November 2017

A GCFL “CREATE YOUR OWN” ADVENTURE

Sometimes you just want to go where no one has ever been. Or, at least somewhere you’ve never been! We understand! There are so many places to blaze your own trail in Gulf County. And, so many great Guides to get you out in the thick of it.

Lake Wimico is a nature-lover’s dream. Over 4,000 acres of natural lake, it is only accessible by boat and makes for a haunting and beautiful trip up the Intracoastal. Most people who visit Gulf County have never heard about the lake unless they are avid fresh-water fishermen. But, fresh-water fishing is just the tip of the iceberg on this beauty.

“Lake Wimico just has so many different things you don’t see on a regular bay trip. I like to start my trips by showing people a houseboat village. Then we follow along and look for alligators and other wildlife. It’s amazing how shallow Lake Wimico can get especially when you are just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It makes for all kinds of interesting animal spotting.” Captain Phil Cox, a Gulf County Adventure Guide and part of the new concierge program, loves taking visitors on Lake Wimico eco-tours.

The Indian Pass Lagoon is also teeming with wildlife and will transport you back in time. Catch some Tarpon or hunt for Triple Tail with Adventure Guide Captain Carle. Or, just spot an occasional shark in the shallow waters. But, Captain Carle will remind you to look up every once in a while, too.

“The Lagoon is next to St. Vincent Island so you can see all of the different types of wildlife on the island while enjoying being on a boat in the water. People really enjoy seeing the different types of birds and especially the eagle nests out there.”

Updated: Dec 05, 2017 23:49

Published: Nov 20, 2017 21:34

Alternative Text

Ronald Pickett Local since 1975

Owner of Cape San Blas Vacation Rentals, he ensures families feel at home in their rental. You can find Ronald fishing and enjoying family time!

Ronald Picket loves your questions.
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“SEE LIFE” IN A WHOLE NEW WAY!
Ann Marie and Ed Daly -

“Gulf County is special”, says Adventure Guide and owner of Daly’s Watersports, Ann Marie Daly. “There are so many watersports that are available to you – we are not just about scalloping – you can do something different every day.”

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A GCFL “CREATE YOUR OWN” ADVENTURE
Ronald Picket -

Sometimes you just want to go where no one has ever been. Or, at least somewhere you’ve never been! We understand! There are so many places to blaze your own trail in Gulf County.

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A Laid-Back Golf Adventure
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Dan Van Treese wants you to come out and say hello. Dan is the proud President of the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club who wants to show it off. “Well. Most people don’t know it’s a championship course...

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A New Adventure Every Day
Jeri Ashcraft -

Local Jeri daydreams about doing a different beach every day. “I love taking time with my family. And we love to be outside. You never know what the next day’s adventure may bring.”

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A shark-fishing Adventure
Gary Hites -

Captain Gary Hites - Have you ever caught a shark? “We book for a company called Fish’N Xpress. They do a great 3-hour shark-fishing trip,” says former Seahorse Water Safari owner, Gary Hites.

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An Eco-Adventure with a Bio-Expert
Charlene Burke -

“My Ecotours are not structured. Each day is a different day on the Bay so I don’t force a structured program. I just go with the wind. We head out just to see life.”>

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ARE YOU A FOODIE? WELL BELLY UP!
Bobby Guilford -

If you spend 30 seconds with Captain Bobby Guilford or Chef Mary Ann Conroy, you’ll swear you can smell the salt air and the grill lighting up. Both agree the best local ingredients come straight from the water!

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BIG BLUE SKIES AND BIGGER REDFISH
Charlene Burke -

“Warm winter days are exceptionally beautiful,” says Captain Charlene GCFL Adventure Guide and owner of About Fun Charters. The sky is azure blue and the water can be as blue as the sky.

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CAPTAIN GARY WAS SERIOUS WHEN HE NAMED HIS BUSINESS SEAHORSE WATER SAFARIS
Gary Hites -

“Seahorses are so interesting”, says Captain Gary, former owner of Seahorse Safaris. The completely orange ones or complete albinos are the odd guys that are fun. One year I may find a lot of seahorses or none.

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CHECK DIVING OFF YOUR LIST
Ann Marie and Ed Daly -

Ann Marie Daly, Adventure Guide and owner of Daly’s Watersports, is from North Dakota and was a reluctant diver. In fact, she didn’t really enjoy getting wet. Gulf County made her a believer.

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COME SEE THE WORLD UNDER THE BAY
Debbie VanVleef -

I love our guided snorkel trips says Adventure Guide Debbie. Generally I’ll start in an area of the Bay that is shallow with pure white sand.

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DIVING GCFL. A FATHER SON TRADITION.
Bobby Guilford -

“He and I dive together. I got him diving at 12 years old and now he loves scuba diving and snorkeling,” explains Adventure Guide and charter captain Bobby Guilford about his son Wade and their family tradition.

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DON’T FORGET ABOUT BLACK’S ISLAND!
Megan Burkett -

Have you tried the new search tool on the GCFL Adventure Guide? We asked GCFL Adventure Guide and owner of Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals, Megan Burkett, to play along with us to make sure it was an easy process.

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EXPLORE GULF COUNTY’S MANY DIFFERENT WATERWAYS
Gulf TDC -

With 244 miles of different and varied shoreline, you may think so. Water may actually run through Captain Trey Landry’s veins.

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FIND OUT WHAT ANIMAL SAID “I’M OUTTA HERE!”
Trish Petrie -

Take the lead from Trish, kayaking keeps her connected. “I take the kayak over to St. Vincent Island and spend the day. Or, just paddle around to the back of the Island – on the Apalachicola Bay side. It is gorgeous.”

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FIND OUT WHAT ANIMAL STUMPED MARINE BIOLOGIST, CAPTAIN CHARLENE
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“Because I am out on the water every day, I try not to take the beauty for granted. Even though I see dolphin, sharks, stingrays, fish leaping and shore birds almost everyday, I slow down and let folks see things for the first time. And sometimes, it’s a first for me, too.”

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FIND YOUR NEW TRADITION
Megan Burkett -

“Hands down our family loves to go to the Bay at St Joseph Peninsula State Park over and over again. It is certainly our family’s tradition. We don’t have a boat – which is unusual here but shows that you don’t need one!"

a-day-on-the-lady-j
FISHING IS IN OUR BLOOD
Ronald Picket -

“We grew up vacationing here. We camped in Apalach and in 1968 we found St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Right after that we built a house in Indian Pass. As soon as the house was built, we came down every weekend.”

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GCFL DOLPHINS HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR
Gary Hites -

Well, I just took a sunset cruise out and saw 12 dolphins. The night before we saw 24. They feed at night so dusk is the best time to catch them. We have a tidal current that goes out of the Intracoastal and the dolphin like to follow that.

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GCFL VERSION OF A FINE WINE? LOCAL HONEY!
Brian Bertonneau -

“Well, no two honey varieties are alike. Each has a unique flavor. But, unlike wine, I don’t make the honey”, says Brian, GCFL Adventure Guide and owner of local Smiley Honey. “The bees make it. We just bottle it.”

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GCFL VERSION OF ADOPTING A PET. MEET DD.
Charlene Burke -

“I’m always taking in strays. We have a resident dolphin in the Bay. Wild dolphins live in pods. Even though this sounds bad, dolphins kick the big male dolphins that are ready for reproduction out of their existing pods to go join another pod. This behavior keeps the genes from bottlenecking.”

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GET A 360-VIEW OF NATURE
Gary Hites -

No matter If you’re on Cape San Blas or on Windmark Beach or out in the middle of St. Joseph Bay, there are unobstructed views of the Gulf sunset. Nothing blocks the sky so it feels and looks huge.

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GULF COUNTY BBQ
Matt Godwin -

“Smoked mullet is the original Florida BBQ,” says hard-core adventurer and foodie, Matt Godwin.

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HOW DOES GCFL CELEBRATE EARTH DAY?
Denise Tarpley -

“On the Bay!” Denise, Adventure Guide and Property Manager at Cape San Blas Vacation Rentals tells us. “My husband is an avid fisherman. He was one of the first charter captains in the area.”

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INSIDER TIP: JANUARY IS THE BEST TIME TO BOOK A RENTAL HOME
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Get the inside scoop on vacation planning from guru Jeri. "From across the Bay in Windmark or St. Joe Beach, you can see the most northern point of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park."

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INSIDER TIP: LIVING SPACE = OUTDOOR SPACE
Alyson Gerlach -

“The difference between staying in a house vs. renting a hotel room is that you’re going to cook there and eat there and hangout together. Kitchen and living space is always an important thing to look for. But, I don’t just mean inside the house. Many of our homes have just as much living and gathering space outside as they do inside.”

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INSIDER TIP: SOUND LIKE A LOCAL AND CALL IT “THE POINT”
David Wariner -

From across the Bay in Windmark or St. Joe Beach, you can see the most northern point of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in the distance.

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IS IT FISHING OR AN ECO-TOUR?
Gulf TDC -

With Captain Trey Landry and Premier Sportfishing Adventures, you don’t have to choose. A local since 1998, Captain Trey came to Gulf County to help open and run the Port St. Joe Marina.

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IS YOUR “BEST DAY” THE SAME AS LOCAL ALYSON GERLACH?
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“I love Spring. And, we have kids so you can bet I’ll be on the ball field. Other than that, we are sitting on St. Joe Beach. Building sand castles and playing with our kids and their friends and their parents who are our friends.”

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NOT YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL SHOW AND TELL
Gary Hites -

“Everyone is pleasantly surprised at how clear St. Joseph Bay is,” says Captain Gary. “We aren’t at the base of any river. It’s a saltwater Bay. Very little run off. Lots of cool, saltwater critters. The same creatures that are out in the Gulf are in our Bay.

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PLAY MORE. PLAN LESS.
Gulf TDC -

Have you ever been to the Gulf County Welcome Center? Our staff are so passionate about Gulf County, they make it their job to know the insider secrets and local tips.

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SILVIA WILLIAMS’ FINDS HER ADVENTURE
Silvia Williams -

What happens when a GCFL local wants to go on an adventure? Ever wonder which ones they would pick if they searched the stories on our Adventure Guide?

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SKIP THE TURKEY TROT
Zach Farrell -

“I don’t really do the ‘Turkey Trot’ thing but I’m sure there are runs down here. Instead, we go fishing up the Intracoastal. It’s easy to jump on a charter or a few charters on different days...”

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SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST TURTLES ARE THE MOST BRAVE!
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Everyone loves to look for turtles says Debbie, Adventure Guide and Florida Master Naturalist. They are everywhere in the Bay. The “turtle holes” are in the deeper waters because it’s easier for them to escape predators.

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ST. JOSEPH BAY. THE HEARTBEAT OF GULF COUNTY
Gulf TDC -

St. Joseph Bay is alive, well and the center of Gulf County adventure. Ask any local guide and chances are they will tell you the Bay is their favorite place to explore.

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TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
Lynn Marshall -

You can’t do it all in two days, says Lynn, Adventure Guide and General Manager of the Port Inn. If you have three days, you can spend one day at the beach, one day on the Bay and then one day in Port St. Joe.

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THANKSGIVING ON THE HALF-SHELL
Zach Farrell -

“We have family who lives all over Georgia. A few years ago everyone decided to come down here. It was so relaxing! Everyone chipped in and no one person felt like they had to do it all...”

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THE PERFECT LONG WEEKEND ON THE BAY
Lynn Marshall -

Lynn, Adventure Guide and General Manager of the Port Inn is deep in thought. “What would I do with my extra day on a long weekend? Walk out into St. Joseph Bay – honestly, my family does it almost every day.”

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THINK NEIGHBORHOODS FOR YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Megan Burkett -

When you finally decide to make Gulf County your year-after-year vacation destination, Megan Burkett, owner of Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals and GCFL Adventure Guide wants you to pick a great neighborhood.

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TRY A NEW ADVENTURE. PADDLEBOARDING IN THE BAY.
Ann Marie and Ed Daly -

We asked Adventure Guide and owner of Daly’s Watersports Ann Marie Daly her favorite thing to do in the water (besides scuba dive, of course!). Check out her answer and we’ll see you on your board soon.

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WILDLIFE PRESERVE OR GOLF COURSE? YOU DECIDE.
Dan and Barb Van Treese -

Did you know GCFL has a great, 18-hole championship golf course? St. Joseph Bay Golf Club is open to the public with 65% of its golfers here on vacation. Why is it such a hidden gem?