Why do we slow down on the bridge?

Odds are if you’ve come over the Navarre Beach Causeway in the last few months for some fun in the gulf coast sun, you’ve noticed traffic slows down right at the entrance to the beach.

So, why is everybody moving like molasses? It’s for the birds!

This time of year, our nesting shorebirds are in town, and the sandy sides of our beach bridge are the perfect place for them to nest, flat and open, right near the shoreline. Two species nest in this area each summer.

Black skimmers are the bigger of our nesting birds and are listed as threatened by state law. These awkward looking fellows appear to be wearing suits, and they have an unusually shaped beak that resembles a blunt pair of scissors. This design is perfect for skimming the surface of the water with their bottom jaw, then snapping shut on tasty fish. Their long-legged, spotted offspring can be seen by onlookers that give the nesting colony a little space. They’re very cute.

Accompanying the skimmers are our least terns, a much smaller shore dweller that is listed as threatened by state law. These tiny birds sound a bit like flying dog toys as they squeak to one another. Mostly white in color, they and their chicks are excellent at hiding along the ground of the nesting area. Keen eyes with a good camera zoom or binoculars can spot their speckled chicks in the nesting area.

While protective fencing typically keeps the chicks out of harms way, slowing down on the bridge prevents collisions with the adults that fly low around the bridge. It also offers a chance for passengers in the car to see the nesting area up close.

Slowing down on the bridge for the short nesting span impacts drive time by a few seconds. So, take a moment to slow down and get a peak of our cute chicks before they migrate back down to South America, then enjoy the rest of your vacay on our beautiful shores! Book your stay today at NavarreListings.com.

Tips for tourists: What to pack

You’ve come to the conclusion you need a vacation. Actually, you and your family DESERVE a vacation. You’ve been laboring away to afford this much needed relaxation, and finally the day is approaching. You’ve already booked your vacation rental at navarrelistings.com, and the logistics are set in stone. Now, all you have to do is pack.

Often, planning a vacation and getting ready to relax can be quite the opposite. It can be stressful to make sure you are prepared and have everything you need for your secret getaway. You don’t want to forget anything essential, but you also don’t want to be lugging 14 suitcases, two surfboards, a body pillow and your dog Suzie cross-country to the Sunshine State.

Let’s break down the necessities so that you can simplify your suitcase and enjoy your stay at Florida’s most relaxing place.

Pack your essentials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clothes. Light shirts and shorts and don’t forget a swimsuit or two and some flip flops for the beach days! Maybe bring some dressy options for the nights out and if you like outdoor activity bring some sneakers too.
  • Sunscreen and hat. Florida heat is no joke. It doesn’t get the nickname “The Sunshine State” for nothing. Heat indexes commonly reach over 100 degrees, and the UV rays can leave you looking like a lobster in no time if you are not careful. You might also want to bring some Aloe Vera just in case.
  • Toiletries. Some rentals already have shampoo and conditioner, but not all of them. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razors, brush, hair product (to help with the crazy Florida humidity), perfume/cologne and anything else you might need to feel clean and keep that vacation glow up!
  • Medicine. Other than your daily medicine and vitamins, make sure to bring some ibuprofen or pain reliever just in case you get a headache or hurt yourself during your exciting adventures on the Panhandle.
  • Face mask and hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, we can’t take a vacation from the pandemic altogether. (Wouldn’t that be nice?) Some stores such as Walmart and Target require face masks for shoppers. Most stores in the Navarre area might recommend face masks, but don’t require them. It is best to have one just in case.
  • Beach essentials. A lot of things that you need for the beach can be bought locally for reasonable prices, so just leave room in your suitcase for the ride home! We’re talking beach totes, towels, coolers, beach chairs, reusable water bottles, beach toys, swim goggles, floats, waterproof bags for cellphones, sunglasses and insect repellent (for the evening).
  • Technology. Some people choose to unplug on their vacations and others choose to embrace the technology to capture the memories. Don’t forget your cellphone charger, selfie stick, camera, camera battery charger, extra power packs, laptop/tablet and portable speakers.
  • Entertainment. Don’t forget the FUN! Anything from frisbees, volleyballs, books, newspapers and magazines to board games, card games, notepads and colored pencils. Check with your condo to see what sports facilities may be offered and if you need to bring your own equipment.

These are some helpful recommendations, but at the end of the day, don’t stress about the STUFF. Know your motive for why you’re even taking this trip in the first place. Surely, there will be a store within 5-10 minutes of your condo, so don’t worry about forgetting something. Things are replaceable, people and memories are not.

To book your next vacation on the sunny northwest coast of Florida, visit www.navarrelistings.com today!

3 big reasons to unplug on vacation

When it comes time to unwind on vacation, checking work emails and scrolling social media feeds are not the first things that come to mind. But tragically, I’ve seen it. A family is finally getting a break to just be together on our beautiful beaches, and a parent or teen reaches for their phone. In that split second, they go from being in the moment to being distant.

It’s not easy leaving our tech behind. We’ve grown so accustomed to having answers, information, communication, distractions right at our fingertips. Smartphones have improved our lives in many ways, but ask yourself how your ties to technology, especially during “down time,” are impacting your life. Is it always positive?

I’m a firm believer that vacation time is synonymous with unplug time. Here’s a few reasons to unplug while on vacation:

1. Better sleep

When we go on vacation, sleep is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind, but part of fully enjoying the fun is being fully recharged. Scrolling your Facebook feed or squeezing in a few emails before bed seems harmless enough, but that screen time can actually be harmful. Havard Health explains, blue light, like the light associated with a cellphone or laptop screen, can throw your minds circadian rhythm out of whack. That rhythm is the essential part of sleep that helps heal the brain.

Life is go, go, go, go, and natural sleep helps us take on the day. Take care of your mind, especially on vacation, and it will take care of you.

2. Be present

In college, one of the scariest things for me to watch was how often some students would walk across parking lots or the street without looking up from their phones. While that’s an extreme example, it highlights a bigger point. You don’t know what you miss when you miss it.

Busily taking pictures of every moment of vacation on your cell and posting them to Instagram to show all your friends can be fun. But did you notice the smell of the gulf breeze? Did you take time to you’re your breathing to the rhythm of the waves? Were you looking at your phone when you crested the dunes on the walkover for the first time?

I’ve lived here since the day I was born, and to this day those little experiences still take my breath away. Take time to notice the little things. Instagram can wait.

3. Really connect

Modern tech can make us feel more connected to one another than ever before. It’s amazing to be able to speak face to face with family and friends across the globe.

But there is also a loss of connection when we get carried away. When we shut off the cellphones, we can really talk to one another. And that’s important. Kids will only be kids for so long. Take a few days to shut off the rest and just talk to them. You will be amazed at what you will learn about each other that would have got lost in translation in a text.

Or meet new people. Nothing says “don’t talk to me” like a raised phone screen. Go out to the local spots (Juana’s has been a staple of the beach for 40 years), leave the phone in your pocket and strike up conversations. You will be surprised who you might meet.

Book your unplugged getaway today at NavarreListings.com.

2020 Navarre Fishing Rodeo set for October 3-4

Calling all anglers to Navarre Beach! The 2020 Navarre Fishing Rodeo is set for Oct. 3-4.

Organized by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation, the event is entering its eighth year. The rodeo benefits Navarre’s Take a Kid Fishing event and the entities included in the Navarre Beach Marine Park.

The rodeo registration fee is $48 and registration can be done at NavarreFishingRodeo.com and at Half Hitch Tackle in Navarre. As an added bonus, registrants receive a “Captain’s Bag” filled with gifts from sponsors.

Navarre Beach offers some of the best fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for hardcore fishermen, young up- and-comers, enthusiastic amateurs and everyone in between!

Six divisions will highlight the rodeo, including the Open Division, Kayak Division, Junior Division, Offshore Slam, Inshore Slam, the Super Slam and the Invasive Lionfish Division, which requires no registration fee and a list of fish categories. Bragging rights, trophies and cash prizes are on the line. (Get it? On the LINE. Ha!)

Fishing can be done from almost anywhere except your local seafood market; fish from the pier, the beach, in the sound, in the bay, or from a boat or kayak. Weigh-ins will take place at Juana’s Pagodas each day. The boundaries are from the Pensacola Pass to the Destin Pass and all points north as long as you are still in Florida.

For more information on the rodeo, visit navarrefishingrodeo.com, fishnavarreweekend.com and takeakidfishingnavarre.com or email info@navarrechamberfoundation.org.

So pack up the fishing gear and book your beachfront condo today at NavarreListings.com!

In case you missed it: Navarre Beach GOAT

Navarre Beach is the GOAT of gulf beaches! That’s Greatest Of All Time, not the farm critter.

So, it only makes sense that the inaugural GOAT Offshore Kayak Fishing Tournament’s Pygmy event (like pygmy goat because it was smaller than the full event) was hosted on Navarre Beach.

More than 150 anglers from across the United States descended on Navarre Beach to participate in Pygmy, the offshore kayak fishing tournament. 

Participants were vying for their cut of $3,500 worth of cash and prizes as well as the coveted gold, WWE-style GOAT Championship Belt, won this year by Don Mcmillan along with the $2,000 cash prize for first place.

Kayak fishing is a bit of a tradition in Navarre. With our intercoastal network of rivers, marshes, Santa Rosa Sound and of course the Gulf of Mexico, there are no shortage of places to launch out and cast a line. 

The event is set to be even bigger next year, and Navarre Beach looks forward to welcoming kayak anglers for a week of fun, fishing and competition. Come be part of next year’s GOAT!

When it comes time to book, check out our high-end, beach front options at NavarreListings.com.

Five tips for July 4 fireworks

Navarre Beach will be open and welcoming visitors with safe social distancing for Independence Day. We will have a fantastic fireworks display and uncrowded shorelines for the July 4 weekend. This year’s display will be shot from the end of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, gulf side, at 9 p.m., and will be visible from most of the southern side of the island.

To get the most out of your day, here are a few quick tips.

1. Arrive early, spread out

This is one of the busiest weekends for our beautiful beach, and it’s for good reason. Don’t leave the condo at 8 p.m. and expect to get a parking spot at the pier. Plan ahead to navigate the traffic. Or better yet, just plan to walk down from your condo.

And once on the shoreline, spread out. Look around before setting up at the first open spot at the end of the boardwalk. Just a little way to the left or right is likely to be plenty of space to spread out.

2. Stay hydrated

Florida is famous as the sunshine state, but sunshine means heat. No one wants to have to climb back over the dunes to make a run to the store. Be prepared. Bring lots of water. 

3. Keep the kiddos occupied

While visiting the beach, keep the kids entertained while waiting for the fun. A few sand toys can provide hours of entertainment. 

4. Plan ahead

With current events, situations are constantly changing. Our beaches will be open, but some stores may have modified hours and services. Have a plan for your day to remove any headache. Look to see which beachfront restaurants are open for service (we recommend Windjammers on the Pier), or pack a fun picnic for the family to each in the sunshine.

5. Relax

You’re set up on the shore. You have your supplies and your plan. Now, kick back and relax. It’s a vacation after all! Take it slow, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Book your uncrowded, unspoiled beach escape today at NavarreListings.com.

Sea turtle center now welcoming visitors

For the first time in nearly three months, a group of visitors entered the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Tuesday to learn about marine ecosystems and meet Sweet Pea, the resident juvenile sea turtle!

It was a blast getting back inside the conservation center to see the marine creatures that call it home. The center closed to visitors back in March due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Center Executive Director Jenn Polus said they are ready to bring in visitors once more, with a few precautions.

“We are very excited. We have missed seeing everyone,” she said.

For now, the re-opening will be limited to pre-registered visitation in small groups. Registration is available at Squareup.com/store/navarre-beach-sea-turtle-conservation-center.

To ensure the safety of visitors and volunteers, the center is taking extra precautions. Masks will be required for anyone inside the center, and hands will be sanitized at the door for staff, volunteers and visitors. Groups are spaced to allow increased sanitation inside the facility as well.  

The center is built to hold 50 visitors at a time. When the center re-opens for general admittance, it will likely only allow 50% capacity.

With the new precautions also come new benefits for visitors due to a more personal experience.

Pre-registered visits will be styled after the center’s private tours while maintaining the affordable price. Guests start by learning about Sweet Pea and seeing the various exhibits. Visitors will also have time to explore on their own, and kids can do the center’s scavenger hunt. Once the group is done inside the center, the tour moves to the newly remodeled outdoor exhibit where visitors can meet tortoises Safari and Flip Flop.

Center programs, such as Shark School, restarted along with some new programs. The center has launched an Honorary Care Team Member program, which takes visitors behind the scenes of caring for the animals, including Sweet Pea. Participants will also get hands on with tortoises and receive a certificate for their participation.

Come check it out this summer by booking at NavarreListings.com.

Watch the Angels soar

The show will go on for the area’s daring aerial performance team, and there will be more opportunities to see them July 8-11 along our beaches.

To help with social distancing, the Blue Angels will be stretching their annual hometown Pensacola Beach Air Show over four days, thrilling visitors lined up on shore. 

The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron stationed at Forrest Sherman Field aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. These expert pilots perform a coordinated display of aerial maneuvers for audiences across the country, and each summer this beachfront show is their homecoming.

I have been watching them my entire life, and it still takes my breath away as they scream through the sky within inches of one another, barrel rolling and arching under incredible G-Force. It’s truly spectacular.

Due to COVID-19 the show schedule has been modified. According to an official release, the Blues and Santa Rosa Island Authority opted not to cancel the July show.

“The air show program this year is built around social distancing in observance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for the COVID-19 virus,” the release reads. “The program will be a four-day event, and each day will have similar flight maneuvers. This expanded schedule will give the public four different opportunities to view the performances at least once.”
The show footprint has also been modified so as not to create a center point but instead expand the viewing to allow better distancing among viewers on the beach.

Aerial displays will begin at noon each day. In addition to the Blues, other aerial performers will include Veterans Flight, Gary Ward, Kevin Coleman and Skip Stewart.

Additional schedule details will be published by officials at VisitPensacola.com/whats-happening-blue-angels/. Book your accommodations at NavarreListings.com.

Sea turtle nesting season runs through October 31

While we are all excited to return to the beautiful beaches, social distancing precautions are not the only safety measure we need to keep in mind.

Navarre Beach’s sea turtle nesting season officially started May 1, meaning four species of these endangered reptiles will be coming ashore at night to lay their eggs. We all can do our part to ensure their nesting season is successful while still enjoying all the shore has to offer.

Our local Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center offers an opportunity to learn about these wonderful creatures and even an up-close meeting with Sweet Pea, our resident juvenile sea turtle.

Sea turtles nest under very specific conditions. Light and sound at night can be disorienting to the turtles that spend nearly their entire lives under water. The Conservation Center has a few tips:

  • Knock down sandcastles and fill holes, leaving the sand flat for mother turtles
  • Take all items off the beach each night including beach toys, tents, umbrellas, chairs and especially trash, leaving any item after sunset is a violation of county ordinance
  • Turn out lights or use red light at night to keep from disorienting turtles
  • Educate others on how they can help protect turtles
  • Do not disrupt nest sites or nesting turtles, it is against federal and state law

Fishermen taking advantage of the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico can also help protect turtles through the responsible pier initiative. If a turtle gets hooked, don’t cut the line. Instead, call the number posted on the pier and rescuers will be there in minutes to assist. 

Sea turtle nesting season also means a rare opportunity: the chance to see a nesting turtle.

If your family experiences this rare opportunity, be cautious not to disturb her.

If a nesting turtle is spotted, onlookers should turn off all lights, be quiet and remain a distance away from the turtle, out of her line of sight. This ensures she feels comfortable to continue nesting, helping carry on her species.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Committed to keeping your family safe

We here at Navarre Properties understand that this has been an uncertain time for so many of us due to COVID-19. As Navarre Beach and our rentals re-open to visitors, we are excited and ready to welcome you and your family to our sunny shores.

Rest assured; we take the health of our visitors seriously. And we understand that many of us need to get some time away for a much-needed breather. Our accommodations are ready to accept visitors and are being held to a higher standard than ever before. And we had a pretty high standard to begin with.

Our beaches are open to the public and fall under social distancing guidance. With this much white sand shoreline it’s easy to keep six feet apart.

In our rental units and beachfront homes, we are following strict cleaning protocols throughout each rental property based on the CDC’s latest guidance as well as the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations best practices.

We use commercial grade cleaners for all surfaces, especially focusing on high touch points, and we utilize commercial laundry facilities to clean all linens between each guest.

For added ease and comfort, we are offering electronic check-in and check-out for all rentals. We have instituted electronic signature for our rental agreement.  This will help with social distancing for both you and our staff by alleviating the need for a front desk visit.

We are committed to making sure your vacation is safe and enjoyable.

Let us put your mind at ease. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 850-936-1312. Find more information at NavarreListings.com/coronavirus-update.htm