Exactly one month from now, Andrew, Ellie and I will be sitting on a Florida Beach, watching the waves roll in with my family, and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been over three years since I’ve been to the Gulf Coast and I miss it terribly. It’s where my family used to vacation when my siblings and I were younger, where I took my senior trip, spring break, and many vacations since. When Andrew and I lived in Montgomery, the beach was close enough to drive down for a weekend or even a day trip if we were feeling particularly adventurous. Florida’s Panhandle beaches are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The white sand reflects blue-green water that is unique to the area, giving it the name Emerald Coast. Here are a few pictures of our favorite beaches.
Panama City Beach
PCB has a reputation for being a party beach, which may be true during times like spring break and right after students get out of school for the year, but it’s mostly family oriented with lots of activities for kids like Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Gulf World Marine Park, and the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise to keep them busy. This is where we’ll be with my family next month and I’m really looking forward to sharing these experiences with Ellie for the first time. Andrew and I tended to stay on the beach and not do too many activities, so some of them we’ll be doing for the first time too. These pics are of our last trip to PCB.
Destin is where my family usually vacationed when we were kids and had the chance to go. It is probably the most popular Panhandle destination, with tons of restaurants and activities for all ages. One of the last times Andrew and I went was during winter, so it was too cold to swim, but we had a romantic weekend at the Inn on Destin Harbor, a hotel overlooking a marina that had the most beautiful sunsets.
The hotel didn’t have a great beach so we decided to check out Henderson Beach State Park. It was beautiful, even during the middle of winter, although there were jellyfish lining the water that looked like Portuguese man-o-war. Whatever kind they were, we made sure to steer clear of them.
Our day trip to Pensacola was our last trip to the Panhandle before we moved to Ohio. Of all the areas we’ve been to, this one may be my favorite because it is home to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a 10-mile stretch of beach with no hotels, condos or shops–just you and the ocean. Because there is so much space, it’s easy to have a section of beach all to yourself.
Seeing these pictures again after so long has me even more excited about our upcoming trip. I’ve bought so many swimsuits, flip flops and sundresses for Ellie, I’m going to have to do a baby fashion blog when we get back!