Three things to know: Holiday fun this weekend on Navarre Beach

Navarre Beach will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of some community Christmas traditions this weekend, and families looking to get into the festive December spirit can make a safe bet on these events.


  1. Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk Fun Run

Kicking off the morning of fun will be the Navarre Beach Chamber Foundation’s Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk Fun Run. Starting at 8 a.m. Dec. 7, this fun and festive 5k will begin at the Holley-Navarre Fire Station at 8618 Esplanade Street behind McDonalds’s. Costumes are encouraged for this all ages run through the community. It’s always a blast and very low impact.

The first 200 registrants receive a long sleeve T-shirt.  There will be post-race refreshments and door prizes. A special prize will be awarded to the most festive participant. Download the registration form at


  1. Navarre Community Christmas Parade

The annual Navarre Community Christmas Parade will start at 2 p.m. at the Navarre Library and will roll south along Presidio Street, making a left at Esplanade Street and ending in the rear parking lot of Centennial Bank. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck in the parade and will be available for photos with children as soon as the parade ends.

The chamber is accepting applications from any group, businesses, organizations or individuals that would like to participate in the Navarre Community Christmas Parade.  The cost to enter is $50 per entry. For a parade entry form, sponsorship opportunities, or general information regarding this holiday event log on to or call the chamber at 850-939-3267.

Families are encouraged to line up along the parade route to see festive floats, receive fun goodies and say hello to Santa and Mrs. Claus.


  1. Christmas in the Park

Celebrating its special 25 years anniversary, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas in the Park, presented by Walmart Navarre and Walmart Neighborhood Market Navarre, will be Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Navarre Park. The parade will end at this park celebration.

This year’s event includes a Merry Market where local arts and craft vendors will gather with great gift ideas for everyone on your list. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available immediately following the parade for pictures with the little ones. Visits are free and parents are invited to bring their cameras for photos.

Free baked goods and hot beverages will be available at Mrs. Claus’ Bakery.

Reindeer Games will begin at 11 a.m.  There will be ticketed games for children to play for prizes, as well as face painting, a cake walk and “fair hair.” I absolutely LOVE “fair hair.”

Live entertainment, featuring local schools and choirs from the area will continue throughout the event with beautiful renditions of Christmas classics.

The evening will be capped off with the lighting of the 20-foot Christmas tree, my personal indicator that Christmas is officially here.  The tree lighting will take place at approximately 5 p.m.


Come join the merry-making at

Forget Black Friday, shop relaxing instead

So, hear me out.

Following the stomach busting fun of Thanksgiving you could drive to a big box store on the busiest shopping day of the year and fight the crowd to buy the same blasé holiday gifts that everyone else is getting. You also could scroll for eternity online to do your shopping and just hope that your item is the right size, good quality and actually arrives on time for the holidays.

OR you could not be stressed out, still get a great deal AND find gifts for your loved ones that literally no one else will have. I mean, I know which option I would pick.

Here on beautiful Navarre Beach, we do our holiday shopping a little differently. We’re known as “Florida’s most relaxing place for a reason.” We have a wide range of truly unique small business and boutiques offering great deals on one of kind items. Here are my go-to gifts this year:

  1. Recycled candles at Saltwater Cottage

Vintage chic is the best way to describe this tucked away gem. Amid a variety of custom-made jewelry and home décor, this shop offers locally made candles, each with a story tied to its scent. I highly recommend the fir scent.

  1. Proper beard care at Southern Specialty

Magda and Lisa have my favorite shop on Navarre Beach. Don’t tell the others! When you walk through the door you are greeted by clothes, décor and care products that would make any lady swoon, but don’t be fooled. There’s something for the guys here, too. Their beard care line makes for a great, sophisticated gift.

  1. Sustainable cute at Treasures by the Sound

This store is disguised as a mailing and shipping place, but inside it is a winter wonderland with some of the cutest Christmas tree decorations money can buy. They also carry this nifty telescoping reusable straw with cleaning brush that conveniently stores in a purse or pocket. Ditch the straw to reduce plastic waste and protect sea turtles. For the environmentalist on your list, this is a great buy.

  1. Unique art at Holley Hill Pottery

Holley Hill has been creating ceramic master pieces for generations, drawing artists from around the globe to our little corner of paradise. Usually featuring a variety of colors and beachy themes, you can find a piece at just about any price point.

  1. Antiquities at Pik Itz

Who said all holiday gifts have to be brand new to be worthwhile? Antiques at Pik Itz are a safe bet for a gift they will love and remember for years to come. This shop isn’t your average junk-piled-high antiques mall. The items are curated into a great shopping experience, and I’ve seen stuff here that you can’t find anywhere else.

So, skip the chaos and do your holiday shopping with us on beautiful Navarre Beach. Book your winter get away today at

Navarre Beach named a top global emerging destination

It’s no surprise to those of us that call the glittering turquoise coastline of Navarre Beach home. Our slice of paradise was awarded a spot on the global list of 30 top emerging travel destinations for 2020 in a ranking released Nov. 4 by is an international travel site founded by Nate Hake, an American who has been traveling the world full-time since 2016. The site’s mission is to highlight emerging and underappreciated destinations as a way to fight “overtourism” –the phenomenon in which a destination’s popularity with visitors erodes the visiting experience.

No overtourism here, locals have affectionately referred to this place as Florida’s best kept secret for years because of the lack of crowding along our unspoiled stretch of beach.

According to Travel Lemming, an emerging destination is “one which an average American traveler would probably not already be considering visiting and which has enough capacity to handle additional tourism without becoming overtouristed.”

In other words, it is a location with room to grow and a reason to be in the spotlight. Navarre Beach fits the definition perfectly.

Winners were selected after voting by 30 of the most popular travel bloggers in the industry, who collectively sport more than 12 million followers on social media.

In describing why Navarre Beach was selected, the Travel Lemming article reads:

“Possibly the best beach destination that you’ve never heard of, Navarre Beach was Florida’s best-kept secret until TripAdvisor named it as one of the best 25 beaches in the United States this year. Located just 40 minutes from Pensacola, Navarre Beach is the perfect destination for families looking to enjoy water activities like kite surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and surfing– or just looking to unwind and watch a spectacular sunset on a quiet patch of sand. After all, just because you want to experience perfect white sand beaches doesn’t mean you need to dart through a sea of beachgoers to stake out a tiny of sliver of sand.”

Derek Baron, one of the judges and the travel blogger behind Wandering Earl, also praised the beach’s perks.

“It’s simple– Navarre offers the white sand beaches, gorgeous turquoise waters, and perfect sunsets of some of the world’s more crowded and expensive beach destinations. I’ll take a more laid-back, picture perfect tropical destination, that’s easy to reach, any day,” he wrote.

Come see for yourself what the buzz is all about at

Festive holiday events at Navarre Beach

Sand Dollar Saturday and Local Marketplace

Nov. 2 & Dec. 7, 9 a.m.

1900 Hwy. 87 in Navarre

Join the merchants of Sand Dollar Plaza on the first Saturday of each month; for a community and customer appreciation event. Grab a bite to eat at Alphy’s, check out the gift shops and visit the local vendors at the Local Marketplace. For more information, call 850-368-9500 or


Painting Events at Pik-Itz hosted by Art Uncorked Navarre

Nov. 2, 2 p.m. and Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.

1922 Highway 87, in Navarre

Art Uncorked – Navarre is a fun painting class designed to uncork creative spirit, uncork fun with friends, and uncork a favorite beverage. The theme for these holiday classes is “Let’s Paint Christmas, Vintage Truck with Christmas Tree.” For more information, call 843-437-4246 or visit


Santa Rosa Creek Tribe 19th Annual Pow Wow

Nov. 23, 24, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

4750 Willard Norris Rd. in Milton

The Pow Wow celebration includes Pow Wow drumming, dancing, Native American Fry bread, storytelling, living Creek village, Drums of the Descendants, Native American flute performers, drum contests, children’s crafts, over 70 Native American vendors and so much more. Entry is $5 per vehicle and all funds support the Nature American Cultural Center. For more information, call 833-772-7335 or visit


25th Annual Christmas Parade & Christmas in the Park

Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

8513 Navarre Pkwy. in Navarre

Join the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce for a full day of Christmas fun. Events include the Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk, reindeer games for kids, Merry Market, festival of wreaths, tree lighting, Mrs. Claus’ bakery, pictures with Santa and the Navarre Annual Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. For more information, call 850-939-3267 or visit


Christmas ZOObilee

Dec. 14, 15 & 21, 22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. in Gulf Breeze

Enjoy a day at the Gulf Breeze Zoo for an all new daytime Christmas event! Christmas ZOObilee features live music, performances, contests, food, artists, pictures with Santa and a Candy Cane Market trail full of gifts, sights, smells and tastes of the season. Admission includes the entire zoo plus, artificial snow, winter-themed bounce stations and the family photo opportunities. For more information, call 850-932-2229 or visit


Sowell’s North Pole Christmas Lights display

Nov. 29 – Dec. 27, 5 – 9 p.m.

7650 Sowell Rd. in Milton

Sowell’s North Pole Christmas Light Display is an annual Christmas light show put on by the Sowell family. The event will be open every night including Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Cost is $10 per vehicle to drive through and train rides for $2/person in addition to the vehicle admission. This event is featured on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” For more information, visit


Trash Bash with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center

Nov. 30 & Dec. 28, 8 – 10 a.m.

8739 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre Beach

Meet up to clean up! Volunteers for a beach cleanup will meet in the main Navarre Beach Parking lot near the Sand Crab Pavilion. A limited supply of gloves, buckets and pickers are provided or bring your own. For more information, call 850-684-3347 or visit for more info.


Nov. & Dec.

Whispering Pines Christmas Tree Farm

1603 Penton Rd. in Milton

Choose and cut a Christmas tree while enjoing other fun Christmas farm-themed activities. For more information, visit


New Year’s Eve Gala

Dec. 31, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Navarre Conference Center, 8700 Navarre Pkwy in Navarre

Celebrate the New Year in “The Roaring 20s” fashion with the Pink Pirates of Navarre, a local non-profit with a mission to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise money to fund mammograms for those who do not have insurance. The New Year’s Eve Gala includes a prime rib dinner, live music, dancing, raffles and a midnight champagne toast. For more information email Frankie Gibbs at or visit


11th Penguin Plunge ‘n Paddle

Jan. 1, 2020, 12 – 4 p.m.

1451 Navarre Beach Causeway in Navarre Beach

Celebrate the first day of the year and “freezin’ for a reason.” The 11th Annual Penguin Plunge ‘n Paddle charity event benefits local suicide prevention groups. For more information, call 850-939-1092 or visit


3rd Annual Pirate Plunge

Jan. 1, 2020, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

8579 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre Beach

Arrr you ready to take the plunge? This charity event for Healing Paws for Warriors features a plunge into the Gulf of Mexico at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier followed by an after party at Broussard’s Bayou Grill & Bar. The Rowdies will rock the stage along with food and drink specials. For more information, visit


Book your holiday get away through us at

Spooky science awaits on Navarre Beach

From creeps of the deep to an endangered species cemetery to science that glows in the dark, amazing sea creatures await you!

That’s the apt description listed for the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station’s annual Science Spooktacular scheduled for Oct. 26.

Visitors will be able to explore sea-themed stations and experience science in a hands-on, fun environment. Activities will include a costume contest, kid-friendly experiments and haunted beach walk.

Make gooey slime or participate in dissections by Dr. Spookfish. This kid-friendly event is truly one of a kind. Sea-themed costumes are always encouraged.

Admission is $5 per person, and Children 2 and under are free. Pay at the gate!

All funds support the awesome education programs at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. This beach front education center works to inspire with conservation lessons to school age children, dual enrollment opportunities to high schoolers and public awareness events.

If you have not stopped in at a Science Station event, you are really missing out.

The station is located inside the Navarre Beach Marine Park, a pristine nature preserve along the Gulf of Mexico. The building is located on the Santa Rosa Sound side at 8638 Blue Heron Court in Navarre, FL 32566. Free public parking is available on-site.

This event has activities catered to every age group, and even has some fun for the adults. I always come away having learned something new. If your family will be in Navarre Beach at the end of October, I highly recommend adding this event to your plans.

Book your spooky stay at

October events on beautiful Navarre Beach

Here are some ideas for vacation fun this month on Navarre Beach from our awesome Tourist Development Office.


Painting Events at Pik-Itz hosted by Art Uncorked Navarre

Art Uncorked – Navarre is designed to help uncork creative spirit, uncork fun with friends and uncork a bottle of a favorite beverage at group painting classes. Each class has different artwork. Pik-Itz, 1922 Highway 87 in Navarre. For more information, call 850-843-437-4246 or visit

  • October 4, 6:30 – 9 p.m.  Hocus Pocus
  • October 11, 6 – 9 p.m.       Poison Apple
  • October 14, 2 – 3 p.m.       Ceramic Pumpkin
  • October 19, 2 – 4:30 p.m.  Pick your Pumpkin


Bands on the Blackwater

October 4, 11, 18, 25, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bands on the Blackwater is a free outdoor concert series held Friday nights during the fall in downtown Milton at Jernigan’s Landing on Blackwater River. Pull up a boat or bring a lawn chair and relax while listening to great music. For more information, call 850-564-1647 or

  • October 4 – Joey Collins
  • October 11 – Twang Gang
  • October 18 – Boukou Groove
  • October 25 – Mikey Clams Band


Take a Kid Fishing

October 5, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

This free kid’s fishing pole giveaway and fishing clinic takes place at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The first 300 children under 12 receive a free fishing pole and t-shirt. The event includes free bait and instruction. For details, visit


30th Annual Jay Peanut Festival

October 5, 6, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Celebration of one of Santa Rosa’s staple crops, the peanut. This popular event showcases farming life – past and present – and features more than 200 vendors from across the southeast plus a 1930s John Deere dealership, food booths and games. Located at Gabbert Farm, 3604 Pine Level Church Rd. in Jay. For more information, call Brenda and Gene Gabbert at 850-675-6823. This event is held in memory of the Gabbert’s daughter, Melissa.


Sand Dollar Saturday and Local Marketplace

Oct. 5, 9 a.m.

Join the merchants of Sand Dollar Plaza on the first Saturday of each month for a community and customer appreciation event. Grab a bite to eat at Alphy’s, check out the gift shops and visit the vendors at the local marketplace. For more information, call 850-368-9500 or visit


Navarre Beach Fishing Rodeo

October 5, 6

Fish from the shore, a boat or kayak, or from the Navarre Beach Pier; you just can’t “Fish” from the seafood market! Fishing tournament competition with prizes awarded in all divisions. Weigh-in to take place at Juana’s Pagodas on Navarre Beach. Proceeds going to many Navarre Beach Marine Park non-profits. For more information, visit


Shell Flower Making Class at Artistry 98

October 7, 14, 21 and 28, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Artistry 98, 1993 Highway 87 in Navarre, will offer a free shell flower making class – participants must bring shells. Class is limited to 10, to reserve a seat call 850-543-1338 or visit


Boo at the Zoo – Trick or Treat Trail

October 12, 13, 19, 20 & 26, 27

Six days of scare-free, daytime Halloween fun for families. Admission includes trick-or-treat trail with toys, treats, treasures, bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, animal touch stations and the access to the zoo at 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. In Gulf Breeze. Tickets may be purchased online. For more information or visit or call 850-932-2229.


Trash Bash with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center

Oct. 26, 8 – 10 a.m.

Meet up to clean up! Volunteers for a beach cleanup will meet in the main Navarre Beach Parking lot near the Sand Crab pavilion. A limited supply of gloves, buckets and pickers are provided or volunteers can bring supplies. For more information, call 850-684-3347 or visit


Come join the fun at

Spook-free fun at Boo at the Zoo

What’s more fun than 50 acres of wild adventure featuring more than 800 exotic animals near beautiful Navarre Beach?

How about trick or treating and costumed kiddos!?

Boo at the Zoo is a family fun event for all ages and abilities at the Gulf Breeze Zoo. The event runs each weekend now through the end of October. A variety of booths are set up along the walkways of the zoo where friendly volunteers will be handing out goodies alongside the zoo’s wild residents.

Some of the booths will have fun and information for parents as well, and kiddos are encouraged to dress out in their best costumes for the event.

Boo at the Zoo offers six days of scare-free, daytime fun for children and their families. Join our safe zoo neighborhood of Halloween entertainment, with kid-friendly fun around every corner. Includes trick-or-treat trail with candy, treats and toys, bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, a critter touch zone and the entire zoo!

After making your way through the Trick or Treat Trail, you and the little ones can explore the rest of the zoo including the budgiery where birds fly free, the safari express train ride through our own slice of the Serengeti, hand feeding giraffes or alligators, petting zoo and so much more.

Tickets and a FAQ are available at Book your October vacay today at

Be a part of the 2019 Okaloosa Gas Navarre Fishing Rodeo

It’s not too late to be a part of the 2019 Okaloosa Gas Navarre Fishing Rodeo!

Organized by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation and sponsored by Okaloosa Gas, the event is entering its seventh year, slated for Oct. 5-6 on Navarre Beach. This fun event offers something for seasoned professionals and amateur anglers alike.

It’s all for a good cause, too. The rodeo benefits Navarre’s Take a Kid Fishing event which teaches children fishing and provides free rod and reel for the kiddos. Hundreds of children participate each year.

The event also offers donations to the Navarre Beach Marine Park, our local conservation park, complete with near shore snorkel reef. Proceeds benefit the Navarre Beach Marine Park entities to include the Marine Sanctuary, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, and the Navarre Beach Science Station.

There will also be free admission on the pier both days of the rodeo during Fish Navarre Weekend. Annual passes to the pier will be sold during the weekend at a 10% discount courtesy of Santa Rosa County.

“The fishing rodeo is the event we look forward to all year long. It is great fun and we are so pleased and excited to have Okaloosa Gas joining us again as the title sponsor. We are proud of all the work they are doing in Navarre,” Foundation president Mike Sandler said.

The rodeo registration fee is $48 and registration. As an added bonus, registrants receive a “Captain’s Bag” filled with gifts from sponsors. Mojo Sportswear Company is partnering with the rodeo for the fourth year by providing a performance fishing shirt valued at $55 that is guaranteed for the first 200 paid participants that register for the rodeo.

Six divisions will highlight the rodeo, including the Navarre Seafood Open Division and the Walmart Kayak Division. Windjammers Junior Division, and the Scooter’s Fish House Offshore Slam, Scooter’s Fish House Inshore Slam, the Sunrise Marine 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 and the competition is open for nine days, starting Sept. 28 with the Lionfish Division.

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 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. 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.

An opportunity to win a Jackson Kayak Coosa FD will also be among the highlights of the rodeo. Chance drawing tickets for the raffle are $20 per chance or three tickets for $50 if purchased at the same time. There is a “no-purchase” necessary option. Navarre Beach Leaseholders Association is the sponsor of the Kayak Giveaway. Please see for details. The kayak is valued at $2,999. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony Oct. 6.

All the rules and details are available at the registration link. Go the event site at to learn more. Come stay with us while you reel in some fun, book at

Navarre Properties certified with Vacation Rental Management Association

Improving the quality of your visit is a continued mission of Navarre Properties.

That’s why we are proud to announce that our very own Guest Service Manager Derrick LaMar is now certified by Vacation Rental Management Association, the nationally recognized leader in the industry.

As a certified member, Derrick underwent training designed by leaders in the vacation rental management industry to promote best practices developed throughout the country and world.

He has brought to our team knowledge, expertise and a culture of ensuring your vacation to “Florida’s most relaxing place” is welcoming and memorable.

We pride ourselves on providing beautiful, spacious accommodations with the service and smile to match. This is just the latest addition to that mission.

Here at Navarre Properties, we know your vacation is about more than just a visit to the beach. It’s a break from the chaos of the day-to-day, a chance to reconnect with loved ones and an opportunity to make family memories.

It’s our goal to make your stay the best it can be. Come see for yourself why Navarre Properties and beautiful Navarre Beach continue to be a top-rated by companies like TripAdvisor, USA Today and Visit Florida.

Book your stay at

Beaches to Woodlands is back!

As the season changes, Navarre Beach prepares for Beaches to Woodlands 2019, an annual celebration of the natural beauty and fun activities that make this place paradise.

This is the 16th year of the event, and it has just been growing with pumpkin patches, corn mazes, ghost tours, 5Ks and fun festivals (with yummy food). There is something for everyone to do during this fall festival.

Here’s a list of highlights from the festivities!




  • 19th Annual Navarre Car, Truck and Bike Show and Craft Fair Oct. 12, From cool classics to sleek new models, this car show is perfect for the family motorhead. All for a good cause.


  • Boo at The Zoo Trick or Treat Trail 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, Children will be able to trick or treat through the Gulf Breeze Zoo and learn about the animals that call it home including giraffe, orangutans, rhinos, tiger, otters and so much more.






For more info on individual events check out, and book your stay today at