(DeFuniak Springs, FL) Hi 89 Lo 64 – We didn’t linger long this morning. We were anxious to check out the Emerald Coast, so we took off for the beaches. Believe it or now we haven’t been to the beach all winter.
We’re about 40 miles from Destin, and I’ve heard so much from other RV'ers about the white sand on the beach there, so that’s where we headed first. It’s gorgeous along U.S. 98 (or Scenic Hwy 98 as the street signs say). As most of you know I hate bridges, and we had to cross over this one to get from the mainland to the ocean coast. (Click pictures to enlarge)
Once you're on the beach side there’s white sand dunes and Caribbean blue water.
The sand is very fine-grained and feels like coarse flour, no shells to cut your feet.
There were a LOT of people on the beach. The water was chilly till you were in a bit, then it felt really good.
We stopped at the Crab Trap for lunch. I ordered a crab cake and shrimp combo, but it ended up being one little crab cake and a few shrimp with cole slaw. Jim ordered a fried platter with Amberjack, shrimp, and oysters. The Amberjack was strips rather than a fillet, which was a little disappointing. The food tasted good but it was very pricey for what you got.
Our view of the beach and pier.
On the way down the highway we came upon Henderson Beach State park, so we turned in to see what it looked like. The place was full and the ranger told us some people make reservations 11 months ahead. It’s a nice park. Many of the sites are pull thrus, and you’re hidden back in with small trees and brush to give you privacy. We don't usually like most state parks, but we'd stay in this one.
We went on to Ft Walton Beach and checked out the Hurlburt Field Famcamp, which is actually off base.
We’ll skip this one. Too many trees for our taste. We went onto the base to look around, and made a stop at the Base Exchange. Hurburt Field is the smaller of the two Air Force bases in the area, the other one being Eglin AFB (which is the largest USAF base in the world in area).
We spent some time on Okaloosa Island, which has several beach access points. The wind was from the south so the surf was a little choppy. We were thankful for the breeze. The public parking and access to the beach was between two large hotels, so there was a line of blue umbrellas for the hotel guests.
We drove home another way so we didn’t have to cross that long bridge again. It was dinner time by the time we made it back to the RV park. It was an excellent day, and we put in over 100 miles. We love this area, but not for our winter stay. It gets too cold for us.