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Everybody talks about the nightlife in Miami, Disneyworld in Orlando, the natural beauty of the Keys. What about Florida’s gulf coast though? That’s a side of the sunshine state that falls mainly under the radar, despite offering just as many exciting adventures as Florida’s Atlantic coastline has. And Gulf County isn’t just a summer destination: the prime season here is September through March. So if you’re thinking about taking a trip to Florida, why not consider the Gulf Coast?
Here are four things that make Florida’s Gulf County awesome:
244 miles of coastline
I bet you didn’t know that Gulf County has 244 miles of glorious coastline along the Florida panhandle. What’s different from other parts of Florida’s coast? Gulf County has remained its nature – there, you don’t find an aggressive invasion of nature like in Miami for example, where barely any nature is left. Instead of man-made, artificial beaches, you can still experience true nature, tranquility and the unspoiled ocean. The stunningly beautiful Cape San Blas is home to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which was named the best beach in America a few years ago.
Water of all kinds
One thing that makes Gulf County special is that it has access to several bodies of water: the Gulf of Mexico of course, the saltwater of St Joseph Bay, the Gulf County Canal, Apalachicola Bay and river basin, Indian Pass Lagoon, and the freshwater of Chipola River and the Dead Lakes. These waters are all connected and give nature lovers access to untouched nature and wildlife – bird watching, fishing, hiking the nature trails and ecotouring is possible in all of those places. If you are more adventurous, then you’ll like:
No matter what water sports you’re into, you can enjoy it in Gulf County: boating, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, diving, kayaking.. you name it! And the best part? In Gulf County, you’re never further away than 15 minutes from any of those activities. How cool is that?! Another big plus: since all of the activities are nature based, they’re never the same. Take stand up paddling for example: one day you might see herons on the shore, the next day you go out on a stand up paddle board, you might see sea turtles!
Not only is Gulf County home to 40% of the sea turtle population of Florida’s Gulf Coast, but it is also a paradise for bird watchers, and if you’re lucky you can spot alligators, Florida panthers, tortoises, bobcats and eagles. You can even see rare Red Wolves (an endangered species) on St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is a 12,300 acre undeveloped barrier island – wildlife lovers have to visit this unspoiled little island.
Which adventures I’d love to try in Gulf County
After looking through the Adventure Guide on the Gulf County website, my interest was piqued the most by these activities:
1) Stand-up paddling
I’ve only tried it on a river, and I am keen on trying it out in the open water. I think the Gulf Of Mexico would be perfect with calmer waters than the Atlantic, for example. Added bonus: the stunning surrounding scenery!
I love snorkeling and I have gone on snorkeling trips all over the world – never in the U.S., however! This needs to be changed as soon as possible, and the clear waters of Gulf County wouldn’t only allow me to marvel at colorful fish but also at sea turtles! The best!
I’ve always wanted to go on a sailing trip, maybe even sail around the world – but of course I have to try it out first and see if I like it! Sailing into the sunset off the coast of Florida seems magical to me, and I could sail to the St. Vincent Island with its famous Wildlife Refuge.
Plan a vacation in Gulf County
If you’re looking to visit Gulf County, it is super easy to plan your vacation – check out the Gulf County Adventure Guide to get an idea for all the activities you can do there! With the personalized Gulf County Concierge Program you can even pick three adventures you have never tried!
Giveaway: Win a $50 AMEX gift card
All you need to do to enter this giveaway: Tell me what you’d like to do in Gulf County! Kayak? Hike? Bird watch? Simply enjoy the beaches?
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
One winner, chosen at random from all eligible entries received, will receive a $50 AmEx gift card, and will be announced on or about 10 days after end of entry period. Entrants may enter within 21 days of this post going live. Must be a resident of one of the 48 contiguous United States (excl. PR, HI, AK) the age of majority in his or her jurisdiction at time of entry. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Sweepstakes is sponsored by Gulf County.