Isaac and I just celebrated our one year anniversary (read our anniversary post here!) by going to Navarre Beach for a quick getaway. It was such a fun trip, and we could not have thought of a better way to celebrate our time together as a married couple. We drove from Dallas to Navarre with Lillie and used Airbnb for our housing. This was one of my favorite vacations we’ve been on, and I loved getting to make so many fun memories with Isaac and Lillie.
Navarre Beach was only 10 minutes from the house, which was not bad at all. The beach was gorgeous, with white sand, blue waters and rolling dunes all around. We went to the Navarre Beach Marine Park, since we thought it would be less crowded than the other beaches around. It was peaceful, relaxing and perfect. On the other side of Navarre Beach there are tons of hotels and beach houses that looked so pretty, especially when the sun was setting. I loved the different colors of the houses, and we enjoyed driving down the road looking at all of them. I’m already planning on renting one of the beach houses with some friends someday… Doesn’t that sound like a blast?
Before booking our trip, I read up on beaches to visit in Florida. Navarre kept popping up, and I’m glad we decided to go there. It was much less busy and crazy than Destin, but just as beautiful, so I has a happy camper. The people there were so nice, and everything was easy to get to.
Pros: uncrowded, white sand, blue water, easy access
Cons: no dogs allowed on the beach (although we brought Lillie in the evening after the lifeguards left…)
Pensacola Dog Beach
Since dogs weren’t allowed in Navarre, we decided to spend our second day in Pensacola. There are two dog beaches there, and we ended up at the one in west Pensacola. Dogs are *supposed* to be kept on a leash, but we let her off to play in the water. All the people there were so cool, and there were no problems at all with the other dogs around.
The drive from Navarre to Pensacola was gooooorgeous! We went the scenic route (which took about 45 minutes), and for most of the way the speed limit was 25 mph. So we rolled down the windows and soaked in as much salty air and sunshine as we could. We passed so many beautiful beach houses, and y’all… That was one of the best drives I’ve ever been on. I could have gone up and down that road all day.
Pros: dogs are allowed, white sand, blue water, uncrowded
Cons: dogs are kept on leashes, dog beach is only 100 ft wide, 45 mins from Navarre
This was Lillie’s first time seeing the ocean. She was hilarious!
But by the end of our trip, she was a pro!
A video posted by Rebecca Hicks (@lilliethegolden) on
Atchafalaya (New Orleans)
Isaac and I decided to make a detour through New Orleans on our way to Navarre. Since neither of us had ever been to New Orleans before, we were excited to spend a couple of hours there before continuing our road trip to the beach. We got a table outside since we had Lillie with us, and they even brought a dog bowl out for her. We ordered from the brunch menu (which was right up my alley). Isaac ordered the Eggs Atchafalaya, which is like eggs Benedict, but served with lump crab and fried green tomatoes. I ordered the Creole Squash Omelette, which is an omelette topped with zucchini, squash, mirliton (a local Louisiana squash), spicy tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese. I also ordered some andouille sausage on the side which was the bomb. Both dishes were amazing, and Atchafalaya was the perfect stop for our mid day meal.
Lagerheads on the Gulf
When we were planning our restaurant stops for the trip, I told Isaac I wanted to have at least one meal on the beach. When we found Lagerheads on Yelp, I knew this would be the perfect place for dinner. We ended up going on our anniversary, and it was so fun. This restaurant is a typical beach place, with a perfect view of the ocean, a huge deck with tables and chairs, no windows or doors around the bar, and delicious meals with lots of fish. We read that the fish tacos were amazing, so of course that’s what we ordered. Isaac got the blackened shrimp tacos and I got blackened catfish. They were full of flavor, the fish was fresh and they were the best fish tacos I’ve ever had! The tacos were served with homemade tortilla chips (score!) and cheap salsa (booo). Other than that, this place was amazing.
Our second morning in Navarre we decided to get breakfast before heading to the beach. Isaac started looking around on Yelp (do you see a trend with Yelp?), and when he read “best breakfast burritos” he was sold. I fell in love with this little shack from the moment we drove up. It was beachy, bright and the lady who took our order was so sweet! She brought Lillie a bowl of water, and I can’t even tell you how delicious the burritos were. There were so many kinds to choose from and we were full (like seriously full) till dinner. I can’t remember the last time I skipped a meal! Isaac got the Chorito (chorizo, eggs, cheese and tater tots) and I got the Big Combo (bacon, eggs, sausage, cheese, a little syrup, and I asked for no tater tots). Seriously so so good.
For our last meal at the beach, Isaac and I headed to Fort Walton for dinner. We wanted to go to a fancier restaurant to get some more fresh seafood, and Sealand sounded amazing. We arrived in Fort Walton about 30 minutes before our reservation, so we walked around the harbor a little. It was a beautiful evening, and by the time we arrived at the restaurant, we had finally worked up an appetite. We decided to split our meal, so we went super fancy and ordered fried grouper, topped with lump crab, jumbo shrimp and a fried soft shell crab. The meal came with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Y’all… the meal was so tasty! I was a little nervous about the soft shell crab, but it ended up being my favorite part of the meal. We wiped that plate clean. For dessert (because we so fancy) we ordered chocolate Creme Brule, which was ah-ma-zing. It was a great way to end our quick little vacation to the beach.
This was our first time using Airbnb, and it was such a great experience! The family we stayed with was so sweet, and the cost of that room was less than half of what we would have paid at a hotel. We were also able to bring Lillie with us, which I really appreciated. We felt welcomed from the minute we walked through the front door, and our entire stay there was wonderful. Our room was smallish, but clean and well stocked, which worked out great because we were barely there anyways!
Chelsea and her husband are Christians, and we had a lot of fun talking to them and hearing about how God has used Airbnb as a way for them to share the love of Christ with countless people. We really enjoyed our time in Navarre, and I can’t recommend this place enough. If you’re looking to stay at the beach with a sweet Christian family, you’ll want to check it out. And if you do, tell them hi for me!
Chelsea’s Place on Airbnb
This trip was such a needed break from the real world, and I loved every second we spent traveling and having fun together. Being married is the best, and I can’t wait for all the adventures that have yet to come.