Wine and Dine for a good cause on Navarre Beach

Fine wine you can feel good about sipping along Florida’s most beautiful beach. Who doesn’t like that?
Folks will be wining and dining in support of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation on the Navarre Beach Feb. 28 during the annual Wine & Dine for Dravet in Honor of Charlotte organized and hosted by Cheryl Chant and Ken Rudzki, Charlotte’s grandparents.

It will be held at Juana’s Club Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill in Navarre, an award-winning beach bar. The event will feature live music by Stevie Hall and a wine tasting with featured dinner available. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will also feature a silent auction and door prizes.

All funds raised will benefit the Dravet Syndrome Foundation. Dravet Syndrome Foundation, is a 501(3)c nonprofit organization based in Connecticut whose mission is to aggressively raise research funds for Dravet syndrome and related epilepsies, while providing support to affected individuals and families. Since its inception in 2009, DSF has awarded over $4.2 million in research grant awards and over $160,000 in patient assistance grants.

Pretty awesome, right?

Charlotte is close to the hearts of many locals here. She was born a healthy baby girl, but at almost five months old, this abruptly changed when she had her first seizure. Unfortunately, the seizures kept coming. Genetic testing was done as no other reason for her seizures could be found. A month later, a diagnosis of Dravet Syndrome was made.

Dravet Syndrome is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy and for which there is currently no cure.

Nowadays, Charlotte’s seizures are more controlled with medications. At 6 years old, she’s wonderful and very active. She adores her big sister and loves school. She looks forward to seeing her friends and teachers every day.

Help children like Charlotte find a cure for Dravet while enjoying a night of music and fun along beautiful Navarre Beach by reserving your table by calling Chant at 850-240- 3880 or email flourgirl54@bellsouth.net.

And book your condo for the night at NavarreListings.com.

Snowbird fun in February

The snowbirds are back in town, and we’re happy to see them! If you are one of our lovely snowbirds, I would like to say welcome and thank you for continuing to support our beautiful community.

We’ve got some extra fun planned for you this February!

For those who might not know, a snowbird is a senior visitor to the beach who comes to the area during mid to late winter, typically from states to the north and northwest.

Our lovely visitors center is hosting a variety of fun events for the snowbirds this year, each with a different theme or activity. Space is limited to 40 attendees on a first come, first serve basis.

Sessions include:

Feb. 10, 9 to 11 a.m. – Photography class with John Starrett

Feb. 11, 9 to 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Estuaries 101

Feb. 13, 9 to 10 a.m. – Chair Yoga (limit 15 attendees)

Feb. 18, 9 to 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Marine Mammal Neighbors   

Feb. 24, 9 to 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Terrapins

Feb. 27, 9 to 10 a.m. – Chair Yoga (limit 15 attendees)

Additional snowbird-centric events will include:

Pickleball every Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Gulf Breeze Recreation    Center.

Feb. 13, 5 to 9 p.m. – A Sweethearts Dance at the Navarre Conference Center at Days Inn & Suites

Visiting seniors are encouraged to come to the visitor center to learn about the area, get a seniors’ coupon book and receive a printed calendar of events for the 2020 season.

Book your snowbird escape at NavarreListings.com.

It’s Book Direct Day!

It’s Book Direct Day!

As the saying goes, “cut out the middle man.” On Feb. 5 each year, vacation rental managers across the country take a moment to educate the public about vacation rental booking best practices under #BookDirect.

Some things you might not have known:
1. You are paying more to book through third-party sites like AirBnB and VRBO. They add fees on top of the cost of the rental, so the companies can make money on the rentals. Booking direct means eliminating the middleman’s costs.

2. Third-party sites will not likely have the best homes in that area listed. For example, our gulf front condos with full kitchens won’t show up on those sites, but Uncle Jerry’s spare bedroom in the basement 13 miles from the beach might be. It’s a vacation, and you deserve the best. (No offense Uncle Jerry!)

3. Locals know the area best! When you #BookDirect, you are connecting with people who know Navarre Beach inside and out. They are better equipped to find the rental that best meets your needs and recommend the best places to visit on your trip! With a third-party site, you might not know exactly what you are getting.

4. Flexibility is also a bonus! When you talk directly to the people managing a property, you are more likely to be clued in to deals and paired with the rental that best matches your family’s needs and budget.

5. Those with special needs and requests can work directly with owners when they #BookDirect, taking a lot of the stress out of trip planning. I mean, this IS supposed to be a vacation, right? Work directly with companies to relieve the headache! You’ll be well taken care of.

So, #BookDirect today at NavarreListings.com!

February events at Navarre Beach

Snowbird Activities Series at the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center

Join us at the Navarre Beach Visitor Information Center,8543 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, 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 http://www.getrelaxing.com and http://www.facebook.com/RelaxInNavarre

•             February 4, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Nutrition

•             February 5, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Coffee and Crafts – Mardi Gras Masks

•             February 7, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. –  Ask a Bird Biologist – Audubon

•             February 10, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. –  Photography Class with John Starrett

•             February 11, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. –  Lecture Series

•             February 13, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. –  Chair Yoga (limited to 15 attendees)

•             February 18, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Marine Mammal Neighbors

•             February 24, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Lecture Series Terrapins

•             February 27, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Chair Yoga (limited to 15 attendees)

Snowbird Sessions by the Sea at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station – Beachcombing 101

February 5, 12, 19, 2 – 3 p.m.

Learn all about seashells with a guided walking tour of our marsh, dune and swash zone ecosystems during our Beachcombing 101 classes. This program is for visiting snowbirds and local seniors. $10 per person. Pre-registration is required. Each participant receives a session take-away. The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is located at 8638 Blue Heron Ct. on Navarre Beach. For more information and to register, call 850-261-2141 or visit http://www.navarresciencestation.org.

15th Annual Woodstoke and Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Festival

February 8, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Celebrating handmade pottery and historic wood-fired kilns! Attendees are welcome to join the line to view pieces and help to unload two large historical kilns. Art pieces from Gulf Coast Potters will be available for sale. The suggested $10 donation for the commemorative pottery bowl allows you to sample all the specialty seafood and chili dishes. The commemorative pottery bowls contain locally sourced clay. Free event, open to the public. For more information, contact Holley Hill Pottery, 7507 Buckeye Drive, Navarre, at 850-939-2744 or visit http://www.holleyhillpottery.com.

34th Annual Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade

February 15, 1 p.m.

Join the Navarre Krewe of Jesters at the Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade. This year’s parade theme is “Navarre Beach Life.” The parade beings at the corner of Indiana St. and Gulf Blvd.; Runs east along Gulf Blvd.; and ends at the four-way stop on Navarre Beach. For more information, email contact@nkoj.org or visit http://www.nkoj.org.

Valentine’s Murder Mystery Dinner at Broussard’s Bayou Grill

February 12, 6:30 p.m.

Broussard’s on Navarre Beach is having “A Dinner To Die For” presented by Improbable Cause Mystery Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner/show starts at 7 p.m. Come out and figure out who-dun-it while eating great food. Tickets are $55 and includes dinner and a special Valentine’s signature drink and the show. Tickets are on sale at Broussard’s on Navarre Beach at 8649 Gulf Blvd. Navarre Beach.  For more information and tickets, please call 850-396-6098.

Sweethearts Dinner and Dance

February 13, 5 – 9 p.m.

Join the Navarre Beach Snowbird Club for their 2020 Sweethearts Dinner and Dance! It will be a romantic evening of great food, dancing and live entertainment from Stevie Hall. Tickets are $35 and includes reception with appetizers, buffet dinner, open bar and dessert. Stevie Hall will be playing all your favorite songs with dancing. Navarre Conference Center, 8100 Navarre Parkway. For more information Call TJ Goulet at 850-776-8355 or visit http://www.navarrebeachsnowbirdsclub.com

Trash Bash with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center

February 29, 8 – 10 a.m.

Meet up to clean up! Volunteers for a beach cleanup will meet in the main Navarre Beach Parking lot near the Sand Crab Pavilion. A limited supply of gloves, buckets and pickers are provided or bring your own. Call 850-684-3347 or visit http://www.navarrebeachseaturtles.org for more information.

Plan your vacay today at NavarreListings.com.

Mardi Gras season is here!

As the saying goes, “laissez les bons temps rouler!” Or for those that don’t speak Cajun French, let the good times roll!

It’s Mardi Gras season, and the Navarre Krewe of Jesters are in full swing preparing for this year’s festivities including the Mardi Gras Ball at the Navarre Conference Center Feb. 8 and the 34th annual Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 15.

The theme of the ball and the parade is “Navarre Beach Life.” What a great theme for a great place, right?

The ball is a formal affair, so if you decide to join the fun be sure to dress to the nines! Guests are encouraged to wear tuxedos and formal dresses for this black-tie event. The event is open to the public and BYOB (or liquor). This is not a masquerade ball or a costume ball, but outfits matching the theme are encouraged.

Tickets are $35 each. They are available in advance or at the door. A table for 10 is $270. Tickets can be purchased by emailing contact@nkoj.org.

The 34th annual Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade will happen rain or shine along Gulf Boulevard on Navarre Beach. And it’s never been rained on in its entire history! This will be a must attend event for anyone, local or visitor. More than 35,000 people have attended this family friendly event in the past.

The parade starts promptly at 1 p.m., and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff Office will close the bridge around noon or earlier. The krewe has no control over when the bridge closure occurs, and traffic onto the bridge is expected to be heavy. The Krewe of Jesters recommends arriving on the island by 10 a.m.

Those interested in entering a float may apply online at nkoj.org. The parade starts at Indiana Street and Gulf Boulevard, and proceeds east on Gulf Boulevard, ending at the Navarre Beach Causeway.

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.