Snowbirds looking to escape the cold, but who prefer a temperate rather than tropical climate, will find the best of both worlds in Santa Rosa County, along Florida’s Panhandle. The destination has a plethora of affordable rental condominiums and homes, and RV campgrounds.
And there’s lots to do, too!
Those looking to kick off the New Year in a bracing way, maybe shake off the stupor of the Holidays, can participate in the 8th Annual Penguin Plunge n’ Paddle held a Juana’s Pagodas Sailors’ Grill on Navarre Beach on Jan. 1. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with a Paddle Board Adventure Course, allowing folks to summon the courage for the 1:30 Plunge. That’s followed at 2 p.m. by a raffle drawing and awards. Live music goes from noon to 4. If all this sounds like too much for your constitution, you can always come out and spectate. http://www.juanaspagodas.com/
Winter residents and visitors have a variety of recreational options to enjoy throughout the winter months. The Navarre Beach Snowbirds Club plans a variety of events — gatherings such as the Social & Biz Expo, Jan. 2-4; Sweethearts Dance, Feb.; 13; the Poker League and Card Group meet up regularly in Jan/Feb.; Snowbird Appreciation at the Hidden Creek Golf & Lunch on Mondays; Audubon Society birding classes and more. http://navarrebeachsnowbirdsclub.com/
On Feb. 18, celebrate a small-town American pageant at the Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade, from 1-4 p.m. on Gulf Boulevard. For a complete list of winter events: http://www.floridasplayground.com/events/
Curious to find out what’s happening at the Navarre Beach Gulf Snorkel Reef? View a real-time feed from the comfort of your winter residence at www.navarresciencestation.org. It’s provide by the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station’s live-streaming underwater HD camera.
Head over to the Gulf Breeze Zoo and meet Kelly & Gibson, giraffes born in September, whom you can hand feed. Other features include: the Budgiery Adventure Aviary, Safari Express Train Ride, and hands-on animal encounters. http://www.gulfbreezezoo.org/
Located between Pensacola and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida's Playground is an easy drive from most anywhere in the Southeast. Pensacola International Airport is just 30 miles away with air service provided by American, Delta, United, US Airways and Southwest. For more information, please visit www.floridasplayground.com
December 17, 2016