Beaches to Woodlands Tour starts this month

When anyone asks me when the best time of year is to visit Navarre Beach, I usually surprise them.

Folks assume that the summer months when the kids are out of school or spring break when the weather is perfect would be the best time to hit the beach, but they are dead wrong.

On Navarre Beach, October is the time to visit.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking: but isn’t it cold? Who vacations on the beach in autumn?

The answer is smart folks. October on the panhandle usually involves temperatures staying in the mid-80s to high 70s with clear sunny skies and mild evenings with plenty of stars.

And late September through the end of October are the most active times of the year thanks to the 14th annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour. This tour consists of a litany of events, festivals and fun for the whole family.

The name “Beaches to Woodlands” plays off the natural beauty of our area. In the south along the Gulf of Mexico are some of the whitest, most uncrowded beaches in the world with the longest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico to boot.

But just a few minutes’ drive up the road the Blackwater River and historic downtown Milton are waiting to greet visitors.

My October usually consists of hitting up the annual Navarre Beach Fishing Rodeo on the pier and running the beach in the Run for the Reef 5k.

There will be a fantastic event at the Panhandle Butterfly House at the foot of the beach bridge called Monarch Madness. They release hundreds of monarch butterflies is a cloud of fluttering orange beauty to migrate south.

Beyond that, I love visiting the farms just north of Navarre. These “woodland” areas are celebrating the harvest and that means corn mazes, games, rides, pumpkin patches and more. A handful of locations do this each year, but my personal favorite is Sweet Season Farms. Check it out at sweetseasonfarms.com.

Then as the sun goes down, stop by downtown Milton for Bands on the Blackwater. (P.S.- Boomerang Pizza across the street is delicious.)

So toes in the sand or lost in a corn maze, Navarre Beach is the October destination. Hands down.

The full schedule of events for Beaches to Woodlands is available at beachestowoodlands.com.

Come join in the fun.

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