Red snapper season returning to gulf beaches

Navarre Beach is a hot spot for fishing enthusiast, and for many, red snapper season is a real treat. Recreational red snapper season isn’t too far off with summer right around the corner, and a new season is set to be approved in February.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is recommending a continuous 45-day season that kicks off June 11 and runs through July 25. Seasons are created to help maintain a healthy population of these fish, so we can keep reeling them in for generations to come.

This promises to be a season extension over the last two years, welcome news for our anglers who look forward to casting from shore, from their boats and from the longest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico. According to FWC experts, the last couple years have stayed below quota, meaning more time for recreational fishing.

Plans are in place to keep the recreational bag limit of two fish per angler and a size limit of 16 inches.

FWC works with anglers of all backgrounds to find the season that works best for everyone, favoring the summers which are the most beautiful time to visit our shores.

So, if you haven’t already booked your vacation to Navarre Beach, what are you waiting for? Get a jump on the summer fishing season and plan that beach getaway at NavarreListings.com.

Three ways to keep your healthy resolution on vacation

For many of us, the New Year is a time for self-reflection and looking to the future. Some of us, myself included, will make or reaffirm a commitment to a healthier lifestyle this New Year, promising to treat our bodies as the temples they are.

However, vacations are notorious for upheaving the best laid health plans. But it doesn’t have to be this way! On beautiful Navarre Beach, we have plenty of ways to have fun and be healthy, too! Here are three tips:

1. Get active

With all the fun waiting on Navarre Beach, there’s no excuse for staying still too long. We have a wonderful multiuse path running the length of the island where you can go for a walk, run or bike.

And there are plenty of options for taking to the surf. Besides just swimming, visitors can take part in a variety of water sports.

Locally owned and operated business, Sage Paddle Co. offers rentals of bicycles, kayaks, surf boards and stand up paddle boards. I highly recommend trying your hand at paddle boarding in the tranquil waters of Santa Rosa Sound.

And beachfront yoga is sure to add a layer of relaxation to any active vacation.

2. Think portion control

Splurging at the dinner table is all too easy when on vacation, and it’s no secret that Navarre Beach’s cuisine is phenomenal. So how do you avoid blowing your diet while visiting the beach?

Portion control is your friend! Many of our restaurants offer lighter fare that still packs all the culinary punch. Order your gulf-fresh seafood grilled instead of fried. Try the sushi at The Slippery Mermaid for a light but flavorful option.

And take advantage of your condominiums kitchen facilities by bring some pre-portioned snacks and healthier treats with you on vacay. Opt to cook as a family or couple one night. This can be a fun bonding experience and serves as a break from fattier restaurant foods.

3. Selfcare is health care

It can be easy to get wrapped up in the latest health craze, measuring out every calorie and stringently planning our day around health rituals.

But that stress can actually undo all the good our better habits are providing. Numerous studies have found that stress and mental strain can have real impacts to our physical health from disrupting our sleep to increasing heart health risks and even exaggerating chronic pains.

Taking a moment to just breathe is essential. Take a stroll down the shoreline. Watch the sunset from atop the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. It will do wonders for your health. 

So, come vacation the healthier way, here on the sandy white shores of Navarre Beach, NavarreListings.com.

Snowbird fun coming to Navarre Beach this winter

Snowbird fun coming to Navarre Beach this winter

We welcome visitors of all ages, especially during the winter months when our snowbirds return to the shore! For those unaware, snowbirds are the seniors who typically visit our emerald shores during the cooler months at the beginning of the year. Here are a few of the events awaiting our visitors in January:

Snowbird Welcome Reception at the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center
Jan. 6 & 17, 9  – 11 a.m.
8543 Navarre Pkwy. in Navarre
Catch up on all things Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa County as the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center welcomes visiting snowbirds to the area. There will be light refreshments along with information on local businesses, event calendars, restaurants, attractions, coupons and other amenities needed during a stay in Santa Rosa County. For more information, call 850-981-8900.

 
Snowbird Activities Series at the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center
Jan. 13, 21, 22, 28, 30 & 31
8543 Navarre Pkwy. in Navarre
Join the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center for a morning of fun, socialization and learning. Each session will be a different theme or activity. This program is designed for visiting snowbirds and local seniors. Space is limited to 40 attendees. First come, first serve. For more information, call 850-981-8900 or visit www.getrelaxing.com or www.facebook.com/RelaxInNavarre

  • Jan. 13, 9 – 10 a.m. – Sea Turtle Lecture
  • Jan. 21, 9 – 10 a.m. – Marine Sanctuary/Artificial Reefs Lecture
  • Jan. 22, 9 – 11 a.m. – Coffee and Crafts – Banners
  • Jan. 28, 9 – 10 a.m. – Natural Areas in Northwest Florida Lecture
  • Jan. 30, 9 – 10 a.m. – Chair Yoga (Limit 15 Attendees)
  • Jan. 31, 9 – 10 a.m. – History of the National Park Service & Gulf Islands National Seashore Lecture

Snowbird Sessions by the Sea at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station
Jan. 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2 – 3 p.m.
8638 Blue Heron Ct. on Navarre Beach
Learn about the marine life and ecosystems of Navarre Beach. Each session is a different topic with a presentation, discussion and hands on demonstrations. This program is for visiting snowbirds and local seniors. Only 20 spots available, $10 per person. Pre-registration is required. Each participant receives a session take-away. For more information and to register, call 850-261-2141 or visit www.navarresciencestation.org.

  • Jan. 9 – Lionfish Invasion
  • Jan. 16 – Coastal Ecology
  • Jan. 23 – Beachcombing 101
  • Jan. 30 – Birds and Barrier Islands

Murder Mystery Dinner at Broussard’s Bayou Grill
Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m.
8649 Gulf Blvd. on Navarre Beach
Broussard’s on Navarre Beach, this winter’s home for Navarre Beach Snowbirds, will host a 1920s murder mystery dinner. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 7 p.m. Come out and figure out who-dun-it while eating great food with old friends and new. Tickets are $45 and include dinner buffet, non-alcoholic drinks and the show. Tickets are on sale at Broussard’s on Navarre Beach. For more information and tickets, call 850-396-6098.
 
Navarre Beach Snowbird Business Expo & Social
Jan. 14, 2 – 4 p.m.
Days Inn Conference Center, 8700 Navarre Pkwy. in Navarre
This free event is open to all visiting snowbirds and local seniors. There will be $1,000 in door prizes awarded along with coupons and swag giveaways. For more information, call 850-776-8355 or visit www.navarrebeachsnowbirdsclub.com.
 
Winter Arts & Crafts Extravaganza
Jan. 25, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Days Inn Conference Center, 8700 Navarre Pkwy. in Navarre
Support local arts and craft businesses. Many local artists and crafts makers will be setup including painters, photographers, pottery, shell art and much more! For more information, call 850-776-8355 or visit www.navarrebeachsnowbirdsclub.com.

Book your beachfront condominium today at NavarreListings.com.

Freezin’ for a reason on Navarre Beach

On Navarre Beach, we celebrate the New Year with a special tradition, one shared across the country.

We all gather on the chilly morning of Jan. 1 to party before plunging head long into the chilly waters of Santa Rosa Sound, en masse, at exactly 12 hours into the New Year.

It’s called the Penguin Plunge, and this is year 11 of the tradition.

Though it sounds crazy, its actually a blast! People wear costumes. There’s music, beach volleyball, food and a stand-up paddleboard adventure course. It’s a great opportunity for fun in the sun and sand during the oh-so-mild Florida winter.

Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill, a community staple for Navarre Beach, hosts the fun each year, and I always make a point to come out to join in the festivities.

While the family-friendly party is great, it’s the reason for this celebration that makes it so special. Each year, this beach bar restaurant donates all the proceeds from the plunge to local nonprofits.

This year’s Penguin Plunge is supporting a cause close to my heart: suicide prevention.

So many of us have lost a loved one to suicide, and the folks at Juana’s recently suffered a similar loss. So, the proceeds from this year’s plunge will be donated to the local branch of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the EscaRosa Suicide Prevention Coalition and Healing Paws for Warriors.

Healing Paws is a phenomenal organization that trains rescue dogs to become service animals for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I can’t imagine a better way to ring in the New Year than with food and fun for a worthy cause.

Even if you’re too chicken to dive in yourself, you can still join in the fun as a “chicken” registrant and still receive a T-shirt. Folks can register at juanaspagodas.com/PenguinPlunge.htm.

Book your New Year’s vacation with us at NavarreListings.com

Five things to know: Vacation is good for you

Vacationing is good for your health. I know that seems like a no brainer, but here are a few reasons to kick back with your toes in the sand in 2020 that you might not have thought of.

 

  1. Reduce stress. According to the very smart people at the American Psychological Association, vacationing can reduce work stress. Again, I know you’re saying, well duh. But hear me out. It’s not just that we feel happier. Vacation actually reduces stress-induced health problems even after the vacation is over. These include headaches, backaches and heart irregularities.

 

  1. Good for the ol’ ticker. Multiple studies by heart health researchers found that men who have heart disease that vacation regularly can cut their risk of heart attack down by about a third AND significantly reduce their chances of dying from a heart related health issue. In other words, your heart loves the beach, too.

 

  1. Better sleep. When on vacation, we tend to forgo many of the bad habits that disrupt healthy sleep cycles. This can function as a great reset for your natural sleep pattern, meaning more restfulness.

 

  1. Decreasing depression. Researchers of both the Marsfield Clinic and the University of Pittsburg found a correlation between vacationing at least twice a year and reduction in depression. For those with mental health concerns, vacation and recreational activity may be an important part of treatment.

 

  1. Overwork=higher stroke risk. Sometimes it can be hard to see the real cost to our bodies of overworking ourselves, but there can be major consequences. For employees who spend too much time at work, stroke risk can go up by 33% (The Lancet). Not to be melodramatic, but vacation can save your life.

 

So, plan a vacation! Your body will thank you. Start reaping the health benefits by visiting NavarreListings.com.

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 www.navarrechamberfoundation.org.

 

  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 www.navarrechamber.com 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 NavarreListings.com.

What I’m thankful for on Navarre Beach

On beautiful Navarre Beach, we have a lot to be thankful for. Here are just a few of them.

1. Powdery white sand

Ever stick your toes into warm powdered sugar? That’s what it’s like to relax on Navarre Beach. We’re famous for our internationally celebrated white sands. Fun fact, our sand is the result of quartz deposits in the Appalachian Mountains, ground down over hundreds of thousands of years. Neat right?

2.  Longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico

Whether you are an expert angler, a fishing novice or just a sight seer, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is an absolute delight! The pier reaches out into the gulf waters farther than any other, where a variety of species dwell. Some of the favorites out here are redfish and cobia. This is also arguably the best place to watch a sunset in Florida.

3. Lack of crowding

Beaches across Florida have a big problem: they’re jam packed! Not here. We’ve jokingly called ourselves “Florida’s best kept secret” because we do not see the ridiculous crowds of some of the larger beaches. And our entire shoreline is public land, including the unspoiled beauty of our lovely Navarre Beach Marine Park.

4. Great local eateries

From the award-winning beach bar Juana’s Pagoda and Sailors Grill to newer fair such as Dewey Destin’s, you won’t leave hungry. I have personal favorites at nearly every place, and most our restaurants are locally owned, not cheap franchises, meaning they treat you like family. 

5. Beautiful sunset

Sunsets on the beach are truly something to behold, each one a truly unique work of art. I love just parking my rump on the shore and watching God’s handywork light up the sky. Or perhaps you’d prefer a private viewing for two of the spectacular sunset from the waterfront balcony of one of our condominiums?

Come share in the gratitude on beautiful Navarre Beach at NavarreListings.com.

Wasting vacation days is unhealthy

For some of us, the end of a year also means its time for our paid vacation time to reset.

And I would like to share with you, dear reader, a depressing discovery. In 2018, we Americans left 768 MILLION vacation days on the table, unused, unspent and unappreciated. That’s an all-time record according to USTravel.org. What were we thinking!?

More than half of us are not cashing in with about 55% of workers admitting they skipped at least part of their requisite paid time off.

Your paid vacation is an integral part of your compensation. It’s not a gift. It’s time that you have earned as part of your hard work. You wouldn’t leave your paycheck uncashed, would you? This is the same thing!

And for those of you worried about productivity at work, I get it. Even working beside the world’s most beautiful powdery white shores of Navarre Beach, stress piles up. You get so worried about getting it all done that you forget to take a moment to just *breathe*.

But you may find it as a shock that workers who do actually take their time off are more productive than those that don’t! Vacation time can be good for our health and beneficial to productivity by reducing stress, preventing burnout and promoting creative problem solving when we return to work. The Society of Human Resource Managers, American Psychological Association and a host of other experts agree with me on this.

Vacation= good for you, your work and your boss. It’s science.

Many vacation experts recommend making sure to get the fullest out of your vacation time by simply planning ahead. For your New Year’s resolution, sit down and schedule out your paid vacation for the year. All of it!

By planning it ahead, you won’t “forget” to take the time off, and you will be better for it.

And Navarre Beach is a perfect place to get that cool down, recharge time paid vacation can bring. Of course, I might be a little biased, but I don’t know who wouldn’t love crystal blue waters and uncrowded gulf coast lines.

Come see for yourself. Come take time for yourself at NavarreListings.com.

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 NavarreListings.com.

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 TravelLemming.com.

TravelLemming.com 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 NavarreListings.com.