Mark your calendar: Navarre Beach Fishing Rodeo

For the anglers out there I have some exciting news. This year’s Navarre Beach Fishing Rodeo reeled in more than 400 pounds of fish!

That is a lot of fish, and the variety was pretty stellar including snapper, king mackerel, redfish, flounder, bonita and more.

Our junior anglers made a pretty skillful showing this year too.

In addition to the junior division competition, the Pat Huggins Take a Kid Fishing camp was also underway. This annual event teaches hundreds of children not only how to fish, but how to fish responsibly. This year we had 300 children at the camp, and all of them received their own rod and reel.

And everybody got onto the pier free of charge thanks to the rodeo coinciding with Free Fish Weekend each year.

This tournament is organized by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation highlights the abundance of fish that can be found in area waters and the different methods for catching them.

Anglers came by pier, by boat, by kayak and onshore to try their hand at landing the most massive fish.

There were 20 fish categories in all.

In addition to the open and junior divisions, there were several other divisions, including a kayak division where anglers on non-motorized vessels can compete in their own division for Spanish mackerel, King mackerel, snapper, flounder, redfish and trout.

There were also two “Slams” – where offshore division entrants competed for the largest Spanish mackerel, King mackerel and snapper. Inshore participants battled for the winning flounder, redfish and trout.

Non-native (and delicious) lionfish were also on the menu this year.

Tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes were handed out to the lucky winners of the tournament including yeti coolers and a kayak.

Winner or not, everybody walked away with a Mojo long sleeve fishing rodeo tee and captain bags filled with a variety of fishing treats.

Mark your calendar for next year’s rodeo Oct. 6 and 7, and come out to be part of the fun. Find out more at navarrefishingrodeo.com or call 850-939-1900.

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Our sunsets bring a different kind of autumn color

So apparently there are these tourists called ‘leafers’ or ‘leaf peepers’ who every year drive to the colder, northern parts of the country to see the leaves change to a beautiful array of orange and red and brown with the shifting seasons.

They usually come with cameras in hand hoping to get a once in a lifetime photo of nature’s glory.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a brilliantly colored mountainsides in autumn as much as the next girl, but let’s be honest: when I think vacation, I don’t think freezing.

Breathtaking vistas and photo worthy natural beauty are not hard to come by on Navarre Beach.

Here on Navarre Beach, the average temperature for October is 76 degrees. Midday temperatures have been hanging out in the low 80s. In Maine where the ‘leaf peepers’ go, the average temperature is roughly 48 degrees. Temperatures get down to the low 30s.

That’s cold.

So while the ‘leaf peepers’ are having a grand ole time shivering their behinds off, I will be here in my shorts and T-shirt enjoying the natural beauty of a more tropical destination. I invite you to do the same.

Oh and if you are worried about seeing those beautiful reds and oranges splayed out before you by God himself, might I recommend a Navarre Beach sunset.

Best places to get a colorful photo are:

  • Juana’s Pagodas
  • The longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier
  • The balcony of your beach front condominium

For more color you can check out the colorful fish that decorate the Navarre Beach near shore snorkel reef.

And if after seeing that magnificent site you still want to take a peep at the leaves, try the Adventures Unlimited Fall Foliage Zipline. It is just up the road from the beach along the beautiful Blackwater River.

See all the beauty with none of the body numbing chill.

Book your waterfront condominium today.

Top 5 ways to keep your vacation sporty

Relaxing on beautifully sun swept Navarre Beach is fun and all, but I get it: sometimes we need a little excitement in our lives.

From watersports to breathtaking views, some folks just need a little spice in their life and their vacation. Never fear! Navarre Beach offers excitement too.

With that in mind I present to you the top 5 ways to keep your vacation sporty on Navarre Beach.

  1. Helicopter Tours

Imagine zipping above the world, the shimmering waters of the beach below you as you sail along on a helicopter tour of sunken ships, Gulf Islands National Seashore, historic Fort Pickens and more. Navarre Family Watersports has been offering seasonal tours high in the skies for years. The glass dome-like faces of their helicopters mean you won’t miss a thing.

Tours start at under $50 per person.

  1. Golf

The immediate area around Navarre Beach offers two expansive golf courses for visitors to tee up on. The sweeping greens of Tiger Point Golf Course offer 18 holes overlooking the beauty of Santa Rosa Sound. Skilled or first timers will find a welcoming experience.

The Club at Hidden Creek will also temp golfers with another 18 holes of waterfront fun. An excellent feature of Hidden Creek is the Creekside Southern Grill where upscale southern cuisine awaits.

  1. Kayak or zipline

Just up the road from Navarre Beach is Blackwater River. Adventures Unlimited offers a round trip ride down the river via kayak, canoe or even tube. As you paddle along one of nature’s ancient marvels, take a stop to eat lunch on a sand bar or pull up on the shore to let the little ones splash around.

Adventure’s Unlimited also offers zip line tours that are just what the adrenaline seeker needs. I highly recommend. It’s beautiful. It’s fast. And it’s high up. Not for the easily unsettled.

  1. Paddle boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is a favorite among locals. Whether you just want to get out on the water or even practice some yoga, stand up paddle boards are a unique adventure. It is easy for beginners to break into the sport, and once you start it is hard to stop.

I highly recommend renting a board from Sage Paddle Co. This business was started by a teenaged entrepreneur with a knack for business. Sage has created a state and nationally recognized business that puts outstanding service first. And she is only 15.

Delivery and pick up of the equipment to one of our beautiful beachfront condominiums is free of charge.

So come get your sporty vacation started on Navarre Beach.

The reefs complete!

If you love snorkeling, kayaking or diving I have some great news for you. The wait is finally over!

The expansion of Navarre Beach’s near-shore artificial snorkel reef has finally been completed!

The reef has more than doubled in size meaning double the breathtaking wildlife.

Dolphins, sea turtle, octopus, colorful fish and more call the reef home. Even cute little sea hares have been known to stop by (check out our previous post “Attack of the sea hares” for more on these cute-yet-creepy critters).

The reef expansion has been a long time coming, but thanks to the hard work of a few dedicated locals these reefs are even more spectacular. A crew on a barge had to place each of the reef modules in a grid on the left and right of the reef to create the expansion.

The reef modules consist of disks of concrete and limestone stacked on a pipe that is dug into the ground. The disks have a little space between each layer allowing for creatures to hide inside. The porous surface also allows critters like coral to dig in and grow.

I love taking my underwater camera out to snap a few shots while snorkeling.

For more information of the variety of creatures to see on the reef checkout navarrebeachmarinesanctuary.com or better yet come see for yourself!