Hometown 4th of July brings patriotic beach fun

Who doesn’t love cute kids showing off their patriotism or fantastic fireworks lighting up the sky over sparkling sand and water?

My plans for this Independence Day involve a cold drink and toes in the sand along beautiful Navarre Beach, and your plans should too!

The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing back the Hometown 4th of July Parade and Celebration for a second year on Navarre Beach in the Navarre Beach Park.

Here’s the ideal schedule. After awaking to a gorgeous sunrise in your beachfront condo, have a leisurely breakfast at Juana’s Sailors Grill (this place has been serving locals and visitors alike for 30 years!).

Then head over to the beach for a relaxing day of toes in the sand. Let the kiddos splash in the surf while you relax in your beach chair.

As the afternoon approaches, head back to your condo to clean up. Let the little ones take a nap while you get changed for a fun evening of celebrating our freedom.

Get the kids ready to decorate and dress up for the Children’s Parade at around 4 or 5 p.m. Babies, toddlers and children up to age 12 are invited to this hometown-style event featuring a short route parade with cute kids celebrating the U.S.A.

Parade Registration begins at 5 p.m. and is $5 per family. Pre-registration is not necessary. Children may dress up and use bicycles, wagons, strollers, small battery motorized play vehicles or walk, and they are encouraged to be creative. Last year we had a child rocking it on roller blades and a kiddo in a Tonka dump truck! The Parade and all the fun begins at 6 p.m.

Alongside the parade will be Picnic in the Park via Navarre Chamber food trucks dishing out all kind of great street eats while everyone enjoys a beautiful day and evening on Navarre Beach. There will be great food such as barbeque, burgers & more! I can attest that our local food truck foodies know how to grill it up.

At 7 p.m., Robert Wayne will perform. Grab your blanket and be entertained by this family friendly show as the sun sets over our sand dunes. The fireworks display will also be viewable from the festival area so no need to move your seat. The show starts at 9 p.m. and is always a treat.

Book your July 4th accommodations today at NavarreListings.com.

New Navarre Beach pavilions open for July 4!

Just in time for July 4 weekend, Navarre Beach’s newest pavilion complex is ready and open to the public.

These new ADA-friendly pavilions, restroom facilities with showers, parking spaces and other much-anticipated enhancements are located in the Navarre Beach Marine Park, a stretch of pristine white sand.

Making this happen was a multimillion-dollar project funded by recovery funds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The new Blue Heron pavilion is located on the gulf side in the Navarre Beach Marine Park between the two previously constructed pavilion complexes. It has 12 picnic tables with ADA accessible seating and eight grills.

Those grills will be perfect for cooking up some burgers and dogs for Independence Day celebrations on our beautiful beach. Stick around for the afternoon home town children’s parade and fireworks show.

The two smaller pavilions, named Barracuda and Sea Horse, offer additional ADA-accessible picnic tables and grills.

The more than 200 space parking area includes six ADA spaces. All the pavilions also have wheelchair accessible ramps, allowing everyone to access the new facilities.

We’ve added two new shower-down stations to clean up after a long day in the sun, surf and sand, and new restroom pavilion with skylights also offer ADA compliant facilities.

There is also an observation platform for watching the native wildlife without disrupting their delicate ecosystems.

The complex is located just a stones throw from one of Navarre Beach’s mobi-mats, which allow wheelchairs and those with difficulty walking to access the beach over the sand dunes.

The pavilions will be available for rental in the coming weeks. These spaces are great for birthday parties, family reunions or even laid-back wedding receptions after a beautiful beach wedding.

Beach safety: understanding the flags

While the Gulf of Mexico’s glistening waters are beautiful, it is important to respect mother nature. Unlike Atlantic beaches where big crashing, white caps tell swimmers when dangerous conditions exist, gulf waters seem more placid even when there are strong currents at work.

Our top-notch lifeguard program is constantly monitoring water conditions during the summer and uses a standardized flag system to alert swimmers to beach conditions including strong wave breaks and rip currents. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the flag system when enjoying Navarre Beach.



If a green flag is flying, the risk to swimmers is very low. Have fun! Just remember it is important to always know your limits when swimming, even on green flag days.



There is moderate risk to swimmers due to surf and current conditions. Our highly trained lifeguards may be able to see risks that you cannot. On yellow flag days, avoid entering the water above your waistline. Follow any instructions lifeguards give you.



Beach water conditions are dangerous. Do not enter the water.


Double red

If there are two red flags flying, the water is closed. Period. These conditions mean it is storming bad, and rescuers will be unable to safely enter the water if someone is in distress. Do not ever go in the gulf, even up to your ankles, during a double red flag. One rogue wave could spell disaster.

Play it safe and visit one of our indoor amenities instead. Check out the Sea Turtle Conservation Center or try your hand at one of our Escape Rooms.



This flag means there is marine life risk. Typically, purple flags go up when there is an elevated risk of being stung by a jellyfish or stingray. Ask a lifeguard for additional information and where to safely swim.

Stingrays are not aggressive and will run from people given the chance. But if you step on them, the barb on their tail can really hurt. To avoid this, locals do what is called the stingray shuffle, dragging your feet gently on the underwater sand to let these critters know your coming.


Now that you know, it is time to go! Come see us at NavarreListings.com.

Black Skimmer Grille is ready to serve you

There’s a new eatery in town, and they are located in the heart of Navarre Beach’s gold standard golf course, Hidden Creek.

Andrew Suthers is owner of the newly opened Black Skimmer Grille which started officially serving customers June 1. From local brews to masterful burgers, this eatery flies under the banner of comfort food done right. It is named for the shorebirds that frequent our white sand beaches.

“We want to be neighborhood casual comfort food, like the local ‘Cheers’ but also great food,” Andrew said. “We are very reasonably priced. We think we are right at that sweet spot.”

The restaurant features four 55- to 65-inch TVs mounted on the walls, along with a dartboard, full bar and new outdoor deck seating overlooking the course’s rolling greens.

The menu features a few consistent entrees with a chalkboard of rotating specials for the rest of the fare.

The space has been leaving much to be desired up to now, if I’m being honest. It felt stuffy like your typical Then the property just sat vacant for a while as the golf course management wanted to find a perfect fit to bring it to the next level.

Then came Andrew and his crew.

Andrew moved to our coastal community from Lexington, Kentucky. He’s been working in restaurants for 17 years, having started up two locations in that time. The chef previously owned Oscar Diggs, a phenomenal gastropub in downtown Lexington known for its high-end food and beer.

In addition to the combined 22 years of experience between Andrew and his partner, Kara Mardell, they have also partnered with Michael Juhl, who has been working in restaurants and pubs for 25 years.

When I stop in, Michael always stops by the tables to check in with guests and maybe crack a few jokes.

Andrew said they are excited to get the food rolling out. And rolling out it has been.

This place knows how to do it from scratch, and I mean actual scratch kitchen style. None of this ‘well only part of it came from the freezer’ nonsense. They cut their own potatoes in house to make their seasoned French fries, and that savory peppercorn bacon was created in the onsite smoker, not bought in a store.

Same with the wings which are smoked to perfection, then fried for that crispy texture.

My partner in crime said he loved their bratwurst, and the steak is well seasoned in a delicious demi glace.

Plus, the prices weren’t hard to swallow either, a rarity for golf courses.

So whether you are looking for a round of golf or just a great burger, come check out The Black Skimmer Grille this summer on beautiful Navarre Beach, NavarreListings.com.