Plan on taking your family on a coastal vacation without leaving the states this year? Down bellow I have a list of beach side towns along the emerald coast that are worth your visit.
Shop My look: Dress // Sandals // hat
I’ve lived on the emerald coast for five years now. In the past five years I have done my fair share of venturing to near by towns and exploring what they have to offer. Today I’ll be writing about the few I think are worth the visit.
The three larger and more touristy cities along the emerald coast are: Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City. But between these cities are numerous smaller towns that are equally worth the travels. Among these are: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Okaloosa Island, Miramar Beach, and the 30A towns. The cheaper of these would probably be the first three: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and Okaloosa Island. These destinations might not have the ziplines and shopping malls of the bigger cities, but they are only a short drive away. These towns instead, offer a much more laid back and slow paced feel, allowing you to have a truly relaxing vacation.
Some hotels worthy of your stay:
Portofino Island Resort on Pensacola Beach
SpringHill Suites by Marriot on Navarre Beach
Palms of Destin Resort in Destin
The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach
Grand Panama Beach Resort on Panama Beach
Thank you to Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post
Guys, I freaking love my life.
My life is far from perfect. I have really bad days, I get frustrated with my daughter, mad at my husband, make a terrible meal, cry myself to sleep, and ocassionally feel like I’m falling into a black hole like any other normal person out there. But I also feel on top of the world and in total bliss while raising such an easy going child, a hubsnad that goes out of his way to please, cooking bomb ass meals, and frolicking in the grass in a coastal town. Life is rough, and life is great. We all go through so many emotions just on a day to day basis, but please, even on the Black Hole days, remember how much you really love life, and how much life really loves you.
This dress was thrifted (for $8!) but you can find a similar here and here. My sandals can also be found here.
30A is my favorite place along the Emerald Coast. Between the shops, the food, the pretty southern homes, the plenty of parks, and the beach near by, it is undoubtedly the most perfect southern town in my mind. 30A is the type of place that makes me want to live here forever.
We spent the weekend in Seaside, which is a small coastal town along Florida’s highway 30A. It is one of the sweetest and most quaint little towns I have ever been to. There are numerous food trucks, pizzarias, coffee shops, gelato shops, and local restaurants. In Seaside, everyone has come to the realization that cars are for losers. Instead, nearly everyone there rides beach cruisers to get to their destination. I have never been so in love with a town in my life (well, I mean, Sandpoint Idaho is also a personal favorite).
Because I was traveling for Valentines day, Scott and I decided to delay our date to Seaside until the weekend. We woke up early, Scott made a large breakfast filled with bacon, sausage, eggs, and fruit, and we packed our bags to spend the day on 30A. We first went to one of the many green grass parks and sat by the water fountain while playing tag with Aspen. Afterwards we walked further into town and ate some gelato, and eventually made our way to the historical and locally famous church. We let Aspen let loose and play in the grass before we started our trek back home.
For me personally, dates do not have to be elaborate or expensive. I much more appreciate some quality time with family in a gorgeous area, taking in the views and good weather with my two favorite people in the world.
Shop my dress here
Thank you so much Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post.
There was a break in the weather, so we took off to the beach.
These are the good days. The days where you can put your swim suit on, put your toddler in her car seat, and take off to the beach. All that’s needed is a floppy sun hat, a cute suit, and a heart filled with wonder.
There was a time I hated living here. I have always been entranced by mountains, but had never cared much for the beach. Over time, God has opened my heart to this place, and honestly, the day He calls us elsewhere will be a very sad (but exciting) day for us. Watching Aspen grow here has really humbled me and has made me see the beauty in something I hadn’t really cared about before.
My hope for all of you is to find peace and happiness wherever you are at. Too much time is wasted complaining about circumstances that you can’t change, when it’s so easy to just change your perspective instead! Since I became pregnant with Aspen I have sworn to myself that I would figure out how to bloom where I have been planted. A little over two years later, and here I am. I have found joy in my life all because I have changed my perspective and opened my heart to something that it had been closed to before.
Today, choose joy. Today choose contentment. Today, choose to love your circumstance.
**Thank you so much to Pink Blush Maternity for this beautifully made swim suit.**
I find a classic black one piece is ESSENTIAL for the summer days ahead of us! Shop this one here
I have been living on the emerald coast for nearly five years now. The first winter we were here it was FREEZING. Literally freezing. At one point, they blocked off all the bridges and let kids sled down them. Although there was no snow, there was plenty of ice. Since then, our winters have been very moderate, with only a handful of cold days. But a majority of the time the weather is nice enough to still enjoy our beautiful beaches.
My favorite winter beach attire is a neutral and flowy maxi with a light cardi or jean jacket. To shop these looks:
Favorite neutral maxi dresses can be found here, here, and here
Favorite denim jackets can be found here and here
Aspen’s: similar jumpsuit here// cardi // bow
*As always, a special thanks to those who help me photograph my blogging images. Most posts are a always taken on my camera. If the images are of me, they are taken by either Shelby Hood or my husband. Thanks for being troopers, guys*
I walked into Axis Wellness Center nearly four years ago, after a long beach run with one of my friends. My husband had gone there for lunch one day with his coworkers and recommended it to me. Since then, the owners, Chad and Lisa, have become like family to us.
AXIS Wellness Center is located in Fort Walton Beach. They provide protein shakes, teas, and more. It also has the most relxing, friendly vibe, which makes it hard to walk away disatisfied. The owners, Chad and Lisa, treat everyone like friends, and they always welcome the kids.
Aspen and I love to meet up with Scott during our lunch breaks to catch up mid day, hang out with good company, and to drink a Nutter Butter (#14) shake. They also always make a complimentary mini shake with half the protein for Aspen, which as you can see, she loves!
I could not recommend this place more to those living in the Fort Walton area. It’s a perfect place to learn more about nutrition, get fitness assessments done, take zumba classes, and to sign up for fit camps.
With the Holidays approaching, and the New Year on the horizon, AXIS is a great way to help stay on track, or to gain the tools and motivation to get on track.
** Bonus: First shake is free! **
Follow AXIS on Facebook to learn more.
When my mom confirmed she was going to be visiting us, I made sure to reserve a night at our newest resturant for a girls night. Conveniently, one of my greatest Florida friends had texted me as we were leaving if we wanted to go out for dinner. I quickly invited her to join us, and for the next few hours we laughed, ate delicious food, and drank coctails while listening to the waves hitting the shore.
It is hard to get he same experience as tourists when you live in a travel destination town. I mean, although we go to the beach bi-weekly, we rarely get to truly experience the natural scerenity this place offers to the anual visitors. But when we have company in town, we try very hard to give them that experience.
I first heard about this new resort and resturant by a YMCA member (btw- I also work at the Y). After hearing about the menu, I immediately decided it would be on our itinerary while my mom was here on her visit. And let’s just say, it did not disapoint. Between the three of us, we spit a fried fish appetizer, a salad, pasta primavera, and a caremel cheesecake. My mom and I also ordered a mojito and a whisky based coctail that was to die for.
All in all, between the views, the breeze, the food, and the drinks, we had a wonderful time and I could not reccomend this place more.
For more details, visit here
So, my mom is in town.
My mom arrived from Arizona last Saturday evening. It’s been far too long since her last visit. Actually, I believe I was still pregnant during her last trip here. So, it’s been a while. My mom and I are also best friends, so going more than a few months without seeing her nearly kills me. Our last girls trip together was over six months ago, which is far too long for me. Anyway, she’s here, and I couldn’t be happier. And neither could Aspen! So far, we have gone to Boo at the Zoo, pumpkin patch, out to local eateries, parks, and of course, the beach. It’s kind of ironic how I am obsessed with mountain landscapes, but live in Florida, and how my mom is obsessed with the coastal lines, but lives in Arizona.
We still have plans to go out for champagne at one of the waterfront resorts, and to walk some nature trails befrore she heads home in a few more days.
Halloween was a blast with this little one. We spent the day running errands, and got home right in time to cook up a delicious stuffed “jack-o-lantern” for dinner (link here). Afterwards I tried to get a few cute shots of her in her halloween dress, but as you can see, that did not go as well as I had hoped. This kid wanted nothing to do with taking pictures. And by the time I finally got her to hold still, she decided it was the perfect time to poop!
After these pictures were taken, we dressed Aspen up in her Mickey Mouse costume and put pillows and blankets in her wagon, as well as her candy bucket. The rest of the night, she lounged comfortably in her wagon, saying “trick or treat!” or “more nana?” while my mom hand fed her m&ms. It was a hilarious sight and perfectly describes my daughter.
I can’t wait to see how we celebrate next year!
Hey there friends, how has you summer been treating you? We are back in Florida and trying not to let the heat and humidity tear our spirits. As much as I love the first few weeks of summer, by august I’m a little worn out!
As of late, we have been: beaching it up (Aspen LOVES swimming now), working like dogs, building my photography business back up (@sadieannphoto), going to school, and renovating our bathrooms (I’ll make a post about that when we’re done).
Life has been alright for us, but we are anxiously waiting for the humidty to die down and for those cool autumn mornings to hit us soon.
Since living in one of America’s prime vacation destinations (destin, florida), we have enjoyed taking our annual vacation further north, and away from the summer tourists. Fortunately, Scott has family with a lake house up in Northern Idaho. It is such a scerene place that truly embodies the luxury outdoor lifestyle. Here are some pictures from our time up in Sandpoint, Idaho:
I think my favorite part about being up in Idaho is watching Aspen enjoy a completely different land scape. You can just see the wheels turning as she explores and takes in the scenery.