I have lived on the most beautiful stretch of beach in the world, Navarre Beach, my entire life. I grew up spending nearly every Saturday in the warm months relaxing on beaches that most people only see on vacation.
But it’s confession time: even I get tired on the beach.
We get it. You come down for two weeks of blissful relaxation and play, but by day five you are what we like to call “beached out.” Sun, surf and sand are great and all, but give me something more.
So here are my go tos when I’m “beached out.” (Or if it rains.)
- Escape Zone 60 (rainy day solution)
Escape rooms are giant puzzle mysteries that you get locked in to. You and a team of friends have to race to solve the clues before the hour timer runs out. ANYTHING can be a clue, teamwork is essential and this is loads of fun even if you don’t beat the clock. For a time slot go to escapezone60.com.
- Gulf Breeze Zoo
The Gulf Breeze Zoo offers a wide array of animals to delight and wow. My personal are the giraffes including the two new babies born last year, Kelly and Gibson. These two are too cute!
The train which rides through up close encounters with a range of African animals including emus, gazelles and gorillas.
- Panhandle Butterfly House and Navarre Park
Located inside Navarre Park, the Panhandle Butterfly House is a must see. This unique-to-the-area greenhouse offers visitors upclose encounters with some of Florida’s beautiful native butterflies. The kids will love learning hands-on about the amazing transformation and migration of a variety of butterfly species.
Afterwards enjoy all the park has to offer including the splash pad, playgrounds, basketball courts, picnic tables, nature walk and more.
- Small Business Shopping (rainy day solution)
My mother always said there is nothing a new pair of cute shoes can’t fix. So if you are on vacation and the rain clouds come calling, why not go shopping? Unique souvenirs, local artist originals and yes, even cute shoes are all waiting to be discovered.
My personal favorites (all within minutes of the drive of the beach) include Shoe Frenzy, Foxy Boutique, Southern Specialty, Saltwater Cottage and more.
- Blackwater River and Adventures Unlimited
Though this is a bit of a drive north, Blackwater River offers your family loads of fun. Rent some tubes, kayaks or a canoe from Adventures Unlimited, and just drift down the river taking in a whole new side of the area’s natural beauty. For the more fearless set, tryout one of their many ziplines.
So get off the beach for a bit and try a new attraction.