grayton beach state park

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

Day 87 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Another travel day logged on the books…from the Florida Panhandle to Gadsden, Alabama.  I didn’t pass anything of interest…some fields, some farms, mostly brown winter grass…definitely an uneventful drive.  I’m glad I took my friend Don’s advice and spent the morning in WaterColor, Florida, a cute town east of Destin.

I walked through this

Grayoton Beach State Park

A few miles down the road from WaterColor, lays Grayton Beach State Park.  The dogs and I stopped there forour 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 a lovely morning.  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 WaterColor, I stopped at the Shrimp Shack for an early lunch…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!

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 it.   Beachside restaurants lined the south side of the main street as mobile food carts flanked the small white post office situated across the main street in front of the town square.

For the rest of the day I just drove.  I had hoped to visit Noccalula Falls Park before sunset as it is situated only a few miles from the Walmart parking lot of choice; 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

Other posts about Florida


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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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