemon, avocado, and coconut water. Drink it on the patio while people-watching.
Rose Bros. This neighborhood joint on the bottom floor of The Pension Hotel in Rosemary Beach turns ice cream floats into works of art. Choose among soda flavors like root beer, sarsa-parilla, and cream soda, then top with your choice of ice cream, ranging from classic vanilla to salty caramel. The finished product looks almost too good to drink.Send This To A Friend Print Page
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