About Me and Best-Florida-Beaches.org
About Me: Our best family vacations were on Best Florida Beaches; we built sandcastles, looked for shells, buried each other in sand, floated on rafts and played games.
When I was young, I loved going to Florida. I was born in Texas but moved to Louisiana as a young girl. My brothers and I loved summer vacations and Florida beaches.
It was an 8-hour drive to
Destin Beach Florida
but seemed much longer. Somewhere in Alabama, we stopped to eat and dad would tell us, ‘bout two more hours.’
That was our clue to straighten up, get along and be very good to protect whatever beach privileges we might have left (if any).
This was the time to be the children they had wanted, but hadn’t gotten.
This is me in my dreams EVERY night...
so I can only assume my mirror is lying to me.
We were wondering...
Would they really hold our beach privileges hostage as they had threatened during the fighting, arguing, kicking the back of the front seat and asking, “how much longer” every ten minutes?
We were now talking in whispers, letting each other win at card games, nicely and quietly changing seats to let each other sit by the windows.
We were young but we understood the balance of power had just changed hands and now the old people in the front seat had control.
We were always delightfully surprised when we checked into our hotel and our parents told us we could put on swimsuits and hit the beach.
It took children of our own for my brothers and me to realize our beach privileges were never at risk. They wanted to get rid of us as much as we wanted to get out of the car and go to the beach.
We always went to the Panhandle, mainly Destin and Panama City. Surely these were the best Florida beaches?
I still remember my surprise in elementary school when we studied geography and I learned there was a lot more to Florida than the Panhandle. Wow, Florida was much bigger than just the Panhandle.
I could hardly wait to get home to educate my parents about Florida but alas, they already knew and my dad got the globe down and introduced me to the world.
Later as a teacher, I taught geography to my elementary students and loved watching their worlds expand enormously day after day.
As a young married couple,
we spent our honeymoon in Florida. I don’t remember talking about anywhere else; just where to stay on the Florida Panhandle.
We went to Destin first and then on the Panama City. On a long walk along the beach, we met another honeymooning couple crabbing in knee-high water.
Looked like fun so when they asked if we would like to join them, we quickly accepted.
They gave us instructions, a net and some chicken necks and we waded out to sea (a few yards) to snag some crabs.
To our advantage, the water was crystal clear so we could see the crabs in the water; not only when they would crawl into the net but also when they would go for our toes.
They insisted we stay for dinner so when the sun went down, we built a fire on the beach, boiled water and cooked the crabs. Our new friends hadn't expected guests for dinner so we shared the few utensils they had brought.
Since we were both newlyweds, we laughed as we shared wedding mishaps and became friends. We kept in touch with Christmas cards and baby gifts for several years but one year our Christmas card came back to sender and that was the end. p.s. There was no email or Internet way back then and I refuse to do the math to see if the google boys were even born at that time.
As parents, we brought our young sons here to introduce them to the best Florida beaches. Our younger son was two years old and was very excited about his first trip to the beach and was still chanting, “Going to the beach” as he and I walked toward the water.
The closer we got to the water, the more he slowed down. All of a sudden he stopped and wouldn’t budge an inch.
(Those of you who have tried to drag a child where he/she doesn’t want to be dragged knows what I am talking about here). This kid’s feet were in sand but might as well have been in cement. His eyes glazed over as he looked from left to right and back again.
I tried to pull him forward but he had become one-with-the-earth and was not going anywhere. He stood completely still and didn’t speak.
My requests for reasons went unanswered until finally, never taking his eyes off the water, shook his head and said, “No. No, water’s too big”.
I had never thought about how intimidating an ocean might look to a child who is two years old and barely three feet off the ground.
I was fascinated by his response and got on my knees to see the world from his perspective. When I was eye level with his eye level, all I could see was this huge expanse of water and realized it could be frightening to a youngster whose only ‘water experience’ had been a bath tub and a swimming pool, both of which had a beginning and an end. But the 'big water' we were looking at, had a really big beginning but no end in sight.
I suggested we put our towels down right where we were but he said, “No, back there.” So we walked back a few yards until he chose the spot where he felt comfortable and we staked out our claim on the sand. We inched forward a little bit everyday but the water remained ‘too big’ for him that trip.
Fast forward twenty years later and with an impending divorce, I went to another one of the best Florida beaches for consolation.
It happened on my first New Year’s Eve that I was alone and without plans. I suddenly realized I needed the comfort of sand, sun and glorious water which quickly translated to a Florida beach.
I decided this about noon, threw a few things in a suitcase and was at the airport 2 hours later, telling the agent, “but I really don’t care, just a Florida beach, really, trust me, it doesn’t matter where.”
I was in Naples by 10:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve with a rental car and no hotel reservations. While looking for a hotel, I passed a 24-hour convenience store with a big sign that said, “New Year’s Eve sale on champagne. We overstocked; our loss your gain.” Well, it turned out to be their gain, too, as I was a very good customer that trip.
A Florida beach can take your stress away. When the waves come in, just load your stress on the crest of one of them and feel it dissipate as it goes to sea.
There is something about the vastness of the ocean that can make you and your problems seem trivial and insignificant. Walking the beach, waking up to the sound of the water, feeling my stress taken away and dumped at sea was just what I needed and a few days of this wonderful beach therapy did wonders for my morale and me.
My head seemed to clear during one of my early morning walks on the beach and I made the decision to go ahead with the divorce and go to graduate school for psychology.
When I finished graduate school I went back to Florida to celebrate, of course!
As both the teacher and therapist (one personality, not two), I decided to do this website to share my love and adoration of Florida Beaches with the world.
I meant to just write about a few of my own 'best' beaches but they are all wonderful so I decided to give you a synopsis of about 150 of my 'best beaches' and hope you will be enticed to come down and see for yourselves.
Come for the beaches and stay for the fun. Florida is so much more than sun, sand and water. There is a myriad of attractions, things to do, things to see, people to meet, nature, culture, etc.
The State Parks are incredible and have as much valuable real estate as the public beaches and you can camp on most of them, right next to the water.
My name is Jean and I may sound like the Florida Tourist Association but I'm just an individual who loves Florida beaches and wanted to share my love and knowledge with those of you who may be thinking about a vacation in Florida.
Come on down and then write and tell me which is your Best Florida Beach, if you can pick just one. Happy hunting!
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