Jump into Fun Fall Festivities in Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County
Fall is a fantastic time in Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County. For starters, we actually have one (unlike the more southerly parts of Florida). High temperatures hover in the 70s and lows drop into the 60s and even 50s. Sweater weather for sure, but nothing that will put a real chill in you. You’ll even find that the leaves have changed color in places.
Floridians enjoy spending time in our destination to get a jump on the cooler weather. Our friends from northern states come down to feel fall without the “brrrrr.”
This perfect weather makes Autumn prime time for family-style events in our destination — running from Navarre Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to Jay (population 650), all the way up near the Alabama line.
Here are some unforgettable, one-of-a-kind places you’ll want to keep an eye out for!
The 11th Annual Corn Maze and Fall Fun Festival at Sweet Season Farms.This working farm, located 20 minutes north of downtown Milton, was founded in 2008 by the Matthews family, fourth-generation farmers. Sweet Season’s 8-acre corn maze is the hub of the good times. The Corn Maze and Fall Fun Festival starts Sept. 28 and runs for several weeks. Each year, the farmers unveil a new maze design for you to get lost in (and find your way out of via clues, maps, passports and QR codes). In addition, you can go on hayrides, pony rides, take a spin on the kiddie cow train, mingle with farm animals, play “redneck golf,” roll a few games of pumpkin bowling, and other wholesome outdoor activities. 2260 Horn Road, Milton, (850) 675-3573.
Photo by @vaelise (IG)
Big Fall Fun at Sonshine Family Farms
About midway between Sweet Season Farms and downtown Milton, you find another corn maze — 8.5 acres worth — and a pumpkin patch. There are two mazes — the main one and one for kids, which has a finger coloring game for young’uns as they work their way through. Sonshine Family Farms also features mini-golf, pony rides, a zipline, a kiddie train, a hayride, and a playground area. Picnic tables sit under beautiful pecan trees. And if you really want to maximize your fun, bring a fishing pole and drop a line in the fishing pond after your maze challenge. Opening day is Sept. 29. The farm runs regular special events — highlighted by the Monster Maze & Hayride from 8 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 27 — until closing day, Nov. 4. 6720 Oglesby Road, Milton (850) 418-5897.
30th Annual Jay Peanut Festival
This normally quiet little agricultural town starts poppin’ in early October when the Jay Peanut Festival draws tens of thousands of visitors from all over the Southeast for two days of music, tractor pulls, games, arts & crafts and, of course, peanuts — boiled, parched, dried, green, fried and more. More than 200 vendors sell local and regional wares. Attendees can also enjoy inflatable rides, pony rides, wagon rides, hayrides, and cart rides. Come get yourself some country livin’ y’all! The Jay Peanut Festival is held Oct. 5-6 on Gabbert Farm. Admission is free. 3604 Pine Level Church Road, Jay, (850) 675-6823.
Adventures Unlimited Fall Foliage Zip Line Tours —
As you whip down one of the four zip lines at Adventures Unlimited, you might notice a brisk breeze and a touch of color down below. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the forest, Coldwater Creek and more. Adventures Unlimited, just 15 miles north of downtown Milton in the Blackwater River State Forest, is a fabulous place to get a taste of autumn in the Florida Panhandle. Guests can camp out or stay in one of several secluded cabins, embark on kayak or tubing excursions, and stop to lounge on one of the white-sand beaches that dot the banks. 8974 Tomahawk Landing Rd Milton, FL 32570, (850) 623-6197.
Oktoberfest at Juana’s Pagoda —
This large, lively beach hangout is an ideal place to soak up the sun and autumnal breezes off of Santa Rosa Sound. Juana’s Oktoberfest, held Saturday, Oct. 5 (noon to 4 p.m.) offers a tasting of beers from around the world and throws in a souvenir glass. The event also includes marine life and interactive exhibits and benefits the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Admission is $25. While at the ‘fest, feel free to bop around to various Juana’s venues: Sailor’s Grill, Pagoda Bar (with live music), Deck Bar, Schooner Bar, Club Pagodas, plus beach rentals. You can’t miss this place — it’s located at the end of the Navarre Beach Causeway on the north side of Navarre Beach. 1451 Navarre Beach Causeway, Navarre Beach, (850) 939-1092.
Ghosts of Milton Walking Tour —
Have a fun (and slightly spooky) time with a guided ghost tour of Historic Downtown Milton, which is 175 years old — the perfect age to be populated by friendly spirits. You’ll see significant Milton historical sites, where you just might encounter the ghosts of some of the town’s most notable residents from the past. The tours, presented by the Santa Rosa Historical Society, take place Oct. 25 and 26. They begin at the Imogene Theater, and run approximately every 15 minutes from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, free for kids under age 5.