Monday, June 16, 2014

Find Relaxation in Mexico Beach!

By Becky J. Beall

Searching for an off-the-beaten-path beach destination this summer or fall, where days are lazy, beaches are crowd-free, views are unobstructed and sunsets are amazing? Let me introduce you to my new-found love – Mexico Beach, Florida.

Mexico Beach is a quaint little seaside community situated in the southernmost part of the Florida Panhandle about 30 minutes or so to the east of Panama City. This unique five-mile beach town sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico close to the mouth of St. Joseph Bay. It is reminiscent of “Old Florida” with only a two-lane highway, no traffic lights and the absence of chain restaurants, shopping malls and high rises.

What to do…
Mexico Beach embraces a laid back ambiance where vacationers can do nothing at all or load up an agenda with a shelling tour, fishing expedition, water recreation, biking, shopping, golf or other activities. Sea shells are plentiful on the shoreline or take a charter boat to Crooked Island for optimal shelling opportunities (Captain Mitch Coleman with FloriDaze Adventures, can assist with that).

Culinary delights…
There are some fabulous eateries in Mexico Beach, but keep in mind this sleepy little town rolls up the sidewalks early, so plan to eat before 8 or 8:30 p.m. All of these places are right on the main drag and easy to spot. Toucan’s offers a fabulous assortment of fresh seafood, pastas, salads, burgers and sandwiches, and great views. My favorite is Gourmet by the Bay, a brightly painted roadside food trailer next to Gulf Foods with picnic tables and thatched umbrellas out front. They specialize in gourmet tacos, made from scratch beignets, Waldorf chicken salad and quiche. Other culinary treats not to be missed are Killer Seafood, Mango Marley’s and The Fish House.

Mexico Beach does not offer dozens of high rise condos stacked one on top of the other creating beach crowds and riff raff, but what they do offer is low rise condos, motels and beach houses. For all your lodging needs, Forgotten Coast Property Management (888-648-1012 can direct you to the level of accommodations that best suits your family or group.

Mexico Beach is the perfect getaway for those seeking quiet beaches with an Old Florida style. It is a place where the sand beckons sun worshippers while the juxtaposing water calls to fishermen and the outdoor enthusiasts. It is designed for the person who loves the quaintness of no stop lights and the eclectic character of multi-colored beach houses. It is for those who desire to please their palates with fabulous beach cuisine in quirky little restaurants. It is for those who enjoy an ice cream in one hand and a fishing pole in the other. But mostly, it is for those searching for the unique unforgettable piece of Florida gulf coast.

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