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F L O R I D A

The Unforgettable Coast VISI TOR’ S GUI DE

®


Remember that time we found the perfect little beach town?

Make your perfect vacation memories in Mexico Beach, Florida. Discover more at MexicoBeach.com

F L O R I D A

The Unforgettable Coast

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CONTENTS

Mexico Beach Visitor’s Guide ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS 8 Reel in the Big One Get Hooked on World-Class Fishing 10 Unforgettable Beaches: The Main Attraction 12 Water You Waiting For? A Lifetime of Fun on the Gulf 15 Here, There, and Everywhere Day Trips to Remember 18 A Recipe for Good Times: Fresh Gulf Seafood, Cool Drinks, and Live Music 19 Make Some New Friends Bountiful Bird-Watching

8

22 Start a New Collection Seashells on Mexico Beach 23 Something for Everyone Souvenir Shopping and More

18

LODGING 20 Fly South for the Winter An Unforgettable Snowbird Destination 24 Places to Stay: Set the Scene for an Unforgettable Vacation

SPECIAL EVENTS 26 Hearts in the Sand Tying the Knot in Mexico Beach 28 A Year Full of Fun! Annual Events Calendar

10

INFORMATION 14 Meet the Locals: About Our Sea Turtles 31 Have Fun Safely! Beach Safety Tips and Information 32 History of Mexico Beach Remembering Decades of Progress 34 Stay Connected Important Contact Information

15

2o M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 3


F L O R I D A

The Unforgettable Coast

®

MEXICO BEACH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT Kimberly Shoaf DIRECTOR OF VISITOR SERVICES Melissa Williams WELCOME CENTER SPECIALIST Kathy Krum

PUBLISHING TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lisa Marie Burwell PUBLISHER Gerald Burwell MANAGING EDITOR Jordan Staggs CHIEF COPY EDITOR Margaret Stevenson ART DIRECTOR Tracey Thomas GRAPHIC DESIGNER Rinn Garlanger SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR Lauren Shaw CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Bill Fauth, Cindy’s Dream Photos, Natasha Jasperson, Kim Stone Photography, Romona Robbins, Michelle Childs, Historic images courtesy of the Parker family

PUBLISHED BY:

(850) 231-3087 114 Logan Lane, Suite 4 | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 TheIdeaBoutique.com Contact us at info@theideaboutique.com 4 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


WELCOME TO MEXICO BEACH The Unforgettable Coast ® Are you ready to truly enjoy the beach? Ready for unspoiled white beaches, pristine Gulf waters, spectacular sunsets, and great meals with family and friends? Then it’s time to enjoy Mexico Beach, “The Unforgettable Coast.” We welcome you to relish all that Mexico Beach has to offer. With the help of the Mexico Beach Visitor’s Guide, you can familiarize yourself with our area and begin your beach vacation the moment you enter town. Be ready to indulge in the simple things. Whatever you’re wanting out of this beach vacation, we’ve got it—as long as it doesn’t consist of chain restaurants, overcrowded shopping malls, or traffic lights. Information about our beloved area abounds in this guide. You’ll read about outstanding restaurants, shopping, water-sport activities, ecotourism, weddings on the beach, and much more. The indulgent options are endless. Legendary sunsets, uncrowded beaches, easygoing vibes, friendly locals, and a variety of festive events ensure that Mexico Beach has what you need. With predictable sunny weather and ideal accommodations to call your temporary home, you will see all the reasons that Mexico Beach is one

of the most unforgettable vacation destinations along the Gulf. Enjoy what others have known about for years. Or, if you’ve visited before, enjoy what hasn’t changed since you left. We hope that you’re ready to truly enjoy yourself. Wonderful memories and long-lasting traditions await you in Mexico Beach, “The Unforgettable Coast.” See you soon,

Kimberly Shoaf, President Mexico Beach Community Development Council

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 5


Destin

98

Panama City Beach

GETTING HERE Mexico Beach, Florida, just forty minutes east of Panama City Beach, is easily accessible by car or air. Located on a pristine stretch of beach in Bay County, Mexico Beach is Florida’s best choice for travelers who are in the know and seeking a genuinely quiet, white-sand beach vacation destination.

Mexico Beach

BY AIR Air travel to Mexico Beach, Florida, is by way of the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), located in Panama City Beach and just a onehour drive away. Delta, United, and Southwest Airlines offer flights arriving and departing daily, with many direct flights from major cities.

BY CAR MILES

TIME (HRS)

Tallahassee, FL

100

1.5

Columbus, GA

202

3.0

Mobile, AL

223

3.5

Montgomery, AL

224

3.5

Jacksonville, FL

267

4.0

Birmingham, AL

315

4.5

Atlanta, GA

322

5.0

Nashville, TN

504

7.0

Charlotte, NC

552

8.0

Houston, TX

677

10.5

Charleston, SC

500

8.0

Knoxville, TN

518

8.5

CITY

6 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E

Cape San


10

Marianna

Tallahassee

Wakulla Springs Wewahitchka

98

Blas

Apalachicola St. George Island

MAPS & INFO GPS COORDINATES

29.56.29 N, 85.24.23 W ZIP CODE

32456 AREA CODE

850 TIME ZONE

Central M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 7


Reel in THE BIG ONE

G et H o o ke d o n Wo r l d - C l a ss F i s h i n g

Mexico Beach offers not only beautiful beaches and breathtaking sunsets but also world-class fishing. Mexico Beach’s proximity to productive waters draws anglers from all over the world. Accessing the Gulf of Mexico is very convenient. With numerous public beach access points, a City Pier, which stretches over eight hundred feet, and a City Boat Ramp, fishing is plentiful from both shore and boat. Mexico Beach is very boater friendly! The City Boat Ramp boasts three spacious launch bays in a sheltered location just three minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Before hitting the water, visit Mexico Beach Marina, where you can fuel the boat and fill the tackle box. The City of Mexico Beach has a variety of boat slips available to meet your needs while vacationing here. Slips are located adjacent to Canal Park on the Gulf side of Canal Parkway. To inquire about availability and pricing, contact the harbormaster by calling (850) 527-7147.

8 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E

The fishing in Mexico Beach is as good as it gets. A fleet of charter boats is available for the angler who needs a ride out into the Gulf or bay. Many of the charter boats offer the option of inshore or offshore trips, and most include your gear and license. With many charter captains offering half- and full-day adventures on the open waters, there are plenty of chances to tell the story of the one that got away. Just going at it alone or in a small group? No worries; our charter captains will work with any size group, with many offering the ability to join in on another party.


Information and resources for fishing expeditions are available at the Mexico Beach Welcome Center or online at MexicoBeach.com under the “Things To Do/Fishing” page. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission publishes fishing regulations and a license application online; both can be found at myfwc.com. Be sure and check these regulations from time to time. The Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the best saltwater fishing you will find anywhere in the world. Get ready to cast your line and hook the big one. Be on the lookout for reeling in an array of great fish; these include red snapper, grouper, flounder, mullet, king and Spanish mackerel, tripletail, pompano, and whiting.

So, grab your license, coolers, and bait, and gas up for a day of great fishing and unforgettable memory making. But that’s not all you have to look forward to catching when you visit Mexico Beach. Just north of Mexico Beach is Wewahitchka, home to the Dead Lakes. Here anglers will be able to test out their freshwater fishing skills with a variety of native species, including largemouth bass, bluegill, warmouth, spotted sunfish, black crappie, flathead catfish, and redbreast sunfish. As on the Gulf and the bay, your time on the lakes will be unforgettable. Mexico Beach offers something that most places don’t—over 200 welldeveloped artificial reef sites in the Gulf of Mexico that are teeming with marine life. Thanks to the efforts of the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA), these reefs have been providing unforgettable fishing memories since 1997. A directory of GPS coordinates for these artificial reefs can be found on the MBARA website, MBARA.org. So, grab your license, coolers, and bait, and gas up for a day of great fishing and unforgettable memory making. This will be one fishing community you will continue to visit again and again. To put it simply, the fishing here is phenomenal!

Fishing Guide

cobia

pompano

sea trout

red snapper

king mackerel

grouper

mahi mahi

redfish

flounder M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 9


Unforgettable Beaches T H E M A I N AT T R A C T I O N

The uncrowded, sandy shoreline of Mexico Beach is tailor-made for relaxation and rejuvenation. Our sugary white sand, warm sunshine, and gentle waves are ideally suited for long, stress-free days on the beach. It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax.

10 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


peaking of our sand, it’s quite rare.

There are a number of easy-to-spot beach walkovers. The beach walkovers

The sand found on the majority of the

have been constructed along the entire length of Highway 98 in Mexico

world’s beaches contains a mixture of

Beach. They provide beachgoers with convenient and direct access to the

approximately twenty different materials. The

Gulf of Mexico. They also protect our natural vegetation and sand dunes

sugar-like white sand found in Mexico Beach,

from erosion.

however, contains only one: evenly sized quartz crystals. This quartz sand originated millions

Unlike destinations farther south, Mexico Beach experiences brief, subtle

of years ago in the Appalachian Mountains.

changes of season. Summers are balmy and wonderful, and winters are

Because our area lacks the influence of silt-

calm and comfortable. But most locals prefer spring and fall with their

bearing rivers, our sand remains pure and white.

warm days and cool nights. Just remember, no matter the weather, there’s always a warm feeling when you’re in Mexico Beach.

Mexico Beach averages 320 days of sunshine each year! Take care, though. Our clear waters

SEE THE BEACH FROM HOME!

and white sand reflect and intensify sunlight.

When you’re too far from Mexico Beach to actually view the water, log on

Sunscreen, sunglasses, and cover-ups are neces-

to MexicoBeach.com and enjoy the live Beach Cam that allows you to feel

sities. Forgot to pack the sunscreen? Don’t worry.

like you’re sitting on the beach. While online, jump over to the “Calendar

From beach chairs and umbrellas to swimwear

of Events” page and check out what’s coming up, and then visit the “Places

and sporting goods, our local merchants carry

to Stay” page to find your perfect beach house, condo, or hotel!

everything you’ll need to make the most of your beach days. So, how does one get to our beaches? Easy. The City of Mexico Beach has five miles of beach available for residents and visitors to enjoy. Public beach access is easy and abundant.

AVERAGE DAILY TEMPERATURES AT MEXICO BEACH JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

HIGH

63

67

73

79

86

90

91

91

88

80

73

66

LOW

41

43

50

54

62

68

71

71

68

56

49

43

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 11


Water You Waiting For?

A LIFETIME OF FUN ON THE GULF

12 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


Mexico Beach sits alongside beautiful sandy beaches and the stunning waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These waters are home to some world-class fishing. But there is more to the Gulf of Mexico than just fishing. From snorkeling and diving to stand-up paddleboarding and skimboarding, a day on the Gulf in Mexico Beach can be endless fun. ne of the best ways to experience Mexico Beach and the surrounding areas is from sea level. Whether you paddle a kayak, a canoe, or a stand-up paddleboard, you’ll experience wild Florida in an intimate and personal way as you glide quietly through its waters. Several outfitter and guide services provide both rentals and guided ecotours led by experienced naturalists. Nearby Wakulla Springs State Park is a favorite, featuring the longest and deepest known submerged cave system in the world. And, for a truly primordial experience, try a paddle through the Dead Lakes. Hitting the surf takes on an entirely new meaning. With Mexico Beach’s mild surf, it’s ideal for skimboarders and boogie boards. These water sports are favorites among the tweens, preteens, and teenagers. You might even see Mom or Dad trying to relive their youth on the waves. Don’t worry about packing one in the car; area shops and gear rental companies offer an assortment of boards and equipment for all ages. Get ready to explore an undersea world that’s rich in marine life. Mexico Beach is home to a spectacular near-shore marine environment that beckons to divers, snorkelers, and underwater photographers. A key favorite for underwater sightseers is the Vamar, a historic 1942 lumber ship that wrecked approximately 3.7 miles off the shore of Mexico Beach. For snorkelers and divers, this is a great adventure. The Vamar is often visible from the surface, being located in 27 feet of water, and is home to a variety of sea creatures. Another diving favorite is the Empire Mica, which was sunk in 105 feet of water. This wreck offers scuba divers a historically significant, world-class diving experience. Some visitors love to sightsee, and what better way than from a bird’s perspective? Parasailing is offered on the beachfront at the El Governor Motel and is a great way to see all of Mexico Beach. Thrill seekers can soar up to three miles in the sky and gain a great view of both the Gulf of Mexico and the City of Mexico Beach. And, for those who prefer to stay closer to the ground, there are WaveRunners as well as banana boat rides that can take you exploring all over the Gulf.

A day on the Gulf can also be relaxing. Board a sunset cruise or an ecotour and enjoy the waters while resting your feet. Several of our charter captains offer relaxing exploration trips on the Gulf. An ecotour can take you all over, and if you’re fortunate, you will see dolphins swimming in pods as well as sea turtles venturing for food. Be sure to ask your captain to stop over at Crooked Island, where shell collecting is exciting and bountiful. Sunsets in Mexico Beach are simply breathtaking. The fall months offer some of the best to be seen. Anchor up and head out on the Gulf, where you can enjoy all of your surroundings while watching one of the best shows around: the sun going down. With so many activities to do on the water, there is definitely something for everyone. From floating in the waves to riding them, your time spent on the water will be unforgettable.

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 13


the

Meet

Locals

about our sea turtles

We love our sea turtles, and they call our beaches home for their nesting grounds. Area volunteers work year-round to ensure the best protection and public awareness of these beloved, endangered sea animals. More information is available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at MyFWC.com.

• Please do not take flash photography of sea turtles or their nests. • If you discover a sea turtle or nest on the beach, please contact the Turtle Patrol at (850) 647-8238. • If you are staying beachfront, please turn the outside lights down low and lower the blinds at night to reduce inside light. Turtles use the light of the moon to make their journey, and these “foreign lights” can misguide them.

14 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E

• If you come upon a nesting sea turtle, please stay back and leave them alone to do their thing! • Do not disturb turtle tracks in the sand—they are extremely valuable to our area turtle patrol volunteers. • Please pick up after yourself when leaving the beach for the day. Plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic beverage rings, and other litter are not biodegradable and can harm sea life.


DAY T R I P S T O R E M E M B E R

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 15


| Distance: 100 miles Claimed by some to be the site of Ponce de León’s Fountain of Youth, Wakulla Springs is the longest and deepest known submerged freshwater cave system in the world. The Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, once roamed by mastodons, giant sloths, and saber-toothed tigers, is now home to manatees, alligators, and an abundance of birds. Several early movies were filmed here. The park service offers guided boat tours throughout the year.

| Distance: 24 miles The cape is a great picnic spot, offering visitors a backdrop of towering white sand dunes at either Saint Joseph Peninsula State Park or Gulf County’s Salinas Park. Cape San Blas is also one of the very few beaches in the entire state of Florida where horseback riding is permitted.

In Mexico Beach, you’ll find countless hours of fun and relaxation. One of the many outstanding things about our little town is its location. We are very lucky to have some really great neighbors, and we encourage you to get out and meet them! Each of these neighboring destinations makes a wonderful day trip. So get out, explore, and make your Mexico Beach visit even more unforgettable. And who knows? You may just decide to stay with us a few more days! | Distance: 35 miles This quaint fishing village just thirty-five miles east of Mexico Beach on Highway 98 will take you back in time to the mid-1800s. Be sure to spend some time viewing the beautifully restored antebellum homes in the historic district, relaxing at scenic Lafayette Park, and browsing the numerous antique and specialty shops. Visit the waterfront to welcome commercial fishing boats as they bring in the day’s catch, and dine on Apalachicola’s nationally acclaimed oysters in any of the superb downtown restaurants.

| Distance: 34 miles Want a break from the peace and quiet of Mexico Beach? Panama City Beach needs little in the way of introduction. Spend the day enjoying family-friendly attractions such as Gulf World Marine Park, ZooWorld, and Shipwreck Island Waterpark. There is no shortage of great nightlife either—the city is home to hundreds of great restaurants, nightclubs, and gathering spots. 16 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E

| Distance: 80 miles If shopping is on your agenda, the Destin and Miramar Beach corridor will not disappoint. Silver Sands Premium Outlets is a shopper’s paradise with more than a hundred brands represented. Baytowne Wharf, Grand Boulevard, Destin Commons, and countless other nearby shopping opportunities will surely satisfy you as well.


Great Golf near Mexico Beach ST. JOSEPH BAY GOLF CLUB Distance: 16 miles This golf club, located in Port Saint Joe, boasts a 6,655-yard eighteen-hole championship layout, a driving range, a putting green, a pro shop, and a snack bar. (850) 227-1751 stjoebaygolf.com

NATURE WALK GOLF COURSE Distance: 27 miles This eighteen-hole executive course in Lynn Haven, near Panama City, plays to par of 60 and offers outstanding practice facilities. (850) 265-2582 naturewalkgolfcourse.com

HOMBRE GOLF CLUB Distance: 34 miles With championship holes surrounded by lush greenery and exciting water obstacles, this Panama City Beach course is known for being home of the PGA Tour’s qualifying school. Relax and enjoy lunch in the newly renovated clubhouse. (850) 234-3673 hombregolfclub.com

BAY POINT RESORT GOLF CLUB Distance: 36 miles

| Distance: 73 miles Although it was the site of a minor Civil War battle in 1864 and is home to a number of restored antebellum homes, Marianna is best known for nearby Florida Caverns State Park. There, visitors will find the only air-filled, publicly accessible caves in the state. Ranger-led tours are available, and the park offers a host of additional amenities.

| Distance: 18 miles Port Saint Joe is rich in history—including the drafting of Florida’s first constitution—and natural beauty. Visitors can explore historical sights while enjoying true Southern hospitality. Scattered throughout the town are great places

to dine and a shopping district to find unique gifts, outfits, local art, and much more. The relocated Cape San Blas Lighthouse is open for tours at George Core Park on Saint Joseph Bay.

Located in Panama City Beach, this thirty-sixhole resort facility boasts two championship courses, one of which is the only Nicklaus Design course in Northwest Florida. (850) 235-6950 baypointgolf.com

| Distance: 23 miles The Dead Lakes State Recreation Area offers the finest freshwater fishing grounds in the state of Florida. The lakes are strewn with the stumps and trunks of dead cypress trees, creating a stunning vista. Wewahitchka is well known as an important source of tupelo honey and served as the location for the 1996 Peter Fonda film, Ulee’s Gold, of Sundance Film Festival fame.

HOLIDAY GOLF CLUB Distance: 37 miles Holiday Golf Club is located in Panama City Beach and offers an eighteen-hole championship course, a nine-hole lighted par 3, an illuminated range, a chipping green, and a putting green. (850) 234-1800 holidaygolfclub.com M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 17


A Recipe for

Good Times Mexico Beach offers a number of excellent establishments for delicious food and cool libations. Whether you’re craving fresh-caught seafood, mouthwatering hot wings, or breakfast at two in the afternoon, we’ve got an eatery for you. From burgers and fries to shrimp and grits, one of the best enjoyments of being on vacation in Mexico Beach is eating out. Sink your teeth into some of the freshest seafood around—maybe even venture on the wild side and experience your first Apalachicola Bay oyster, served up raw on the half shell. You won’t have to journey far to enjoy these and other great meals in Mexico Beach. Where there’s seafood and good fellowship, there is always a good recipe. Some of the best dishes you can enjoy while in Mexico Beach can be re-created back home, thanks to the great chefs and recipes that are made available from area restaurants. The third edition of the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Seafood Cookbook was released in 2016. Discover tricks and secrets to re-creating that crabmeat-stuffed grouper or lobster mac and cheese. You can become the chef of the family, thanks to this outstanding cookbook—and we won’t tell your secret! So whether you are in the mood for seafood platters loaded with samples of the best offerings from the Gulf or simply great down-home Southern

cooking, we have the restaurant for you. Also, forget about a fancy dress code—you are on vacation, and casual dress is part of the friendly, relaxing ambience of every restaurant in Mexico Beach.

Unforgettable Eateries & More Caribbean Coffee

The Fish House Restaurant

Killer Seafood

MB Sweets and Treats

Subway Express

2802 Highway 98 (850) 705-1366

3006 Highway 98 (850) 648-8950

820 Highway 98 (850) 648-6565

900-C Highway 98 (850) 721-1028

714 Highway 98 (850) 648-8840

Castaways Southern Cuisine

40th Street Pizzeria & Seafood

Lookout Lounge

Shoobies

Tommy T’s

3114 Highway 98 (850) 731-1511

101 S. 40th Street (850) 648-2000

9454 Highway 98 (850) 647-8310

1200 Highway 98

3603 Highway 98 (850) 648-8578

Crazy Beach Pizza

Graba Java Internet Café

Mango Marley’s

Sharon’s Cafe

Toucan’s Restaurant

2902 Highway 98 (850) 648-4600

2904-D Highway 98 (850) 648-5282

3102 Highway 98 (850) 648-5000

1100 Highway 98 (850) 648-8634

719 Highway 98 (850) 648-8207

18 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


Make Some New Friends

B o u n t i f u l B i r d - Wa t c h i n g

exico Beach is a popular destination for bird-watchers, offering the quiet relaxation of pristine white-sand beaches that the entire family will enjoy and countless opportunities for some of the best birding in the country. The area is home to hundreds of species: birds of prey, waders, coastal birds, and songbirds. It is an extremely active nesting location, as well as a resting area for migratory species.

Please help protect our birds by respecting posted areas. Mexico Beach lies within one of Florida’s—and the nation’s—best bird-watching regions. Twenty-one sites on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail are located within an easy drive of Mexico Beach. This two-thousand-mile, self-guided highway trail connects and unifies 515 birding and wildlife viewing sites throughout Florida. Of special note are the Saint Vincent and Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuges. Saint Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is an undeveloped island that is part of the natural barrier forming Apalachicola Bay. Accessible only by water, the island is a true natural wonder, undisturbed by man, and a haven for threatened species such as sea turtles and red wolves. Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than seventy thousand acres, including forty-three miles of coastline, and is one of the oldest refuges in the nation. Many consider it to be the best birding site east of the Mississippi River. Saint Marks is home to more than 150 species of birds, including more than twenty nesting pairs of American bald eagles. Make sure you pack the camera and the binoculars to enjoy watching for some of nature’s wide variety of birds.

bald eagle

sand piper

coot

osprey

snowy egret

plover

brown pelican

swallow-tailed kite

least tern

laughing gull

blue heron M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 19


20 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


Flee the gloomy, gray skies and frigid winter weather and head south to sunny Mexico Beach along Northwest Florida’s Unforgettable Coast, where the Southern hospitality is as authentic as our Old Florida charm!

Explore miles of sugar-white beaches and

reduced driving distances and great rates—our lowest of the year during

shimmering emerald waters. Enjoy endless

the cooler seasons! Whether you’re planning to stay several weeks or even

activities, outdoor adventures, and getting to

months, Mexico Beach has a wide variety of accommodations that fit

know the friendly locals in our pristine little

almost any budget. Choose from quaint seaside cottages, spacious Gulf-

corner of paradise.

front condos, luxury vacation homes, RV parks, and rustic cabins. No matter what kind of accommodation you may be seeking, you’re sure to

Quaint Mexico Beach is ideally situated far

find a cozy, homey place in charming Mexico Beach.

enough away from the crowds and congestion yet close enough (typically within thirty minutes)

Socializing is a big reason to spend your winters in Mexico Beach. Make

to most urban amenities such as hospitals and

new friends with the growing number of visitors who return here year after

urgent care clinics, pharmacies, veterinarians

year, and join us for special events and excursions. Outdoor enthusiasts can

and kennels, airports, and libraries. Rest assured,

relish in our winter playground with fun-filled days spent fishing, boating,

our local businesses offer various services and

paddling, golfing, walking, bicycling, photographing, and simply soaking up

conveniences and will go out of their way to

the bright sunshine and fresh, salty air. Culture enthusiasts can flock to our

assist you with whatever you may need during

lively arts and cultural scene full of concerts and festivals. If you’re looking

your stay with us.

for lots of local flavor, don’t miss our delicious mom-and-pop restaurants and eateries and one-of-a-kind shops. In fact, there’s so much fun to be had, you’ll

Wintering along Mexico Beach, as opposed to

have a hard time trying to fit it all in. Come on down to Mexico Beach for an

destinations farther south, offers our snowbirds

unforgettable winter escape. What are you waiting for? M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 21


The Gulf of Mexico’s gentle waves deposit thousands of intact seashells on shore as the tides recede. Whether on an early morning stroll on the beach or a late afternoon run, you always have time to stop and pick up that one shell that catches your eye. And, before you know it, you’ve collected a bucketful of beautiful seashells. We’re sure you’ve seen shells left behind on the condo’s balcony or by the steps of the foot wash station at your vacation home. It’s as if looking at them brings out your inner child—and the hunt begins. There is something to seashell collecting that just can’t be described; the thrill of finding a whole sand dollar or a still-enclosed coquina leads you on an ardent search for more. With miles and miles of shoreline available for hunting, the entire family will become involved in the adventure. Just remember—it’s a treasure hunt! Some of the area’s most common seashell finds are depicted below.

Shelling Guide

keyhole sand dollar

tulip shell

atlantic coquina

sunray venus

shark eye moon

giant heart cockle

22 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E

calico scallop

olive shell

scotch bonnet

urchin shell

lightning whelk

florida fighting conch


SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Souvenir Shopping and More in Mexico Beach

Mexico Beach offers some wonderful shops and boutiques where you can browse all day. Our retailers have just about everything one could be searching for. From that unique piece of local artwork to the traditional souvenir T-shirt, there is a shop that will meet all your exploring needs. Forgot something? No worries! Flip-flops, sunglasses, sunscreen, and bathing suits for the entire family can all be purchased from the many merchants we have along our beaches. There’s not a shop in Mexico Beach that doesn’t offer something for everyone. While Mexico Beach shopping destinations are often nestled inside local markets, motels, and restaurants, several colorful beach shops can be discovered along the main street. Want to shop like a local? Be sure to seek out those merchants that carry one-of-a-kind mementos. Gourmet food, wine, art, jewelry, and beachy furniture can all be discovered in Mexico Beach. For the avid angler in the group, there is still plenty of shopping to do, from stuffing the tackle box to picking out a new boat. Mexico Beach offers something for you, as well. We encourage you to take a token—or two—home to family and friends. Remembering Mexico Beach once you leave is not hard, but make sure to capture your memories and share them with your loved ones; and if they’re lucky, they might be able to purchase their own souvenirs when they visit!

WHERE TO SHOP BEACHWALK 3102 Highway 98 (850) 648-4200 CATHEY’S ACE HARDWARE 3004 Highway 98 (850) 648-5242

FROST POTTERY GARDEN & GIFT SHOP 101 S. 36th Street (850) 541-2839 THE GROVE OF MEXICO BEACH 2700-A Highway 98 (850) 648-4445

GULF FOODS & GIFTS 900-A Highway 98 (850) 648-5129

SHELL SHACK 3800 Highway 98 (850) 648-8256

TOMMY T’S 3603 Highway 98 (850) 648-8578

TWO GULLS AT THE BEACH 2802-D Highway 98 (850) 648-1122

MEXICO BEACH MARINA & OUTFITTERS 3904 Highway 98 (850) 648-8900

SPLENDIFEROUS 2802-C Highway 98 (850) 648-2020

TOUCAN’S GIFT SHOP 719 Highway 98 (850) 648-1188

WHITE SANDS SALON & BOUTIQUE 2802-E Highway 98 (850) 648-5889 M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 23


s e t t h e s c e n e f o r a n u n f o r g e t ta b l e vac at i o n Your lodging options in Mexico Beach include quaint seaside cottages, spacious Gulf-front rooms, luxury vacation homes, RV parks, and more. Whatever type of accommodation you may be seeking, you’ll find the perfect place to hang your hat in Mexico Beach. Be sure to visit MexicoBeach.com for more details on the accommodations in Mexico Beach.

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Hotels, Motels & Inns Buena Vista Motel

(850) 648-5323 | newbuenavista.com

Driftwood Inn

(850) 648-5126 | driftwoodinn.com

El Governor Motel (850) 648-5757 | elgovernormotel.net Gulf View Motel (850) 648-5955

RV Parks & Campgrounds El Governor RV Park (850) 648-5432 | elgovernormotel.net Rustic Sands Resort Campground (877) 240-7213 | rusticsands.com Vacation Rental Companies Forgotten Coast Property Management & Rentals (888) 648-1012 | forgottencoastrental.com Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals (800) 450-5116 | gulfcoastvacationrentals.com Harmon Realty Vacation Rentals (850) 648-5768 | vacationrentalsmexicobeach.com Mexico Beach Sundance Realty (850) 648-8700 | mexicobeachsundancerealty.com No Worries Vacation Rentals (850) 229-6344 | noworriesvacationrentals.com Parker Realty of Mexico Beach (800) 874-5073 | mexicobeachvacations.com Pristine Properties (800) 215-0677 | visitfloridabeaches.com RealJoy Vacations (855) 432-1820 | realjoy.com Seas the Day Vacation Rentals (678) 521-4399 | seastheday.rentals Serenity Beach Rentals (850) 647-3600 | serenitybeachrentals.com

All Decked Out (404) 218-1202 | vrbo.com/432585

Margarita Villa (404) 510-6014 | vrbo.com/471384

Azure Blue

(478) 719-7883 | princepropertiesga.com

Moonspinner #2 (850) 643-6107 | vrbo.com/133539

Beach Bum

Ocean View

Beach Cottage (478) 957-4500 | vrbo.com/424964

Paradise in Style (850) 508-7040 | vacationmexicobeach.com

Beach Dreamin’ (615) 394-4453 | flvacationrentalhome.com

Pierside Place (850) 215-5387 | vrbo.com/5951

Beachcomber

(850) 340-0643 | vrbo.com/295661

Sandpiper House (706) 324-6081 | sandpipermexicobeachhouse.com

Best Day

Sandy Toes

Blue Dorado Beach House (920) 660-1865 | facebook.com/bluedoradobeachhouse

Sea Blessings (678) 662-2391 | paulasblessed@aol.com

Casa Del Sol

Sea Urchin

Chuck’s Place

Sea View

Coastal Cottage (478) 957-4501 | vrbo.com/554919

Serene Mermaid Studio Suite (616) 422-0302 | vrbo.com/749670

Cottage #2

Siesta Dunes

Daydream Believer (615) 394-4453 | flvacationrentalhome.com

Sugar Sands Sojourn (407) 430-5113 | vrbo.com/770683

Dockside #4

Summerhouse #302 (706) 302-3003 | vrbo.com/437134

Dream Catcher

(850) 508-7040 | vacationmexicobeach.com

The Crab Shack (850) 648-6471 | rentmexicobeach.com

Earl’s House

Three Seas

Fit for a Prince (478) 719-7883 | princepropertiesga.com

Tranquil Mermaid Cottage (616) 422-0302 | vrbo.com/591810

Flip Flop Stop (229) 561-1111 | vrbo.com/489060

Tuscany Vue

Great Tide

Vacasa – Paradise Shores 110 (850) 234-0349 | vacasa.com

(404) 630-7290 | vrbo.com/665857

(850) 508-7040 | vacationmexicobeach.com

(256) 627-8485 | vrbo.com/740552 (850) 648-6471 | rentmexicobeach.com

(404) 787-0716 | belindakcowart@outlook.com

(770) 345-5876 | tekerns@aol.com

(850) 648-6471 | rentmexicobeach.com

(901) 461-2435 | vacationmexicobeach.com

(850) 648-1251 | vrbo.com/486906

(850) 648-6471 | rentmexicobeach.com (850) 508-7040 | vacationmexicobeach.com

(425) 647-0838 | vrbo.com/770253

(901) 461-2435 | vacationmexicobeach.com

(423) 903-1288 | vrbo.com/639735

Vacation Rentals by Owner A Beach House (850) 227-4355 | airbnb.com/rooms/5393879

(850) 643-6107 | homeaway.com/p267998

Gulf White Sands (404) 558-5920 | rlwoodruff@mchsi.com

Voshall

Absolute Serenity (850) 832-5322 | vrbo.com/231965

I Sea Blue

Water’s Edge

(404) 218-1202 | vrbo.com/584647

(770) 309-6819 | vrbo.com/136955 (850) 508-7040 | vacationmexicobeach.com

= Pet Friendly M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 25


Hearts IN THE

SAND

TYING THE KNOT IN MEXICO BEACH

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SOMETIMES YOU STUMBLE UPON A PLACE IDEALLY SUITED FOR LIFE’S SPECIAL OCCASIONS. FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING, THAT PERFECT PLACE IS MEXICO BEACH. A WIDE BAND OF WHITE SAND EDGED BY SEA OATS BORDERS THE CALM, CLEAN, EMERALD WATERS. BOARDWALKS SPAN ROLLING DUNES AND PROVIDE DRAMATIC WALKWAYS TO AND FROM BEACH VENUES. EVERY DAY, THE SUN SETS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO IN SPECTACULAR FASHION AND PAINTS A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME BACKDROP IN THE WESTERN SKY. WITHOUT A DOUBT, THIS LITTLE BEACH TOWN IS A WEDDING PLANNER’S DREAM COME TRUE. Maybe that’s why there are so many outstanding regional event service providers. Local professionals supply everything your destination wedding requires: planning services, flowers, photography, entertainment, tent and chair rentals, cakes, catering, and much more! Many property managers, inns, and motels are happy to help with family and guest accommodations as well as other details for your big day. The Driftwood Inn even offers a private Victorian wedding chapel that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. For beach weddings, it should be noted that all local beaches are public property. A few specific locations may be better suited for your event. The beaches to the west of the Mexico Beach Canal are very picturesque with unobstructed views. Sunset Park, just along Highway 98, offers easy beach access, convenient parking, restrooms, and covered pavilions. Those looking to tie the knot over the water, consider making the City Pier your wedding ceremony site. For permission to stage events at any of the Mexico Beach municipal properties, please contact the Mexico Beach City Hall at (850) 648-5700. The Unforgettable Coast is ideal for those searching for simplicity and breathtaking beach views to say their “I do’s.”

q. how do i obtain a state of florida marriage license? A. A marriage license can be obtained by visiting any county courthouse in the state of Florida. The closest one is located in nearby Port Saint Joe (Gulf County). q. who can perform the ceremony? A. Either an ordained minister or a Florida notary public may perform a wedding ceremony. q. are catering, entertainment, and floral services available? A. Mexico Beach boasts some of the top wedding-related service providers you will find in the Florida Panhandle. q. is there anything else i need to know? A. If your wedding is on the beach or on public grounds and your wedding party exceeds twenty-five people, you will need an event permit. This permit is free of charge and can be obtained through the Mexico Beach City Hall’s Visitors/ Beach Information page at MexicoBeachGov.com.

Mexico Beach is the perfect place to tie the knot, and the Mexico Beach Welcome Center is delighted to help you begin your happily ever after. We regularly provide destination brides, event coordinators, and wedding planners with up-todate information and provider referrals. To learn more about making Mexico Beach your spectacular destination wedding or other special event location, visit MexicoBeach.com and click on “Weddings & Events,” or simply give us a call and we will be happy to place a wedding planning package in the mail to you.

Your Beach Destination Wedding To help in planning your special day, we’ve answered these frequently asked questions:

q. can i get married on the beach? A. Yes! All of our beaches are public property. Some areas are, however, more accommodating than others.

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 27


A Year Full of Fun! M E XICO BEAC H ANNUAL E V E N T S CALE ND AR Mexico Beach and the surrounding communities offer an incredible array of exciting and entertaining events throughout the year. From athletic competitions and fishing tournaments to chefs’ cook-offs and songwriters’ festivals, there is an abundant list of events guaranteed to keep everyone entertained.

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mexico beach photography contest

Love to take pictures of your vacation in Mexico Beach? Enter your photographs in the annual Mexico Beach Photography Contest, which takes place from April to July. ling ding fishing tournament

Every weekend during the month of April, anglers have an opportunity to catch the biggest ling (cobia). With weekly winner brackets and prizes, anglers can fish once, twice, or each and every weekend.

May forgotten coast en plein air

america ’ s great paint - out

Nationally acclaimed artists capture the area on canvas during this ten-day festival, which is counted among the world’s most prestigious plein air events.

June gollywhopper classic

Anglers fish for red snapper, king mackerel, and grouper to claim GollyWhopper trophies and prize money.

July best blast on the beach

fourth of july celebration

Celebrate Independence Day on the beach with a day full of activities, and end the night with the Best Blast on the Beach fireworks show. mexico beach offshore classic

This two-day offshore tournament will have anglers reeling in the biggest wahoos, dolphins, and king mackerels. Cash prizes are up for grabs, as are optional jackpots.

January snowbirds flock for fun

Weekly activities take place that are sure to entertain our winter residents. Call the Mexico Beach Welcome Center for the updated list!

February

August mbara kingfish tournament

mexico beach gumbo cook - off

Every year on the third Saturday in February, the best of the best chefs drag out their secret recipes and spices and prepare gumbo to wow the taste buds of the judges and the crowd.

This tournament, Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association’s largest fund-raiser, benefits the artificial reef program in the Gulf of Mexico. With a cash prize up for grabs, anglers hit the open waters to catch the biggest king mackerel there is.

March mexico beach snowbird luncheon

A complimentary luncheon is given to say “thank you” to all the guests who made Mexico Beach their home away from home during the winter months.

April beach blast triathlon / duathlon

spring event

Athletes hit the beach to run, bike, and swim in this USA Triathlon– sanctioned event at Veterans Memorial Park, just outside of the Mexico Beach city limits. unforgettable vow renewal

Couples from all over are invited to say their “I dos” again in a mass vow renewal ceremony on the sandy beach. M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 29


September music in the park

Every Thursday evening during the month of September, talented musicians treat visitors and residents alike to a complimentary concert session. These concerts are provided by the Mexico Beach Community Development Council. beach blast triathlon / duathlon fall event

Athletes from all over venture to the beach to run, bike, and swim in this USA Triathlon– sanctioned event at Veterans Memorial Park, just outside of the Mexico Beach city limits.

October blast on the bay songwriters ’ festival

Florida’s Gulf Coast plays host to a group of talented musicians and songwriters direct from the streets of Nashville. Festival performances consist of over thirty musicians who perform their top hits that many know and love. mexico beach art & wine festival

Come enjoy live music while perusing participating artists’ displays. With live and silent

auctions, heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and more, this festival is one you don’t want to miss!

November thanksgiving day turkey trot

Enjoy a morning run or walk before digging into the big Thanksgiving feast. Bring the entire family out to participate in this fun 5K event.

December christmas tree lighting

Mexico Beach is transformed into a magically lit Christmas wonderland. With a visit from Santa himself, this event gets everyone into the holiday spirit. celebrate twice

new year ’ s eve

There are only a handful of places in the world that New Year’s Eve can be celebrated in two time zones, and, fortunately for us, one location is right here in Mexico Beach. With complimentary transportation moving patrons between the eastern and central time zones, it’s a great time to ring in the New Year not once, but twice!

For a full and current list of activities and events, visit the “Calendar of Events” page on MexicoBeach.com. 30 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


Have Fun Safely! Make the Most of Your Vacation

While You’re on the Beach…

The best part about Mexico Beach is our white-sand beaches. We love them and love sharing them with others. We also want to preserve them, and your help is greatly appreciated! By helping us maintain our beaches, you enable us to continue sharing them with generations to come. During your stay in Mexico Beach, we hope you will help us keep our beaches beautiful. Please take all your belongings with you at the end of the day and fill in any holes you’ve dug, as they pose a danger to other beachgoers and wildlife. Keeping our beaches free of clutter not only allows wildlife to enjoy them at nighttime, it also makes them easier to clean at dawn.

• Four-legged family members (pets) are not allowed on the beaches in Mexico Beach. They are welcome a few miles down in Saint Joe Beach (Gulf County). • The speed limit in the canal is 5 mph, and it is a no-wake zone. • Preserve our dunes! Do not walk on the sand dunes, and do not pick the sea oats. There are numerous walkovers throughout the city for your use. • Please do not take glass containers on the beach. • When driving along Highway 98, please pay attention to the crosswalks. Vehicle traffic must yield for pedestrians waiting in the crosswalk. • Open fires are not permitted on the beaches in Mexico Beach. M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 31


H I STO RY O F

MEXICO BEACH, FLORIDA REMEMBERING DECADES OF PROGRESS

tories of Mexico Beach’s origins are vague before the early 1900s. Some sources feel that the first settlement in the area was Fort Crevecoeur, a French military installation built in 1717. The life of the fort was brief, and it was quickly abandoned and burned by troops to appease the Spanish governor. Records indicate very little activity until 1900, when rumors of the legendary Maddox Gold Mines and sunken Caribbean pirate ships brought treasure hunters to the coast. One old sailing ship was found buried in the sand, but the ship’s name and any records of its cargo and crew have never been found. To date, neither the mines nor any pirate treasure have been discovered.

Around 1900, businessman Felix du Pont purchased the land now occupied by the City of Mexico Beach. The native pine trees were sought for the production of turpentine, and the area began to gain exposure. Fishermen were some of the first to embrace the newly discovered and accessible beaches. The allure of the spring and fall runs by the migratory fish was not easy to resist—a true statement to this day. The 1930s ushered in a new era with the completion of U.S. Highway 98. This coastal roadway opened the region to tourism and vastly increased the number of visitors to Mexico Beach. In 1941, Tyndall Field was constructed and became the training site for U.S. Air Force pilots. Livestock and wildlife continued to roam freely along the new road, and accommodations were very limited. Lifetime residents recall being chased by cows on the beach during these early days. Still, this sleepy community remained quiet with slow growth. In 1946, a group of businessmen led by Gordon Parker, W. T. McGowan, and J. W. Wainwright purchased 1,850 acres along the beach for $65,000. Naming the area was a tough matter that led to some dispute. The sweeping arc of the white sandy beaches inspired the name of “Rainbow Beach,” which was given serious consideration. However, “Mexico Beach” received the final vote, thanks to the beaches’ location on the Gulf of Mexico. Shortly thereafter, development began with Gordon Parker establishing the original Mexico Beach Corporation. Parker’s youngest son, Charlie, soon took over the development responsibilities for his father’s company. His determination, efforts, and vision shaped the area into the Mexico Beach we know today. Charlie, his wife, Inky, and their daughters relocated to Mexico Beach in 1949. Through their dedication, sacrifice, and faith, they made the community their home.

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TIMELINE 1717 The French build Fort Crevecoeur, then abandon and burn it under Spanish threat.

1901 Felix du Pont purchases site for harvesting of trees to produce turpentine.

1937 Construction of U.S. Highway 98 completed. Traffic to area increases dramatically.

1946 Coalition of businessmen led by Gordon Parker buys 1,850 acres along the beach.

1949 Charles Parker and family arrive in Mexico Beach to assist with development.

1955 Development progresses and local population exceeds 300 for first time.

h i s d e t e r m i n at i o n , e f f o r t s , a n d v i s i o n s h a p e d t h e a r e a i n to t h e m e x i c o b e a c h w e k n o w to day . c h a r l i e , h i s w i f e , i n k y , a n d t h e i r da u g h t e r s r e l o c at e d to m e x i c o b e a c h i n

1949 . t h r o u g h t h e i r d e d i c at i o n , s a c r i f i c e , a n d fa i t h , t h e y made the community their home.

The beach community suffered growing pains, with many plans for development realized and others shelved. Electricity and water treatment were some of the challenges, but slowly growth ensued. By 1955, Mexico Beach boasted several hundred residents. Landmark accomplishments by the Mexico Beach Corporation remain a footprint in the sand today, thanks to the guidance of Charlie Parker. A beautiful, unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico, just over a mile long, was platted and recorded for public use in 1949. In 1953, the water plant was constructed and in 1955, the Mexico Beach Canal became a reality.

1967 City of Mexico Beach incorporates. Charles Parker is elected as the town’s first mayor.

2006 By 1967, the City of Mexico Beach was formed, and the residents elected Charlie Parker as their first mayor. Since then, this beachfront city has continued to grow at a steady rate. Over 1,200 residents currently call Mexico Beach home. City officials have embraced and expanded upon Charlie Parker’s vision, preserving Mexico Beach’s reputation as a family-friendly beach community and vacation spot. Without the unyielding spirit of those who came before us, the enjoyment of Mexico Beach, our piece of paradise, would be unknown.

Special appreciation to Cathey Parker Hobbs, daughter of Charlie Parker, and to Al Cathey, nephew of the late Charlie Parker, for assisting with the History of Mexico Beach section.

New Highway 98 bridge over canal dedicated in honor of Charles Parker.

2010 Construction of new public access boat ramp and renovation of City Pier completed.

2016 City of Mexico Beach develops Parker Park as a public event venue on the grounds of the late Charlie and Inky Parker’s home.

2016 City of Mexico Beach begins construction of the Canal Master Plan for updates and improvements to Canal Park to be completed in early 2017. M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 33


Stay Connected with Us! important contact information The Mexico Beach Welcome Center, located at 102 Canal Parkway, offers area brochures, maps, restaurant menus, and more. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help answer any questions. The center also offers complimentary Wi-Fi, which is accessible twenty-four hours a day, as well as restroom facilities. Make sure the Mexico Beach Welcome Center is one of your first stops when arriving in Mexico Beach. While you’re here, take an unforgettable picture in our big white chair!

To help you with any need that may arise while on vacation, here are a few important numbers: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Mexico Beach Welcome Center (850) 648-8196 Mexico Beach City Hall (850) 648-5700 Mexico Beach Police Department (850) 648-4790 Mexico Beach Harbormaster (850) 527-7147 Mexico Beach Post Office (850) 648-2208 Buy-Rite Pharmacy (Port Saint Joe) (850) 227-7099 CVS Pharmacy (Port Saint Joe) (850) 229-8771 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (888) 404-3922 Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf (850) 229-5600 Florida Poison Information Center (800) 222-1222 Florida Highway Patrol (800) 459-6861 Gulf County Health Department (850) 227-1276 Turtle and Wildlife Assistance (850) 647-8238

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) serves as the gateway to Northwest Florida and its beautiful world-famous beaches. With service from Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, it is now simpler, more economical, and more convenient to visit Mexico Beach. The airport is forty-six miles from Mexico Beach and offers rental car services. For more information, visit iflybeaches.com.

If You Need Urgent Care Emergencies occur and accidents happen. Should you be in need of urgent care, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf is located in Port Saint Joe. Mexico Beach is fortunate to have this easily accessible, responsive, quality health care facility in close proximity. So please rest assured, help is near should you need it. Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf (850) 229-5600

Discover a place to remember and visit MexicoBeach.com 34 | M E X I C O B E AC H V I S I TO R’S G U I D E


Experience Beachwalk for a great selection of beach apparel for the sun and sand. You will find treasured gifts for any occasion and a wide range of souvenirs. A must stop shop, so come by and enjoy the quaint inviting atmosphere and friendly staff. Located between Mango Marley’s and Fish House. Open daily 10am-5pm CST.

Casa Del Sol is a custom-built home just 150 yards from the white, pristine beaches. 2 bed, 1 bath with a large outdoor shower and all your amenities. Large driveway to park your boat with full hookups, water and an outdoor sink. Enjoy this tranquil private home in the center of Mexico Beach.

BEACHWALK CLOTHING & GIFTS

CASA DEL SOL

3100 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-4200 | www.MexicoBeachGifts.com

107 12th Street, Mexico Beach, Florida 32410 (256) 627-8485 | www.VRBO.com/740552

A charming Victorian-style inn on the sugar-white sands of Mexico Beach. All rooms are tastefully furnished with unique antiques and offer a fully equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi access and cable TV. Other amenities include a gift shop, tea room, wedding chapel and extraordinary Gulf sunsets. We’re pet friendly. Come visit soon.

El Governor Motel is the largest beachfront motel in Mexico Beach. Conveniences include an outdoor pool, tiki hut, picnic areas, pool bar, gift shop and more for our guests. Recently remodeled rooms offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, and endless beach activities are within steps during your vacation. Come relax with us!

DRIFTWOOD INN

EL GOVERNOR MOTEL

2105 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-5126 | www.DriftwoodInn.com

1701 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (888) 648-5757 | www.ElGovernorMotel.net

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 35


El Governor RV Park is a village-like full-service park located directly across from the El Governor Motel. When you stay with us, you have access to a heated pool, sugar-white sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets. You will love our quaint, quiet, laid-back atmosphere. Call today to book your reservations.

Look no further than Express Lane for all of your beach needs! With two convenient locations on Highway 98 in Mexico Beach, make Express Lane your go to destination for fresh coffee, ice-cold drinks, snacks, and beach supplies! What better way to start your day than at American owned and operated Express Lane!

EL GOVERNOR RV PARK

EXPRESS LANE

1700 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-5432 | www.MexicoBeachRVPark.com

714 West Highway 98 & 3701 East Highway 98, Mexico Beach Follow us on Intsagram- @express_lane_fl

Come have a meal with us! Fish House specializes in having the freshest seafood at an affordable price. A causal, family oriented atmosphere with two dining rooms. We can accommodate large parties and offer plenty of space for special occasions. A variety of menu options including seafood, steaks and more. Home of the Shrimp Basket!

Specializing in vacation rentals from Mexico Beach to Cape San Blas, we offer beach-front and canal-front properties, as well as affordable homes, condos and townhomes. If you are looking for the vacation of a lifetime, come and stay with us at Forgotten Coast Property Management & Rentals. We will make dreams come true.

FISH HOUSE RESTAURANT

FORGOTTEN COAST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & RENTALS, LLC

3006 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-8950 | www.FishHouseMexicoBeach.com

710 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (888) 648-1012 | www.fcpmr.com

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From Mexico Beach to Cape San Blas, you’re invited to experience our sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters. Our family atmosphere and customer service are second to none, and our clean vacation homes are the perfect places to create lasting memories. Breathtaking sunsets and clear waters will beckon you to return every year. Book today!

Sit back and enjoy beautiful sunsets, white sandy beaches and emerald-green waters in a laid-back family atmosphere. Harmon Realty offers a great selection of luxury vacation rental homes and condos with the best amenities: beachfront, gulf view, pool, hot tub, elevator, free Wi-Fi and more.

GULF COAST VACATION RENTALS

HARMON REALTY VACATION RENTALS

2010 Scenic Route 30-A, Port St. Joe (800) 450-5116 | www.GulfCoastVacationRentals.com

1402 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-5768 | www.VacationRentalsMexicoBeach.com

Looking for music and fun? Come to the Lookout Lounge and enjoy live music on the Poop Deck or karaoke and dancing in the Crow’s Nest. All your favorite beer, wine and spirits available in the Package Store. Open daily 11 AM to 2 AM (Eastern Time). Visit our website for upcoming events.

Serving fresh cake and yeast donuts daily. Coffees, expressos, cappuccinos and blended coffee available in an assortment of flavors. Edy’s and Hershey hand-dipped ice cream of your choice, sugar free ice cream, snow cones, milk shakes, root beer and Coke floats. Ask about our Donut Sunday, Turtle Sunday, Brownie Sunday, and Expresso Milkshake.

LOOKOUT LOUNGE

MB SWEETS & TREATS

9454 West Highway 98, St. Joe Beach, FL (850) 647-8310 | www.LookoutLounge.com

900-C Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 731-1028 | www.Facebook.com/MBDonuts

M E X I C O B E AC H .C O M | 37


A family owned and operated business, we pride ourselves on customer service with true Southern hospitality. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff, plus our wellequipped facility, have everything you need: ethanol-free gas, Yamaha outboards sales and service, wet storage, ship store, beach supplies, live and frozen bait, tackle, apparel, Costa sunglasses and much more. Open daily!

Looking for a vacation rental? Sundance Realty has them. Are you military looking for a rental? Sundance specializes in those: F-22 B-Coursers/TX, ABM, AOC TDYs welcomed here. 12 miles to main gate. Located in the purple building at the corner of Hwy. 98 and 28th Street. VETERAN OWNED. Renting Mayberry on the Water.

MEXICO BEACH MARINA

SUNDANCE REALTY

3904 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-8900 | www.MexicoBeachMarina.com

2802-F Highway 98, Mexico Beach 32456 (850) 648-8700 | www.MexicoBeachSunDanceRealty.com

The beaches of Mexico Beach, WindMark Beach and Cape San Blas offer wonderful and exquisite properties to help make the most of your vacation. Imagine sugar-white sand beaches, beautiful emerald and aqua Gulf waters and a relaxed place to unwind, decompress and enjoy making memories that will last a lifetime. That’s what we offer!

Celebrating your special occasion on the beach or in the park? Sites like these are blank canvases, and we can assist in making your dreams a reality. Panache is a full-service event planning and rental company, providing an upscale line of tents, tables, chairs, fine linens, crystal stemware, china, event furniture, lighting and decor.

NO WORRIES VACATION RENTALS 101 Good Morning Street, Port St. Joe, FL (850) 229-6344 | www.NoWorriesVacationRentals.com

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PANACHE TENT + EVENT (800) 461-6955 | www.PanacheTents.com


This is your escape! Where white-sand beaches edge the Gulf of Mexico. Where you’re welcomed with open arms. Parker Realty has served Mexico Beach and the Gulf County beaches for 71 years with an outstanding inventory of quality beach vacation properties, friendly customer service and affordable rates. We hope to see you soon!

You’ve chosen the right destination; now choose the right vacation home! Pristine Properties has what you’re looking for on the beach or the canal and everywhere in between—some with pools, others with boat slips. Pack the family and pets, but leave the rest to us. DVD and beach gear rentals, linens and other activities provided. Welcome!

PARKER REALTY OF MEXICO BEACH

PRISTINE PROPERTIES VACATION RENTALS

3016 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (800) 874-5073 | www.MexicoBeachVacations.com

1200 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (877) 523-7131 | www.VisitFloridaBeaches.com

Offering vacation rentals from Cape San Blas to Mexico Beach. Whether it’s hours of quiet solitude or activities in the great outdoors that you crave, we have something for everyone. Let us help you make memories that last. When you think vacation, think Serenity.

Shop the Grove! Enter a colorful oasis filled with home décor, small furnishings, nautical gifts, unique accessories and coastal art. Offering a large selection of outdoor furniture, novelty signs and bike rentals. Open daily 10am–5pm CST.

serenity B E A C H

R E N T A L S ,

L L C

SERENITY BEACH RENTALS, LLC

THE GROVE OF MEXICO BEACH

PO Box 1275, Port St. Joe, FL (850) 647-3600 | www.SerenityBeachRentals.com

2700 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-4445 | www.TheGroveofMexicoBeach.com

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The Port Fine Wine & Spirits is the area’s most convenient fine wine and spirits shop. Offering large selections of wines, imported and craft beers, liquor, mixers, and tobacco. With over 27 years of experience, you will appreciate our great selection, fair prices, and friendly customer service. Open 10am-9pm Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm Sunday; Eastern Time.

Toucan’s comprises of an amazing menu with the freshest Gulf of Mexico seafood, family-friendly atmosphere, and Gulf-front dining overlooking our white-sand beaches. Children can enjoy the beachfront playground while parents can relax and unwind. Enjoy live music on the weekend from our Tiki Bar outdoor patio.

THE PORT FINE WINES & SPIRITS

TOUCAN’S

202 West Highway, Port St. Joe (850) 227-2977 | www.ThePortFineWine.com

719 Highway 98, Mexico Beach, FL (850) 648-8207 | www.ToucansMexicoBeachFL.com

Come experience a walk on the beach like no other atop one of our beginner-friendly horses. We offer happy horses who love their jobs, people, and showing off for the camera! Guaranteed to have the kids smiling and everyone walking away with lifetime memories.

Our goal is to make your family vacation unforgettable. With seven spotless rentals, tastefully decorated, and insider tips that show you the best of our area, we provide you a stress-free getaway for making lifelong memories. We are owned and managed by two sisters. Be our guest!

Vacation

Mexico Beach L U X U R Y C O N D O R E N TA L S Va c a t i o n M e x i c o B e a c h . c o m

TWO-BIT STABLE HORSEBACK RIDING

VACATION MEXICO BEACH

240 Cape San Blas Road, Port St. Joe (850) 227-4744 | www.TwoBitStable.com

Mexico Beach (850) 508-7040 | www.VacationMexicoBeach.com

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We deliver quality kayaks and paddleboards for exploring the Gulf in Mexico Beach and surrounding areas. Offering hourly/daily/weekly rentals for a personalized experience.

Your Coffee = Our Passion! Organic coffees and espressobased drinks, frappés, organic smoothies, made-to-order teas, whole-bean coffee, handmade pastries and more.

The best Southern cuisine on the beach! Come savor our $5.00 breakfast special, fried chicken lunch plate, or one of our specialty entrees for dinner.

BAREFOOT KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD RENTALS, LLC

CARIBBEAN COFFEE

CASTAWAYS SOUTHERN CUISINE

Delivers within 20 miles (850) 899-0359 | www.BarefootKayaking.com

2802-A Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 705-1366 | www.Caribbean-Coffee.com

3114 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 731-1511 | www.Facebook.com/CastawaysMXB

No matter when you find yourself craving some pizza, chances are Crazy Beach Pizza in Mexico Beach is open! Enjoy our gourmet pizza pies for lunch or dinner seven days a week from 11 AM to 9 PM. The locals’ first choice of pizza places!

See Mexico Beach from the sky! Experience the thrill of skydiving, hot-air ballooning and hang-gliding all at once in a parasail. No experience necessary. Located beachfront at the El Governor Motel. Waverunner rentals, banana boat rides and umbrella and chair rentals. Open daily, weather permitting.

Frost Pottery has created a year round, outdoor oasis! Featuring plants and pottery from around the globe, decor, jewelry, local art, and much more!

CRAZY BEACH PIZZA

CRAZY WAVERUNNERS AND PARASAIL

FROST POTTER GARDEN AND GIFT SHOP

2902 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-4600 | www.CrazyBeachPizza.com

1600 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 527-9893

101 South 36th Street, Mexico Beach (850) 541-2839 | www.FrostPotteryGarden.com

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Graba Java and start the day off right. Serving freshly brewed coffees, specialty drinks, breakfast and lunch. Shop Left-Bank Art Gallery. Open Monday through Saturday.

Mango Marley’s is a family-friendly restaurant offering a diverse menu with daily specials. Famous for our 25 homemade wing sauces, delicious burgers and signature dishes.

PeoplesSouth Bank is a full-service bank committed to serving the community. We have several locations and ATMs throughout the Panhandle. Our name says it all.

GRABA JAVA INTERNET CAFÉ

MANGO MARLEY’S

PEOPLESSOUTH BANK

2904 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-JAVA (5282) | www.Graba-Java.com

3104 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-5000 | www.MangoMarleys.com

1202 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-6555 | www.PeoplesSouth.com

A full-service seafood market and more providing a variety of the best local seafood since 1965. A must-stop shop during your vacation. We’ll pack for travel!

Your Go-To shop with super cute apparel for the whole family, from toddlers to adults. We also have beach supplies, unique gifts for the home and more!

Come get pampered at the beach! Full-service salon providing manicures, pedicures, and waxing. Updos for bridal parties and special occasions. Certified makeup artist. Walk-ins welcome!

SALON & BOUTIQUE SHELL SHACK 3800 Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-8256

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SPLENDIFEROUS 2802 Highway 98, Unit C, Mexico Beach (850) 648-2020 www.Facebook.com/SplendiferousMB

WHITE SANDS SALON AND BOUTIQUE 2802-E Highway 98, Mexico Beach (850) 648-5889 | GloriaThompson@mchsi.com


Remember that time we started a new tradition?

Make your perfect vacation memories in Mexico Beach, Florida. Discover more at MexicoBeach.com

F L O R I D A

The Unforgettable Coast

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This complimentary Visitor’s Guide is published by the Mexico Beach Community Development Council 102 Canal Parkway, Mexico Beach, Florida 32456 | (888) 723-2546 | MexicoBeach.com


Mexico Beach Florida - 2017 Visitor's Guide