Is Gulf Shores a safer bet for a one-week vacation?

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TimTx
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:18 pm

I am taking a week vacation and staying at a beach house in Navarre on the last week of July. I went to Destin once (early July 2014) for one day and the June Grass was bad and there were dead fish on the beach. I am concerned about a repeat. I have never been to Gulf Shores but I have read that it doesn't have the June Grass problem. But then, I have also read that it does -- so the reports are conflicting.

I have read that the water and beaches are better in Navarre. But, dead fish and thick-green water doesn't sound better. I know there is no way to predict it though. Based on the pictures it seems that there are times where the water is great.

I don't want the vacation to be ruined with June Grass. And, I'm wondering if Gulf Shores would have been a safer bet. I have read the beaches and water are just as good, and read just the opposite (typical of the conflicting information you find on the internet).

To anyone that has been to both places, what do you think? If you had just one opportunity to take a vacation to a beach and the choice was between Navarre and Gulf Shores in late July, what would you choose?

Thank you.
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bjrichus
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:06 pm

TimTx wrote:I am taking a week vacation and staying at a beach house in Navarre on the last week of July. I went to Destin once (early July 2014) for one day and the June Grass was bad and there were dead fish on the beach. I am concerned about a repeat. I have never been to Gulf Shores but I have read that it doesn't have the June Grass problem. But then, I have also read that it does -- so the reports are conflicting.

I have read that the water and beaches are better in Navarre. But, dead fish and thick-green water doesn't sound better. I know there is no way to predict it though. Based on the pictures it seems that there are times where the water is great.

I don't want the vacation to be ruined with June Grass. And, I'm wondering if Gulf Shores would have been a safer bet. I have read the beaches and water are just as good, and read just the opposite (typical of the conflicting information you find on the internet).

To anyone that has been to both places, what do you think? If you had just one opportunity to take a vacation to a beach and the choice was between Navarre and Gulf Shores in late July, what would you choose?

Thank you.
I don't think you'll get those problems so much in Navarre.

Look at the web cam today.

Wide uncrowded beaches, no dead fish that I can see, pretty clear water and people sun bathing and swimming.

Of course, you can't predict what will happen this far out (2 weeks is a long time in these matters) and ALL of the Gulf area has good and bad times with grass, and occasional troubles from marine wild life... Of course, Navarre is just less crowded too...
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:57 pm

Like u say there is no way to make sure. It really has a lot to do with what is going on in the Gulf. But if you are looking for a beach to relax on with our all the crowds, Navarre is the place. Even when the water is not at its best I have a relaxing time there.
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AngelGirl
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:21 pm

TimTx,
Admittedly most of us who frequent this site could be called a bit "prejudiced" in favor of Navarre Beach. If I could afford a week right now and it was a toss-up between Gulf Shores and NB, I'd have to pick NB. But you have to consider the fact that for us it is "familiar territory" for one thing plus we have friends in the area, having lived in SRC for 4 years (2006-2010). We're back in TX now but our "beach of choice" is still unconditionally NB. Whatever your decision, have a safe and joyful time ... make sweet memories!

Blessings,
A.G.
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Kenny Wilder
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:41 pm

Gulf Shores Is Now Pensacola Beach, Destin and Panama City Beach

You could not pay me to vacation at the over-crowded beaches at Gulf Shores, Pensacola Beach, Destin and Panama City Beach. Come to Navarre Beach! Our sand purity is the best in all of Florida and certainly Alabama as well. Check out my article below.

White Sand Purity at Navarre Beach, Florida
http://www.navarrebeachlife.com/white-s ... rre-beach/
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TimTx
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Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the responses. I have seen the web cams recently and it looks amazing in Navarre. I am definitely looking for a laid-back, uncrowded beach atmosphere -- which is why I picked Navarre (I read that it is much more laid-back and less crowded than other areas).

And, thank you Kenny for the link to the article. That was very interesting. I was concerned that the water color from the web cams was somehow related to the algae and may have been related to the June Grass. It was an interesting article and it helped explain things.

I have a beach house booked for July 23-30 in Navarre. I suppose part of my concern is that I am taking my girlfriend and her two teenage boys. They have never seen the ocean before. I was so amazed when I learned this. But this will be their first exposure ever to the ocean. And, I want it to be a positive one. We can't fly them, or take a long drive elsewhere, or a cruise at this time and this seemed to be the best choice based on my research.

It is good to hear all the positive things here and thank you for the feedback. We look forward to a great, relaxing vacation. And I, and one of her boys, also look forward to trying out the longest fishing pier in the Gulf. I haven't done much saltwater fishing, but hope that I can learn a thing or two once I'm there and maybe I can grill some fresh fish straight from the gulf.
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bjrichus
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Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:02 pm

TimTx wrote:They have never seen the ocean before. I was so amazed when I learned this. But this will be their first exposure ever to the ocean. And, I want it to be a positive one.
Two things to say to this...

#1. Make them learn the flags. If its red don't go in. If any color has a purple flag, don't go in. If they are strong swimmers then the yellow flag is alright but be warned and keep an eye on them in the water. Those rip tides can be really tricky.

and...

#2. We always drive down I-110 and then out over Pensacola bay bridge before taking the scenic beach route over the National Sea Shore to get to Navarre when we are in town. Just saying... 8)
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Pete
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Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:19 am

bjrichus wrote: #2. We always drive down I-110 and then out over Pensacola bay bridge before taking the scenic beach route over the National Sea Shore to get to Navarre when we are in town. Just saying... 8)
If not familiar with local area - that is I-110 spur south from I-10 into Pensacola. Follow signs to beaches. After the end of I-110, will put you on E. Chase street for a few blocks to Bayfront Pkwy., over "3-mile Bridge" to Gulf Breeze, through Gulf Breeze (don't speed, run red lights - the GB city police are aggressive in enforcement), to the "Pensacola Beach" Swordfish sign - right exit over Bob Sikes Bridge ($1,00 toll) and then stay on main road (FL State Hwy 399 - variously; Pensacola Beach Dr., Via DeLuna Dr., J. Earl Bowden Pkwy, and then Gulf Blvd. in Navarre Beach.).

If visiting Navarre Beach - and want other to do - visit parts of the National Seashore (Opal Beach, or other gulf front parking/bach areas) to play on "natural" beach. vs. "renourished" Navarre Beach, visit Ft. Pickens or Naval LIve Oaks sections for history), or several nice eating places and more entertainment in Pensacola Beach - with the plus of NOT having to travel on US Hwy 98 on the mainland.
Cheers, Pete
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TimTx
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Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:06 am

Thank you bjrichus, that is good advice about the flags. I will make sure they know about them and stay out when it's not safe.

bjrichus/Pete, it looks like I can take the Highway 399 scenic route and it will only add 17 minutes to the trip. We will do that, thanks. Once we arrive, we probably will stay put unless the ocean conditions are bad and then we'll go looking for a better spot. And thanks Pete for the additional tips of what to do. We may check some of that stuff out.
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bjrichus
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Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:46 am

Pete wrote:
bjrichus wrote: #2. We always drive down I-110 and then out over Pensacola bay bridge before taking the scenic beach route over the National Sea Shore to get to Navarre when we are in town. Just saying... 8)
If not familiar with local area - that is I-110 spur south from I-10 into Pensacola.
That's it exactly.

And agree as to not having to use 98 if possible.
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LaTJ
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Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:22 pm

We decided to try Okaloosa Island for our beach trip this year instead of Navarre beach. Mostly because we haven't been in a while. We had a great time eating out, shopping and sight seeing. But if your going for a relaxing time on the beach the west end of Navarre beach is by the best beach we have ever visited. if we had to make that decision again it would be Navarre.

PS. That June Grass could be anywhere at anytime. it was tick, tick, tick in Ft. Walton.
TimTx
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Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:10 pm

LaTJ wrote:We decided to try Okaloosa Island for our beach trip this year instead of Navarre beach. Mostly because we haven't been in a while. We had a great time eating out, shopping and sight seeing. But if your going for a relaxing time on the beach the west end of Navarre beach is by the best beach we have ever visited. if we had to make that decision again it would be Navarre.

PS. That June Grass could be anywhere at anytime. it was tick, tick, tick in Ft. Walton.

Yep, I read that the June Grass can be anywhere and is unpredictable. We are looking for a relaxing time and will not eat out or shop. So, Navarre beach sounds like the place to be. It's good to hear it is the best beach you have visited. Thanks.
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PensacolaKid
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Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:01 am

LaTJ...we all know you really meant to say the EAST side of Navarre Beach, right! Remember, that is where the pier is, the pier bar, juanas, Tom Thumb and all those lovely highrises, etc. The EAST side is where it's happenin'! :lol: 8)
TimTx
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Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:26 am

PensacolaKid wrote:LaTJ...we all know you really meant to say the EAST side of Navarre Beach, right! Remember, that is where the pier is, the pier bar, juanas, Tom Thumb and all those lovely highrises, etc. The EAST side is where it's happenin'! :lol: 8)
He was saying the west side was more laid back and relaxed, in comparison to other places that had shopping and such. More relaxed is exactly what we are looking for (we have no interest in shopping or bars). We will visit the pier sometimes, but that is it. Otherwise, we'll stay on our secluded west side.

The only downside to this rental is that it isn't "on" the beach, but is on the other side of Gulf Blvd. But, I'm guessing that the quieter side of Navarre on the west doesn't have much traffic or cars to avoid.
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PensacolaKid
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Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:06 pm

Tim Tx......SShhhhhhhh!!!! No, the EAST side is where everyone should go!!!! The West is just ever so boring!!!!
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