March, 2015 — After a wonderful visit at the Escapees RV Club headquarters in Livingston, Texas, we huslted east on I-10, enjoying several really fun stops at the interstate rest areas along the way. We had endured more rain and crummy weather in the last few weeks in Texas than we had experienced anywhere in years, so the gorgeous sunshine that greeted us in Florida was especially welcome.
Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Island National Seashore on Florida’s Emerald Coast are just gorgeous, with white sand and water the color of jade stretching for miles and miles.
We were told that we had arrived on the first really great days of the season, and everyone was out enjoying the beautiful weather. It was spring break, and kids were everywhere, playing frisbee, suntanning, flirthing and hanging out.
Even the seagulls seemed to be getting into the playful spirit.
There is a paved path that goes along the Gulf Islands National Seashore for miles and miles, and we took our bikes out for a spin along the coast.
The paved bike path parallels the Gulf Island National Seashore road, so you can walk, run, bike, drive or ride a motorcycle along this beautiful scenic drive.
The sand in this part of Florida is blindingly white and sugary soft. Birds and other creatures leave tracks all over the place. We saw the tiny footprints of little sandpipers, the webbed tracings from gulls, and the huge footprints left by large herons.
And we also saw the birds themselves…
But it was the color of the water that just plain knocked us out. Wow!!
There were loads of pretty seashells too.
This was all such a delight and such a huge change after the vast, inland landscapes of Big Bend Texas and the piney woods in east Texas. We were loving being on the coast again.
As we were riding back from the Gulf Islands National Seashore to Pensacola Beach, we came across an outdoor bar in front of a resort. The bar tender had blenders lined up to make yummy frozen drinks. What a place!
This whole area is totally geared towards tourists and beach life, and it was so great to change gears completely and get swept up into beach vacation mode.
We breathed deep, walked the beach, and unwound for a few days.
I love the beach because there is always something going on, and sure enough, one day when we went to the beach we watched a fisherman reel in a shark, then two young gals in bikinis walked by with large snakes wrapped around their necks!
The funny cries of the laughing gulls filled the air and the sunsets and sunrises were exquisite.
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More info about the area…
- Gulf Island National Seashore – Florida District – Official National Park Service website
- Pensacola Beach, Florida – Tourism website
- Pensacola Beach RV Resort – An incredible waterfront RV park!
- Baby Sandhill Crane Chicks Hatch in Florida – Adorable pics of chicks in the nest!
- Snakes and Sharks on a Florida Beach – Crazy sightings on the beach
- Florida’s Emerald Coast – Our first visit to Florida’s Panhandle in 2009
- Northern Florida and the Gulf Island National Seashore – A continuation of our first visit in 2009
- All of our blog posts from our travels in Florida