grayton beach state park

Day 87 – Gulf Coast Drive Along the Florida Panhandle Part 4

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Day 87 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways


I logged another travel day into the books as I drove from the Florida Panhandle to Gadsden, Alabama.  The uneventful drive took me past some fields, some farms, and mostly brown winter grass. Fortunately, I enjoyed a few places to the East of Destin before I left. These places included Watercolor and Grayton Beach State Park.

Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park and Watercolor are just a few miles apart. The dogs and I stopped at Grayton Beach State Park first for our morning jaunt. The 1.25 mile nature trail weaved around sand dunes, through low, overhanging trees and past a pine forest. The shining sun and the brisk breeze granted us a lovely morning. 

trail at grayton beach state park in the florida panhandle
I walked through this

After trail walking, the dogs rested in VANilla while I strolled along the empty beach looking for shells.  What a tranquil feeling…a beach all to myself!

grayton beach state park in the florida panhandle

Watercolor

In Watercolor, I stopped at the Shrimp Shack for an early lunch of raw oysters on the half shell.  The order at the counter restaurant served its patrons on a screened in porch or on an outdoor deck by the beach.  I can only imagine the ambience in the summertime.  It must be great, especially given they can get away with charging 92 cents for cup of tap water!

Shrimp Shack in Watercolor in the Florida panhandle

Actually, the ambience of the whole beachside town seemed lovely.  Can upscale, quaint and touristy be used in the same sentence?  That is how I’d describe Watercolor.   Beachside restaurants lined the south side of the main street as mobile food carts flanked the small white post office situated in front of the town square.

food trucks in watercolor in the florida panhandle

Watercolor was a nice place to visit before spending the rest of the day driving.  I had hoped to visit Noccalula Falls Park before sunset as it is situated only a few miles from the Walmart parking lot camping choice for the evening; however, the highway was under construction, and the northbound exit Gina my GPS directed me to take was closed.  The next exit was 17 MILES AWAY!!!  34 miles later, I arrived at Walmart in the dark!  I’ll visit the falls in the morning. ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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