Florida’s panhandle is a special place. And the area from Panama on the East on to the Alabama border on the west may be the most special. It’s called the Emerald Coast, named after the stunning color of the Gulf of Mexico.
Our base for this trip was the new Destin West RV Resort, located on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach.
The Bay is great for boasting and fishing. We met Bill Lovejoy from Memphis, who fishes just about every day right out in front of his campsite. Bill shared a way to get live bait by using a two liter soft drink bottle.
Bill, who has spent the winter at Destin West, cuts the top third of the bottle off, inverts it and puts in back inside, neck down. You can see on the video how it works. Bottom line for Bill is he never had to buy live bait.
The spots at Destin West are well spaced, with picnic tables and patios and the resort has its own heated pool and more amenities than you can count. It's been open just over a year and already has quite a following.
Stay there and you have access to everything at the Ramada Inn across US 28, including its waterfall pool, health club and beach.
But since Jennifer and I love to explore, we don’t sit still in one spot very long. Further west from Fort Walton Beach is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It stretches across Florida and Alabama and even into Mississippi. But the emerald coast section of barrier islands has the most spectacular beaches we have ever seen.
The sparkling white quartz sand beaches run along miles of undeveloped land. There are nature trails and convenience parking spots. With our Roadtrek, we staked out a spot with a million dollar view.
We met another Roadtreking couple doing the same thing, Kathy and Les Shanteau, who own a condo in the area but use the Roadtrek for day trips, just as we do.
The weather in mid March was chilly, with highs in the upper 60's. Still, the sun was shining every day and we were surprisingly comfortable.
Check out the video and out photos to see why we were so taken with the Emerald Coast.