Categories
beach Photography Travel Traveler Uncategorized

Bucket List Adventures- Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Explore & Discover:

Gulf Shores

DSC_0313.jpg

Greetings from Gulf Shores! I’ve been beachin’ it all across the Gulf of Mexico Coast, and I am sharing all of my favorite shores and stops along the way! My all-time favorite vacation spots include any and everything that’s tropical and beachy! I have always loved exploring beaches and immersing myself in the laid-back atmosphere.

 

Beach

Gulf Shores Beach is very popular among locals and is also tourist central. The beach access is free, and you pay for parking. Gulf Shores Beach is a hub for Spring Break activities namely with the college crowd. The water at Gulf Shores is warm and inviting, and the sand is sugar white and sun-kissed.

Gulf Shores Beach is excellent for discovering seashells and sand dollars. It’s incredible to see how many special creatures you are sharing the beach with. At any given time you may see any of the classes of animals including mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

The beach and surrounding areas are home and safe havens to many walks of life so we must always remember to respect that. Also, still pick up after yourself and be mindful of nesting or preservation areas. Remember, leave only your footprints.

DSC_0291

 

State Park

Gulf State Park offers campsites and campgrounds, a fishing pier, beach access, and outdoor water sports. Other activities include beach volleyball, parasailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier is populated with avid fishermen eagerly casting their rods into the vast salt-water of The Gulf of Mexico. The pier itself is vast measuring 1,540 ft. Long and 20 ft. Wide. I appreciated the informational signs detailing the local sea life, native plants, and organisms.

Boardwalk

The Gulf State Park Beach Pavillion Boardwalk extends out to the beautiful beach. There are a couple of concession stands located here at the park. I just had to get a cup of gelato to beat the heat. I love sweet beach treats to go with a wonderfully hot day!

 

DSC_0322

 

Hangout Fest

The Hangout is located directly on Gulf Shores Beach. Beachgoers can easily access the beach and the festive courtyard area. The Hangout Festival is the music festival to attend in Gulf Shores. The Hangout Fest is widely famous for bringing together music lovers and beachgoers for an incredible three day weekend.

Year round visitors and locals can pop in at The Hangout for sand and surf gear, bites and sips and live music. The Hangout has a mermaid bar, outdoor games, sandpit and more. There are also several stands for novelties and souvenirs. The amusements are plentiful with bright, fun spots for photo ops and party central beach vibes.

DSC_0280.jpg

DSC_0284.jpg

DSC_0281.jpg

 

Gulf Shores offers everything whether you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, or adventure. Gulf Shores Beach offers festivities, attractions, and entertainment. Gulf Shores State Park provides education, events, and activities.

Gulf Shores is perfect for getting up close with marine life, crustaceans, and shorebirds. Gulf Shores is also ideal for swimming, boating, bird-watching and more! The views of the glistening water of the vast Gulf of Mexico sprawled out before you are tremendous!

 

Explore & Discover:

Orange Beach

Beach

Orange Beach offers sugar white sand, seagulls, and seashells! You can take part in dolphin and sunset cruises, kayaking and paddle boarding, boating and jet skiing and so much more. Whether you’re up for outdoor water play or relaxing on the beach there is something for everyone.

DSC_0365B.jpg

 

Hiking Trail

Orange Beach has several hiking trails for the outdoor lover and adventurer in us all. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Hiking Trail offers several wooded and marsh trails. There is also a butterfly garden. The pathways are utilized primarily for biking and hiking.

The Backcountry Hiking Trails is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts to explore natural vegetation and possible wild animals in their natural element.

DSC_0328.jpg

 

The Wharf

The Wharf is the premier shopping and entertainment district in Orange Beach. The Wharf overlooks the beautiful boats at the marina. The Wharf at Orange Beach provides guests with a Ferris wheel, movie theater, arcade games, zip lining, shopping, dining and more. Mostly, The Wharf is excellent for those who love walking, eating and shopping.

DSC_0342.jpg

DSC_0343.jpg

 

Alabama Pass Point State Park Beach

Alabama Point East A Gulf State Park is located near the Perdido Pass Bridge. The Alabama Point Gulf State Beach park is en route from Orange Beach to Pensacola. The parking and beach access is free here. Upon arrival, there is a long walk across a long wooden bridge that stretches out to the beach. There is also a toy box located on the beach to swap and share toys!

The Alabama East Point offers a beautiful sandy beach area with massive boulder rocks and a multitude of flocks of seabirds. This route will then take you through to beautiful Perdido Key, Fl and ending in Pensacola Beach.

DSC_0368.jpg

DSC_0383

hsa67.jpeg

DSC_0411.jpg

DSC_0394.jpg

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

 

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“Leaving. Doesn’t mean that you’ve left.” – Nayyirah Waheed

 

Categories
beach Travel Uncategorized

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore

I began my journey along Florida’s Emerald Coast questing for the serenity and beauty of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The National Park Service regulates these coastal beaches with some preservation projects, but in essence, they are virtually untouched and remain in their natural state. If you’re lucky, you will get to see marine life, crustaceans, and seabirds.

DSC_0122.JPG

Gulf Islands National Seashore is a federally protected waterway encompassing the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is a large seashore which has land bordering on each side of the sea. The saltwater sea, the Gulf of Mexico, spans from Mexico to Florida. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the Seven Seas of the world. Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches from Mississippi to Florida. The primary access points are from Pensacola and Okaloosa Island. The Okaloosa side of the seashore is located in Fort Walton Beach.

Gulf Islands National Seashore is a more secluded beach which is certainly welcomed for a change of pace and scenery. The natural beauty of the sand dunes, birds flying overhead, and the bay, is surreal and tranquil. The water here is relatively calm and shallow, perfect for both relaxation and play.

There are various recreational opportunities at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Some activities here include boating, swimming, grilling, and picnics. This is also a great place for seeing marine life and coastal seabirds. Gulf Islands National Seashore is a short drive from Navarre Beach, Destin Beach and Pensacola Beach so you can keep beach hopping from sun up to sun down!

DSC_0129.JPG

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

 

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“And sometimes you meet yourself back where you started, but stronger.” Yrsa Daley-Ward

Categories
Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Adventures- Panama City Beach

Explore and Discover: Panama City, Florida

Good morning, from The Sunshine State! I’ve been exploring all of the amazing cities throughout The Florida Panhandle and I’m highlighting my favorite cities and beaches along Florida’s Emerald Coast!

DSC_0003.jpg

 

Beach

We started off at Laguna Beach and it was quite lovely. We then went on to explore Panama Beach. Again, lovely. The beaches in Panama are very touristy, but that’s half the fun right? Panama City Beach is filled with amusements and activities. The sand is powdery white, the warm Emerald green waters flow from The Gulf of Mexico and the waves are calm and relaxing.

DSC_0022.jpg

DSC_0007

DSC_0024

Marina

The Panama City Marina is off the Intercoastal Waterway, in nearby Downtown Panama. There are loads of boats, boats, boats and they are in immaculate condition. The atmosphere with all of the vessels out on the water is very relaxing. Whisk away!

DSC_0042

Pier

Across the street is the Russell-Fields Pier, and for a few bucks, you can walk across it. Fishermen flock here daily to cast their line into the Gulf waters. There were several food trucks out and about all lined up serving up beachside food and sweet beach treats.

Boardwalk

Pier Park is the booming entertainment and shopping hot spot in Panama City Beach. We enjoyed browsing all the local shops and taking the whole experience in. There are many novelty shops, clothing stores, and various restaurants. There are also attractions like the IMAX theater, virtual reality rides, and laser tag.

We had German food for lunch at Hofbrau Beer Gardens. I really loved the Bavarian experience we had at the pub! The live German polka music was the highlight of our outing here. The authenticity of the clothing, decor, and live music were spot on.

Pier Park is a must see when in the area. You undoubtedly will find something fun and entertaining for everyone in your party. Panama City is very popular tourist city offering tons of attractions for all ages. Panama is also a popular place for college kids out on spring break. Panama has a lively boardwalk and beautiful beaches making it the perfect vacation spot for families and friends.

DSC_0034.jpg

img_8648

img_8649

 

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” – Mary Oliver

 

Categories
beach Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Adventures- Fort Walton Beach

 Fort Walton Beach

Hello, from The Sunshine State!

The Florida Panhandle and The Emerald Coast are home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches! Florida has beaches for days, and I love exploring them all! My trip will bring me onward to Fort Walton Beach, which is renowned for its gorgeous emerald water and sugary white sand!

DSC_0264

Fort Walton Beach is located in Okaloosa County, Fl. along Florida’s Emerald Coast stretching from Pensacola to Panama. Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, and Destin make up the center of Florida’s Emerald Coast.

 

Beaches

Fort Walton Beach is excellent for outdoor water adventurers. This beach park is widely popular for surfing and catching waves. It is also great for picking seashells. Fort Walton Beach is a good spot for bird watching as they have many seagulls along the shoreline. Fort Walton Beach offers an array of lodging, shopping, and dining options.

DSC_0256

John C. Beasley Beach Park offers recreational opportunities to visitors featuring a pavilion, volleyball court, and playground. At John Beasley Beach Park visitors and locals can enjoy the sunshine and the pristine beach while swimming, sunbathing or adventuring out on the waters.

DSC_0455

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park features close-up encounters with dolphins, seals, sea lions, penguins and more. The marine park is both educational and entertaining for all ages. The Gulfarium showcases daily marine shows and exhibits showcasing some of natures most beautiful creatures and animals. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is not to be missed while vacationing in Fort Walton.

DSC_0878.jpg

DSC_0842.jpg

 

Boardwalk

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is known for its entertainment and attractions. The beach is located behind the boardwalk. There are surf shops, boutique shops, and souvenir stores. The views of the Gulf of Mexico are quite lovely. There are six restaurants to choose from ranging from casual beachside dining to more upscale beachfront restaurants.

DSC_0852

Attractions

Downtown Fort Walton exudes beach vibes and local culture. In Downtown Fort Walton many of the restaurants, bars, and boutiques are conveniently lined up making it easy to pop in and out. On the weekend’s traffic may be more congested so parking lots or on-street parking may be more of a challenge.

Heritage Park and Cultural Center is home to the Indian Temple Mound and Museum. The museum features local history and pre-historic artifacts cultivating back to the early Native American settlers. The property is also the site of a historic Civil War building, schoolhouse and post office.

Fort Walton Beach Landing Park is along the beach and may be utilized for most outdoor recreational activities. There is also a playground for younger kids and picnic tables.

Okaloosa Island Pier is perfect for sightseeing dolphins by the pier and jellyfish along the beach shore. The marine life is abundant here, and there are many birds including seagulls and herons flying overhead. The dock is great for sunrise or sunset walks, and avid fishermen flock here to fish off the pier regularly.

Air Force Armament Museum houses information on U.S. military history. The Air Force museum features aircraft and combat displays.

Emerald Coast Science Museum is an interactive museum for children and families. The kids are able to be completely immersive and hands-on with the displays and exhibits.

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is quite literally a slice of heaven for children. The adventure zone offers miniature golf, arcade games, rope climbing, 4D movies, and of course, pizza.



Fort Walton Beach is excellent for vacationing couples and families. I love the relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beaches, delicious food, live entertainment and so much more!

 

And my bucket list adventures just keep coming true!

 

Sending all my love from Fort Walton Beach,
The Vintage Gypsy

 

“Be easy. Take your time. You are coming home. To yourself.” -Yrsa Daley-Ward

Categories
Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Adventures- Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach, Fl. –Quiet Water Beach

I love the scenic stretch from Gulf Breeze as you cross the three-mile bridge through Pensacola Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway. There is just something about crossing over and seeing the vast emerald waters sprawled before me. On one side of the waterway is the Gulf of Mexico, and the Santa Rosa Sound lies on the other. I know when I reach this point it feels I am going to my safe haven, my happy place, where my own girl-child is finally home.

DSC_0727.jpg

Downtown Pensacola is great for sips, bites, and activities. In Downtown Pensacola, you can shop and dine, visit museums and parks, and attend live music venues. Pensacola holds a lot of historical importance, and you can visit several landmarks and points of interest. Pensacola is famed for it’s Blue Angels Navel Air Show. You can also visit Gulf Islands National Seashore, and tour nearby Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens.

I really enjoy Pensacola, and I visit the beach often. Pensacola is great for weekend getaways and family vacations. Once you cross over the toll bridge, you are now in your own little slice of paradise. Take your time enjoying the scenery and adventuring in nature at Pensacola Beach.

DSC_0726.jpg

The Pensacola Beach Boardwalk offers beach-goers sort of an all-inclusive resort-style experience. The iconic Shell amphitheater is your official Welcome to Pensacola Beach landmark. I usually splinter my time between the beach and the boardwalk.

My trip to the beach isn’t complete unless I take a stroll down the Pensacola Beach boardwalk and pier. I like to start off my Pensacola trip by exploring the boardwalk window shopping, and then immerse myself entirely at the beach. The boardwalk offers multiple restaurants including fresh seafood straight from The Gulf of Mexico. The boardwalk also is home to live entertainment venues, boutique stores, and surf shops. At the boardwalk, you can get your face painted, henna hand tattoos, shell mermaid hair crowns, airbrushed tees, caricature drawings, handmade seashell jewelry, unique souvenirs and more.

DSC_0747.jpg

DSC_0753B.jpg

At the boardwalk, you can take a boat tour on a glass bottom boat, speedboat or catamaran. They offer both exciting daytime and quaint sunset dolphin tours.

The Premier Dolphin Cruise boards at Pensacola Beach’s boardwalk and travels through Gulf Islands National Seashore and the Santa Rosa Sound. The Premier boat cruise offers guests a relaxing and informational two-hour ride aboard a 63’ catamaran. After exploring the boardwalk, it’s time to soak up some sun at the pristine Pensacola Beach!

Every Memorial weekend Pensacola Beach holds an annual pride festival on the beach. During Memorial Weekend all of the nightclubs have special events going on. The favorite spots here are Capt’n Fun’s Beach Club and Bamboo Willie’s. Parking can be atrocious, so I’d recommend getting a hotel on the beach so you can walk freely, or in the vicinity of the beach events and activities.

DSC_0807.jpg

The gentle emerald waters of Pensacola’s Quietwater Beach are particularly inviting. The water at Pensacola is actually pretty calm, and the waves aren’t too big. This makes Pensacola Beach the perfect place for small children and families to enjoy a full beach day. The temperature of the waters usually always pretty warm, and sometimes it may be a little cooler depending on when you go.

Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail is a natural habitat preservation area near Pensacola beach. The Eco Trail preserves nature and wildlife by bringing awareness to protecting sea life and the environment. The Eco Trail is a safe haven for nesting sea turtles, fish, birds, crabs and more.

DSC_0837.jpg

DSC_0842.jpg

The Graffiti Bridge is situated over the cities old railroad tracks. The Graffiti Bridge is ever-changing and continuously evolving. The artists paint graffiti on the bridge and surrounding area of the railway. You will see a variety of artistic expressions ranging from love professions, personal sentiments, and intimate and raw street art.

DSC_0468.jpg

Pensacola Love Locks is my favorite discovery at The Graffiti Bridge. Many couples visit to place a padlock on the fence as a symbol of their love and solidarity. The idea is that loving couples would attach their locks to the fence to profess their love and commitment to one another. Then the couples would, in turn, toss the key for their devotion to remain locked through time!

DSC_0472.jpg

I love visiting all of the beaches located on Florida’s Gulf Coast and Florida’s Emerald Coast from Pensacola down to Destin and beyond. Pensacola Beach offers vacationers many surf shops, souvenirs stores, restaurants and other attractions. I genuinely enjoy everything far and in between Pensacola, Fort Walton, Okaloosa, Navarre, Destin, Miramar, and Panama. Florida’s Gulf Coast and Emerald Coast have beaches for days and days! So, which amazing beach do you want to visit next?

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

 

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“I have always been the woman of my dreams.” – Nayyirah Waheed

 

 

Categories
Travel Uncategorized

Florida’s Emerald Coast- Destin

Florida’s Emerald Coast

DSC_0332aa

Follow me as I journey through the Gulf coast, The Florida Panhandle, Gulf Islands National Seashore and the Emerald Coast! My travels will take me through Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and onward towards Perdido Key. I’ll be visiting Pensacola Beach, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Destin Beach, Miramar Beach, and Panama.

I’ll be following all of the palm trees back to my happy place among beautiful clear turquoise waters and white sugar sand. There is nothing quite like attuning to your inner child, playing at the beach in the warm, inviting sands, and splashing in the sparkling water!

My itinerary includes several boardwalks, firework and magic shows, museums and aquariums, beachside dining, a multitude of surf shops, dolphin cruises among speedboats and catamarans, and taking in all of the fantastic beaches, beaches, beaches!!!

 

Boardwalk

Destin is a world-class fishing village located on the Gulf of Mexico and is known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor sports.

Destin’s Harborwalk Village offers a variety of restaurants, beach shops, clothing stores, concessions, and water activities. At the Harborwalk Village, you can rent jet skis, paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, or ride pontoons, glass bottom boats, speed boats, party boats, catamarans and more! Destin’s Harborwalk village is an excellent spot for lots of activities and options for things to do.

At the Harborwalk there is zip lining ( I saw someone get stuck!), the escape room, henna and face painting, boardwalk games, 7D virtual interactive experience, timeshare pitches (Margaritaville), live music on the center stage, occasional street performers and so much more!

They have several seafood restaurants here (pricy!), street food/ food trucks (when are they operational?), caricature drawings, tye dye shirts. (why not?) At any of the many restaurants along the boardwalk, you can have beachside dining! (That’s worth the money right?!) There are plenty of souvenir shops, jewelry shops, and beach themed gear. There is also a candy and ice cream shop, coffee shop, a cotton candy stand and more.

The Harborwalk Marina offers tons of boats and water activities for daily excursions. The Destin Sea Blaster party speedboat dolphin tour is so much fun! It’s probably the best boat and dolphin tour I’ve been on yet.

 

DSC_0296.jpg

DSC_0289.jpg

DSC_0314.jpg

Beach

Crystal Sands- The turquoise waters and sugar white sand are heavenly. It’s true, the turquoise water is striking, showcasing hues of clear blue-green water, and the sand is soft and pure white. I love sunset walks on the boardwalk, and barefoot nighttime walks on the beach with the salt ocean air blowing through my hair. Crystal Sands is the most beautiful beach to grace Destin and The Emerald Coast.

0oGaqR.jpeg

DSC_0351.jpg

Miramar Beach offers warm powder white sand, beautiful sunshiny days, cool breezes, and teal colored waters. The way the sun casts over the beach and lights it up is nothing short of miraculous. Miramar beach offers spectacular views of The Gulf of Mexico. Miramar Beach is located near Destin and highlights the same gorgeous surroundings and offerings.

DSC_0074.JPG

DSC_0076.JPG

DSC_0080.JPG

DSC_0064.JPG

 

The Village of Baytowne Wharf

The Village of Baytowne Wharf is a commercial and residential resort neighborhood located in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The Village of Baytown Wharf offers boutique shopping, dining, and live entertainment. At Baytown Wharf you can visit the marinas, listen to live music, play carnival-style games, and more.

DSC_0062.JPG

DSC_0058.JPG

The Hilton Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort is a beachfront hotel offering stunning views and amenities. They have several restaurants ranging from quick bites by the beach to upscale cuisine, a coffee shop, gift shops and a high-end spa. There is a bellman on standby if you need help with your luggage. They also have valet parking.

We were in the Serenity Spa corridors, and we had a very comfortable stay. Our room was lovely and spacious. I enjoyed the balcony partially overlooking the resort and Miramar beach. I enjoyed walking around the resort and checking out all the amenities they have to offer to guests. They have 3 pools including two indoor pools and one outdoor pool. I loved being able to walk right out to the beach from the resort. The chair rentals and umbrellas are pretty expensive, so I’d suggest you bring yours with you. The beach and the resort were both so beautiful, and it’s definitely a slice of para para paradise!

Sandestin

DSC_0427.jpg

WcTQL.jpeg

DSC_0450.jpg

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

 

“The reason for leaving sometimes is to return. Simply to return.” -Yrsa Daley-Ward