This… Is what I call BEACH PERFECTION.
Almost every time I post a picture on Instagram of beach, someone asks what beach I am at. Since I am lucky enough to live so close to several beaches, there is no telling what spot I am at, but I do have a few favorite spots. Our water here is clear and beautiful and I’m sure you can see why they call us “The Emerald Coast.” Our gorgeous Turquoise waters are just as picturesque as they are in the Caribbean. And chances are, you live within the U.S. if you are reading this, so what are you waiting for, we are a lot cheaper to visit the Bahamas. This particular beach is located in the NW Panhandle and is known as one of Florida’s “Best Kept Secrets.” Only I think the secret is finally out because each year, Navarre beach tourism just keeps on booming with more and more growth. But how could you blame anyone for wanting a piece of this Beach Perfection?
There are several public beach spots in Navarre right when you get onto the Island to your left. If you reach the stop sign and then turn left you will see their Marine Science Center and then spot the beach pavilions over to your right. These are perfect spots for families who will need a restroom to change clothes in or a place to wash sand off the kiddos feet. And the second pavilion is where you want to go if you are into diving or snorkeling because this spot is also home to Navarre’s artificial reef. There are also 2 other reef spots on the sound side (Other side of the Island) so if you are interested in multiple dive spots, check out the website Dive Navarre for more detailed information.
Another fun spot to hit while your on the island is the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. It is the longest fishing pier in the gulf and features a Bait and Tackle store and a beach bar. There is a fee to walk the pier of $2 per person and you can also fish for $7 a day if you want, they rent poles and sell plenty of bait in the store. In my opinion it’s worth the $2 just for the amazing views you get of the water underneath you. I think mornings and sunset are definitely the best times to go. Most mornings you will get the chance to see a couple of dolphins feeding and maybe even a sea turtle or two come up for air. And then in the evenings, the sunsets are truly amazing to watch from the pier and make a great time to snap some family photos.
I took this photo off the balcony of a condo at the Pearl
Navarre is not a super crazy party town like PC Beach is known to be. But if you want to have a good time and dance while having a few cocktails in a fun environment, then you will have to hit up Juana’s Pagoda. There is no way you will be able to miss the thatched roof pagoda bar from the side of the road as you drive onto the island. Juana’s is a locals hangout but great for tourists as well. There is an outdoor tiki bar, an inside bar with televisions and a dance floor, and when you get hungry there is also a restaurant onsite called The Sailors Grill. I would recommend the Galley Nachos or the Avocado Bacon Cheeseburger (Both good choices after you have had a few beers).
There are several different beaches you can hit while visiting the panhandle area, but Navarre beaches have the best shelling by far in my opinion! I work in the vacation rental industry and one of my most asked questions is “where can I find some good sea shells?” There are shelling tours available in certain parts of Destin and Panama City where they take you by boat to good spots to search for nice shells. But in Navarre, you have to hunt for yourself because there are no shelling tours in the area. But I will tell you that the best spots to find some will be from spot #5 on down all the way past when you reach the Gulf National Seashore sites. If you want to do some shelling I recommend buying one of the nets on a stick handle from one of the local beach stores (Or even most local grocery stores carry them.) And make sure you try on your goggles or snorkel mask before you get to the beach. There is nothing like putting your mask on when your all exited about going shelling and then it filling with water as soon as you dip your face beneath the water. And most importantly, Don’t forget to apply extra sunscreen to your back and back of your legs. Snorkeling along the top of the water attracts some major sun rays to you and you can get badly burned in a very short amount of time.
This is a Baby Sand Dollar I found in the surf along Navarre Beach In Public Access spot #12
This little Sand Dollar was still alive so I put her back in the water right after I snapped this picture. If you take your kids shelling please make sure that they do not take home any that are inhabited with sea life or an actual living specimen like a Star Fish. Not only will taking one home with something alive in it smell up your car or home like nothing you have ever smelt, but it is also against the law to remove them from our beaches.
I hope that this post has given you a little insight to Navarre Beach from a locals point of view. This little piece of paradise should definitely be added to your bucket list! If you are interested in planning a vacation here and would like some help finding a great and reputable company to book your condo through, please check out https://www.destinresorts.com
This is a family owned local company that has condos in the Navarre Beach area as well as in Fort Walton Beach and the Destin area. If you call to book, tell them Julie sent ya! *I do not get any type of money from you making a reservation with this company. I just wanted to refer you to a trustworthy company that I have used to book units for myself and that I had a good experience with. Let me know if you ever decide to take a trip down my way, I have tons of other info about the area and would be happy to refer you to some amazing local Seafood restaurants and awesome shopping areas. So what do you think about this little known piece of beach perfection?