Are you ready for white-sand beaches, shucked oysters, an ice-cold beverage, and an unforgettable experience? Spring is one of the best times to visit Florida’s Emerald Coast and the Forgotten Coast.
Visit The Forgotten Coast
If staying in beautiful Cape San Blas, don’t miss oysters from nearby Indian Pass Raw Bar. This no-frills local favorite dates back to the 1930s and began building its loyal fanbase as the place to go for oysters in 1986. You can enjoy oysters raw, steamed, or baked year-round, although many folks still prefer to stick to the adage that oysters are best in months with an “r” (September through April). Live music and games for the kids keep things fun while you wait for a table.
At the tip of Cape San Blas is a state park that feels a million miles away from everywhere. The T.H. Stone St. Joseph State Park has tall dunes and white-sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico side and marshland teeming with life on the St. Joseph Bay side. Bird watchers, anglers, and hikers will love exploring the astounding natural beauty here.
Visit Scenic 30A
Along Scenic 30A, discover local fare as farmers’ markets begin to take place in the early Spring. Spend the morning sampling freshly baked bread, homemade jams, and artisanal cheeses. Try on handmade jewelry, pet some dogs, chat with locals, pick up fresh-cut flowers for your vacation home and treat yourself to a truly, one-of-a-kind memento.
If you prefer a bit more adventure with your beach time, check out Emerald Coast Scuba’s streamlined scuba certification program so you can dive 30A’s Underwater Museum of Art. Form meets function here, as art pieces also serve as protective marine habitats. Inaugural UMA artist and 30-year certified scuba diver Vince Tatum says the museum is a diver’s dream. He has seen his piece, the SWARA Skull, attract species rarely spotted along the Gulf Coast.
“Incredibly, last time I dove UMA, I spotted two French angelfish. I have only ever seen those while diving in the Caymans,” he said.
If staying above the surface of the water is more your style, what about surf fishing? Crossing this off the must-do list is easier than ever because 360 Blue’s concierge service can help you book it!
Surf fishing is the perfect beach activity for families with young kids or anyone who gets bored quickly. You cast a line into the surf, secure the rod into a holder, and build sandcastles until the fish bite! Easy-peasy. Blake Hunter, the owner of Reel30A, brings everything you need to you on the beach—including an experienced angler to show you how to set everything up! You’ll be grilling a fresh catch for dinner in no time.
Visit Miramar Beach and Destin
Florida’s luckiest fishing village is a wondrous site to behold. From the turquoise water of Crab Island to the deep blue of the Destin Harbor to the colorful menagerie of boats sailing past—Destin is a feast for the senses.