Join me as I unveil the best things to do in Navarre, Florida, the beautiful beachside haven!
Cast a Line at Navarre Beach Fishing Pier
In the heart of Florida's paradise, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is more than just a structure jutting into the Gulf of Mexico; it's a place that intertwines the passions for fishing and wildlife alike.
My local friends and I have a tradition of weekly gatherings on this longest pier over the Gulf, sharing moments of laughter and camaraderie.
As we step onto the long, sturdy, wooden walkway, the hum of the sea waves and the whisper of the wind brings an immediate sense of tranquility.
The octagonal deck at the end of the pier is our favorite hangout spot, especially during the turtle-spotting season.
We've seen our fair share of sea turtles and dolphins dancing in the water, providing a spectacle that never ceases to amaze.
On some days, we bring our fishing rods and bait, prepping ourselves for a fun day of fishing.
The thrill of the catch and the anticipation while waiting for a bite have a charm of their own.
Don't worry if you forget your fishing gear at home; the Pier's gift shop has you covered.
For a mere $7, you can rent fishing rods and other items, and even if you're not into fishing, a $1 toll lets you enjoy scenic beauty and wildlife spotting.
Navarre Beach Fishing Pier's gift shop is the starting point for any visit to the Pier.
It's stocked with a variety of souvenirs, and I can't help but pick up a couple of their high-quality long-sleeved cotton tops every now and then.
Not to mention, the shop offers the perfect vantage point for some breathtaking sunset shots.
Experience the Divine at Apostolic Lighthouse Church
The first time I stepped foot into the Apostolic Lighthouse Church,
I immediately felt a sense of belonging I hadn't felt anywhere else.
There was an undeniable warmth that enveloped me, a sensation that seemed to whisper, "Welcome home."
The members of the congregation are incredibly welcoming.
From that very first visit, I never felt like an outsider.
It was as if an invisible blanket of acceptance had been tenderly wrapped around me, comforting and reassuring.
But what makes Apostolic Lighthouse Church truly special is the palpable presence of the divine.
Even if you're not particularly religious, you can't help but sense something extraordinary here.
Every visit feels like a profound spiritual journey, a step closer to the divine.
The Holy Ghost, as some would call it, is everywhere - in the smiles of the congregation, in the passionate words of the preacher, and in the melodious hymns that fill the church.
Apostolic Lighthouse Church is more than just a place of worship.
It's where I've experienced some of the most profound spiritual moments of my life.
If you're seeking a divine encounter or even just a warm, welcoming community, this is the place to be.
Have a Peaceful Retreat at Sandpiper Pavilion
Who knew that right in the heart of our bustling town, a serene haven like the Sandpiper Pavilion exists?
It's my go-to place whenever I need a breather from the daily grind or when the ocean waves get a bit too intimidating for a relaxing swim.
The pavilion's spacious parking lot is a relief, especially during the peak season when finding a parking spot in town becomes as rare as a blue moon.
The tranquility that the calm waters bring is unmatched.
Just sitting by the shore, watching the sun setting and the gentle lapping of the water, makes you forget about all the worries of the world.
I've also had the pleasure of attending a wedding at Sandpiper Pavilion once.
Yes, it was a hot summer day, but the joy of watching two people in love exchanging vows in such a picturesque setting made it all worth it.
Have a Family Picnic at Navarre Beach Marine Park
It's a typical sunny day in Navarre, and like any other beautiful day, I'm gravitating towards my favorite hidden gem - Navarre Beach Marine Park.
The first thing you'll notice is the almost surreal white sand, shimmering in the Florida sun.
It's a far cry from your typical crowded tourist traps, and parking is always a breeze.
The park comes alive with families and friends chatting and enjoying their BBQs at the picnic tables, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
And if you're a nature lover like me, the dunes will feel like a sanctuary, a breath of fresh air wedged between the Gulf and the Sound.
But the real charm of Navarre Beach Marine Park is the boardwalk.
It's my usual route to the beach, and I make it a point to take a moment to read the signage.
They offer a wealth of information about the local flora and fauna that you won't want to miss.
And then there's the water - a stunning blue-green that captivates your senses.
Although calm, the occasional wave adds a touch of excitement.
The pier is a must-visit, too.
For a small fee, you can walk the pier or even try your hand at fishing.
But my favorite pastime is watching the sunset from there - a dramatic display of colors that never ceases to amaze me.
If you're up for some adventure, don't forget your snorkel mask.
The snorkeling reef is a treasure trove of marine life.
And if you're lucky, you might even spot dolphins, sea turtles, and an array of fishes.
After a day at the beach, there's nothing like unwinding at the Seaside Sanctuary, a quaint beach house in Navarre, just a stone's throw away from the beach.
Away from the hustle and bustle, it's the perfect end to a perfect day.
Cruise the Gulf Coast with Showintail Inshore Charters
Every once in a while, I set my sights on the sparkling Gulf waters for a day of unforgettable fishing adventure.
And there's no one I trust more to guide these escapades than Captain Bryant of Showintail Inshore Charters.
Navigating through the emerald waves under the sunny Florida sky, the captain's expertise is shown in every aspect of the journey.
Each trip with Showintail Inshore Charters is unique, but the thrill of the catch and the joy of the outing remain constant.
Whether it's a first-timer or a seasoned angler, he makes sure everyone aboard gets the most out of their fishing trip.
It's not just about fishing, though.
The captain also shares his extensive knowledge of local marine life and the area's rich history.
It's like a bonus tour guide service on top of the fishing trip.
He truly knows where the fish live, and his suggestions for local restaurants to cook your catch are always spot-on.
His recommendation for Dewey Destins was a culinary delight.
Learn about Local Wildlife at the Emerald Coast Refuge
I don't think I'll ever forget the day I discovered a night hawk in distress near Panama City Beach.
Not knowing what to do, I took it to a place I'd heard about but never visited: the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
From the moment I walked in, I felt a sense of relief.
The staff were not only helpful, but they seemed to radiate a genuine love for all creatures, great and small.
Their knowledge of wildlife was impressive.
Grace, the educator, was incredibly insightful, friendly, and accommodating.
I found myself awestruck by the beauty of the creatures they were caring for - corn snakes, opossums, and even a Gopher Turtle that another local had brought in were all being nursed back to health with utmost care.
More than that, I was struck by the warmth with which they treated us, the humans.
When my friend felt weak due to low blood sugar, Grace was quick to offer her a granola bar.
I also learned that the refuge is actually a rehabilitation center.
It was heartwarming to hear stories of animals being nursed back to health and released into their natural habitats.
The Gopher Turtle, for instance, had been severely dehydrated and had an ear infection when it was brought in.
The dedicated staff at Emerald Coast cared for him until he was strong enough to return to his burrow.
The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge isn't just a place for animal lovers.
It's a place for anyone who wants to learn about wildlife and contribute to their well-being.
Whether it's a financial contribution or volunteering your time, every little bit helps.
I, for one, will be a regular contributor.
Next time, I'm planning to bring my 4-year-old.
I can't wait to see her face light up at the sight of these beautiful creatures and start her journey of learning and caring for wildlife.
Discover the Valuable Efforts of Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center
Have you ever wondered how it feels to be up close and personal with a real-life sea turtle?
That curiosity led me to the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, one of Navarre Beach's hidden gems.
A place where you can witness the incredible journey of sea turtles, their survival tactics, and their unique lifestyle.
Stepping into the center was a vibrant, educational adventure.
We were introduced to their resident sea turtle, Miss Sweet Pea.
She's a survivor, having overcome a life-threatening injury caused by tangled fishing lines.
Now, she thrives under the meticulous care of the passionate staff at the center.
Despite her solitary lifestyle, it was heartwarming to know that she wasn't unhappy.
After all, living alone is a natural state for sea turtles.
Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center also hosts a rotating body of rescued turtles, getting them ready to return to the wild, if possible.
One such new arrival was on its way to a professional health check while I was there!
This is a place full of surprises and endless opportunities to learn and grow in the understanding of sea life.
While the center is relatively compact, it's packed with information, fun, and interaction.
Starting off with a short wait outdoors, we enjoyed their picnic tables, puzzles, and the cool misting fans.
Once inside, we spent an enjoyable hour touring and shopping at their wonderful gift shop, which features local artist's works.
Plus, at just five bucks per adult, it's a steal.
Make a Splash at Navarre Park
Every morning, I am greeted by the waves' swoosh and birds' chirping from my favorite place, Navarre Park.
Situated just before the bridge that takes you to Navarre Beach, the park offers an unobstructed view of the stunning ocean.
Navarre Park is the perfect place for my little ones, aged between four and six years, to play and frolic.
They can't get enough of the water park and its simple cooling features.
From fountains to showers, the splash pad is a haven of fun and excitement.
It's a joy to see them breaking free from the heat and running around the spacious, gated area, their laughter echoing under the open sky.
The playground, although it can heat up due to the sunny Florida weather, offers a variety of slides that the kids thoroughly enjoy.
I've found that planning visits during the morning or late afternoon helps avoid the sunniest times when the equipment can get too hot.
Venture Underwater at East Sound Side Reef
Ever felt like you're part of an underwater mystery?
That's how swimming in the waters at the East Sound Side Reef feels.
Swimming out to the reef is an exhilarating but challenging task, especially when the water turns a bit murky, almost like a mystical veil.
Any given day, you'll find me navigating my way through East Sound Side Reef, my hands extended in front of my face to keep from bumping into something.
The thrill of this aquatic adventure is in the suspense.
You never know when a reef structure might suddenly appear right in front of you.
I've almost bumped into one, not once but twice!
But it's not all about the adventure; the calm little beach on the sound is equally enticing.
It's a wonderful spot to relax and soak in the tranquillity.
The charm of the reef isn't just in its hidden structures but also in its serene surroundings, making it a great place to unwind at any time of the year.
Learn about Marine Life at Navarre Beach Marine Science Station
I can still remember the first time I stepped foot in the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station.
The salty sea breeze, the distant sound of waves crashing, and the sight of children, their faces alight with curiosity, exploring the wonders of the marine world.
I immediately knew this place was special.
It might be a small facility, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in heart and potential.
Located just a seashell's throw away from the beach, the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is a hub of marine-focused environmental education.
They offer a plethora of interactive camps and events designed to illuminate the mysteries of the ocean.
It's not just about observing; here, you truly learn and connect with the marine world.
One sunny afternoon, I decided to take my nephew there.
His eyes widened as he spotted Sweet Pea, the resident sea turtle, the star of the station.
As we explored more, we learned about the various sea creatures that inhabit our local beaches.
It was a day filled with fun, learning, and a newfound respect for our oceans.
But the station isn't just a tourist spot; it's an integral part of our community.
It thrives on the support and love of local folks like us.
This place reminds us daily of the importance of marine conservation and how crucial our role is in preserving our beautiful oceans.
So, if you haven't been yet, do yourself a favor and head down to the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station.
Trust me, you won't regret it.
Savor the Freshness at Navarre Seafood Market
Every time I crave fresh seafood, there's only one place that comes to mind: the Navarre Seafood Market.
It's become my go-to spot for the freshest catch in town.
Their steamed shrimp is simply irresistible!
I often indulge myself on the drive back home; can't resist that fresh, juicy flavor.
And the best part?
They steam it right in front of you, ready to take home in just five minutes.
You can't get fresher than that!
One time, I decided to try their red snapper and grouper for a family dinner.
I wasn't sure about the quantity needed, but the friendly worker at the counter was quick to help.
He packed the precise amount, enough to feed three of us, although it did come as a surprise that it cost roughly $60.
But when it comes to seafood, you really get what you pay for - freshness and quality!
Trust me, you can taste the difference.
Check out their selection for yourself at Navarre Seafood Market.
But their seafood isn't the only thing worth raving about; their pies are an absolute must-try!
It's so good I've joked they should start a separate pie business.
Their seafood is remarkable, but their pies are heavenly.
With each bite, you can't help but cherish the burst of flavor.
The owner is a gem, always ready to share his knowledge about the seafood they offer.
He answered all my questions, making me feel more confident about my choices.
The market is also spotlessly clean, with no fishy smells.
Waiting for my order, I often find myself admiring their beautiful selection of items.
And don't get me started on their homemade crackers - they're the perfect accompaniment to their fresh seafood.
Enjoy Sushi at the Slippery Mermaid Sushi Bar
It's a must-visit if you're craving some of the best sushi rolls in town, and the 40-minute drive has never deterred me from indulging in my sushi cravings.
The Slippery Mermaid Sushi Bar doesn't just serve up your typical sushi roll; they have an entire menu of crazy delicious creations.
One bite of any of their unique rolls, and you'll understand why I keep coming back for more.
The vegetarian roll, for example, is a wild mix of flavors that even the most carnivorous of my friends have enjoyed.
The dining room might be a bit small, but trust me, the ambiance is worth it.
If you time it right, you'll get to enjoy your meal on the screened porch with a view of the sound that's simply irresistible.
And if you're lucky enough to snag a spot on a warm, balmy night, pair it with a glass of their chilled sake to really set the tone.
Their appetizers don't disappoint either – the tempura shrimp are a crowd-favorite.
But be warned, they're so addictive they'll be gone in a flash!
And if you're like me and tend to come in late, their accommodating staff will make sure you're well taken care of.
ExperienceThrills at Navarre Family Watersports
There's nothing quite like a day spent at Navarre Family Watersports; it easily becomes the highlight of your week.
The adrenaline rush as you zip across the water on a jet ski, the tranquil serenity as you paddle along in a glowing canoe, or the laughter and excitement as you navigate the floating water park - it's an adventure-filled day that never disappoints.
Arriving early is key to enjoying Navarre Family Watersports to the fullest.
There's paperwork to be filled out and waivers to be signed before you can dive into the fun, but it's a small price to pay for the joy that awaits.
The staff are efficient and get you set up and ready for your day on the water.
Have a Retreat at Emerald Beach RV Park
A slice of paradise, that's what I call Emerald Beach RV Park. It has become my favorite spot to unwind, especially on the weekends.
The place is meticulously clean and tidy, a testament to the hard-working park staff who ensure that everything is in top-notch shape.
Daily clean-ups of the bathhouses and regular trash pick-ups are just some of the things that make this place stand out.
The private beach is a pleasure to visit, with its unspoiled beauty and the comfortable chairs already set up for us to enjoy.
My loyal furry friend also has his own spot, the dog beach, where he can play freely.
The park isn't just a place for relaxation, it's also fun and games!
From the pier, you can fish the sound, dive into a good book, or simply sit back on a rocking chair and take in the breathtaking views.
The Emerald Beach RV Park isn't just about the amenities, though. It's the people that make it special.
The warm and friendly staff treat everyone like family, always ready to share a laugh or a fishing story.
The tranquil atmosphere, aided by the quiet neighborhood surrounding the park, makes it an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
When it comes to convenience, the park hits the mark.
It's only a stone's throw away from popular attractions, great food outlets, and necessary amenities like grocery stores and Walmart.
Have a Night Out at Stripes Pub & Grill
One night, I was feeling adventurous and decided to try something out of the ordinary. I found myself at Stripes Pub & Grill, a casual sports tavern nestled in a local strip mall.
From the outside, it appears to be rather unassuming, but once you step inside, you're immediately captivated by the patriotic U.S. military decor adorning the walls.
I decided to order the Fish and Chips, and I must say, it was delectably crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, paired brilliantly with their house tartar sauce.
The atmosphere was vibrant, with a number of screens broadcasting a range of sporting events and a soundtrack of lively music filling the air.
Another evening, I found myself drawn back to Stripes Pub & Grill with my partner.
This time, I decided to be adventurous and ordered the pork chop.
It was large enough to be a meal in itself and was cooked to perfection.
My partner opted for the highly recommended whiskey bourbon chicken and was not disappointed.
It was served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and warm garlic bread, which left us both thoroughly satisfied.
The restaurant is not only a hub of delicious American fare and a full bar, but it's also a tribute to our dedicated armed forces.
The military-themed decor gives it a unique character, making it a great place for a lively night out with friends, a quiet family dinner, or even a casual date.
Spend a Few Days at Navarre Beach Camping Resort
There's something truly magical about living in a place where others come to vacation.
As someone lucky enough to call Navarre home, I've had the chance to experience that magic firsthand at the Navarre Beach Camping Resort.
Allow me to share a taste of my local experiences, from the warmth of the welcoming staff, the charm of the cottages, and the delight of the on-site amenities.
Right from the get-go, the staff at the resort set the tone for a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
They are not just hospitable but genuinely kind, going out of their way to ensure every visitor's comfort and enjoyment.
Whether it's a quick chat or assistance with camper issues, they exhibit a level of dedication that is truly remarkable.
Living close to the resort, I often enjoy a peaceful stroll along the 300-foot pier.
It's the perfect place for quiet reflection, away from the hustle and bustle of life.
At other times, I've taken the plunge into the heated pool, which is always maintained at the perfect temperature, making it a delightful retreat in any weather.
If you're a fan of cozy accommodations, the cottages here are bound to charm you.
Not too long ago, I decided to treat myself to a staycation and booked one of these quaint cabins.
The screen porch was a delightful addition, offering a picturesque view of the Navarre Beach Camping Resort.
Inside, it was spacious and inviting, creating that 'home away from home' feeling that truly elevates a stay.
Being a part of the community, I appreciate how the resort brings together people from all walks of life.
The games room serves as a melting pot of culture, where friendly competitions often forge friendships.
The playground, too, is a hub of activity, filled with the laughter of kids, creating an environment that is lively and joyful.
Drink with the Locals at Johnny Huston's Grille & Bar
You know that feeling when your stomach growls after a long day, and all you crave is a mouthwatering burger? That's when I head straight to Johnny Huston's Grille & Bar.
With their wide range of pub grub and drinks served in the most down-home setting, this local spot has become my go-to diner.
Be it Tuesday or Friday, day or night, the place is always buzzing with a friendly crowd.
And when you step inside the rustic, casual ambiance of Johnny Huston's Grille & Bar., you instantly feel at home.
The music in the background sets the mood right and adds a cool vibe to the place.
Now, let's talk about the real deal – the food.
I can confidently say that their burgers are the best I've ever had.
Savory, juicy, and satisfying, a burger from Johnny's is enough to turn a bad day around.
But it's not just the burgers, they have something for everyone.
If you love seafood, their fish tacos are a must-try!
They are so delicious that I found myself coming back for them just a few days after my first try.
The drinks here are perfect.
Whether you prefer a chilled beer or a glass of white wine, they have an extensive list to quench your thirst.
Party at Juana's Pagodas
You know, there's something special about a place that just screams 'local', and Juana's Pagodas delivers that charm in spades.
It's a waterfront hangout that offers a delightful combination of casual American eats, cocktails, live music, and games - all under one roof!
Often, the sound of a live band fills the air, and it's an absolute delight to enjoy a cocktail while tapping your feet to the beats.
Take a look around, and you will find cool mugs hanging from the ceiling, a fun tribute to the many patrons who have passed through their doors.
The service at Juana's Pagodas? Always friendly, always welcoming.
I remember once arriving around 5 pm on a Thursday.
We were seated immediately on the covered patio, and the view was breathtaking.
The menu is conveniently available via a QR code right on the napkin holder, so don't forget your phone!
Now, let's talk about the food.
Though the pricing and portions could be better, the dishes are served piping hot, and the salads are always on point.
The Fried Shrimp Basket with Onion Rings is a personal favorite of mine.
And the onion rings? Cooked to sheer perfection!
Bring Home a Piece of Navarre from The Boardwalk Shop
When it comes to filling my home with reminders of the beautiful Navarre beach, The Boardwalk Shop is my go-to place.
You might think it's just another souvenir shop, but it's something more.
This cozy little store has a charm that's hard to resist.
One step inside The Boardwalk Shop, and you're greeted with an array of cute things that are hard to resist, even for an adult like me.
You'll find everything from sunscreen to beer - basic essentials that are handy to have on hand.
Beyond the basics, this place offers a treasure trove of beautiful items that make for perfect gifts or keepsakes.
Each piece is a testament to the unique charm of Navarre.
One word of advice, though - be prepared to exercise your willpower.
It's hard not to walk out with more than you planned to purchase.
Especially if you have kids tagging along, their eyes are bound to light up at the sight of all the adorable things in the store.
My niece, for instance, never leaves without a little something.
Tee Off at The Club at Hidden Creek
When you live in a place long enough, you start discovering treasures hidden away from the casual observer.
As for me, it was finding a golfer's haven - The Club at Hidden Creek.
The aura and pristine greenery of this place are nothing short of a well-kept secret in our town.
What catches your eye first is how well-groomed the course is.
The greens are fast yet manageable, offering a playful challenge that keeps you on your toes.
The thrill of swinging the club and watching the ball arc toward the hole is an experience that never gets old.
I've had the chance to play several rounds over the past few months, and each time, the course has been in impeccable condition.
The folks at The Club at Hidden Creek's Pro Shop, the starter/marshal, and even the cart person are always welcoming and upbeat.
It's as if their infectious enthusiasm for the game rubs off on you.
And speaking of the staff, they're so accommodating that they let me tee off early to beat the heat during one of those particularly sunny days.
I have contemplated purchasing the family membership.
It's a tempting proposition, but the price point, especially when you factor in the cart program, is a bit more than what you'd pay at other clubs in the area.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Dive into Natural History at Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve
Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve, with its breathtaking enclave of coastal beauty with its 7.5 miles of winding trails, offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
My journey typically begins at the visitor center, a welcoming hub filled with helpful information about the preserve's diverse habitats.
From there, I venture into the heart of the preserve, losing myself amidst a tapestry of vibrant wildflowers, moss-draped oak trees, and the soothing soundtrack of local wildlife.
The trails, which seem to undulate with the rhythm of nature, lead me through picturesque landscapes to the stunning shoreline.
Here, I love to take a moment to appreciate the panoramic view of the Gulf, where sugar-white sands flirt with the crystal-clear waters.
It's the sort of view that makes you feel at one with the universe, grounding and uplifting all at once.
The Naval Live Oaks isn't just about natural beauty, though.
As a history buff, I find the park's historical significance fascinating.
This land, formerly used for shipbuilding, has seen centuries of change.
The whispering oaks that line the trails stand as silent witnesses to the area's rich past, adding a profound depth to the preserve's allure.
Encounter Animals at Gulf Breeze Zoo
I have been visiting this attraction since I was a child, and the magic never seems to fade.
The zoo houses an impressive roster of over 800 animals, and the variety is simply astounding.
It's not every day that you get to see birds, turtles, hippos, lions, cheetahs, and giraffes all in one place!
Gulf Breeze Zoo has always been well maintained, with wide paths and clean facilities, making it a breeze for families to navigate with strollers.
I've always appreciated the numerous bathrooms scattered throughout the park, a convenience for visitors of all ages.
One of the unique features that sets our zoo apart is the interactive feeding experience.
I've fed the giraffes and goats many times, and it's always a special moment.
If you're lucky, you might even get the chance to feed some of the more exotic residents, like the birds and turtles.
And the giraffe encounter is an experience not to be missed - you get to learn so much about these majestic creatures from the knowledgeable staff.
Of course, no visit to the Gulf Breeze Zoo would be complete without a trip on the small train that tours the wildlife preserve.
The journey offers a whole new perspective on the habitats, allowing you to see the animals in a more relaxed setting, away from the hustle and bustle of the main zoo areas.
Navarre, Florida, has much to offer, both to its residents and visitors.
From nature lovers to food enthusiasts, from thrill-seekers to those looking for a quiet getaway, the area caters to all.
It's a place where every day offers a new way to connect with nature, and every evening brings the promise of a good meal and a good time.