Tag: Navarre

Tips for a Stress-Free Trip to the Beach for the Holidays

Looking for a great place to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas this year?  Come on down to the beautiful Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida (specifically Navarre Beach or Pensacola Beach).

Trade in the white snow and gray skies for white sand, and aquamarine waters! 

Even if you don’t go swimming in the Gulf during your visit you can walk on the beach and search for shells.  Bring blankets and some hot coffee down to the beach and watch as God paints the skies (the picture above is a sunrise from the Navarre Pier) or take a sunset stroll with your sweetheart before dinner and be thankful for the time with each other.  Sunrise is around 6 am and sunset is around 5 pm.  Both are beautiful!

Rental Units:

There are lots of properties available and the prices are very affordable.  Check out the list of Property Management companies at the bottom of our website (under Local Resources).  You will always get the best price when you book directly.

These and other companies offer the option to use Grocery Concierge to deliver your groceries BEFORE you arrive so that you don’t have to spend time shopping.  Doesn’t that sound great?!  No need to shop for supplies, especially during some of the busiest times of the year at the grocery stores.

Holiday Meals & Menus:

While you are here, I recommend checking out some of our local options and incorporating them into your menu.  Add fresh seafood to your appetizers from Navarre Seafood Market, or custard from Culver’s (they offer a new flavor every day, and pre-packed quarts) to add to cakes and pies. 

Holiday Meats:  You can order a smoked turkey and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving from Ye Olde Brother’s https://yeoldebrothersbrewery.com/turkey/?fbclid=IwAR1iQQ4l7NIR0E5kReDAHTuChbiB_uNW5xVrXTgC4ZB6mxj42lrrVJ1_hEg

Dickey’s BBQ in Gulf Breeze offers smoked meats during the holidays—and Publix offers full meals.  I have added a pdf with details on these and other local options. 

***This will also save you the necessary defrost time (days) for a frozen turkey and the space in the refrigerator.

As wonderful as the rental properties are, they may not have all the kitchen equipment you typically use to prepare a large holiday meal.  Let’s simplify the menu so that you still get all your favorites, but you can prepare it in a smaller space with fewer pots and pans.  Also, instead of having multiple types of meat and multiple sides at one BIG MEAL, create multiple smaller meals.

Here’s what I suggest for your HOLIDAY MEAL: https://grocery-concierge.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Holiday-Meal-Ideas.pdf

Basic Menu:

  • 1 Meat Item: Turkey, Ham, or Roast (Prime Rib, Beef Tenderloin or Pork Roast)
    • Gravy or Condiment for the meat (horseradish, au jus)
  • 1 to 2 Starch items:  Cornbread Dressing, Potatoes (Sweet or White), Rice, Corn, Squash
  • 1 Green Veggies:  Green Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts,
  • 1 Salad: Fruit or Vegetable
  • 1 Bread
  • 1-2 Desserts (It’s the holidays!)

Disposable Pans:

The rental units are typically not going to have large roasting pans for Turkeys or Roasts so you will need to buy disposable pans.  Disposable pans come in lots of different sizes (approximate sizes below):

  • Cake Pan: 9 x 13 inches
  • Loaf Pan:  8 x 4 inches and Mini Loaf Pan:  5 ½ x 3 x 2 inches
  • Round Cake Pan: 8 inches
  • Square Cake Pan:  8 x 8 inches
  • Casserole Pan:  11 ¾ inch x 9 ¼ inch x 1 ½ inch
  • All Purpose/Lasagna Pan:  13 ¼ x 9 ½  x 2 ¾ inches
  • Oval Roaster:  13 x 16 x 3
  • Roaster: 12 inches x 9 inches
  • Deep Roaster:  16 inches x 11 ¾ inches x 3 inches (20 lbs.)
  • Super Roaster:  16 inches x 12 ½ inches x 3 ¼ inches (25 lbs.)

These will also make clean-up EASY breezy, so you can enjoy the sea breeze more! 

Baked Goods: Breads and Sweets

If you plan to bake you should plan that the units won’t have cake pans, muffin pans or pie plates.  Disposable cake pans with lids are a great option since you can bake and store all in the same container.  Pick recipes that bake in a single 9 x 13-inch pan like Chocolate Sheet Cake, Gingerbread, and Honeybun Cake. 

As for pies, I suggest buying frozen pies and then adding fresh whipped topping or ice cream.  My suggestion on frozen pies is to buy Marie Callender’s Pumpkin and Pecan.  These taste the most like homemade and for many families, these are the “homemade pies” they know.  I have not been able to find a frozen traditional 2 crust Apple pie that I like.   Marie Callender’s offers a streusel-topped apple pie that’s a good option, or you could buy a bakery pie (Publix and Walmart both offer these).

Other sweets and treats like fudge, rum or bourbon balls, Christmas cookies should be baked at home and brought with you.  TSA allows cookies, candies on planes.  Here’s an article:  https://www.tripsavvy.com/tsa-rules-for-food-468226  Be sure that the items can be “inspected” without having to be completely unwrapped.  Place cookies in Ziplocs, or small plastic containers like Rubbermaid TakeAlongs.  If the items are to be a gift, pack your gift wrap and tape so you can wrap them after you arrive in Florida. 

Biscuits, Bread, and Cornbread.  Seems like every family has their favorites—Hawaiian rolls-Brown and Serve-Pillsbury Crescent Rolls-Canned or Frozen Biscuits. Buy what you like and be sure to get extra butter!  Also, Publix offers a Bread of the Month if you want to try something new!!!

And of course, Cornbread for Southern Dressing.  I suggest using a mix (Martha White Yellow is a good mix for dressing because it is NOT sweet) to keep it simple and again, you may want to buy some disposable pans to first bake the cornbread and then use for mixing up the dressing and an even larger one for baking the dressing.  But remember to not get it so thick that it takes FOREVER to bake and get done in the middle. 

If you want to order Cakes, Cupcakes, or Cheesecakes, please add a note on your Grocery Delivery List and we will work with one of our local bakers/bakeries for you. 

Seasoning and Spices: 

Having a lot of different spices can be a challenge when traveling.  At home, you have a spice rack full of different spices and spice blends, but here you are going to want to try and keep it simple.  We provide all of our customers with a complimentary set of Salt & Pepper shakers!

If your recipes call for things like poultry seasoning, dried sage, ground mustard, etc I suggest bringing those from home so that you don’t have to buy an entire container and only use a couple of teaspoons.  You can pre-measure the spices for your recipes and label each in a small Ziplock so you know which is which and place them all in one larger Ziplock and toss in your suitcase or carry on.

Fresh Produce:

Fresh Veggies and Fruit are now available in many pre-cut containers and combinations.  Publix Grocery has several different fresh-cut items in steamable bags that will not only reduce the number of pots and pans you need to use and then clean but these may be just the right amount for one meal depending on the size of your family/group.  Small bags of “baby potatoes” are great for roasting with olive oil or for boiling and mashing.  

For an easy fruit salad, the kids will love, start with a container of fresh fruit like melons and grapes and add an apple or a can of peaches (no syrup), or pineapple chunks. Quick and easy to prepare!

Adult Beverages:

Some quantities to know before buying wine and liquors:

Wine Bottle (750 ml) = 5 servings (about 5 oz each) or 3 servings (about 8 oz each)

Liquor Bottle (750 ml) = 15 servings (1.5 oz) or if using larger bottles (1.75L) = 39 servings (1.5 oz)

You can purchase beer and wine in all the grocery stores and convenience stores.  There is a small wine shop in Navarre, The Vine,  and in Pensacola, The Wine Bar has opened at World of Wine which is also very nice.  There are several local craft breweries in Navarre and Pensacola.

Liquor is sold in “separate stores”—they have different entrances and hours are typically 9 am to 9 pm every day of the week. 

One of our OFFERINGS is to bring the wine country or the brewery to you at your vacation rental.  More details can be found on our website. 

Additional Resources:

Check out my other blog articles:  Vacation Menu Ideas that Work at Home and Menu Planning for Vacations for more ideas and helpful tips.  Call with any questions about items to order, or quantities.

Place your order, and enjoy your holidays more!

Grocery-Conceirge.com 

Start Your Holiday Vacation Sooner!

Traveling with Toddlers during a Pandemic

In previous posts, I shared ideas for Road Tripping to Navarre and steps you can take to protect your family during Covid.  But I have never before investigated the process with small children (under the age of 5).  To help prepare this article, I enlisted the help of a young family from Arkansas.  They are both working parents with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. The 3 yr old’s first trip to Navarre Beach was pre-pandemic when she was less than 3- months old, and this was the 1 yr old’s first vacation and beach trip. 

Traveling during a pandemic has been challenging with everyone making major adjustments.  But traveling with small children requires some additional planning and preparations. I suggest doing an online search for helpful articles.  Be specific if needing tips for traveling by plane or by car.  I found a couple that I’ll share links to at the end of this article. 

Toddler Time:

Gone are the days when you could load up the car and head out knowing that a fast-food restaurant and a convenience store would always be available for food and bathroom stops.  This young family has been dealing with the pandemic for most of the time they have been parents.  The 1-year-old has only been inside a Target store twice!  The 3-year-old is now capable of keeping her mask on but they still want to limit time indoors with non-family, and non-vaccinated.  Instead, these parents are thinking about when and where is the safest place for the kids.  And their feeling is that the safest places are outside where they can maintain distance from others.  Parks, Rest-Stops, even just a nice shady spot are the best options.  But these additional stops (notice no gasoline available at parks or rest-stops) add time to the trip. 

The first thing to prepare for is the trip is going to take longer than your GPS tells you!  If you looked up Little Rock, AR to Navarre, FL on Google Maps it will tell you the distance is 540 miles and just under 9 hours of drive time.  The recommendation is to allow kids to be out of their car seats every 2 hours (a good reminder for adults also).  When you add in stops every 2 hours and estimate the stop will take at least 30 minutes, you can see how a 9-hour road trip becomes 12 hours on Toddler Time! 

Research the trip for the best places to stop from both directions.  You may be able to leave your home super early and get a couple of hours down the road before you stop on your way to the beach. But when you leave the beach, you may not leave as early or you may have extra traffic depending on the day of the week you are traveling so knowing the different places to stop is just good planning. 

Stops:

Rest-Stops are a great option for both restroom breaks and food.  (more ideas on what foods to pack later in the article).  Typically, you’ll find clean restrooms with large trash cans for you to dispose of any items you may need to as well as long sidewalks to allow for stretching your legs.  Some stops even have large maps outside or other interesting sites to explore during your break.  If you are lucky and find one with picnic tables, you may want to take advantage and have a light meal during your stop. 

Parks are great but may not have restroom facilities.

Gas Stations or Convenience Stores:  If possible, make these stops quick and only put gas in the car.  There’s so much opportunity for contact with others in small spaces.  If you can pay at the pump and get the gas quickly without going into the store, you’ll be better off.  If you must go in, be sure to use hand sanitizer when you return to the car.

TIP:  Buy several plastic table cloths ($1) and cut them in half (Most cloths are 104 inches long. Unroll and find the middle, cut into 2 pieces. You don’t need it hanging down the sides as the picture shows).

Spread one out on the picnic table—no worries about bird droppings, dead bugs, or sticky, spilled unknown substances.  Also if you have a small child that is still crawling, you can spread out on the ground to let crawl around a bit or at least to just change from being on back in the car seat. 

TIP:  Buy doggie poop bags (cheaper than diaper disposal bags) to tie up any dirty diapers in before putting them in wastebaskets.  Your fellow travelers will appreciate this!

TIP: Get the Wiggles Out for 10 to 15 minutes—walk around and look at trees, flowers even clouds.  Run, skip, or play a game of tag or chase.  Take pictures of everything (you can delete any you don’t want later).  Move. Stretch.  Change drivers if needed. 

Travel Games/Entertainment Ideas:

Many parents think they can pop in a CD or turn on their Ipad and drive without stopping.  But 8 hours of screen time is much too long for toddlers.  They will get restless and want some other activity to keep them happy and entertained.  This young mother had some great tips:

  • Create different activity bags (use the large gallon Ziplocks).  This way you can pull out one at a time and put items back before getting out another. 
  • Purchase a 9×13 metal cake pan to use as the table or tray top.  Kids can play with magnetic shapes and letters while the sides of the pan keep things like colors, stickers, or legos from falling out and getting stuck under the seat. After a quick wipe, and the pan can be used for snacks. 

CAUTION:  Be sure that any games or pieces are not choking hazards (typically the kids are behind you in the car). You don’t want the smallest child to accidentally get something that an older sibling was playing with. 

  • Introduce 1 NEW item at a time but always have a favorite handy!  This also works while on vacation—plan 1 special activity for the day so that can fully enjoy it without rushing to the next activity.  If your child really likes to swim in the pool, you may want to offer that every day you will swim in the pool and that you will also play at the beach on a specific day or go to the turtle center. 
  • A couple of this 3 year old’s favorites include:  Magna Tiles, Sculpting Sticks, and Stickers/Dots (different colored ones and different sizes for matching games.  More ideas at Busy Toddler)

Items to pack in the car:

Sturdy Laundry Basket:  Use to carry paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, Baby Wipes (for hands, faces, and diaper changes), and Lysol Wipes (to wipe off changing station, metal pan after meals/snacks, carts at beach condo for unloading car).  When stopped for meals, you can toss in food or drinks and carry it all to the picnic area.  At your vacation rental unit, the basket can be a toy box or a drop spot for beach toys to keep sand from getting everywhere in the house or condo. 

Beach towels for blankets:  I saw this idea in one of the articles and thought it was a great idea.  You are going to need beach towels anyway unless your child has a favorite/security blanket, plan to use the towels if you need a little extra warmth in the car or even to block the light under doors or as a black-out curtain in your vacation rental unit.

First Aid Kit:  Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  Bandaids, Neosporin, Tylenol—all the typical things you have at home, bring with you just in case. 

Cooler:  Drinks—water is the best option (doesn’t spoil, doesn’t stain, isn’t sticky).  Food—the less messy the better.  Small snack size Ziplocks might be a good way to portion out snacks.  Pack them ahead of time instead of trying to pour cereal into a bag while riding in the car. 

I recently found this updated article Master List of Healthy Snack Ideas and love it (for kids of all ages)

Some items you may want to consider packing:  cooked pasta (kids love pasta even cold).  Small pieces of meat and cheese—again, think about choking hazards. Fruit and Vegetables—fresh, frozen, dried and canned.  Dry Cereal like Cheerios or Corn Pops (avoid super high sugar ones). Rice cakes or Breakfast Bars. 

                Snacks to pack: (easy, not too messy, don’t turn brown)

  • Berries and Grapes (wash, cut if necessary and remove stems/tops)
  • Clementines (leave whole, peel as needed-place any leftover in a small snack size ziplock)
  •                                 Dried fruit (raisins, dried apples, mango, apricots, cranberries)
  •                                 Frozen/Thawed peas or edamame
  •                                 Cucumbers (sliced or diced)
  •                                 Carrots (thinly sliced or shredded)
  •                                 Small pieces Meat (ham, turkey, chicken)
  •                                 Cheese sticks, cubes
  •                                 Cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Puffs)
  •                                 NutriGrain Bars

Change of Clothes (for everyone):  Easy to get to—not have to unpack the entire car if you need to change.  Travel day clothes need to be comfortable and something that you don’t mind if it gets stained because it probably will. 

Arrival:

When you arrive, unpack the car (use wipes to wipe down carts just like you do at the grocery store).  Once you have everything inside your vacation rental unit, I suggest everyone get a bath and change clothes.  Place all the dirty clothes and used beach towels in the washing machine.  If not a full load, can wait until the next day but keep from clean clothes.  Allow the kids to explore their new surroundings.  Tip:  Painters Tape is great for covering electrical outlets, or taping cabinet doors closed (after you have placed anything breakable inside and away from children).  You can remove it when you are checking out and know it will not cause any damage. 

Depending on the time you arrive, it may be bedtime soon.  Follow your normal routine with the kids—brush teeth, read a book, say your prayers. A travel day is hard, and everyone needs to recoup a little. 

The last thing you are going to want to do at this point is to go grocery shopping—and with Grocery Concierge you don’t have to if staying on Navarre Beach or Pensacola Beach.  Send us your list at least 3 days in advance, including diapers, or other baby needs, and we will shop, deliver and stock everything for you so that you can finally start your vacation Grocery-Concierge.com/grocery-delivery

For more tips on what to do to keep your family safe, check out my article Travel Tips-Covid 19.

And check out these articles written by other young mothers:

https://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/traveling-with-kids/traveling-with-toddlers-10-expert-tips-from-a-globetrotting-mom/

Going Beyond the Grocery Store

To bring you the best in Local Products!

I am excited to introduce a couple of LOCAL—TOP QUALITY products that you can’t find at grocery stores (they all have retail locations but are not convenient to the beach).  However, Grocery Concierge can get these products along with your typical grocery items and stock your vacation beach rental with everything you need! 

Beverages:

Looking for the best WATEREmerald Coast Ultra-Pure Water is perfect for the beach because the bottles are different! 

2 types of bottles:  BPA Free (with a waterproof label that doesn’t peel off and go into the ocean) and Aluminum (not just for beer; keeps the water colder longer).  Both are great for long days at the beach or nights listening to the bands’ play.  Both bottles are intended for multiple uses (not single-use like most brands) and are recyclable.  This water is not readily available for retail, but we can get cases when requested. 

Are you looking forward to enjoying an ICED COFFEE as you walk along the beach in the morning?  Or maybe you prefer an afternoon coffee BUZZ—Let me introduce Mrs. Jones Cold Brew Coffee.  While writing the article, I stopped, went to the kitchen, mixed 2 oz Elixir Coffee Concentrate with 1 packet of Stevia, 2 oz Soy Milk, and 4 oz filtered water.  I poured it over crushed ice, and I have my perfect afternoon Sweet & Creamy treat.  The best part, all the ingredients were in my kitchen already.  No driving or waiting is required.  Could I get extra FANCY and add flavored syrups and even some whipped topping? SURE!  If you have those ingredients, you can practice your Barista skills anytime, and impress your friends and family. 

Coffee Exlixir Concentrate

Spending a week at the beach and want Iced Coffees—order the following items:

  • Mrs. Jones Coffee Elixir (1 bottle = 16 oz or 8 servings)
  • Milk or Non-Dairy Beverage (Soy, Almond, Coconut, combination, ½ & ½)
  • Sweetener (packets or simple syrup (sugar water) or flavored syrups)
  • Toppings:  Whipped Topping, Chocolate Syrup, Caramel Syrup, Sprinkles, spices (Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg)
  • 18 oz plastic cups (cold) or 16 oz hot cups with lids—be sure to dispose of all cups properly! 

Another local beverage company, Big Jerk Soda, offers a variety of natural sodas and cocktail mixers that are great for a beach vacation!  Recipes like Gin & Flowers sound complicated—but all you need is Gin (your favorite brand) and Big Jerk Lavender Lemonade with a garnish of lemon twist!  Delicious and Easy!  Or the ever-popular Moscow Mule—Big Jerk has a delicious Ginger Beer (nothing artificial). Combine Vodka (or try with Tequila for a Mexican Mule) and fresh lime juice (roll the limes on the counter for better juicing).    

Spending a week at the beach make some tasty cocktails—order the following items and check out the recipes below:

  • Alcohol: Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Whiskey
  • Big Jerk Sodas:  4 bottles/$10—
    • Flavors include Ginger Beer, Lavender Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Blueberry Peach, and Key Lime Seltzer water (not sweet). 
  • Garnish:  Lemon, Limes, Oranges (twists and wedges, and fresh juice)

Food Items:

Have you heard of Frios Gourmet Pops (as in popsicles)?  The production facility is in Mobile, AL but locally we have a franchise that covers Navarre and Pensacola Beach.  Frios pops are delicious, and they offer options for nut-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, with seasonal flavors as well as their signature flavors.  We love sharing a few pops as a gift to our visitors and letting them know where they can buy more of these amazing desserts on a stick!

Check out the list Flavors

Retail Locations: 

Navarre—Ace Hardware  

Pensacola—Apple Market, Palafax Market on Saturdays,  Bailey’s Produce. 

The Frios Truck can often be seen at select events in both Navarre and Pensacola. 

Are you looking for an artisan charcuterie experience?  The Board Chef is a partner of ours for Sunset Beach Picnics and she prepares boards of all sizes.  Request a board, and we will deliver it along with your other grocery items and beverages.  There’s nothing better than arriving to a fresh board of meats and cheeses to help you start relaxing and feeling the island vibe. 

Artisan Cheese Board-The Boat Board

Do you know of local companies that offer top-quality food or beverage?  Please reach out to us.  We want to help our fellow small business owners be successful and we want to help our visitors have the very best experience possible on our beautiful beaches. 

Grocery Delivery Order Form

Questions: Email us at Shopper@Grocery-Concierge.com

COVID 2021: Travel Tips

Planning to travel to the beach or other favorite vacation spot?  What are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19?

Visitors are returning to the Emerald Coast of Florida in record numbers!  Some are getting in their cars, turning on a favorite playlist, and driving down.  Others are catching one of the new flight routes to Pensacola and Destin.  Everyone should plan on purchasing more groceries and supplies and expect to cook more because there are limited restaurant and bar options. 

Many of the families bring their outdoor equipment so they can spend time on the beach swimming, snorkeling, collecting seashells, and soaking up lots and lots of “Vitamin Sea“!  Or they may rent items to use during their visit.  Feeling like they have spent plenty of time in front of screens, they want to be outside and free from technology to explore and experience nature.  

Visitors should feel confident they are just as safe in their vacation rental as they are at home.  Property management companies and hotels have updated their procedures and policies for cleaning and sanitizing units (more details about these procedures found below).  Responsible companies and owners will post information about their cleaning procedures on their booking sites along with a door hanger or signage in the units.

The goal of this article is to help families identify steps they can take to keep their families safe.  I am not a disease expert or have any medical training, I am sharing the steps I will take so that I can confidently travel again.  You can choose to do nothing when you arrive, or you may feel even more steps are necessary—personal choice and personal responsibility.   

Pre-travel

Health evaluation:
CDC Travelers Health


Conduct daily temperature checks for family members 2 weeks before leaving for vacation. Check for headaches and body aches as well.
Be sure all vaccines are up to date.
Stock up on over-the-counter meds and be sure your prescriptions are up to date before traveling.

Packing:


Pack only washable items, no items requiring dry cleaning.
Bring extra towels (minimum of 2 per person) for pool/beach.
Create a disinfecting basket or bag with supplies (disposable gloves, antibacterial wipes or spray and paper towels, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and Lysol or similar spray for soft surfaces) to use during travel (road trip) and for initial wipe down of the unit.
Also, include dishwashing detergent for machines and to wash by hand, as well as laundry detergent (or include in grocery delivery order so items are in the unit and available upon arrival).
A Household Set Up package is available on our order form that includes all these plus more.

Pre Order Groceries–no contact delivery:

We are committed to helping our customers START THEIR VACATION SOONER! 

Grocery Concierge

With the need for additional precautions and the typical travel day challenges, having your unit stocked with supplies is even more valuable than before. 
During the entire process of shopping and delivery, we follow the guidelines of OHSA to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Some of these steps including wearing a mask while shopping, packing, and delivering.  Cleaning and disinfecting vehicles’ interior before loading.  Packing and transporting your items in bins and carts during delivery.  Keeping bins on the cart or placing them on the floor, never on the countertops inside units.   Countertops will be wiped with antibacterial wipes before items being unloaded.
As a licensed and insured Concierge Service, we gain access to the unit from the property management company allowing us to deliver your order BEFORE you arrive reducing the contact you have at stores not only with staff but also with other travelers and residents.  This step alone may be one of the most important to minimize your exposure!   

UPON ARRIVAL–STEPS TO TAKE

*** THE VACATION RENTAL MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (VRMA) AND THE VACATION RENTAL HOUSEKEEPING PROFESSIONALS (VRHP) HAVE PUBLISHED THEIR CLEANING GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19.  THE GUIDELINES CAN BE FOUND AT:  https://www.vrma.org/page/covid19

Unloading Car:  If using a community or property cart, treat it like a grocery cart and wipe it down before loading items onto the cart. 
Elevators: Most companies intend to have wipes available by the elevators in the lobbies.  However, if you are staying in a large complex with multiple elevators you may want to bring your own just in case the ones in the elevators run out.  Also, try to use elbows or something other than your hands to touch buttons and hold doors when possible.
Front door locks:  Wipe both the lock keypad and the knob or handle with an antibacterial wipe before using.
Unit Interior:  Wipe/Spray as soon as arrive and daily after returning from outside areas. 
  • Focus on High Touch areas:
  • Light and lamp switches
  • Doorknobs (including the exterior handles—front door, balconies and patios; bathroom doorknobs, and closet door pulls)
  • Bathroom and Kitchen sink handles
  • Shower handles
  • Toilet lid and flush handle
  • Remotes (television remote, any smart remotes for closing drapes, adjusting fans, or turning off lights)
  • Nightstands
  • Alarm clocks
Kitchen:  Run all dishes through the dishwasher and wash and dry pots and pans. Or use paper products and single-serve items like beverages, chips, and snacks. Wipe cabinets and pantry shelves before putting groceries and paper products away.  Also, wipe the top of the fridge if you intend to put items there.
Travel Clothing:  Once everything is unloaded and, in the unit, remove travel clothes and wash them immediately. Wash all dish towels used in the kitchen.
BeddingMost units have removed decorative pillows and bedspreads.  Option for kids–bring your sleeping bags and pillow to place over the bedding.  For adults, spray sheets with Lysol before use.  Lightweight blankets might also be good to pack since you will not have spreads or comforters on the beds.  Wash and dry sleeping bags and blankets before leaving the unit and immediately place them in the car, or pack and plan to wash along with all items in the suitcase upon arrival home. 

Inside Unit–Set up areas for:

  • Shoes
  • Outdoor Gear (Chairs, Pool Toys, Floats, Umbrellas)
  • Dirty Clothes, Swimsuits, Wet Towels
Place items in these areas when returning to the unit to keep away from the furniture and other clean items

Community or Resort Common Areas–Pools/Playgrounds/Gyms/BBQ Grills:

Although in the past you may have enjoyed “borrowing” board games or movies from the resort office, you will need to bring your games, cards, and DVDs as most of the properties will no longer provide these items for guests.  Although sunshine is a natural disinfectant, outdoor toys may not be available in units with many owners opting to remove items as a precaution. 
Check with the management company to see if Playgrounds, Gyms, and Game Rooms are open and if they have added sanitation stations in these areas.  If not, you may want to skip or take extra precautions (wash hands, wash clothes, don’t touch your face), and avoid the area if you feel too many other guests are using.
Outdoor Grills should be treated like any other high-touch surface (Wipe the handles or tray areas before use).  The heat from gas or charcoal will destroy any viruses on the grill surface so your food will be safe.  I have always recommended using foil pouches or disposable grill trays for cooking and easy clean-up and encourage you to continue at this time.  Also, consider purchasing several disposable table clothes ($1 at Dollar Tree) to place on outdoor tables if you plan to eat outside.  

Other efforts:

Cleaning:

While on vacation the last thing you want to think about is cleaning, but in the current pandemic, maintaining a clean environment is one of the most effective steps you can take to keep your family members healthy.
Wash towels daily. 
Wash hands frequently–Don’t touch your face (except to apply sunscreen)
Take hand sanitizer to the beach/pool to use if sharing chairs, umbrellas, toys, or other equipment.
Wipe down coolers with anti-bacterial wipes/spray before loading and after unloading each day. 

Social Distancing: 

Check with local authorities (Lifeguards, County governments) on regulations for party size
Maintain proper distance in common areas (elevators, pool decks, lobbies)
Practice social distancing guidelines when inside restaurants and stores. 

Support Local Businesses

Order take-out to support local restaurants.
A list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery is available on chamber websites and social media posts.
Shop online with local stores if possible, for souvenirs, and follow occupancy guidelines at the stores.

Get out and enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine with sunscreen applied, and the saltwater!  These may be the secret “ingredients” to destroying the virus! 

If you would like to use Grocery Concierge to deliver your items to Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach, or any of the areas in south Santa Rosa County, please contact us by email shopper@Grocery-Concierge.com or visit our website to complete an online order form.  Orders are needed 3 days before check-in. 

Please check out my other blog articles about healthy and relaxing travel-

Road Tripping to Navarre

Relaxing during Holidays

Staying Healthy

Rainy Day Activities on Navarre Beach

According to BestPlaces.net, Navarre has 228 sunny days per year (23 more sunny days than the US average) and, we get 66 inches of rain each year (the average US is 38 inches).  So YES, we have many sunny days, and there’s also a very good chance that you will have some rain during your annual trip to the beach. 

So what can you do when it rains?  Start by reading these blog articles and below, I will give some local suggestions and tips:

Traveling Mom:

Be sure to download and print their ULTIMATE Beach Packing list (free).  I love a good checklist and, this one is good!

Parents.com

I felt these articles were a good place to start and, now we can adjust for older-aged kids and an all-adults trip.  Let’s begin with Fun Things to Do:

Spa Day

Mani/Pedis:  Unfortunately, many of the local nail salons are not as easy to “just pop in” as they were pre-pandemic.  So whether you are on a Girl’s Trip or you have teenage girls (and guys often want to participate), with a little imagination you can create an “at home” spa day with items you can find at the local dollar store or drug store. 

Here’s what you’ll need for your home pedicure kit: (pack extras to take home)

  • Nail polish remover (to remove and clean up any smudges)
  • Nail clipper
  • Nail file
  • Nail buffer
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail nipper
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Cuticle oil and eraser
  • Exfoliating scrub (can also use sand—there’s plenty at the beach)
  • Foot file or pumice stone
  • Foot lotion
  • Toe separator
  • Base & top coat
  • Nail polish (pick out a fun color that reminds you of sunshine, seashells, or aquamarine water)

Makeup Session:  Use the time inside to “play” in your makeup.  Watch a YouTube video about creating a Cat Eye and then try it yourself.  Ever wondered how you would look with long dark eyelashes?  Try applying false eyelashes.  Bonus:  If you get “all made up” and the rain stops, find a nearby outdoor concert and go dancing! 

Rainy days are also good times to wash and clean your makeup brushes (baby shampoo or dawn liquid dish soap works well) and to restock basics from the drug store.  Spend some time just looking at all the options available today at the local store or place an order with your favorite cosmetics company. 

Cook Up Some Fun

Depending on what you have in your vacation beach home, this may require a trip to the store.  If you have placed an order with Grocery Concierge, you may already have all your food items and, we thank you for allowing us to serve you.  Take the time while it’s raining to prep fruits and veggies for snacks or meals so that when the sun comes back out, you can stay on the beach longer! 

If you decide to go to the store, make the cooking into a “Top Chef” competition to add extra fun.  Categories could include—secret ingredients (each person gets to pick a secret ingredient the other person has to use in their recipe), plant-based options, or all local ingredients. The point is to have fun cooking and eating together.

Board Games, Cards, Puzzles,and Books

Hopefully, you packed a few of these anyway, but if not, locally in Navarre, the Good Neighbor Thrift Store (Open M, W, F 9-4 and Sat 12-4) has a good selection of books for all ages, puzzles of different sizes and various board games.  You can pick up decks of cards at the drug store, including waterproof ones! 

For larger groups, a personal favorite card game is called 99.  We use $1 bills (each player must have 3), but you could use seashells.  Here are the rules: 

Souvenirs and Scrapbooks

Rainy days are the best days to check out local souvenir shops!  And why wait until you get back home to start creating your memory book.  Clean out your photos and start sorting into albums now while the memories are fresh. 

Movies – Inside and Out

Windjammer’s on the Pier is hosting movies on the beach on Tuesday nights.  But if it’s raining, they cancel the showing.  Hopefully, the vacation rental unit you booked has a nice big TV for everyone to watch a movie together inside.  Need some ideas of what’s available on Netflix in the Beach Movie Category– https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/movies/g33297746/best-beach-movies/

Don’t forget to set up a Popcorn Bar for all to enjoy!  PDF available on Grocery-Concierge website under Meal Planning—Free Resources

Museums and Art Galleries

While we don’t have an art gallery in Navarre, there are plenty of gift shops with local artist’s work for sale!  Check out Saltwater Cottage, The Turtles Nest, PikItz, and Pak N Fax (find them all on Facebook).   No trip to Navarre is complete without a tour through the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center or the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.  Be sure to call and check the hours of operation. 

Check Out the Local Coffee Shop or Ice Cream Parlor

Ice cream, custard, snowballs—we’ve got them all in Navarre.  The Twist Ice Cream.  Culver’s Custard.  Tommy’s Snoballs.  You can find them all on Facebook for more information. 

Escape Room

These have become very popular and, we have one right here in Navarre.  Check out the EscapeZone60 for an indoor activity on a rainy day. 

Get Wet and Do Good

If it’s not raining hard, you can pick up a bag, walk along the beach, and fill it with any trash left from previous visitors or washed up or blown out.  Once the bag is full, take it to the Visitor’s Center and get a bag of free souvenirs!  A new program on Navarre Beach this year is the Do Good, Feel Good volunteer opportunity. 

Most vacations are not ruined by the rain and, with a little planning and creative adjustments you can still enjoy your time with family and friends.  And always look for the rainbows after the rain stops! 

Thrift Shopping on Vacation

Thrift Shopping is fun for both residents and visitors looking to add to their collectibles or vintage items, bargain hunters looking to snatch up top quality items for a minimal price, and sustainability advocates that know items can be repurposed many times over.  Thrift stores have something for everyone and the money generated by the stores’ fund other community projects. 

I started volunteering at The Good Neighbor Thrift Store in Navarre in October 2020.  This store is an outreach of the Navarre United Methodist Church and funds the We Care Ministry and the Lindy Bush Food Pantry.  As a service to Grocery-Concierge customers staying on Navarre Beach, I offer to pick up any unused food items and donate them to the local Food Pantry. This service helps the families to quickly pack up and clean out their rental units and reduces waste at the condo units and county disposal sites. 

Pictured below is a donation of fresh items I delivered and then picked up for donation.  The food pantry was able to give these items out to families this summer and many of the items were special treats for the families.  (Donation occurred before branding change—Organized Occasions Concierge is now Grocery Concierge.)

Grocery Concierge Food Donation Program for Visitors

I interviewed the store manager, Laura Beth Snow, to find out more about the store, its customers, and how the funds raised help families in Navarre. 

Fun Facts:  The current store location was purchased and moved into in August of 2011.  The store’s profits are used to fund the We Care Ministry and the Lindy Bush Food Pantry as well as other mission projects of the church.

Began as Kitchen Aide Ministry in 1990, the name changed to Salt & Soul and eventually to We Care in 1997. We Care assists families with utilities, housing, food, and prescriptions.  Contact information is below if you know a family that needs assistance. 

Over the years many faithful volunteers have given of their time and often donations to help this vital ministry.  One extraordinary volunteer was Lindy Bush and his wife, Sue.  Lindy’s passion to work at and keep the food pantry supplied often meant volunteering over 30 hours per week.  Lindy passed away in 2015 at the age of 87, and soon thereafter the We Care Board of Directors voted to name the food pantry, The Lindy Bush Food Pantry.  His work continues to inspire those who serve each week at the Good Neighbor Thrift Store and We Care Ministry.  (A special thanks to Lorraine Taylor, Linda Germany, and Sue Bush for the background information.) 

Currently, the Lindy Bush Food Pantry provides food to 12 families per week.  Each family receives all the ingredients needed for 3 family dinners (recipe cards included).  Having volunteered at other food pantries I am so glad the food is not just a box of random items but is packaged to provide all the ingredients needed for family meals.  If you have read some of my other blogs you know I am a big proponent of families sharing meals and preparing home-cooked meals for both the nutritional value and the social and emotional benefits to all members of the family. 

Thrift Shopping on Vacation

Is there such a thing as “thrift tourism”?  Absolutely!  You may be looking for unique souvenirs or thoughtful gifts at a fraction of the price.  You may NEED a piece of clothing if the weather changes suddenly and unlike most retail stores, thrift stores are filled with items to wear right now not “next season”.  And you may just want something to do on a rainy afternoon when you can’t play on the beach. 

When you go thrift store shopping you should be both “open to possibilities” and “shop with a plan”.  

Remember that thrift stores have unique items and usually only one of them.  You may find a vintage edition of your best friend’s favorite book or a piece of vintage Fiesta ware in the perfect shade, but if you need a larger size pair of Lucky Jeans, you may be out of luck! 

Keep a list of things you would like to find while traveling and BOLO (be on the lookout).  Here are a few ideas:

  • Pop Art
  • Vinyl Records
  • Comic Books
  • Metal Signs (I am looking for beer signs for my son—if you see any, let me know!)
  • Mid-century Barware or Tableware
  • Vintage Dresses
  • Jewelry
  • Vintage Dishware (Fiesta, Chinoiserie, Pyrex)
  • Candlesticks and Vases

Shopping stores away from home will give you the chance to experience the area like a local, while also finding different items that you would never find back home.  You’ll never find “beachy items” back in the mountains of Colorado. 

One of the more unique things about shopping at a thrift store in a vacation spot is that many of the customers are looking for items they NEED or WANT in their vacation rental unit.  For instance, if you are staying in a beach condo and would like to make a large lasagna but there is not a large glass casserole dish, you may be able to pick up one at the thrift store for just a couple of dollars.

Other vacation items may include paperback books (go ahead and read a cheap romance novel while resting under the beach umbrella) games and puzzles for the kids to enjoy at night, and a wide range of DVDs.  If you are a crafter you may find some fabric or needlepoint projects to take home at a fraction of the price. 

If the weather turns bad and you need a sweater or if you forgot to pack a pair of shoes to wear to dinner, check out the local thrift store for in-season items.  You know you have plenty of sweaters back home, but everyone needs something to wear today and you may find you score a high-quality piece of clothing at a bargain price!  If you strike out at the thrift store, you can still visit the local souvenir shop or department store. 

Supporting local thrift stores can be fun for the whole family.  Just remember to “Mask Up” before heading into the store and take your time.  Now is not the time to “power-shop” but instead browse and stroll and find some treasures (like a pirate!  Ahoy Mates!)

Thrift Shopping and Donating Tips for Residents

Shopping Tips:

  1. Season Change-Donations Increase- When families are spring cleaning or clearing out space for new items after the holidays, they donate A LOT so inventory is best at those times. 
  2. Inventory is Constantly Changing- almost every item is “one of a kind” so if you see it and like it today, buy it today.  The worst case is the item doesn’t fit, or the colors aren’t just what you wanted and you have to donate it back (remember you are helping others in the community with your purchases). 
  3. Pay attention to Store Sales-stores often have monthly sales or at least put something on sale each day.  If you are lucky to be in the store during one of these sales, take full advantage! 

Donation Tips: 

  1. Broke is Broke—All electronics are checked before being put out on the floor and broken items are disposed of.  Please save the volunteers time by not donating items that need repair.  Unfortunately, we do not have the time or space to repair items before putting them out for sale.
  2. Donate items that are clean, free of stains, and not torn or damaged—Again due to limited space and time we cannot clean up kitchen items (George Foreman grills, waffle makers, blenders) and we only sell towels and linens that are in good condition.
  3. Know which items sell fastest-Women’s Blouses (about 1/3 of the store income is from ladies’ tops). Metal Pots & Pans. Linens. Home Décor (wall art, pictures, lamps, small furniture). Mixed Dishes and Glasses (NOT china sets). Infant Clothes. Craft Items (quilting/sewing, needlework, ribbon, yarn).  These are the items most appreciated when donated.
  4. Bring items to donate when you come to shop-this helps you to assess what you have and to avoid overfilling your home with unnecessary items.  As a professional home organizer, I recommend using the 1 in and 1 out rule, or if you are trying to reduce your items, 2 items out for every 1 item brought in.  Your donations help keep the store stocked with new items for other shoppers and you’ll also feel like you did a good deed even if you don’t get a good deal on this visit. 

Volunteer Opportunities:

Do you enjoy sorting and organizing?  You may be surprised by the number of donations a store receives and all items must be sorted and checked before being placed in the store to sell.  Your time could be used sorting kitchen items (knife sets & blocks, glasses, dishes) clothing (men’s, women’s, and children’s) accessories (shoes, belts, purses, sunglasses) home & holiday décor, and sporting goods.  Since COVID-19 many of the retirees that filled these volunteer positions are unable to assist at this time.  Ask about volunteer opportunities the next time you visit one of your local thrift stores.  Typically volunteers give 3 to 4 hours at a time once or twice a week.

Thrift Stores in Santa Rosa County:

Good Neighbor Thrift Store

9025 Navarre Parkway

Navarre, FL 32566

850-939-1005

Hours:

M: 12-4

W & F: 9-4

S: 9-4

Like and Follow the store on Facebook

We Care Ministry

For assistance, please call 850-939-1005, Monday-Friday 10: 00 am to 2:00 pm or email wecare@navarreumc.org

Elite Repeats & Boutique

868 Gulf Breeze Parkway

Gulf Breeze, FL

850-934-0492

Helping Hand Mission

Store Locations

Interfaith Ministry

Thrift Store

New 2 You Consignment

Waterfront Thrift Store

Store Locations

I hope you enjoy learning about options available for Thrift Tourism in Navarre and the surrounding area.  Unlike other retail your purchases your dollars are multiplied many times over to benefit others in the community.  Thank you and happy shopping! 

Get Married in Navarre

Getting Married at the Beach

When the theme of the 2020 Navarre Beach Mardi Gras parade was announced as Beach Life, many of the float designers started thinking about sea life both above and below the water.  But for Gail Smith with Springhill Suites Navarre Beach, their float could only be about one thing—Beach Weddings!  You see Navarre Beach is a prime destination for beach weddings.   

So, Gail and the team at Springhill set about building a float that a couple could get married on DURING THE PARADE! 

Gail’s creativity was recognized and rewarded as Springhill Suites won the Commercial category in the parade judging and one very happy couple began their journey together as husband and wife. 

According to the stats from Santa Rosa County Clerk’s office (South end) over 550 marriage licenses were issued in 2019.  And if I had to guess… over 500 of those occurred on the beach! (Several pastors and officiants have told me they have not performed any weddings in churches, or they only perform weddings inside as a backup location) If an average wedding costs $3000, then we are looking at a million-dollar-plus industry.  

Of course, not everyone wants to be married in front of 40,000 strangers, so what is it like to get married on Navarre Beach?  I asked several wedding planners and consultants to share their knowledge and guide us in the requirements as well as the joy of getting married on Navarre Beach.  Everyone that contributed information and pictures is mentioned at the end of the article with contact information and website links😊.

Requirements

Marriage Licenses:  According to Visit Florida, visiting couples need to go together to the nearest clerk of circuit court office to obtain a marriage license.  Marriage licenses are good for 60 days.  The fee is under $100 and can be paid with cash, check or charge.  The Santa Rosa County Clerk  (South end) office is located at 5841 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.  The hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm M-F.

There is a 3-day waiting period to get the actual license if either is a Florida resident.  Non-Florida residents with out of state driver’s license used as proof of identity do not have the 3-day waiting period.   Once obtained a wedding ceremony can be performed anywhere in the state. 

U.S. citizens must provide their social security number and photo ids, such as driver’s license or state identification card.  Both the bride and groom are required to be 18 years of age (few exceptions).  No blood tests or medical exams required.  (Note, if you have been previously married you MUST provide the date of divorce, annulment, or spouse’s death—it’s a good idea to confirm that the divorce has been completed before booking a venue!)

For more information visit the county’s website: https://santarosaclerk.com/other-services/marriage/

Budget

Once the legal requirements are met, the first step in planning a wedding is to

Set.Your.Budget.

In other words, get all the parties together that are going to be paying for the wedding and determine the final amount you can spend.  According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $34,000 including an engagement ring, wedding ceremony, and reception.

For any destination wedding, the initial cost will include travel to and from as well as lodging and food and supplies while you are in the area.  I could not write a blog post without mentioning Grocery- Concierge to help you plan your menus (not wedding), shop for your groceries, and delivery of all the supplies you need for your pre-wedding get-together or honeymoon week.  If it’s a vacation—then Start Your Vacation Sooner! 

Think how great it will feel to arrive and open the refrigerator to find your favorite beverage as well as items for dinner (you don’t want to get back in the car) and everything you need for tomorrow’s leisurely brunch with your BFFs and family.  Or consider booking a Sunset Beach Picnic, Beer and Wines Tasting or other special treats from our Offerings. Then you can head to the beach and let the waves relax you or go for a walk and sink into the white sugar sand. 

Additionally, you may have the expenses of the Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid Dress.  Suit purchase or Tux Rental.  (Even if you decide to go very casual you will still likely pick custom Men’s Shirts and Pants/Shorts and Sundresses for the ladies.)

Select a Wedding Coordinator/Planner & come down for a Pre-Wedding Visit:

I recommend that you visit Navarre Beach before your wedding and check out all the details of your wedding.  You may want to consider things like:

  • How is Grandma going to walk in the sand from the boardwalk to the chairs? 
  • How will the bridal party get from the house across the street to the beach wedding location?
  • How long is the walk or is there a golf cart available? 
  • Are there restrooms available with the pavilions?

Having an onsite coordinator that you can rehearse all these situations before the actual ceremony will provide the reassurance you deserve.   It’s always good to remember that your Wedding Planner’s goal is to make your dream wedding a reality.  Communicate with them—ask questions, get referrals, meet in person if possible.  They do this all the time and have done hundreds of weddings. This is hopefully your one and only wedding or at least the last one you will be planning, and they want to make it special for you and your families. 

There are many wonderful providers, and each has a unique offering, you need to pick what is most important to you and remember to enjoy the day.  

Service Providers:

The services you desire for your wedding may include a Photographer and Videographer; a DJ or music and speakers for both the ceremony and the reception; the Minister or Officiant; Hair & Makeup Stylist; Florist; Catering service: Bartender and Beverage Service, Bakery/Wedding Cake: Miscellaneous rentals- Photo Booth, Dance Floor, etc.  Some providers can “do it all”, while others allow you to pick and choose while still coordinating the event.

Locations:

Venues for the ceremony include the Beach (both Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound), local Churches and Hotels, Golf Course as well as Wedding Houses (Be sure to check all restrictions when renting large houses as some DO NOT allow celebrations/weddings).  Some of these may also serve as the Reception area in addition to local Restaurants and Beach Pavilions

Santa Rosa County does not charge a fee to get married on the beach (other neighboring counties charge both the service provider and the wedding party for the right to use the beach). The beaches are public and providers know the best locations to set up early for ceremonies.  

Lodging:

Lodging options include rental units (1,2, and 3 bedrooms condos; 3+ bedroom houses), and hotels.  And don’t forget that you will want to come early and stay a few more days to explore and enjoy the beauty and relaxation of Florida’s Most Relaxing Place. 

Additional information can also be found on the GetRelaxing.com website under Weddings

Planning for the Weather

April or May are very popular for weddings when the weather is just a little cooler or in early November after Hurricane season has passed.  Hurricane season is officially June 1 to November 1 each year.  And typically, hurricanes occur later in the season (after mid-August).  September and October are BEAUTIFUL times to visit Navarre, but you have to be willing to accept the fact that your wedding date may get moved if a hurricane develops.   (The county will evacuate the island and close the Navarre Beach causeway in advance of a hurricane.)  Most venues and catering services have a cancelation policy that you should review and know your options before selecting your date. 

Summer season is Memorial Day to Labor Day and most all rental units require a Saturday to Saturday reservation during peak season (many are adjusting this requirement due to the Covid crisis) but as all of the Wedding Planners have told me, any day of the week is a great day to get married on the beach.  And surprisingly few have had to be rescheduled or relocated inside due to bad weather—the odds are very good your wedding will occur on the day you plan with some flexibility of the time (wait a few minutes and the storm might pass).

Perfect Fit?

Is a wedding on Navarre Beach right for you?  Many couples like to call it a “Weddingmoon” because they can have their beautiful beach ceremony and then relax on that same beach for days afterward.

A few demographics to describe the typical couple:

Typically the couple is between 25 and 30 years old, although many couples like to renew their vows and older couples that are looking for a place to bring lots of families together for a blended second marriage also find it very attractive and affordable. 

Most weddings are under 75 guests and a majority of these are 40 to 50 guests in attendance.  It is not unusual for weddings to be only the family with a few very close friends and less than 20 total in attendance.

Sunset is the preferred time for the ceremony (Check the local weather app for sunset time by day).  And remember, you can’t stop or even slow down the sunset!  If you want the very best pictures, follow the advice of your wedding photographer and don’t be late!

Estimated Costs:

So, what are some price ranges you can expect?  You can find several templates for Wedding Budgets on Excel to use to keep track of your estimated and actual expenses.  Or you can use The Knot’s Wedding Budget Planner.   

Based on the information I have from several providers most weddings and receptions of 50 guests will cost around $8000 for the high end, $5000 for mid, and as little as $2000 on the low end.  These amounts do not include tax or gratuity, nor does it include the travel or lodging expenses.  However, compared to $34,000 a beautiful beach wedding in Navarre is a great option! 

Providers

* this is not a complete list and none of these providers paid to be on the list

Lough Tide Beach Weddings

Pensacola Beach Weddings

Bay Front Lodge

Forever I Do Weddings & Events

Gold Coast Event Services

Springhill Suites Navarre Beach

Photographers:

Weddings on Navarre Beach-Cecelia Jones

Day maker Photography and Design

Images by Carrie Dalton—FB: https://www.facebook.com/Images-by-Carrie-Dalton-162885193729796/

Please visit my website for a list of property management companies to book lodging for both your pre-wedding visit and your Weddingmoon! Whether you are staying for a few days or an entire week, use the many tools and resources to help you plan your grocery and beverage orders. 

Grocery Concierge

Gretchen Carter, owner

Cell:  817-797-0870

Email: GCarter@Organized-Occasions.com

Road Tripping to Navarre Beach

According to the FY2019 Santa Rosa County Tourism Impact Report,  88% of visitors to Navarre Beach arrive via a personal vehicle, while only 7% rent a vehicle which aligns with 5% coming by plane (Pensacola and Destin Fort Walton Beach airports). 

And 81% say their #1 activity is to ENJOY THE BEACH

Interestingly, most visitors are coming from cities and states 6 to 12 hours away by car. 

That is ONE. LONG. CAR RIDE!     

But so worth it when you finally arrive

Places to Stop

A couple of stops you may want to plan along the way include Buc-ee’s in AL (20403 County Rd 68, Robertsdale) It is just off the I-10 exit to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach.  If you are from Texas, you already know all about Buc-ee’s. If you’re not, you will definitely want to stop and check it out.  The best bathrooms in any convenience store, truck stop, or rest stop you will find (hot water and actual mirrors)!  Plus, there are always unique shopping options and of course the food! What you will not find is SEATING.  The food is intended to be taken out of the store for consumption (so be sure to have them bag your items so you can properly dispose of the wrappers and containers).

Also, plan to make a stop at the Florida Welcome Centers.  Most of these are just miles from the state line and what I love about them is the amount of FREE information and beautiful publications they stock. 

The Welcome Center in Escambia County (just about 4 miles from AL border) has a section on Northwest Florida as well as other tourist areas, but if you are coming to Navarre you will want to visit the NWFL section.  You can get seashell guides, bird and fish guides, golf information, and more.  I know you are getting really close to arriving and you may want to just keep on driving, but I promise the amount of information they stock is amazing.  Hours are 8 am to 5 pm and only closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.    

What to Pack

Since you are in your car anyway, it’s great for BYOing items you will want and need at the beach.  When you start making a list of all the items that you could possibly put in the car, it looks something like this:

  • Cooler(s)-large with wheels, small
  • Wheeled Cart to haul stuff back and forth to the beach (extra wide wheels needed for sand)
  • Chairs
  • Umbrella or Shade Canopy
  • Beach towels and Blankets
  • Snorkel and Surf items (Goggles, Fins, Tank, Wetsuit, Tube)
  • Seashell Bags
  • Beach Toys—balls, frisbees, sandcastle tools, and containers
  • Floats, Boogie Boards and Noodles
  • Waterproof Speaker
  • Flashlight
  • Camera/Phone
  • Bikes
  • Kayak or Paddleboards
  • And if you have babies or toddlers, now the list expands to include highchairs, cribs, and strollers. 

For a vacation that involves very little clothes, there seems to be a lot to pack in the car! 

I have done some research to help you determine what you can RENT here in Navarre so that you don’t have to pack so much and so that when you are done, you leave the items and the extra sand here!  (You are going to take some sand home with you—I can guarantee it!) 

First, let’s start with a good checklist.  TravelingMom has one I like to print and use to pack the family and all your gear to enjoy a great week relaxing on the beach.

(Some items under Toiletries may not be necessary for your family but I’m glad they are included as reminders.)

Rentals

Chairs and Umbrellas:  There are several chair companies that operate in front of the condos on Navarre Beach (West Side of Pier), and you do not have to be staying in a condo to rent chairs.  The companies offer both daily and weekly rentals.  Most companies have the Chairs and Umbrellas set up by 7 am and will start taking down around 4 with final pick up by 6 pm.  The benefit is that you do not have to haul chairs and umbrellas up and down from condos or back and forth from cars (plus the sand stays on the beach).  The cost is $15-$25 per day with a discount if you pay for the week.  Tips are always appreciated by the staff.

Bikes:  You will find several vendors along Gulf Blvd offering bikes to rent.  Most visitors ride along the bike path on Gulf Blvd and through the Navarre Beach Marine Park.  Unless you are a seasoned bike rider I do NOT suggest riding up and across the Navarre Beach Causeway.  It is 1.5 miles from Navarre Parkway (Hwy 98) to Gulf Blvd (US 399) and the incline is steep. 

Kayaks, Paddleboards:  There is a great story about a local business started by an 11 year –check out her story on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sagepaddlecompany/ and website www.SagePaddleCo.com They deliver to whatever beach location you are using.  And they offer bikes, scooters, and my personal fav, the Scoot Coup.

Wave Runners and Boats:  Juana’s and Navarre Family Watersports offer just about anything you want to play within the water! Check out CraigCats (requires 2 riders but looks super fun!) at NFW! 

The minimum age to rent is 18 years old and anyone under 29 years is required by FL law to have a Boaters License.  Study before coming to get your license https://www.boatus.org/florida/

Scuba Equipment: Air tanks seem to be the most difficult equipment to locate!  Unfortunately, you will have to drive to Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach to get air tanks if you don’t have your own.

Baby Gear:  Have you heard about BabyQuip?  I have talked with several of the Quality Providers and feel very confident referring you to use this service.  Please use this link to learn more.  

Free and Almost Free and “Borrow Bins”

Last year the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development office and the Navarre Beach Lifeguards teamed up to place 6 Beach Toy Recycle Boxes along Navarre Beach.  Visitors are encouraged to check the boxes for toys, noodles, sandcastle tools, and if you want to donate items you can leave them in the box.  

Additionally, the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center has a box outside that visitors can donate items or “borrow” items to use during their visits.  Admission to the Conservation Center is $5 per person (children under 2-free, military and seniors discount) and hours are Tues-Sun noon to 4 pm.

***Please note, if you are staying in a condo, you will need to store items in the designated areas (not on balconies, or walkways due to fire and safety codes).

Enjoy dolphin watching from the balcony of your condo or right on the beach and both the sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.  Take a walk on the Navarre Beach Pier ($1 to walk-under 5 yrs old FREE) and watch fishermen reeling in their catch or spot a sea turtle swimming around. 

Artificial reefs are available for snorkeling and shore diving in both the Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf and easily accessible.  More information can be found on the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary site.

Navarre Park has a playground and small Splash Pad for kids along with benches, picnic tables, and covered pavilions. The park is open from 7 am to 10 pm, and the Splash Pad is open Tues-Sun from 9 am to 5 pm.

Stop by the Visitor’s Center in Navarre Park (right on Hwy 98) early in your trip to get more information as well as FREE souvenirs.  During Sea Turtle Nesting season get flashlight covers for your phones to go on the beach at night.  And visit their website GetRelaxing.com for a visitor’s guide you can download.

For more information about Sea Turtle Nesting and how you can help:  https://www.getrelaxing.com/stories/sea-turtle-season-navarre-beach/

Hopefully, with this information, you can remove a few items from the car!  But we can’t stop without looking at a list of things to bring that include food, beverages, and supplies.

Food, Beverages, and Supplies

If you printed off the Beach Vacation Checklist you will notice a section:  Things to Bring/Buy There and my advice is if you come to the beach every year create a Non-Perishable Tote like the one pictured below.

These items will not “melt” in the car during the drive.  They don’t expire or weigh a lot and depending on the length of your stay and the number in your family, you may be able to purchase smaller quantities and use most of them up before returning home.

Included in this basket:  Toilet paper, Paper Towel, Facial tissues, Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener Sheets, Dishwashing Detergent and Pods, quart-size Food Storage Bags, Kitchen Trash Bags, and Foil & Plastic Wrap all placed in a laundry basket.  Additional items could include paper plates, cups, and plastic knives, forks & spoons. I have a complete list on my website under Free Resources: Basic Set Up.

Everything was purchased at Dollar Tree and the total was less than $15.00

Groceries

Remember the Navarre Beach Causeway?  Unfortunately, this short stretch of road can become very congested on the weekends during peak season.  We have visitors coming and going as well as all the local community that loves to come out to the beach on the weekends.  And since most rental units have a Saturday to Saturday policy there is a lot of traffic on a 2-lane road. 

What can you do to avoid this? 

Use Grocery Concierge to deliver your Groceries before you arrive and Start Your Vacation Sooner! 

If you are someone who regularly orders groceries from Walmart, Instacart or Shipt you may be wondering “Why should I use Grocery Concierge instead of one of these services while on vacation?”

The number one reason is that travel is unpredictable!  Various delays or unexpected lane closures on the Interstate can cause families to arrive at their unit later than expected.  As a licensed, and insured Concierge Service I gain access to the unit from the Property Management Company.  If you experience a delay while traveling, you can rest easy knowing you will not miss your scheduled delivery.

Additionally, as a personal shopper, I can shop at specialty stores that are not included in these services.  Many visitors want fresh seafood as soon as they arrive at the beach.  I have a great relationship with Navarre Seafood Market and can get items like steamed crab legs or steamed shrimp as well as fresh fish and deliver these items along with the rest of your groceries.  Also, Where Ya At Seafood Market provides items like gumbo or etouffee that can easily be reheated for your first-night dinner so you can grab a drink from the fridge and head out to enjoy the beach.  It is my pleasure to introduce these local businesses to our visitors and provide the highest quality and variety of products.

Another difference between Grocery Concierge and these services is the fee structure.  These services are subscription-based and have minimum purchase amounts.  Subscriptions range in price and require a minimum purchase of $30 to $35 (alcohol is not included in the total to reach the minimum amount required).  I do not have a minimum purchase amount instead each delivery has a delivery fee of $50 and a service fee.  You pay only when you use it.  (Also changing your delivery location is not easy!)

And lastly is my food donation program. If you have any unopened nonperishable items I will return to the unit and pick those items up and donate them to the food pantry.  Instead of trying to pack items in your suitcases or throw items away, you can make a positive contribution to those in our community that can use the items. 

Navarre Beach is a great place to visit!  I liked it so much I moved here!  And I hope that you will visit often and use the service companies I mentioned in the article.  We love our visitors and we count on you to support our businesses during your visits.  Pack the car with your beach towels, favorite pillow, cameras, board and video games to play at night or if a rainstorm comes up, and remember we have lots of stuff here for you to use and we hope that you will😊.

Last tip—the reason that DOGS are NOT ALLOWED on our beaches is due to both the shorebirds that visit here each year and the sea turtles that nest here.  Both of these seasons run from April/May to Sept/Oct.  But the ordinance is in effect all year long!

You can walk your dog along the walking and bike path on Gulf Blvd and there is a small dog beach on the west side of the National Seashore Park (Pensacola Beach). So, if your rental unit allows for dogs, feel free to bring them but PLEASE obey the county ordinance (or you could be fined $250). 

Stay Healthy in Navarre

Time at Navarre Beach is intended to be RELAXING and REFRESHING and most of the time it is exactly that!   

But we’ve all been on the trip where someone ends up running a fever and staying in bed for 3 days.  Or your teenage son drops a contact down the drain.  Or after 10 hours in the car your husband’s back is so tight he is not able to walk the beach as you planned and you know a good chiropractic adjustment is all that is needed.  And what if you’re all enjoying movie and popcorn, and you break a tooth on one of the kernels? 

 What do you do and where do you go for treatment?  

The unfortunate truth is Life gets Messy (even on Vacation)!  My intent with this post is to inform you of local services and providers and to give you some tips to use with packing and preparing for your next trip to Navarre Beach, Florida! 

Packing Tips:

Small First Aid Kit:  You can purchase a small kit and just toss it in your bag or you can fill a gallon Ziplock with items you probably already have in your medicine cabinet.  Items you will want to include:

  • Antiseptic (Rubbing Alcohol) wipes or small bottle
  • Pain Killers (And I’m not talking about the cocktail that has lots of rum!) –Tylenol, Advil, Aleve
  • Hydrocortisone Crème/Ointment—useful to treat skin irritations, bug bites
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment—great for scrapes & cuts, and blisters
  • Band-aids-in various sizes (Bring multiples.  You will be going in and out of pool and ocean so they will need to be replaced often)
  • Benadryl or other antihistamines—helpful if bitten or stung but also a great sleep aid
  • Tweezers and small pair of scissors (be sure to put in checked baggage if flying)
  • Sunscreen and Sunburn Treatment (aloe/lidocaine gels)

Prescriptions/Daily Medicines/Supplements:  In addition to bringing what you will use during the trip plus 2 days, I encourage you to create a small card (3×5) that lists your medicines, dosage, supplements, and name and contact information for your doctor(s).   The extra 2 days of medicines are “just in case” you have travel delays.  The card is so that if you do have to seek medical treatment, the doctors, nurses, and health care providers will know exactly what meds you are taking before they prescribe drugs that may cause negative interactions. 

Contact Lenses or Back-Up pair of Glasses:  Several years ago, I had Lasik surgery, so I do not have to carry contact lenses anymore.  However, before having the surgery I remember packing an extra pair of lenses anytime I traveled.  Due to the sun, sand, and saltwater, your contacts may start to irritate your eyes and that backup pair will come to the rescue.  Be sure to bring plenty of storing solution and drops for your eyes.  I like to put drops in my eyes before and after a day on the beach just to help soothe them. 

You may also want to bring a pair of “back up glasses”.  When I still needed corrective lenses, I had a pair of glasses darkened to use as sunglasses so that I could go without my contacts on the beach.  Unfortunately, when I went snorkeling, I had to decide to either wear contacts and risk one coming out or wear glasses but not be able to see underwater!  Bring a backup pair just in case a very big wave comes over you and your eyeglasses are now in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.  Sunglasses are easy and inexpensive to replace—prescription glasses are not! 

Upon Arrival—Ways to Relax: 

Of course, you will have scheduled for delivery of your groceries, paper goods and beverages by Grocery Concierge so that you can just arrive and start relaxing!!!

Beach Walk:

Sometimes we arrive at the beach and we are still so “wired” from either the long car trip or the built-up stress that we’ve experienced over the past few months.  To help you relax and fully appreciate your time on this beautiful beach, I encourage you to try a Beach Breath Walk.  Walk at a slower than normal pace and breathe in for one step; breathe out for the next step, counting 3 or 4 for each breath/step.  Continue as you walk, being mindful of your breath and your surroundings. Let the rhythm of the waves guide you along.  Hear the sound of the waves.  Feel the sand under your feet. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face and arms.  See all the colors of the sea, sky, and sun.  Walk as long and as far as you need.  If you are interested in more information about Breathing Exercises, check out this article in Natural Awakenings NWF.com

https://www.naturalawakeningsnwf.com/2019/11/27/291063/inhaling-the-joy-of-life-conscious-breathwork

Massage Therapy: 

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to get a massage.  I usually schedule them for a day when either the weather doesn’t look great or at least when I know we don’t have to be anywhere soon.  After a good massage I often go back to the condo and take a nap—I try to drink plenty of water to wash out the lactic acid the therapist has created from the massage but I just want to rest and enjoy the feeling of lightness and fluidity.  If you have never gotten a massage, I encourage you to try one on your next vacation.  And for more information about what to expect after a massage, check out this article from Soothe:

https://www.soothe.com/q-and-a/what-should-you-do-after-a-massage/

Mobile Chiropractic Care: 

Being a longtime patient of chiropractic services in Texas, I knew I would need to find a new one when I moved to Navarre.  I LOVE Positive Chiropractic Solutions and Dr. Amanda Williams.   Additionally, I have discovered that Navarre is home to Dr. Tim Price with Mobile Chiropractor, and I asked him to send information about his practice and tips for travel.  If you are in Navarre and need an adjustment, please give him a call and schedule a time to take care of your back. 

3 Concepts to Consider for Your Spine While Traveling

After being a Chiropractor for 22+ years, I am commonly asked by my patients what they could do on their own to care for their back. This article will provide some general concepts for back care and focus on caring for your neck and back while traveling and during your vacation.

Concept #1 – Motion is Life

This concept is a common one I always refer to.  We have all felt that feeling getting up out of bed and feeling a little stiff.  After we get up and move around, we start feeling better, looser.  We can use this idea while traveling by moving more often.  I recommend moving around about every hour when driving those multi-hour drives to your final destination.  Take that rest stop…and move around.  Take large steps that stretch your legs.  Move your shoulders around.  I commonly will do about 10 jumping jacks, take large steps towards the restroom, and move my shoulders in large circles (like a big windmill)  at a rest area.  You may get a few looks from bystanders, but it will pay off when you finally step out of that car and put your toes in that soft sand.

When at your final destination, you may be tempted to just relax in a soft chair.  Instead of that, take a short walk.  Check out your new surroundings.  You’ll learn about your new area, and also do your body good.

Concept #2 – Stretch That Body

We’ve all seen that yoga instructor who can turn themselves inside out.  We all wish we were that limber!  This idea of stretching is a good one, and we all intuitively want more flexibility.  But, that being said, we have to be careful with this one.  I see some patients who never stretch while at home, then get to their warm destination and start to move their stiff bodies and before you know it, they’ve pulled a hamstring and there goes the golf and tennis games.

Ease into it. If you take that local yoga class, don’t try and keep up with your neighbor, stay within your range.  You can make big changes within just a few weeks, but not in one session.

Start slow and only stretch after you have warmed up.  One strategy is to walk/run for a short bit, then stop and do some stretching, then repeat.  Again, ease into it.  What stretches should I do?  Good question.  I recommend resources such as YouTube, or your local yoga studio to figure that out for yourself.  I personally perform 3 basic stretches near-daily:  Up-Dog, Down Dog, Cat-Cow.  These are general spine stretching that keep me mobile.

Concept #3 – Get Some Sleep

We all know that when we get a good night’s sleep we feel and function better.  Sleep is the time our bodies rejuvenate/re-charge.  Getting good sleep while traveling can be a challenge.  Most of the time we are driving to our vacation spot for many hours, or sometimes even days.  During these vehicle times, I recommend picking up a travel neck pillow.  It’s one of those that wraps around your neck.  It may feel a little awkward at first, but can be a real neck saver.   Without it, you’re destined to fall asleep with your head flopping around while traveling down the highway at 70+ MPH.  Not a good plan for your neck.

Once at your vacation spot there is always the same issue for everyone.   No matter where you are, your bed and pillows are going to be different from the bed you have at home.  If you have the space and forethought, I would recommend you bring your personal pillows with you.  This can be a vacation changer.  I find that most places pick the biggest, fluffiest pillows for their beds…thinking that that is better and more impressive.  Most of the time these pillows are way too big and end up pushing your chin to your chest for the 8 hours while in bed. Perfect neck pain causer!  A good pillow for you will probably be different for you and your travel partners. We all have different spines.  A good pillow is a neutral pillow.  The one that supports, not stresses your neck.

As far as your bed, it’s a little harder to change that.  Your options are limited. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad or too different than your own at home.  If it’s hugely bothersome, I recommend going to your local superstore and purchasing a bed cover.  You can get anything from an egg crate style to goose down.  These can help in that they can decrease the pressure points to your spine that that vacation bed is throwing at you.

Enjoy your travels!

Written by, Dr. Tim Price, Mobile Chiropractor, Navarre, FL  678-521-4261 https://www.facebook.com/DrTimPrice/

I hope your trip to paradise does not require a trip to any of these local providers, but just in case…

Local Providers:

Pharmacies:

Rx Express Pharmacy is a compound pharmacy. 

Publix:  If you do need to have a prescription filled, Publix has filled more than 80 million prescriptions for free.  It might be worth checking here first.

https://sustainability.publix.com/pharmacy/free-prescriptions/

***Another option is to go to the store that you normally use back home and have them search their database for information.  In Navarre, we have Walmart Superstore, Walgreens and CVS. 

Vision:

Clarkson Eye Care:

850-939-3459

Walmart Vision Center:

850-939-3102

Massage Therapy:

Navarre Healing Arts

850-936-5300

https://www.naturalpainreliefthroughmassage.com/

Medical Offices:

https://www.santarosamedicalgroup.com/our-locations/santa-rosa-medical-group-family-medicine-navarre-1167

http://www.white-wilson.com/navarre.htm

https://www.ebaptisthealthcare.org/BMPNavarre

Urgent Care & ER opened in Sept 2020

https://fwbmc.com/

***ER Opening 2021

Dental Office:

Ottley Smiles Dental Center

850-939-0757

Wishing you a very happy and healthy vacation! 

Christmas is Better in Flip Flops

Purchased this towel (I had the plaid one) at Pak N Fax on Hwy 87—The gift shop is great!  And you can ship items home!

In my blog post, Tips for a Stress-Free Trip to Navarre for the Holiday, Nov 12, 2019, I shared ideas about how you can enjoy your holidays in Navarre, FL.  Since I wrote that article, I have discovered even more options and want to share all these as well as some information about local events you might enjoy from Dec 21st to Jan 4th (the official school holiday break). 

Please note some of these items are very time-sensitive which is why I am sharing today so that you still have time to place orders for pick up or place an order with Grocery Concierge and have all your supplies delivered to your unit before you arrive

Things you will need for a Christmas Vacation in Navarre:

#1:  Lodging:  I know there are still rental units available, but don’t wait too long. 

 Navarre Properties

Starfish Vacations

Resort Quest

Best Beach Getaway

#2:  Food:  Please note I will be traveling back to Texas and not available for deliveries between Dec 22nd and Jan 9th. If I have your order by Wednesday, Dec 18th, I can make a delivery to your rental unit on the morning of Saturday, December 21st.  You can arrive anytime that day and everything you need will already be there for you to enjoy.  Give yourself the gift of convenience and enjoy your vacation sooner!

Check out the resource section on our Meal Planning page for drink ideas, suggestions on quick fix menus using Rotisserie Chicken or fresh local Shrimp. 

Also, be sure to check out the menu from Where Ya At Seafood.  These are “Ready to Serve” items that I can pick up and deliver as part of your total grocery delivery and you will have a fresh, local meal waiting for you when you arrive.  They come in convenient packs that serve 2 or 4.  Order as much or as little as you would like.

If you are interested in having a personal chef cook for you and your family during the holidays, please contact one of the following to design your custom menu. 

Sandy Shukwit

Sandy’s Sunshine Kitchen

239-789-9133

sandyssunshinekitchen@gmail.com

Mike Cappella

Navarre Beach Catering

850-217-4202

Mike@NavarreBeachCatering.com

Josh Champion

Take It Personal Chef

850-704-9173

chefjosh@takeitpersonalchef.com

And don’t forget to order your beer, wine, and spirits through us as well.  Craft Beer lovers, if you want to try some beer from Ye Olde Brothers you can either visit the brewery on Hwy 87 or I can pick up a growler for you and deliver.   Ye Olde Brothers is the first craft brewery in Navarre.  They do not bottle or can their beer for offsite purchases, so you must purchase directly.  They also offer smoked Turkeys, Hams and Pumpkin Pie—must order by Dec 17th and you will have to pick it up on Dec 24th.

#3:  Activities:  Friday Night Cornhole Tournaments at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery!  Information available on their Facebook Page –registration starts at 5:30, and bags fly at 6:30.  Firepits and Heaters on the patio to keep the family warm. 

Christmas Zoobilee—Dec 21 & 22 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Gulf Breeze Zoo.  For a full event schedule and details:  GBZOO.com

Navarre Park a great park to visit during the day (Basketball courts, Swings, Picnic areas) and memorial. The photo below is from this year’s Veterans Day ceremony.  And at night the park lights up with “jellies” hanging from the trees. 

Christmas Eve Services:  Pick up a copy of the local Navarre Press newspaper for information on service times. You can often find this paper in the lobby area or office of the property management companies or it is for sale at Walmart and other grocery stores. 

Free Souvenirs:  Stop by the Santa Rosa Tourist Development office at 8543 Navarre Parkway (the blue building at Navarre Park) for lots and lots of free stuff.  And since I know you will want to come back this summer when you can get in the water, be sure to get information about turtle nesting and get some flashlight covers so you can walk on the beach at night and not harm the turtles! 

Gifts from Navarre: 

Relaxation, Memories, and Seashells

There are lots of great gift shops in Navarre!  But I am going to assume that you have come here and either the trip is the gift, or you have finished all your shopping and now you want to relax. 

Sunsets:  I suggest you plan to catch the sunset.  Be on the beach by 4:30 and know that even if the official sunset time is right at 5 pm the sky is magnificent for a long time after.  Depending on the temperature and the wind, you will need to bring some blankets or jackets.  Firepits are NOT ALLOWED anywhere on Navarre Beach.  (The only firepits are on the patio at The Beach House Restaurant at the Marriott Springhill Suites.)

Sunrises: If you are an early riser, the sunrises are fantastic too.  Your condo balcony may be the perfect location with a warm cup of coffee. 

Quiet Walks on the Beach: Be sure to come down to walk the beach and pick up shells.  The shoreline changes each day with the tides, and it is always fun to see how the beach has changed overnight.

Navarre Beach Pier:  The pier is scheduled for a complete overhaul after the first of the year.  We are all very excited to see the new improved pier in 2020 (another reason to come back).  So don’t judge the appearance of the pier right now—it is ugly.  The main reason to go out on the pier anyway is to see what the fishermen are catching; if a  Sea Turtles comes up for air; Dolphins playing nearby; and depending on the surf, any Surfers catching a wave!  The pier is open daily until 7 pm and only costs $1 per person per day to walk (more if you want to fish).  

Merry Christmas 2019 and Happy New Year, New Decade 2020! 

PS:  I almost forgot, January 1st there is a Penguin Plunge ‘N Paddle at Juana’s Pagodas from noon to 4 pm.  Call for more info 850-939-1092.  You can be “Freezing for a Reason”! 

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