Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sand In My Toes

Winter weather in southern Utah is hard to beat. That’s why snowbirds flock here by the gaggle. It rarely snows in the lower elevations around St. George, and if flurries happen to fall they melt by noon. You can golf (you, not me) in the morning and drive an hour away to ski in the afternoon. Hiking and biking opportunities are practically endless. 

That said, southern Utah is not perfect. There is no beach. California is close enough, but there is another particular stretch of coastline I find worth the effort to get to, where you can wiggle your toes in the sand and soak up some spf–4 winter sun. It’s been called the Redneck Riviera of the Gulf Coast. I’m talking about the Florida Panhandle. 

Fort Walton Beach, Florida
For some, nearby Destin and Panama City are the Spring Break Party Capitals of the Gulf Coast. However, if your serious partying days are a thing of the past and you just want to relax, Fort Walton Beach during the winter (and especially over Thanksgiving) is a whole different alligator. My best buddy PP had never gone to the beach over a Thanksgiving weekend so we booked a sixth–floor room with a balcony and watched the world drift by.

Sixth floor view

Thanksgiving Day sunset


IMG_9979Jellyfish FtWaltonBeach
There were a lot of jellyfish washed up on the beach...

IMG_0135 FootprintsInThe Sand
Fewer crowds over the holiday...

IMG_0118Gulf CoastSurf
And the water was not that cold!



The day we were supposed to leave a storm rolled in. We just stayed another day and spent a lazy afternoon on our balcony, mesmerized by the sand and the waves and the rain and the sky. 

IMG_0269Sunrise StormFtWalton Beahc


  1. That looks Wonderfully inviting.

    Only a little snow on the ground at the South Rim.

  2. My Mom was born and raised on an island in the Tampa Bay so I have more than my share of salt water and sand in my veins. The last time we went to Fla, we went to the Panhandle. I was thinking yesterday that it's been a long, long time since I've had a saltwater fix...... thanks for the beautiful pics.