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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Travel Uncategorized

Florida’s Emerald Coast- Destin

Florida’s Emerald Coast

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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