Valentine and Unwind in Florida’s Most Relaxing Place

Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa County Provide the Perfect Backdrop for Romance and Relaxation

A charming locale with access to wide-open, dream-worthy beaches and endless night skies — sounds like the stuff of travel lore, but there is such a spot nestled in Florida’s Panhandle that makes for the ideal Valentine’s escape. Santa Rosa County, known for being one of Florida’s most undiscovered and untouched destinations, is the perfect place to visit for a getaway that is both magical and memorable.

A magical and memorable getaway

As we have seen this past year finding ways to manage stress by pausing and reconnecting has become a matter of paramount importance for personal wellbeing. The CDC encourages everyone to take breaks, plan time to unwind, take care of their body and mental health, and to find ways to connect with loved ones. For any couple, an escape to “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place” can be both restorative and profoundly beneficial.

This extraordinary oasis, known as “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place,” offers lovebirds a two-in-one vacation — a beachfront escape along the Gulf of Mexico and a nature retreat under longleaf pine forests that run alongside the clear fresh waters of the Blackwater River. Navarre Beach is located in northeast Florida on a slender stretch of land known as Santa Rosa Island, 17 miles from Fort Walton Beach to the east, and 17 miles from Pensacola Beach to the west.

Bordering Navarre on two sides is a portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected stretch of coast that is untouched and beautiful, turquoise seas that splash upon smooth white sands and dunes. There is no bustling boardwalk to crowd your escape, but do check out the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, which at more than 1,500 feet is the longest pier in Florida; it is a great spot to spend a few hours fishing or strolling. Then check out the Navarre Beach Marine Park, with an educational marine science station, sea turtle conservatory, and near shore reefs.

Sunset paddle boarding

Favorite beachside activities include renting motor scooter and paddleboard rentals from Sage Paddleboard Company as well as a fresh seafood dinner and cocktails outside, with a view, at the famous Juana Pagodas. Couples have many accommodations to choose from when looking for the perfect place to call home during their stay. Beachfront locales include rentals such as an expansive vacation home or beach condo, or the resort-like Springhill Suites, which is steps from the ocean and even features an elevated wooden boardwalk and expansive lazy river with pool. Those looking for “retro Florida” vibes can choose from multiple accommodation options, such as the vintage Aluminum Cabana, a fully-appointed, luxury Airstream camper located at Santa Rosa RV Resort or the Cozy 1958 Shasta located at The Hideaway Retreat. And those looking for a beach vacation that is definitely out of this world, will find it at the Spaceship House Area 51, an elevated dome home decked out like a spaceship.

Blackwater river kayaking

Not to be forgotten is the spacious north county of Santa Rosa which provides couples some equally beautiful and unspoiled destinations for a romantic holiday. Two favorites are Coldwater Gardens and Adventures Unlimited, each offering couples unique accommodations – from glamping tents and modern treehouses, to retrofitted spots like a vintage, converted caboose and a turn of the century-style school house. Not only are the night skies dark and some of the best in the state for stargazing, but each location provides guests the opportunity to explore and be as active as they like – from hiking and forest biking to freshwater paddling or tubing, there is so much outdoor adventure to be found.

No matter the time of year, Santa Rosa County is the Florida destination for relaxation and romance.