As Houston and the Southeast are slowly regaining power, mopping up and clearing debris from the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Emerald Coast is breathing a sigh of relief and welcoming tourists as usual. What better coastal retreat than this sugary white stretch of warm beach along the colorful shimmering gulf in northern Florida? It is the perfect spot to lie on a lounge chair and sip a pina colada as the waves lap ashore. Read a book or a magazine. Flip the pages or scroll up the kindle screen. Glance out to sea periodically for fowl entertainment as the pelicans dive for big fish and miniature terns scurry in and out of the waves catching itty bitty fish or peck through the soft sand for a mini crab appetizer. Fresh seafood is great for them and a treat for us on the Emerald Coast. Local restaurants serve up chowder or she crab soup and shrimp is cooked any Bubba Gump which way. Fresh grouper is a flavorful, flaky fish, and the seasonal catch of the day will usually delight, especially if it’s red snapper.
Lifestyle on the Florida panhandle is laid back, easy going. And the golf? Very fun layouts at 11 clubs make a full week if you play them all so you might want to stay much longer and repeat your favorites. Check them all out, in alphabetical order – Blackstone Golf Course, Blue Water Bay Golf Resort, Eglin Air Force Base Golf Course, Emerald Bay Golf Club, Ft. Walton Beach Golf Club, Foxwood Country Club, Gator Lakes Golf Course, Indian Bayou Golf Club, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, Regatta Bay Golf and Country Club, and Shalimar Pointe Golf Club.
Packing for a quick or long trip to the Emerald Coast is easy. Swim suit, check. Tee shirts, check. Golf outfits and clubs, check. Toothbrush, check. If any are forgotten, just get them there. Off you go.