When the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway canal indigenous Mobile only opens right into Wolf only in Orange Beach, Alabama, it starts crisscrossing a series of estuaries tucked behind the finest white-sand beaches in the world. This stretch of beach in between here and also Panama City, Florida, boasts sugar-soft sands that as soon as were the tops of the Appalachian Mountains. Now they welcome the warm waters that the Gulf Coast.
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Start her journey in Orange Beach, wherein so many excellent restaurants sit on the water that you’ll want to stay longer to sample castle all. Pull into Orange beach Marina, which is situated on a fully protected harbor and accommodates vessels up to 130 feet. Because that fine dining, be sure to head upstairs at the marina come Fisher’s, or opt for their dock-side dining for something a bit an ext casual. If she in the require of service or maintenance throughout your stay, Saunders Yachtworks is situated next come the marina and also can assist with any fixes. Over at Perdido Pass, boaters tie up at the Cobalt dock come dine on fresh seafood if watching the water traffic travel in and out that the Gulf.
For shopping, don’t miss out on Orange Beach’s eclectic repertoire of retailers and also boutiques all along the docks. San Roc Cay and also The powhatan both offer locally owned clothing, home decor, and also specialty shops. Meanwhile, the seaside Arts center of Orange Beach sit on the coast of wolf Bay in a 1920s-era hotel, and also includes an art gallery. There’s additionally an on-site glass-blowing studio and a ceramic studio. If you like some the end activity, glide like a seagull ~ above the Hummingbird Ziplines in ~ Gulf Adventure facility at the Gulf State Park’s Lake Shelby. Or opt for part paddle boarding top top the lake. It’s right for beginners without having actually to attend to surf and also tides.
When you carry out head come the east, leaving time to dock or traction up on the sand in ~ the state line’s Flora-Bama Yacht Club. Through your feet in the sand, sip a legendary Bushwacker and also enjoy ruby red shrimp, a sweeter deep-water shrimp harvest offshore. Afterwards, wander across the street to endure the legendary roadhouse bar The Flora-Bama, with its three stages the live music.
Day 1: Orange beach to Pensacola
Distance: 24 nautical miles
Slip behind the rows of marching condos top top Perdido vital to motor out into Pensacola Bay to Palafox Pier Yacht Harbor, just footsteps away from downtown Pensacola. Be certain to stroll under Palafox Street’s brick sidewalks and also breathe in much more than 450 years of history. The street is the heartbeat of downtown. Chic shops, galleries and trendy restaurants populate the wroughtironed buildings. Crepe myrtles wave in the tenderness sea breezes.
Take in a minor organization baseball game at the surrounding stadium special the residence team the Blue Wahoos, a double A team because that the Cincinnati Reds. If they are not in town you may want to watch who is performing at the historical Saenger Theatre. Pensacola hosts plenty of traveling concerts as well as its very own symphony, opera, and also ballet.
Hungry? Head end to the Atlas Oyster home or its sister restaurant, The Fish House; castle both sit ~ above the bay, and both serve locally caught mahi-mahi, grouper and also other Gulf fish. Or maybe you’d favor to cook your own. Prevent at Joe Patti’s Seafood market to pick up the freshest fish in town. When the sunlight goes down, sign up with the party end at Seville Quarter v its dueling pianos. Afterwards, avoid by Old Hickory Whiskey Bar for a late-night nip. In the morning, grab her coffee at the Fosko Coffee Barre.
Day 2: Pensacola to Destin and Sandestin
Distance: 47 nautical miles
Transit earlier out v the Bay and scoot in between Gulf Breeze and also Pensacola Beach along the Gulf Islands national Seashore. The Gulf ICW will certainly take girlfriend behind pristine Navarre Beach, Santa Rosa Island and also Okaloosa Island prior to popping out right into the large Choctawhatchee Bay. You’ll very first come come Destin, worked out as “world’s luckiest fishing village.” these days it’s a coast hub too. Families and also fisher individual flock right here for incredible beaches, boating and also bountiful seafood. If you want to leave your watercraft docked, a water taxi have the right to move you between destinations.
HarborWalk Village, tucked simply under the leg at eastern Pass and also on Destin Harbor, has actually both a marina and a waterfront shopping and dining destination. It’s the ar to rental a paddle board, kayak or jet ski or come schedule a glass-bottom boat ride. Fireworks light up the night sky on weekends. Yes a passel that Gulf-to-table restaurants through Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer specifically notable. They will even cook your catch for you.
A bit farther east is Baytowne Marina, located within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The marina staff offers concierge service, including arranging golf tee times, restaurant reservations, tram service and golf dare rentals. There space well over 2 dozen restaurants nearby, including casual dining, dinner cruises and also fine dining, wherein you deserve to enjoy a spectacular breakfast, lunch or dinner.
A favorite location to invest a day swimming and snorkeling is Crab Island. Depths roughly the island variety from 2 to 10 feet depending on where you anchor. Throughout the warmer seasons, a restaurant/snack barge sell hamburgers, steam shrimp, boiled peanuts and ice cream.
Day 3: Destin come Panama City Beach
Distance: 56 nautical miles
Move your watercraft to the east end that Choctawhatchee only to enter the narrow canal to West Bay, the grand Lagoon and North Bay in ~ Panama City. Those feed into St. Andrews Bay simply past Panama City Beach, whereby you can tuck into Bay allude Marina at the reduced Grand Lagoon close to the Pass. You’ll uncover a lover resort setup with a complicated Jack Nicklaus- designed golf course and a complete spa in ~ Bay Point.
The adjacent Capt. Anderson’s Marina, additionally on the very same lagoon, provides one that the most well-known seafood restaurants in town, together a complete fishing fleet, dive boats and also cruises to covering Island — one more fun spit of sand amid the emerald waters of the Gulf that’s great for an hour or a full day’s fun.
Across St. Andrew Bay in ~ the City Marina you deserve to walk to countless shops and also restaurants in downtown Panama City. Don’t miss Ferrucci Ristorante for Italian seafood key or Millie’s Café for po’boys and also beignets. Those through a taste for impeccably preserve antiques will certainly love main Street. Afterwards, shot your hand at edge Pocket, a smoke-free pool hall that likewise has the city’s largest an option of handmade brews ~ above tap.
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The charming small town of St. Andrews sits on the very same bay v a hold of eateries, watering holes and also galleries all within two blocks that the docks. Chief Ernie room dishes increase Latin Caribbean fare on his boat “Just the Cook.”
On your last morning, head end to Andy’s Flour-Power coffee shop Bakery because that the best breakfast in town. Many tourists haven’t uncovered it yet, for this reason you’ll be able to score a table and sip your means into one more beautiful work on the Gulf ICW.