Bobby and I were looking for a quick 4-day getaway that was close enough from home so we could drive at our convenience but also far enough that we could experience complete different scenarios.
We analyzed a few options and decided to visit Panama City Beach. Bobby grew up going there every summer and I’ve never been to that area of Florida so while he could relive his childhood memories I’d get to explore a new place… Sounded like the perfect plan!
I looked online for days to see if I could find an eco-friendly hotel and nothing popped up… I was a bit surprised and disappointed at the same time. A friend of ours recommended us to book a condo through Sterling Resorts and so we did.
To be honest I wasn’t completely convinced with this idea but, after our 7-hour drive, walking into our rental weekend space felt like paradise. The condo was on a 22nd floor and it had the most beautiful view of the Emerald Coast.
The purpose of this trip was to unwind and just rest. We didn’t want to go with the pressure of having to do x activity, having to visit x place or having to eat at a certain restaurant, so here’s what we did:
Day 1: arrived to Panama City Beach, met with some friends that came from Albany, ate dinner and played board games while laughing and enjoying fun conversations until midnight.
Day 2: spent the day on the beach. I got to try stand up paddle boarding for the first time! We have a couple of paddleboards at the house that I thought were broken so I’ve never taken them out but things are going to change after experiencing the fun!
Day 3: we enjoyed the ocean during the morning and headed to a beach restaurant/bar called Schooners for lunch. Then we drove to a marina and went on a private boat tour booked through Sea Screamer to enjoy the sunrise (if you do it ask for Capt. Cody, he was great!) So I’ve always wanted to swim with dolphins in open waters and finally got the opportunity to do it! I have to confess that I was a bit scared because they were everywhere and, even though they look cute from outside, I realized how big they’re once I was in the water with them. As soon as they passed closed to me for the first time, I realized that there was nothing to be nervous about and then I couldn’t stop smiling. We also did some snorkeling and explored Shell Island. If you want to experience nature and sea life at its greatest this is definitely the way to do it! No aquariums, no animal cruelty.
Day 4: we went to the beach for the day and in the evening headed to Seaside. A friend recommended me to check out Raw and Juicy and I fell in love with that place. This is an organic/raw/vegan café/juice bar that’s full of delicious goodies! They have a beautiful store and right across the street an airstream with juices, smoothies, desserts, snacks, wraps, and more. I picked up a couple of snacks and a juice and then we headed for dinner to Bud and Alley’s. After a delicious dinner we went back, packed and left early the next day.
This was exactly what we needed. A beautiful place, surrounded by people we love while being in contact with nature!